Who Is This Guy?
I have never really been one for talking about myself and what I have done – of course I have had to provide resumes/CV for job applications in the past but they have always been specifically aimed at the job I was going for at the time. This is different – if we are to work together to help you move forward then you need to know where I have come from and how my experiences might relate to you and your future. I have tried really hard to make the following not sound like big noting or bragging, just to be a factual account of the experiences that you and I may be able to capitalise on together.
My first degree was teaching (with a double major in Educational Psychology and Human Movement Studies) way back in 1981. I used this degree as a springboard into the Australian Army where I spent 10 year teaching adult students all sorts of subjects up to year 12 (HSC) level. By a quirk of fate I found myself at the front of the line when computers were introduced into the Army’s administration areas and quickly found myself drawn into working with them.
I began by programming Apple IIe computers to create educational worksheets to reduce my workload as a teacher. During this period, the Army sponsored me to undertake a second degree part time in Instructional Design and Technology. This allowed me to do all sorts of things like design training programs, produce videos (U-matic and VHS back then) and make the most of other technology.
At this stage I was seen by many as being ‘into computers’ and found myself moved across to become a computer systems manager. To take up this role I was required to attend an intensive training course (run by the Army) to ensure I had the necessary skills.
I stayed in Army computer and communications system management for the next 10 years, including one year full time at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology to gain a Graduate Diploma in Applied Information Systems.
This was all a little odd really because computer guys were supposed to be dull, boring and somewhat socially inept but I was the reverse. I had a drive to get out and do things; to be with people, to build social ties, to experience new and exciting things, to have fun, to do sport. I was driven by my own desire to grow – computing and the Army were a vehicle for me to do this. I guess even at this stage it was my ADHD that was pushing me.
My last role in the full time Army was a project to redesign the Army’s national computing and communications infrastructure and then build the new organisation to do it. Once that was done, I became the national manager of that organisation – then was asked to bring Navy and Air Force into the management structure providing a tri-service Information and Communications Technology management agency. It was in this role that my human resources management skills were highly tuned as I had 155 staff working to me, albeit via a chain of command. But I had overall responsibility for their overall well being, training, career progression and moral.
At this stage I could see that I was at the top of where I wanted to go in the military and, with no prospects of promotion in the near future, I decided to find a challenge or two elsewhere. So it was off to the Australian Public Service where I was to be in charge of the newly emerging technology of electronic procurement for the national Government.
The first few years of this role had me focussing closely on staff management with eight direct reports. It also involved numerous training courses on staff management, well being, management styles and other necessary subjects and eventually saw me elevated to a Senior Executive role with responsibility for whole of government telecommunications and computer infrastructure. A role in which I was awarded an Australia Day Achievement Medallion. – something I never really appreciated for many years. I have always found it difficult to accept compliments and accolades because I always believed that I could have done better. I now understand that this is one of the symptoms of my ADHD.
So I hung around in the public service for a few years before realising that it provided no real challenge to me. I decided it was time to set up my own consulting business and increase the variety of my work while also increasing the financial return to me. Most of my clients were government agencies, or companies wanting to deal with government – there are too many different projects (small and large) I worked on in this position to put here but I am happy to talk to you about them at our first meeting.
One of the projects I undertook during this period involved me having to work full-time managing the telecommunications branch of one of the state governments. During the three years of this I employed five people to deliver on the other projects that came in to the business.
When my tenure in the full time position came to an end I decided it was time for me to make another change. With my employees out in the field earning the company an income I decided to take up an offer that the Army made me to run entertainment concerts for Australian and coalition troops – and so I found myself in different war and peace-keeping zones across the world.
It was doing this job that I realised I wanted a change in my life direction – my life goals had been achieved and I needed something new. I decided to wind down the consulting business and build a new international entertainment business. I knew my weaknesses in the entertainment field – despite gaining another university qualification in event management – and found a business partner who could fill the gaps in my skill set.
And at this stage my ADHD kicks in and I am bored with writing about myself and wonder about its real need here. Then I remember you need to know about me so you can be sure there are some similarities in our lives or that I might have some experiences that you may be able to benefit from as you change your life. So I persevere, albeit in a brief summary.
So for the next ten years my business partner and myself built the entertainment company. We wrote and produced theatre shows, we toured shows and Australian artists overseas, we organised music festivals and concerts, we produced a weekly television show that was broadcast across Europe for three years and we assisted with community events and festivals in the town where the company had its head office.
It was a very hectic ten years but eventually came to a halt when my ADHD and depression reached its peak and tore our business partnership apart and made me look at what I was, where I was and what I wanted to be.
…and that is where I am now. Within 12 months of my breakdown I was out touring the world again – but this time with my own talking show where I discussed what happened to me and how I got out of the pit of despair. I even wrote a one person play that I performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2019 about the experience.
I found that so many people could relate to my experiences and found that, through my experiences they could set themselves on a new direction and start to enjoy their life again. I found this ability to help people so rewarding that I decided to go back and study life coaching and mentoring so I could formalise and update my skillset and build a small and focussed business to help people like us move forward with life.
Thanks for reading this far, I trust you can see some similarities with your experiences and might be able to see how we could work together on you. If so, drop me a line or call me and let’s see what we can do together.