So tell me a bit about you.
I’m a country kid living in the big city. So, as an engineer originally from Melbourne I actually grew up on a farm, 50 acres, so I’m quite literally the country people living in the big city. It’s really interesting finding that because we moved to Brisbane when I was 10 and it’s really interesting that the whole time I’ve been in Brisbane these concrete ideas that I grew up with have never left. And the values of being direct with communication, always making sure everybody knows where they stand without any kind of ambiguity around it. And it’s just sort of meta and it was around common courtesy and stuff like that. And those sort of values are the same, They’ve always been there. They’ve just never disappeared.
So I’m the middle child of three. And that’s an interesting space to inhabit. But yeah, we make it work. So the three of us were thick as thieves. You pick on one of us you pick on all three.
So what are you up to now?
So now, I am finishing a master’s degree in international business, in my final semester of that. The driving force behind me doing that was that I was writing software for livestock producers.
It was originally something that I was just doing for dad. But then a lot of people kept telling me that we need something like this back home or geez I just wish we had something like this back home. I mean is this gonna be a global thing. I’m like “Dude, I’m just solving a problem for the old man.” And that’s the space that my head was inhabiting but that changed.
And then I was like oh. I have no idea about what to do because if I put this on the Internet for a download, it’s gonna go global real dam fast. And I had no idea about how to deal with that, how to inhabit that space and what that space was all about so it kind of drove the decision-making around doing the Master of International Business. My background up until that point I had done a number of things being out in the country, you basically played with everything, jack of all trades master of none.
Software engineer by trade and got pretty good at doing business information systems So I worked my Mum and Dad for 10 years doing exactly that, these business information systems. So that was good experience. And I guess that’s that whole thing of like ‘give it a go’ is where, when the thing with the wheelchair came up, which is a result of mom having a car accident and being in a wheelchair for three months and me basically being witness and completely helpless in being able to do anything but basically witnessing the decline of social life and stuff around that is is basically that experience that I had, and that ability to have a go at something is where that really came in to the force and now I’m a startup founder and a student, student first in then the startup came as part of and it got me into this space here, the Foundry space.
So yeah. So it’s been interesting. So where I’m at now, doing that. We’ve got about three different projects on the go with the startup. And finishing a masters degree. Interesting little headspace to inhabit. I suppose at the same time I started the degree I also volunteered for the State Emergency Service or the SES. And I’m still active in that space as well. And that was all about wanting to give back to the community.
So what’s so important to you and your life.
People, friends and basically being able to assist where I’m able is is what’s important to me. Friends and family are the things that are most important to me in life. And literally just doing something when I see there’s an issue that needs to be solved.
So that’s basically what’s important to me, being able to use the skills that I’ve gained, constant learning, but being able to pass the skills I”ve learned onto other people so they can do things as well.
Are there any specific events or people in your life or is anything that’s happened in your life. Any experiences you’ve had that have really shaped what matters today?
Yeah. My mum and my sister primarily. Events. It has sort of got me to where I am today I guess. Well, it was mum and her car accident. Meeting Katherine [Lyons] was a bonus, an unexpected one, but definitely something that was good. I guess it’s just being friends with all these people.
You have these friends, sometimes they’re there for a short time sometimes they’re there for a long time. I still have my best down in Melbourne. We don’t see each other anywhere near as often as we used to but we keep in touch. And that goes way back to my childhood. I’ve had a few experiences of my own that have sort of given me some insight into things like other people’s experiences.
Now I guess a big one that really sort of, the 2011 flood which didn’t, well it did impact me directly but there wasn’t any significant impact as I said I was covered by insurance. It was rising stormwater and they paid out the insurance policy. So I was able to cover everything. But that kind of privilege made me take a look at all the other people who weren’t able to recover quite so easily. And then that sort of put the next thing in place of like yeah you know what. I have all these skills I can do some really cool things with but nobody knows about it.
And I can’t do anything about it until somebody knows about it or somebody asks. So I put myself in a space which is where my volunteering for the SES came, is me putting myself in a space where I was able to give back to the community — by utilising skills like that.
So has anyone ever asked you this question before?
That’s very definitive.
It’s interesting, people run around and say reflect on your own personal experiences but nobody’s ever actually asked me that question or this question. So.
What’s it like being asked about?
It’s actually kind of empowering because it does make me reflect on your experiences but it does it so you reflect on that in a more positive fashion. Rather than reflecting on everything that’s happened in vain. This situation is what brought this on, this situation was this.
It’s more the collective experience has brought me to this place where I am now and it’s allowing me to go and do things like make, super lifelike wheelchairs that have the power and assist function that actually help people. I mean, they really do make a difference or software for livestock producers that allows them to maintain their regulatory compliance without actually having to constantly think about it all the time or worry if they’ve done something that’s maybe a non-compliant and are causing them to lose that compliance. Yeah.
That sort of thing has been kinda key and that this question basically has allowed me to go back and think on all these things and gone “O wait That’s Right. That’s why I did that.” I joined the SES because I wanted to do something good with the skills that I already had. and the new skills that I picked up along the way. So it’d be good if people ask that question more often.
So who in your life do you think would benefit from being asked this question?
Everyone. I don’t think there’s a person somewhere that wouldn’t benefit from being asked that question. I think my brother and my sister. And you’ve already asked all of my current friends so that’s kind of interesting. But my brother and my sister definitely would definitely benefit from being asked that question because I don’t think they’ve even been forced to sit and reflect on how all their collective experience has actually brought them to this positive place.
So will you ask them?