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Sharon’s Glassie is full of good cheer

Her devotion to community (and her garden parties) garnered Sharon Schofield the Glassie Hall of Fame Award this year. HT writer Jacqui Hensel caught up with this ‘local legend’ recently, and enjoyed a lively conversation with this very worthy winner.

by Jacqui Hensel

The Glasshouse Business awards, also known colloquially as the “Glassies,” are a special way for local people to show their appreciation for the small business owners and operators and their staff, who are the lifeblood of our communities.

Often overlooked, small businesses make up as much as 97% of businesses state-wide and employ 42% of private sector employees.

The Glassies have been a part of Member for Glasshouse, Andrew Powell’s way of recognising people in small businesses who go above and beyond for their communities.

According to Andrew, Sharon is a bit of a local legend around Maleny. “She’s the Hinterland’s most dedicated “Royalist” – forever, throwing garden parties to acknowledge the significant milestones of our monarchs.

“But more than that, she has been the trusted face at Easton Lawyers for decades. And as such has won the coveted Silver Employee Award at our annual Glassies in 2016 and 2021.

“She has been nominated numerous times; so, it was only fitting that her devotion to the community was acknowledged with a Hall of Fame presentation at this year’s Awards Ceremony,” said Andrew with a smile.

Sharon began working for what was originally John Sheldon in 1990. When Tove took over the partnership in her own right in 2007, Sharon was an integral part of the business.

Now, she has been a part of the team for more than 30 years, and she looks back on her time as one where she has been privileged to be a part of people's lives.

“It has always been the team around me that keeps me motivated and engaged. Being an office of all women with families, it’s the way we support each other and keep each other balanced.

“The Glassie Awards are very nice, it’s lovely to be acknowledged in this personal way, but I really rely on the rest of the team in the office,” Sharon was quick to explain. “Really this award is for all of us.”

In a time where the general trend is to ‘job-hop’ after a couple of years, I asked what made Sharon stay in one role for so many years.

“I have always gotten a great deal of satisfaction from my role. I love the interaction and knowing that at a difficult time in people’s lives, I am able to support them in a professional capacity while also supporting them as a friend.

“Many of our clients have been with the firm for decades. They are generational families who come to us for their estate planning, as well as other matters.

“Watching people go through the life milestone of buying their own property gives a great deal of satisfaction too,” Sharon admitted.

“Good customer service is the key to why people come back to us. Our clients know they are receiving a high quality, professional service comparable to any firm on the Coast or in Brisbane, but with the personal warmth that comes from community connections. We know our clients and their families.

“I find there is a depth of knowledge you gain from being in a role for as long as I have. I note that I am a bit of a novelty these days,” Sharon chuckled.

“It’s really unusual to remain in a job for as long as I have, but I love it and even when I started my family it was still easy to want to come to the office.

“I believe that supporting each other as working women with families has been the key to, not just my satisfaction, but also that of the people I work with.”

Sharon explained that there has been much change in her industry, and technology has been both a blessing and a curse.

“We have had to change how we go about identifying our clients as there have been so many security scares and scams over the years. The scammers are getting more sophisticated and so we have to be extremely vigilant with documentation.”.

Sharon’s own daughter is quickly getting to the point where she has to make career decisions, and Sharon said she would like to remind all young people to be prepared that starting a job or degree can be quite hard.

“There is so much to learn. It’s so different from what you are used to with school. Being consistent and showing up and trying your best each day is all you can do. It will get easier, as everything else that is practiced does.

“Knowing yourself is also a key to unlocking your potential. We are so lucky to be able to follow our interests, these days.

“I started my job straight out of high school, which was the normal thing back then. Lucky for me I found the place I belong,” Sharon said with a laugh.



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