Tanya Denning-Orman, Director of Indigenous Content of Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) Australia on blending culture and leadership
Leading Women · 31 minutes ·

Tanya Denning-Orman, Director of Indigenous Content of Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) Australia on blending culture and leadership

This episode, Shadé Zahrai interviews Tanya Denning-Orman. Tanya is the Director of Indigenous Content for the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) Australia. She was also the Commissioning Editor and Director of Content for the National Indigenous TV.


Valuable Discussion Points

(01:38) What is the story of Tanya’s leadership journey?

Tanya says she is an accidental leader. She was very passionate about becoming a journalist, storytelling and her craft. However, with that passion, she really wanted to tell stories, not just what was happening in the world around her or with Australians but particularly the stories that were happening to Indigenous Australians.


(04:36) What was it about this industry that really inspired Tanya to make her impact here?

Tanya grew up watching the news but had never seen the world through the perspective of her world, Indigenous people. Then one day she says "I saw a beautiful Black woman reading the news and it really changed me, I guess. And she knows who she is, Rubina Colbie. She was not only reading the news, it was the authority that she had. And so for me to see, this Black woman reading the news, there was a shift in my thinking. And if she could do it, I could possibly do it so that mixed with my passion of justice, so to speak, I always question the world". 


(19:32) What re the non-negotiables for Tanya when it comes to leading a team?

Empathy, really understanding what it's like to walk in somebody's shoes and caring and showing a degree of vulnerability and sensitivity. Women bring a beautiful understanding and insight into human behaviour.


Key Learnings

  • Leadership is about bringing your whole self into the position. It is all about getting to know each other first before you start talking about negotiating this contract or that deal. And it doesn't matter where you're at in your career; leadership is something that you can consider as part of what you're doing in your daily life. It doesn't mean that if you're the manager, you have to be the leader. It's how you do and how you bring and how you connect with the entire team.
  • There are 3 non-negotiable Cs for any manager, clarity, being clear with your team. Competence, making sure you are providing professional development and you're growing your people. And confidence, owning your place in the world.
  • Mary added the idea of the bigger picture to the Leadership Toolbox. Knowing the bigger picture is not just about where you are at today with your careers. It's about the legacy of what you are leaving into the world and how you want to make it a better place and consider how every decision you make and the impact that can have on the generations to come.


Quotable Quotes

“What you see is what you get and you disarm people by ensuring you connect at the personal level.” – Tanya Denning-Orman

“And we're not just a one beige Australia. We're a very diverse, distinct Australia with more than 60,000 years of incredible stories for everybody – Tanya Denning-Orman

“When I think about leadership, I think very much it's a noun, but it's also very much a verb. It's an action. It's a doing.” – Tanya Denning-Orman


Important Resources and Links

If you would like to learn more about how CommBank is ensuring women are advancing their growth in business, visit https://www.commbank.com.au/women-in-focus.html.

Host of the Leading Women podcast, Shadé Zahrai helps women hack their careers to advance faster, overcome their limiting beliefs and confidently create the life they deserve. She is featured in Forbes, the New York Times, TED, Daily Mail and other media. If you’re interested in learning more about Shadé and the issues she’s currently discussing, visit https://www.shadezahrai.com

If you’re interested in connecting with Tanya Denning-Orman or viewing her professional portfolios and achievements, visit her LinkedIn via https://www.linkedin.com/in/tanya-denning-orman-3318ba12

The Leading Women podcast is produced by Nicole Hatherly, recorded at RadioHub Studios with post production by Cooper Silk and Iain Wilson.

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