Values and Community: How Chris Bailey found a fulfilling career he never imagined

When you walk into Brisbane Girls Grammar School, you can see that it’s highly respected by staff and students. That is due in no small part to the work of Chris Bailey and the Property and Facilities team. As Facilities Operations Manager, Chris ensures our buildings are maintained to the same high standards as the teaching and learning that takes place within. Chris tells us about the supportive BGGS community that truly values his contribution.

Sometimes, the best career decisions you can make are the unexpected ones. This was true for Chris, who would often admire our Creative Arts building from the Inner City Bypass on his way to work each day, without any idea that one day soon, he would be responsible for maintaining that very building.

‘The building’s metal façade made it look like it was “moving” as you drove toward it, and it captured my attention every day,’ he said.

‘A while later I saw a BGGS advertisement for a Facilities Operations Manager, and it just ticked every box for me.

‘It was one of those applications where I could go through the key criteria with my hand on my heart and say I have the skills. To be honest, I was nervous because I thought I might not be what they were looking for.’

Chris’ nerves were allayed when he was offered the job. He joined BGGS in 2019, and his admiration for the School, and desire to maintain its physical resources so that teachers can focus on what they do best—educating Grammar girls—has remained steadfast.

‘Ultimately, my contribution is to make the School safe, first and foremost, and to make sure all the facilities are running at their optimal standard.

‘Another key part of our day is to ensure School events are ready for action, whether it be a quick pancake breakfast or a significant musical performance.’

Chris says the sense of the community, and shared purpose, at the School is strong—‘you can feel it, every day’.

‘Ultimately, we are one community, and we all want the same thing—and that is for the girls to experience the best possible education.

It’s a community that’s been around for almost 150 years, and Chris is excited about his teams’ role in safeguarding the next 150 years.

‘By doing our job well, regardless of the size or complexity of a task, we perpetuate our role as “custodians” of the School, and that is something that I find rewarding, every day.

‘The work we do today isn’t just important for the “now”—it ensures the School can continue to function for years, decades and centuries into the future’.

Chris’ dedication does not go unnoticed. Chris says Girls Grammar truly shows appreciation for our people, and he can do his job without any barriers.

‘If we can improve something, we have the knowledge, the people, and the means to make it happen. From a teaching perspective, teachers have the time to teach the students without having to worry about the little things. It changes the dynamic completely in a positive way.’

‘The support we receive from the School results in great feedback from the BGGS community, and it’s reassuring to be able to do a good job, and know that job is valued.’

The strength of Girls Grammar lies in our expert, highly motivated, and supportive staff—our community—whose shared purpose and belief in the value of a BGGS education is truly inspiring.

‘I love everything about this job in terms of the support and autonomy given to me, but most importantly I love the people I work with. It makes such a difference to how you feel about your job. There is always something exciting happening, and a positive buzz on campus from staff and students alike.’