Celia Maiho - Regional Manager, Northern Territory

About the author : Brand & Comms
Published on : 1/28/24
Reading time : 6 min
  • Not many people in Sodexo can say that they’ve ‘done it all’, but Celia Mahio comes pretty close. The Regional Manager for the Northern Territory, based out of Gove, Celia has been FIFO (Fly-In, Fly-Out), metro-based, and camp-based over her time with Sodexo.

    “You could say I bounced from mining to corporate and back again,” she said. 

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    “I feel really lucky to have my time in corporate to really get to know the business on a different level. In that position I was exposed to our leadership team and got to see their collective drive which inspired me to keep going.”

    Celia started her journey in 2009 as a mine-site Chef. Shortly after, she started to climb the ranks to Head Chef and Village Manager before taking on a corporate-based challenge in 2014. 

    Then, the Project Manager for Sodexo corporate events and the catering arm of the business, Celia looked after relationships with Indigenous business partners, corporate events, and produced Sodexo’s first retail product of beef jerky. 

    When COVID-19 devastated Australia’s events and tourism, Celia took a step back from the business to focus on her young family. In 2020, she had her second daughter and spent six months as a full-time mother. 

    “I felt it was important to dedicate time to my family—to show up the best I can in a time with a lot of uncertainty,” Celia said. 

    “After a while, I felt ready to get back into work and was fortunate enough to still have contacts within Sodexo. What pulled me back in was the opportunity to live and work in Gove. 

    “Spending six years coming here and embedding myself within the community for Garma festival, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to live here.” 

    Call of a small town 

    The decision to relocate a family, especially a young one, is a difficult one with a lot of considerations. 

    But Celia’s exposure to the vibrant and passionate Gove community meant that she didn’t see any alternative place to call home.

    “I’d always said that if there was a job came up in Gove that it was for me. I wouldn’t do it for just any town, there is something just so special about it,” she said. 

    “The relocation has given my family the experience of regional living, in a community that genuinely looks out for one another. They all love it here and are thriving. It is such an amazing place to bring up your family.” 

    As the Regional Manager Northern Territory, Celia’s remit encompasses Gove and ERA which she oversees to ensure that everything runs smoothly—from operations and resourcing to the ‘nitty gritty’ of accommodation and hospitality services. 

    Embedded community

    Perhaps one of Celia’s favourite responsibilities is the annual Garma Festival—Australia’s largest Indigenous gathering. 

    Held every year on East Arnhem Land, Garma attracts thousands of attendees over its four-day program. For the past 17 years, Sodexo has provided volunteer catering and facilities management. 

    "I’ve proudly been the operations manager for six Garma festivals, each being better than the last,” Celia said. 

    It is one thing to live and work on East Arnhem Land, but to have the opportunity to spiritually connect to the rich Indigenous culture is a whole other experience.”

    Kicking goals

    Right now, Celia is more than happy to make the most of her time and experience in Gove. Having experienced so much of what Sodexo has to offer, she believes her next step is entirely up to her. 

    I’ve always had an amazing career with Sodexo. I’ve always had great mentors, great relationships,” Celia said. 

    “I have an amazing team at Gove and ERA, a workplace where I belong and thrive, and really want to ‘pay it forward’. 

    “As a manager, I want to give my team the support and resources to realise their career aspirations and make the most of the incredible business that we work within.” 

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