Meet our People – Sharon Marra-Brown

Find out more about our staff, their roles, and what their day to day looks like!

What was your path into evaluation and ARTD?

I first learned about evaluation theory during my Masters degree, and we actually travelled to Tonga to complete an evaluation of an aid project over there. It was an amazing experience, and it really made me realise how much I enjoy data, gathering a range of stakeholder views, working out what it means and providing thoughtful insights to decision makers to assist them in decision making.

After that I went straight into the public sector because I really wanted that experience – it felt like the best way to work ‘for the people’ (despite recognising the limitations of democracy…).

I spent nearly 15 years working in different parts of the public sector as a project manager, then progressing on to managing programs and teams and finally getting a role as a manager for strategy, performance and evaluation. I loved it! I learned so much and had so many brilliant opportunities.

But I always had that nagging annoyance that all the MOST interesting work I had to give to consultants to do, because I just didn’t have the time! So eventually I knew it was time to make a call about sticking with the public service and growing as a leader there, or to make the leap to this world so I could keep doing the most interesting work! In the end, it was such an easy decision to make and the best one ever.

Can you sum up your role as a Senior Manager in one sentence?

Bringing out the best in the people I work with, my clients and my team!

What was the best opportunity/ your proudest work moment since starting at ARTD?

It’s always such a privilege to work with people with lived and living experience, creating safe spaces where they can share their expertise.

The other proud moments are when people really use the work we have done – hearing from our clients that they have begun to work on implementing the changes we suggested or start the evaluation we designed – makes all the hard yards feel very worth it!

What is your favourite thing about working at ARTD?

The variety of work and the fabulous people! I love working on lots of different but related projects, learning from one something I can bring to another. And I absolutely love the brilliant, funny, committed, warm and brave people who choose to work at ARTD.

What does a ‘day in the life’ look like for you?

Usually I wake up when my son wakes up, get him ready for the day, feed the cats and then he and I let the chickens out, feed the quails and the guinea pigs and watch them start their days!

I work from home, so when 8am rolls around my wife takes over baby duty and I go into my office, fill up my water jug and light some incense to get the vibe going!

A usual work day would involve a few client meetings, a bit of chat on Slack, writing plans or reports, reviewing data and problem solving with my colleagues and team.

At the end of the day I go through all of my emails, make a list for the next day and shut down – definitely time for dinner!

What’s something your clients may not know about you?

Listen, my clients know most things about me because you never know when a baby, chicken or cat will appear in the background of my Zoom calls. And there was that time my wife crawled behind me thinking she was out of shot (she definitely wasn’t).

They might not know that I keep a pair of binoculars beside my desk and a notebook because I love watching and recording all the different birds that (brave the cats) and visit my backyard.

Receive our latest news and insights
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.