Terrie Wesley - Housing Manager

Published on : 6/26/24
  • In a role where you’re always ‘on’ and accessible to your clients, Terrie Wesley advises that you must be resilient, open, and have a good sense of humour.

    Working a real estate job in the city means there is a distinction between the agent and tenant; in a closed town in the remote Pilbara with just 740 people, your tenants are your neighbours. 

    As Sodexo’s Housing Manager in Pannawonica for the past six years, Terrie has become used to the ‘celebrity effect’ of being recognised on the street. From work requests, queries about moves, and everything between Terrie has become a master of her domain. 

    “At the start it was hard. People get very emotional when it comes to their home, and if they’re experiencing challenges or they’re happy about an outcome—they’ll let you know at the café or the pub,” she said. 

    “Everyone knows me in town, and Sodexo, and knows that we will do our best to make their lives as smooth as possible.” 

    Originally from South Australia, Terrie hadn’t always known about the town of Pannawonica, or Sodexo for that matter. But she did want to try her hand at FIFO (Fly-In, Fly-Out), so moved to Gladstone, Queensland, to explore opportunities. 

    While she waited for vacancies, she picked up a few jobs to tide her over until she found herself working in real estate. 

    “I fell in love with real estate. I like that no two days are the same and there is such diversity in the work we do,” she said. 

    “Property management isn’t stagnant. You’re forever changing and adapting to ensure everyone is happy.” 

    A whisper becomes a shout

    Terrie has been a hard worker her whole life, working odd jobs—including moonlighting as a bus driver—to make repayments on her Queensland home. But something was telling her that she had to get to Western Australia—and when that whisper became a shout, she didn’t hesitate to pull up stumps. 

    “I knew a lady who’d worked for the same real estate as me in Gladstone then moved to Derby. When a role came up in her branch, I took the leap,” Terrie said. 

    “I made a fresh start moving West and I fell in love with the lifestyle. It also came at a great time for me, personally. There was a job boom and a healthy pay increase for the same job in the new town.”

    It was during her time in Derby when she heard about Sodexo and the suite of services the business provides.

    “I was surprised to learn that there were real estate roles in the mining sector,” Terrie said. 

    “Sodexo manages 2,980 residential properties across the Pilbara and the parameters of the contract are clearly laid out. 

    “Within that we have the flexibility and freedom to deliver the outstanding results for residents that is required of us. Here I’m a part of a community, helping my neighbours. I wouldn’t ever go back to ‘mainstream’ real estate.”

    A bigger picture

    Terrie would be the first person to tell you that there is more to life than work—that you need a ‘reason that gets you out of bed’ every day. 

    “Up until working with Sodexo, I was working multiple jobs. I felt I couldn’t stop and liked being busy. Working on a closed site means I can’t pick up a second role. It has given me a reason to slow down and look around,” Terrie said. 

    “It’s so easy to be consumed by work, keeping busy and kicking goals, but it isn’t everything.

    “Living alone, my purpose outside of work lies in my backyard, firstly with my veggie patch and now with my chooks.” 

    The Sodexo lifestyle has provided Terrie with a side project that ‘fills her cup’ breeding and raising chickens to sell to the local community. 

    Comfort in discomfort

    Terrie shared that despite the challenges, she doesn’t regret the move to Pannawonica. 

    “Doing this has taught me a lot about myself. Not only prioritising my wellbeing and interests, but also showing me that I am a more confident person than I thought I was,” she said. 

    “Previously I wouldn’t be caught dead eating out or holidaying by myself, these are now the things that I enjoy most. 

    “Because of my roster and work with Sodexo, I have even started an annual tradition of holidaying overseas on my birthday. This is a lifestyle I didn’t ever expect to have.” 

    During her Sodexo journey, Terrie has not only landed her dream job but also a lifestyle where she can take time for herself with support from the team.  

    “I wouldn’t change what I do. I love my job with Sodexo,” she said. 

    “I would encourage anyone considering a new role to look into the range of positions that exist in Energy and Resources—it isn’t just for the miners

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