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QLD Article

Life Member Bio - Cath Pashley

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

It is appropriate that the words Pashley and passion sound so similar. Because Cath Pashley exudes nothing but passion with everything she pursues. To describe Cath as high energy is a gross understatement, and her enthusiasm and zest for life permeates everything she does.

Cath grew up in Nambour and attended Nambour State High School, where rather famously both Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swann attended. Whilst Cath might not be the most famous graduate of Nambour State High School, she is certainly more effervescent and interesting than two dour politicians of last decade.

Cath like so many people, fell into strata from another career. Post school she began a career as an accountant. She did her training at a local accounting firm called Smith, Harper and Fox whilst she was mentored significantly through her life by a rival accountant named Gordon Downing. Cath considers Gordon to be her life mentor, and to this day she still relies on him for advice. Cath considers herself extremely fortunate to have him in her network.

Cath fell into strata in a unique way. Her and her two siblings Jay and Gillian received an inheritance after the unfortunate death of their father. Determined to forge stronger bonds and build their futures, the siblings three invested in a local real estate business on the Sunshine Coast together. It was a communal effort with time spent child rearing by each of the siblings supplemented by the others stepping up within the business. It takes a village to raise a child, and a real estate business apparently too!

Gail Simpson knew Cath’s mother Margaret- who at the age of 84 still works with and inspires Cath on a day-to-day basis and Gail and Cath had a chance meeting of the minds on the issue of Cath expanding the property business into body corporate management. Cath was initially incredulous at Gail wanting to assist in the creation of a rival business, however after her first SCA (Qld) conference she realised that the unique camaraderie in the industry meant that this sort of thing was just the norm. Cath says “it just says so much about this industry that we have these kinds of relationships, the camaraderie is unique, its special and it can’t be found anywhere else. “

Cath was dealt another example of this unique camaraderie a few years later in 2008 when Kay Trimble,( herself a life member of SCA (Qld)) suggested to Cath she replace herself with someone “young and dynamic” on the board, Cath, oblivious says “I thought she wanted to brainstorm with me as I didn’t consider myself a young dynamo, I was floored when Kay insisted it must be me. “I sat in those first few board meetings with absolute gentlemen like Ric Allard, Ian D’Arcy and Colin Archer, founding fathers of our industry, I was in awe for those first few months.” Despite being in awe initially, she found her feet and remained on the board for nine years of outstanding service.

Cath, like so many spent time immersed in the industry and forged significant friendships which help stitch together the fabric of her life right up to today. Cath has a warm smile as she talks of her friendships with other SCA (Qld) Life members Con Iconomidis, Kerri Anton and Simon Barnard. “Of the closest circle of people I have in my life, all are in strata, that is the beauty of this sector, it attracts special people and I cherish each friendship.”

Cath’s sense of camaraderie and feeling absorbed in this industry led her to become a consistent instructor of new body corporate managers. Cath’s already warm demeanour brightens even further when she discusses this aspect of her service to SCA (Qld). “I just love watching the student in the room who is enthralled;” she pauses “I can tell they are set for a long career in our wonderful industry and it gives me a unique sense of joy I can’t really get from anything else.” Those instructed by Cath over the years know how unforgettable she can be in front of a microphone.

Cath’s own business journey has been unique and intertwined very strongly with friends and family. Cath’s daughter in law Anna is her personal assistant and her cousin Louise is her Office Manager. After buying out her siblings in 2020, Cath and husband Huw sought to elevate the businesses using Cath’s patented brand of vivacious energy and Huw’s lateral thinking. They certainly did this and proceeded to winning the Small and then Medium Strata Management Business Awards from SCA (Qld) in quick succession.

Cath, never one to rest on her laurels decided that having built the business up and achieved excellence she wanted to be part of something bigger and partnered with the Bright and Duggan Group in 2022. She’s proud of being part of this outstanding brand and also the point of difference she and Huw bring.

Cath describes how she met Huw fondly, and it again it shows just how important having a tight circle is to this incredible woman. “I met Huw first at my sister’s wedding some 30 years ago, I used to see him from time to time at her place and over time we forged a deep friendship and connection. He is a huge support to me and we make a formidable team.” This deep connection has worked in business and in life.

Despite her successes, Cath is modest in her demeanour, and you can tell what she loves most is elevating others. She bursts with pride as she talks about her three now grown children, Andrew, Cameron and Emily, who are all business owners or managers, with Cameron devoting his spare time to helping enhance the use of technology within Cath’s business also.

Anyone who saw Cath receive her Life Membership, or who has dealt with her in any small capacity knows she is a woman with great love for the industry. Cath is suited to strata like a turtle to its shell, she is personable, high energy and loves finding solutions to challenges. Cath loves being able to “contour the legislation to solve people's problems,” as she puts it. Its this determination to be solutions focused, inspire others and seemingly find a conductor for her boundless energy that has led to decades of personal and professional success in our industry, and we welcome you with open arms to life membership of SCA (Qld) our passionate Pashley.

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