From Norwich to Naval Group – Marika has found her home in SA

Originally hailing from the East of England, Marika Markopoulos set out to become a sport teacher after leaving university but quickly realised that career wasn’t quite right for her. She decided to save up for a once-in-a-lifetime backpacking trip around the world, and found herself in Australia working in hospitality when a friend suggested she take up a role in Recruitment.

Before long, Marika was working in an agency recruiting people from all walks of life with a focus on construction workers – and loving it.

What is your role at Naval Group Australia?

I’ve worked at Naval Group Australia for roughly 18 months now. I initially started as a Talent Resourcer, which is where I first learnt about all things defence, and the Future Submarine Program itself. In January this year, I moved into the role of Recruitment Partner, which means I’m now responsible for leading, planning and managing the end-to-end recruitment activities within my specified business units. At the moment, my focus areas include the shipyard, procurement and the Australian Industry Capability (AIC) team, along with the transfer of technology, communications and export control.

This role is more strategic than my previous position, and I really feel that I’m partnering more with the business to understand what the market looks like, and how our recruitment strategies can support Naval Group Australia’s direction. There is a lot of work occurring behind the scenes to ensure the right person is recruited for the right job, at the right time.

What is the main project you are working on at the moment?

My focus is always on recruiting; that’s my number one goal. In particular, I’m really excited about the task of hiring for the submarine construction yard and ensuring that we have a diverse pool of talent to execute the physical work over the coming years. I have a target of recruiting nearly 300 people in the shipyard team by 2023, which is daunting but also thrilling at the same time. It’s currently one of the smallest teams in the company and by the end will be the biggest!

Marika shared her advice for budding Trade apprentices during National Skills Week 2020

What is the best thing about working at Naval Group? Any highlights you would like to share?

I’m still early on in my career and relatively new to defence, however I love the sheer number of incredible projects I am exposed to everyday in addition to my regular day job. There are so many different things going on behind the scenes with such a diverse range of people working on them from all different career paths. I’ve never worked in a business that has such a wide range of expertise.

In terms of highlights, I’ve been so humbled to have won the CEO Award for 2019 and being nominated for the Women in Defence Awards in the Rising Star Category. Naval Group has given me such an incredible opportunity, and I really feel that I’ve found a company and industry that complements my skills and provides a workplace where I can be passionate and ambitious.