Geelong local Jessica Cotter on joining and working for a company committed to supporting the community

Jessica Cotter recently joined the Viva Energy team at the Geelong Refinery. Here Jessica tells us about her role in Communications, what she’s learnt so far, and what she enjoys most about working at Viva Energy.


When did you start at Viva Energy?

I started at Viva Energy in early July, 2018.

What is your role at Viva Energy?

My role is Communications Advisor, based full time at the Geelong Refinery, but reporting to the External Communications team based at the Docklands office in Melbourne.

What does a typical work day involve for you?

A typical day for me involves a lot of variety, which I thrive on. From representing Viva Energy’s Geelong Refinery at local Geelong committee meetings, to preparing and being involved in internal initiatives, working with local sporting clubs we sponsor or organising a community event, all-in-all, I’ve managed to keep very busy so far!

Once a week or so I head to the Docklands to catch up with the Communications team on broader Viva Energy communications and our national community programs. I really enjoy having the best of both worlds in being predominantly refinery and Geelong-focussed, but also contributing to more broad Viva Energy business initiatives.

After starting with Viva Energy, what did you learn about the company that surprised you?

I think the biggest learning for me so far is that Viva Energy is so genuine in its commitment to giving back to the community. I am very proud to be coordinating our ongoing sponsorship of nine local, northern Geelong sports clubs as well as the Club Legend Geelong Refinery Sports Award initiative. The Club Legend program recognises tireless individual local sporting club volunteers and rewards them and their clubs financially – in significant amounts.

These Geelong community engagement initiatives are part of many other community programs undertaken nationally, which is so impressive. I joined the Run Melbourne Viva Energy team soon after starting at Viva Energy to help raise money for the Cathy Freeman Foundation which is another amazing initiative that Viva Energy supports.

I’ve also been hugely impressed by our commitment to the environment, and initiatives to reduce our footprint by recycling and repurposing waste here at the refinery. We do so many amazing things in this space which everyone should talk more about.

What is the best thing about working for Viva Energy?

Easily the best thing about Viva Energy is the people. Everyone here is welcoming, supportive and genuine as well as totally committed to the best possible outcomes for the company. I feel really privileged to be a part of the Viva Energy team.

What aspects of the role are you enjoying the most?

I am really enjoying that I am encouraged to input ideas and contribute positively to how we do business and to ensure that our brand is better known and appreciated as the one of the largest suppliers of fuel in Australia.

I also feel very fortunate to be able to work in a job like this in Geelong, the city I live in and really love for all the benefits it offers me and my family. Geelong is such a connected and caring community and to work for a company that is involved in such a diverse range of community groups and committees that work to benefit Geelong, its people and future pretty much means I have the dream job!

I’m also excited and fascinated that at the refinery we produce so much of Victoria’s fuel, as well as being the only manufacturer of bitumen, avgas, and solvents in Australia. It’s a real buzz for me working amongst such massive infrastructure and such highly skilled and dedicated people – also knowing that the refinery contributes massively to employment for the greater Geelong region and the local economy.

What has been one of your highlights so far working at Viva Energy?

I was lucky enough to be involved in a photo shoot of a new crude oil ship, the Elandra Maple, at our refinery jetty a few months ago. It was certainly a career highlight for me to go on-board this massive pristine vessel, meet the Captain and crew and have a “behind the scenes” look at a working crude oil tanker vessel.

This was certainly another great example of the variety that my job offers, and I’m really looking forward to being around Viva Energy for a long time, knowing and understanding more and to being an active, knowledgeable and respected ambassador for Viva Energy in my role, both locally in Geelong and well beyond.

Interested in working at Viva Energy?

Find out more


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