New deputy profiles: 'Nothing in government is one person’s achievement' says Tina Bury

The second in our series profiling new deputies and how they have settled into the job since October's election

Deputy Tina Bury reflects on her work: 'It’s really interesting, I’m certainly not bored, you get to meet loads of people, I’m always meeting people involved with something really interesting about the place we live. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29196980)
Deputy Tina Bury reflects on her work: 'It’s really interesting, I’m certainly not bored, you get to meet loads of people, I’m always meeting people involved with something really interesting about the place we live. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29196980)

DEPUTY Tina Bury comes buzzing over the internet link and her sleeves are rolled up, which is perhaps a fitting image for her first few months in the new job.

Already she is getting a reputation among her political colleagues as someone who gets along with people, gets stuck in, makes things happen, and gets the job done.

She is the first to admit that she is not the stereotypical deputy – she is a single mum, she worked for a big multi-national, and she is only 37 (which is young in deputy years).

However, she hopes these differences are also her strengths, and one of her key drivers is to give the under-represented a voice.

On two States committees, Deputy Bury is a member of Employment & Social Security, and as vice-president of Health & Social Care she currently finds herself in the eye of the Covid storm.

Speaking last week over FaceTime, she said she was enjoying her new role.

‘It’s really interesting, I’m certainly not bored, you get to meet loads of people, I’m always meeting people involved with something really interesting about the place we live.

‘My previous roles were all very operational, so that’s something that’s a bit different and an adjustment, you don’t go off and actually do the actions yourself, that’s something that was really weird at first and I almost felt apologetic that we were asking civil servants to go and do things and that they would think that I was lazy, because I’m used to cracking on and making things happen.’

‘Our job really is to look at broader policies and see what’s happening all the time, but that really doesn’t help that person on the phone to you who’s going through a really hard time, so that’s the bit that I hadn’t quite anticipated and it’s difficult realising that I’m not here to fix every individual’s circumstances, it’s a broader strategy.’

Several months into the job, what does she think she has achieved, or is there anything she feels proud about?

‘What I’m learning is that nothing in government is any one person’s achievement, there’s always a huge amount of work behind the scenes, so I wouldn’t want to say that I was proud of anything in particular, but I did feel very privileged to be part of the team signing off the vaccines.

‘I’ve been building really good relationships and that’s something I really wanted to do, my previous background was in a big corporate organisation where having positive relationships helps you get things done, so I’ve been doing that I hope, or I feel like I have with the officers and other deputies and the various people you get involved with.’

Deputy Al Brouard, the president of HSC, got a name-check for being someone she particularly enjoyed working with and was impressed by the way he operated.

Getting the anti-discrimination proposals into the law books remains one of Deputy Bury’s top priorities. ‘I don’t think that realism should quash ambition and aspiration.’

Away from all the various meetings, emails and phone calls, Deputy Bury likes long-distance running and year-round sea swimming, but described herself as a ‘sea dipper or a granny dipper’.

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