As someone who identifies challenges as opportunities, Carnedd Williams’ AIMM life has always been about breadth as well as depth. An attentive listener and passionate learner, Mr Williams is the kind of person you will finish a conversation with having learned something new.
In 2011, he walked away from the economic hardships of the United Kingdom and flew to Australia, wondering what to do with his Honours Degree in Exercise Science.
A chance internet search uncovered a health and lifestyle coordinator position with Sodexo, the worldwide leader in quality of life services.
Sodexo serves over 100 million people a day and has 460,000 employees worldwide. Mr Williams applied for the position and was instantly hired, marking the start of a new era for the highly-educated, one-time backpacker.
He quickly progressed in the company, becoming health and lifestyle manager, then health and wellness manager and more recently, employee engagement manager.
His portfolio of skills is impressive. Among his many talents is the ability to align strategic and collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders and organise and develop vital health and lifestyle policies.
He believes one of the best ways of contributing to positive change is to help those who do lean towards non-participation.
He also oversees the building and maintaining of relationships and ensures business objectives and obligations are met.
Mr Williams said Sodexo’s mission to improve quality of life by offering an integrated service in schools, hospitals, remote mine sites, corporate workplaces and senior living environments offered great potential to impact a diverse range of people.
As a company at the forefront of innovation and technology, Sodexo has “pioneered the way facility management works“, according to Mr Williams.
“Traditionally, facility management services in remote sites have been fairly disparate,” Mr Williams said.
“You had a lot of different providers essentially delivering a lot of the same services, or you needed a lot of different providers to get a comprehensive benefit, resulting in a slow response to the needs of our customers.
“We now encompass all those services into one integrated delivery system, by one service provider.
“We have so many challenges with remote locations, such as the environment, extreme climates, vast cultural diversity and limited accessibility in certain places to local resources. We have invested heavily in innovation, operational efficiency and technology and have really enhanced the way we deliver our services in Australia and our remote sites specifically.”
The psychology of fitness and education has always been a huge passion of Mr Williams and he believes one of the best ways of contributing to positive change is to help those who lean towards non-participation.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Health Survey 2017-18, two-thirds (12.5 million people or 67 per cent) of Australian adults are overweight or obese, up from 63.4 per cent in 2014-15.
Given people gravitate towards what they enjoy rather than what may be best for them, how do you motivate someone who isn’t interested to change their lifestyle?
“I’ve always wanted to understand what triggers people to certain behaviours in life that might lead to unhealthy habits and in turn chronic illnesses,” Mr Williams said.
“I want to learn about the human body and the way we behave while trying to understand how those two things can be combined to lead us to certain behaviours.
“What can I do personally to change that or understand it a bit more? I think it is about understanding people’s needs, about what makes people tick.
"You’re promoting something that maybe not everyone wants, or is inclined to take part in.
We are responsible for our own personal development, no one else can do it for us.
“There are challenges in getting people involved in activities or improving their health. That’s something which is seen across the world, not only in Australia.
“What would motivate them to adopt a healthier lifestyle? I’m not saying everyone needs to lead an absolutely clean life, but in this day and age with daily life pressures we must consider the upkeep of our bodies, our resilience and our mental health.”
Embracing professional development, Mr Williams said he had never restricted himself to a single mode of study or to just one role. As such, he is currently undertaking an MBA at AIM WA.
“I thrive on any opportunity to really enhance my bank of knowledge and enrich my experiences, both professionally and personally,” he said.
“My education and current MBA studies at AIM WA have really helped me to seek new opportunities, broadened my expertise and allowed me to test what I am learning in theory in a practical manner.”
“If I could give any advice, it would be we are responsible for our own personal development, no one else can do it for us. Other people might contribute to the process, but it is up to you to ensure that you are growing, learning, and becoming better each day.”