If you’ve visited Wakefield Park for a race meeting or track day, chances are you’ve been greeted by the smile of Robyn Ryan, who this month celebrates 15 years of continuous employment at the nation’s spectator track.
While there have been several changes in management since 2005, Robyn has been a familiar face at the venue, and has endeared herself to many motorsport competitors with her friendly and helpful demeanour.
Robyn initially worked as a cleaner before transferring into her current office role shortly thereafter.
“When I first started working at Wakefield Park, I just needed a job and I was brought in to help with cleaning, but after a couple of months I started working in the office,” Robyn recalled.
“It didn’t take me long to realise it was a pretty cool place to work – every day is a new experience and there’s always something different happening.”
Robyn has seen a lot of evolution during her time at Wakefield Park, but says some things have remained constant.
“There have been improvements to the track, like the concrete wall separating pit lane from the circuit, and the construction of the B-block garages,” she said.
“One thing that hasn’t changed is the team environment – employees have come and gone over the years but we’ve always been a close-knit family and we’ve all helped each other as much as we can.”
Wakefield Park has hosted some high-profile events during Robyn’s tenure as an employee and she highlighted the second-tier Supercars series (which ran under Konica and Fujitsu branding) as a major attraction.
“The Konica series was a real eye-opener, the scale of community interest and hype was massive,” she said.
“These days, the ASBK attracts a similar level of attention and we have other race meetings like the Super Trucks, which always draw big crowds as well.”
Robyn said she doesn’t necessarily have a favourite Wakefield Park race meeting, with each event having its own point of interest.
“The great thing about Wakefield Park is we have so many different types of events, but all of them attract passionate competitors,” she said.
“Some of the historic race meetings are absolutely fantastic, and then there are events like the Wakefield 300 endurance races that are always very exciting.
“You never know who is going to walk through the door either – I’ve met people like Michael Caton, John Paul Young, Peter Brock and Craig Lowndes.”
However, as a passionate supporter of the Sydney Roosters Rugby League team and a fan of country music, Robyn names two drivers as her particular favourites.
“When Jack Elsegood and Adam Brand were racing in the V8 Utes, it was fantastic,” she said.
“I was a bit star-struck when I met them for the first time, but they were both really nice guys – very friendly and easy to get along with.”
With 15 years under her belt, Robyn is encouraged by the plans for continued improvements to Wakefield Park.
“There have been several management changes since I started working here, but the changes have been for the better overall.
“There are plans in place for some more upgrades, which are very exciting not just for Wakefield Park, but for the Goulburn region – it’s such an important part of the local economy.”
Robyn’s colleagues have congratulated her on reaching the 15-year milestone.
I couldn’t be happier to work alongside Robyn,” Wakefield Park operations manager Dean Chapman said.
“Our community who visit the raceway always speak highly of Robyn and it is wonderful to see the positive impact she has had not only on our team but also our customers. It has been a pleasure to listen to her wealth of knowledge and all the changes she has witnessed over the last 15 years at the raceway.
“We wish Robyn a very happy 15- year anniversary and with any luck another 15 with us here at Wakefield Park.”
“I have worked with Robyn for 7 years and what an amazing asset to Wakefield Park she is – always supportive, loyal and there to lend a helping hand when needed,” Benalla Auto Club Group administration manager Glenys Collins said.
“She’s not one to make a fuss, she just puts her head down and gets on with the job at hand, taking all changes in her stride. Congratulations on 15 years’ service Robyn and thank you for your help and support over the years.”
Benalla Auto Club Group CEO Chris Lewis-Williams also commended Robyn for her loyal service.
“Robyn has always been such a positive spark of energy around Wakefield Park and you can see how highly regarded she is, in her daily interactions with all our customers,” he said.
“It has been really pleasing for me to see the development of the Wakefield team and Robyn in particular over the past two years, she has flourished under Dean’s management, which has allowed her more responsibility and control over all aspects of her role. I hope we are lucky enough to have Robyn with us for another 15 years!”