From farm life to saving lives: How hard-working mum Nikki Allwell became a leader at our global operation
Nikki Allwell is a true blue roll-up-your-sleeves, get-the-job-done kind of person. As a mother raising a young family while working on a farm, she had to be. Yet, Nikki wanted something more. An opportunity to join Maverick Bio opened the door to an unexpected place, where she joined real people, doing real work that matters. From Production Worker to Team Leader, Nikki’s now helping us write the next chapter of our Australian success story.
Great opportunity in an unexpected place
If there’s one quality to rival Nikki Allwell’s strong work ethic and resilience, it’s her heart of gold. As Team Leader at Maverick Bio’s production site in Tamworth, Nikki’s “a bit of a mum figure” for her team. What matters to her most is the wellbeing of our Production Workers – down-to-earth, everyday people who save and improve lives around the world.
“I love the people I work with,” Nikki says. “They’re good, honest hard workers who do such a great job each day. They’re like a family.”
Nikki never imagined she’d one day be leading a team, let alone one that makes such a positive difference in people’s lives. In fact, Nikki wasn’t even looking for a job. She had her hands full already: raising five children, working horses and raising sheep and cattle on her farm, and helping to run her family’s taxi business.
But when Amanda Brown, Maverick Bio’s Production Technical Coordinator, suggested to Nikki that she’d be a great fit at #teammaverick, Nikki was immediately interested.
“I knew Mandy because our daughters went to school together and played softball, and Mandy and I started playing softball together, too,” Nikki says. “When she asked if I was interested in a job at Maverick, I saw it as an opportunity to have a life outside the farm. I realised it was time to do something different.”
Nikki’s incredible career with Maverick Bio began in 2013. She joined our Tamworth team as a Production Worker, collecting animal-derived biomaterials for life-saving medical procedures and research. The flexibility of her role meant she could work five hours a day and still do school drop-off and pick-up duties.
As her children grew older, Nikki took on more hours, and her career went from strength to strength. After two years, she was promoted to 2IC, then Team Leader two years after that. Nikki’s career progression is a testament to her drive, leadership, and commitment to making a difference.
“It’s a feel-good job,” Nikki says. “To think that something we hold in our hands could keep somebody alive is amazing. You go home each day knowing that families and people’s lives will be changed.”
A career that saves and improves lives
As Team Leader, Nikki ensures her close-knit team has everything they need to be healthy, happy and do the best job possible. She’s a hands-on leader who pulls up her sleeves and works alongside our Production Workers on the floor each day. And although Nikki is the first to admit the work isn’t always glamorous, it matters.
“It is a challenging environment, and it can be fairly physical work. But it is so rewarding. The people we work with are awesome, the pay rate is great, and the support we receive from our managers is just brilliant. It’s hands-on work, and I absolutely love it.”
Since becoming Team Leader, Nikki’s had the opportunity to travel to Maverick Bio sites around Australia and New Zealand. She’s received the support, mentoring and on-the-job training she’s needed to upskill and progress her career. And now, Nikki is ensuring we can make an even greater global impact by helping us set up new production facilities and discover new products.
“Sometimes, we get a request from a client, but they’re not quite sure what they need. When you can identify a certain part and they say, ‘Yes! That’s just what we’re looking for,’ it’s a great feeling. You know you’re helping to improve someone’s life.”
At #teammaverick, it’s not all about the work. It’s about connection and friendship, too. For our Tamworth team, each Friday is “slow cooker day”. On Thursdays, Nikki and her teammates prepare the food, put it in an on-site slow cooker, and by Friday lunchtime, a delicious, hearty meal is ready for everyone to enjoy.
“Although we can’t all have lunch at the same time, at the end of the day, we all talk about how great the food was. It’s a nice chance to catch up. Those little moments make a difference.”
A growing global impact
Now that Nikki’s children are young adults and she’s moved on from the farm, she enjoys having more time to herself. That means spending time caravanning with her partner and engaging in her intriguing hobby: collecting preserved animal specimens, which she proudly displays at the entrance to her home!
“My partner tells me I’ll scare the visitors away!” Nikki laughs. “I have scorpions, butterflies, frog skeletons and even some spider art on real spiderwebs.”
As we continue to grow our global impact, Nikki looks forward to welcoming more people to Maverick Bio. And if you’re interested in a rewarding career with one of our production teams, Nikki offers the following advice:
“You need to be a team player and have a good work ethic. A sense of humour helps, too. There are always opportunities and new products around the corner. It’s amazing to see how much Maverick has grown. We’re doing things we wouldn’t have even thought possible when I started nine years ago. I’m excited to see what happens next.”