Under the Hood with ReGen's Nadene Cooke

Nadene Cooke

Nadene Cooke’s professional journey has been fuelled by her love of travel and adventurous spirit. 

Having grown up in Durban, South Africa, Nadene has travelled far and wide, working all over the globe from London to the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

She now brings her adventurous and hardworking nature to ReGen Strategic in the role of executive assistant.

Nadene’s working journey started when she was in Durban, taking on a waiting position at a fine dining restaurant. She says this experience gave her a newfound appreciation of Asian fusion cuisine and also enabled her to save money for her move to London.

When Nadene decided to move to London, she had only planned to staying for a year. However, the vibrant city captivated her, and she ended up living there for seven.

“London was such a vibe with so many career and personal growth opportunities,” she says.

“I went there as a young 18-year-old and left seven years later with a wealth of knowledge, job and life experiences, and I bought my first property in London.”

While in London, Nadene remotely studied a Bachelor of Business Administration and Management at the University of South Africa.

She then took on a position at the London Metals Exchange, initially starting as a personal assistant before moving up to the role of analyst.

Nadene fondly describes working on the trading floor, claiming it as one of the highlights of her career.

“It was always buzzing, being on a trading floor, and things were constantly changing,” she says.

“There was always something happening and tight deadlines to meet. They had a really energetic team that I worked with and a great working culture where we all worked collaboratively together and had the same end goal.

“The London Metals Exchange is one of the few open-outcry trading floors in the world and being amongst the trading ring was an experience on its own. Just being in the trading room and watching all the traders scream and shout and determine prices was a very cool experience.”

While Nadene loved her position at the London Metals Exchange, her love for travel was still calling her. 

This prompted her to become a steward on luxury yachts where she got to sail through the Mediterranean Sea, the Caribbean Sea and cross the Atlantic Ocean twice.

She describes her decision to become a steward as a fork in the road moment.

“I had an awesome job in London, and I was doing well there, but in my heart, I wanted to travel. I was 24 at the time and my desire to see the world got the better of me,” she says.

“I set out to do yachting and wanted to do it for about a year and it ended up being about three years. It was a great way to see the world and be paid at the same time.

“I met some incredible people from celebrities to big businesspeople and I have lifelong friends from the experience too.”

Nadene says it’s hard to pick a favourite among all the places has travelled, but she particularly loved St Lucia in the Caribbean and Italy in the Mediterranean.

The steward role came with its own unique challenges, with Nadene noting a particularly terrifying storm when crossing the Atlantic.

“We were on the tail end of a storm and our captain thought we would miss the storm, but it actually moved over us, and the waves were so big,” she describes.

“You just learnt a new appreciation for the ocean and how insignificant we are in comparison to the size of the world. Those waves made our boat look minute.

“But we had emergency calls and people following us and tracking our route to make sure we got out of it and thankfully we did. We made it out of there with very little damage and we were lucky to have a good crossing for the rest of the time.”

After three years of working on yachts, Nadene’s adventurous nature still hadn’t been satisfied. In 2012, she moved to Sydney where she was able to reunite with friends, family and her now-husband, who had also made the move from South Africa to Australia.

“Australia had always been on my list to visit because of the idyllic beaches, iconic cities and the wildlife,” she explains.

“I thought I’d come to visit on a working holiday visa. But as soon as I arrived, it just felt like home, and it felt like the right move to stay.” 

Since touching down in Australia, Nadene has worked as a receptionist, energy broker and executive assistant on her way to settling in Perth, where she and her husband are raising two daughters, with a baby boy on the way.

As a parent, Nadene says she works hard to instil the spirit of adventure within her children.

“I approach life as a parent with my children as an adventure,” she says.

“Being their firsthand role model, I want to teach them the importance of exploring, appreciating, and looking after the beautiful world we live in, we are always out and about and travelling to learn these invaluable lessons.

“Being a working family, we model that working hard lets them achieve their goals. We encourage them to embrace challenges and that a healthy active lifestyle is good for mind and body.

“Seeing the world through their little eyes is the most rewarding experience as a parent.”

With plenty of executive assistant experience under her belt, Nadene says she is drawn to the diverse nature of the role and working closely with people. When she came to ReGen Strategic, Nadene was hoping to find a position that fit into her lifestyle.

“I was looking for a job that aligned with my values, allowed me to utilise and enhance my skills as well as juggle a busy household at home. ReGen ticked all those boxes,” she says.

In her current position, Nadene says she loves the varied nature of her day-to-day work, the exposure to interesting client projects and the talented people she gets to work with.

But as she looks towards the future, Nadene’s focus is to be a strong role model for her children and provide them with the best opportunities in life.


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