Our People | Jane Lewin
A self-proclaimed advocate, lawyer, mother, MBA student, and board member of a not-for-profit, Jane Lewin packs more than most into her extraordinary days. But, according to Jane, the rewards are immeasurable when it comes to remarkable work.
As an in-house lawyer at Suncorp for over six years, Jane oversees the claims advisory legal team. She always knew she wanted to be a lawyer, knowing her calling was to advocate for justice. “I decided to be a lawyer when I was about three years old,” said Jane. “I am a born advocate and practiced as a litigator for many years in Australia and overseas before moving to Suncorp.”
Her preference to the in-house environment at Suncorp versus private legal practice means Jane has closer proximity to the business and the ability to forge a close-knit team.
“I am very proud of the work my team do,” Jane says of her colleagues. “Most of us have worked together for over five years now—they’re the reason I have decided to forge a career here. I feel we make a difference with the work we do.”
In recent months, Jane has found a shift in her work; focussing her time more and more on Suncorp customers experiencing vulnerability, “This work is something I value,” says Jane.
“I find it rewarding that we can help our customers when they need it most and feel we are an industry leader in this area”.
I am very proud of the work my team do. Most of us have worked together for over five years now—they’re the reason I have decided to forge a career here. I feel we make a difference with the work we do.
Pride in her work, her team, and a passion for helping others overcome adversity is something that comes naturally to Jane. It is this love for her work, matched with a desire to help individuals that led her, albeit accidentally, to join Jack’s Butterflies.
“I came about the appointment as a director of Jack’s Butterflies in the most unlikely way. My old piano teacher from school, who coincidentally is also on the board herself, reached out to me saying she’d nominated me for the role.”
Knowing of her background as a lawyer and now back living in Brisbane with her two daughters, it was this chance reconnection with a figure from her past that set the path for Jane to join the Jack’s Butterflies board.
“I jumped at the chance,” said Jane of the role. “I had been looking to be a part of a social enterprise such as this to feel I was putting my energy to use for such a worthwhile purpose. As I approached 40, a milestone for me, I had this drive to devote my energy to give back more where I can.”
A not-for-profit charity that supports families of children with rare diseases, Jack’s Butterflies exists entirely off the support from unpaid volunteers like Jane—including its board members—who all donate their time and varied skills, for free. Hearing Jane speak of Jack’s Butterflies’ founder, Rachel Gates, it’s easy to see why individuals like herself and her colleagues selflessly donate their time to the cause.
“She is the definition of inspiration,” says Jane of Rachel. “Her son Jack has a rare life limiting disease (Ohtahara Syndrome) which requires her to attend to his needs around the clock. And yet, she still managed to find the time and energy to establish a charity in order to help others in her position. Her family’s own suffering and difficulties motivated her to support others; so that rare families could enjoy the present and make the most of life, to celebrate every precious moment with their rare child. Everything about this purpose resonates with me.”
I had been looking to be a part of a social enterprise such as this to feel I was putting my energy to use for such a worthwhile purpose. As I approached 40, a milestone for me, I had this drive to devote my energy to give back more where I can.
Impassioned by the cause, Jane knew she could put her years of legal service and community advocacy to good use. Jane’s responsibilities as member of the board at Jack’s Butterflies include developing its governance and strategy; helping continue its ability to support the children and families affected by rare diseases. As well as her legal background, Jane puts the skills learned in studying for her MBA to good use; helping her better strategize the future of the not-for-profit.
“I am relatively new to the Director position, so I feel I am yet to hit my stride. But as a new Director I am full of ideas and am itching to see some of them come to fruition.”
Seeing first-hand the work being done at Jack’s Butterflies, what struck a chord with Jane was understanding implicitly the challenges these families face on a day-to-day. A mother herself, it is her two young daughters who give her perspective—and the drive to devote her time to charitable endeavours.
“I feel so fortunate to have two healthy young children myself. I do not know how the parents of rare children manage it all. I love the work I do, but It feels a touch uncomfortable having the spotlight on me; the spotlight should be firmly on Jack, his family, and the staff for the day to day functioning in helping rare families with support services. They are the inspiration here.”