3 November 2023

Meet the Team: Michelle Edgar

Michelle Edgar has served in the NSW Police Force for 27 years, reaching the rank of Chief Inspector. She has worked across operational, specialist, and corporate areas including general duties policing, crime scene investigation, and other forensic roles, and a variety of human resources roles across workplace equity, policy, organisational performance, talent management, and careers.  

Throughout her career, Michelle has found her passion in career planning and development, ensuring employees are supported in their individual career aspirations. 

In her new role as Director of Career Management at Fortem Australia, Michelle works with a dedicated team of Career Management Specialists who provide 1:1 career support to first responders.  

“My day ranges from engaging with the team and other colleagues to discuss strategic and operational issues, including the Career Management Program, its outcomes, and looking at opportunities for continuous improvement to support the well-being and resilience of first responders. I also engage with key agencies and other providers that support the program, to ensure we are offering the highest quality contemporary services in support of our participants, which include learning and development, career skills, and job-seeking opportunities.  

Having only recently joined Fortem, I am enjoying getting to know the team and learning more about all of the services we provide to support first responders.” 

When asked about the career management program, Michelle said, “The Career Management Program provides career support for first responders within their organisations, when transitioning to other employment, or when retiring. In addition to 1:1 support with a dedicated Career Management Specialist, the program also includes access to a range of workshops, a career community portal that includes self-paced learning modules, tools and resources, and specific career skills support where relevant. For example, identifying transferrable skills, developing resumes, job seeking, and interview skills. 

It is a holistic program, tailored to each participant and we work together to support your goals. Participants and their families also have access to wellbeing activities, resources, and other support services offered at Fortem for a genuinely holistic approach.” 

When asked what inspired Michelle to work with Fortem she shared,Fortem’s vision stood out for me, aligning with my values of supporting first responders and in turn the communities they serve. Specific to the career stream, with the potential to positively impact the career experiences of so many first responders across Australia, whether supporting internal careers or dignified transition to other employment or retirement, provided an amazing opportunity to make a difference in this space.” 

Michelle’s advice for first responders is, “The work you do is vital and as a first responder you have built amazing capabilities in your respective agencies that hold you in excellent stead for a career within that agency or where circumstances change, that are also highly valued external to that agency. Fortem can play a key role in supporting you in your career journey, whatever that looks like for you. A career change can involve feelings of uncertainty and self-doubt and even grief and loss of identity for first responders transitioning from their organisations. If you need someone to talk to about your career, your options, and what support is available, we are here. 

It can be easy to focus on things that are out of our control when considering a career change of any kind, for example, role availability at a particular location, promotional or specialist opportunities, or other applicants who may have more skills or experience. By focusing on what you can control, including developing your capabilities, identifying your transferrable skills, and being open to opportunities and learning, you will be supporting a more positive approach that can assist you to put your best foot forward throughout all stages of your career.”