Loretta’s longevity is dedication defined

Loretta accepts her prestigious award.

Loretta’s longevity is dedication defined

Loretta accepts her prestigious award.

The APA’s longest serving team member, Loretta Kirkovski, has been inducted into the Associations Forum Hall of Fame in recognition of her career longevity.

Loretta Kirkovski joined the Victorian branch of the APA as a receptionist/membership clerk on 1 December 1983—passing an incredible 40-year milestone with the APA in December 2023.

Loretta was 17 and a half years old when she was employed by the APA, having finished her Higher School Certificate year just months before commencing work. 

Loretta was one of three employees at the APA’s Victorian branch office, which at that time was two rooms above a hardware store in North Fitzroy.

‘When I first started at the Vic branch, I was so lucky—the people were so amazing. 

'They were such beautiful people. They were a lot older than me and they used to call me their little sister. So it was really beautiful.’

Loretta has witnessed the exponential growth of the APA in staff numbers and membership; when she began working there were 600 members and now there are more than 32,000. 

She also played an important part in transforming the organisation’s systems. 

She fondly recalls using paper cards to process memberships and has seen this manual process grow into the digitised ecosystem it is today.

‘I have a photo of us when we got our brand-new golf ball typewriter. 

'It was a big deal; everyone was so excited. Before then it was the push-button typewriter,’ Loretta says. 

‘I also saw the introduction of computers; ours had a big black screen with green type and we had a dot-matrix printer. 

'I used to have to take the computer home to print off our renewals. I would set it up in the garage and let it print all night long on continuous paper.’

Loretta has witnessed the comings and goings of 18 presidents and 10 CEOs and has reported to seven different managers.

She has long-established friendships with some members who have known her since she was a junior. 

Working with members continues to ignite Loretta’s passion to this day and she credits this to her longevity with the APA.

For the past 16 years, Loretta’s role has primarily focused on streamlining financial aspects of the APA’s membership renewals process. 

‘Loretta’s significant contributions to the APA are a shining example to so many. 

'She has forged friendships with members that span decades—a rarity in this day and age,’ APA National President Scott Willis says.

APA Chief Executive Officer Anja Nikolic noted that Loretta’s first day of employment predated the births of 30 current APA team members. 

‘In today’s world, that sort of loyalty and length of service is a rare and treasured thing,’ Anja says.

In her four decades with the APA, Loretta has also celebrated some significant life events. She got married, bought a house, had two children—Melissa and Michael—and now has two grandchildren. 

She has shared so many happy times with her colleagues, who she says have been her constant support throughout her career.

‘When I come to work at the APA, I feel like I am coming home. 

'I have been very connected to the members and to the APA for a long time. It’s all about the people; they are amazing. To me, it feels like home.’

Inductees into the Associations Forum Hall of Fame are recognised for their outstanding high-level contribution and commitment to an association over a long period of time (ie, 30 years or more).


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