Describe your experience at Trinity College...
My direct experience at Trinity spans some 34 years in three capacities;
- As a student (1980 - 1981)
- As a parent (two sons who attended 1999-2008 and 2001-2010)
- As a finance committee member/board member or Chair of College Board (2006 – 2014)
I came from a smaller school which only went to Year 10 and so I transferred to Trinity to complete Year 11 and 12. In just two years I went from a kid who didn’t know what his place could be in the world and lacked some confidence to a man who aspired to be the best he could be, committed to the value of being a 'Man for Others', who would now set the bar higher for the next steps in life.
I had some great teachers who provided this inspiration. Two of my favourites were Br Tony Kelly, who taught maths and who named my twin brother Gregory and me 'Romulus and Remus' (after the Roman mythological twins), and Mr Duncan MacLaurin who taught English Literature as nobody else could. I didn’t choose English Literature to start in Year 11 but Mr MacLaurin convinced me in the schoolyard that if I tried it, he would help me catch up. I started halfway through Year 11 and never looked back, achieving the highest English Literature score in Year 12, which along with high results in maths and sciences set myself for a great pathway into university life.
When it came for my sons to attend Trinity, I was impressed that the great values that were around during my time were even stronger now. The TC spirit, the need to be your best at whatever you do, to aim high, the sense of pride, mateship and being a 'Man for Others' are things that many other schools don’t give a young person, and perhaps is more important than the technical side of an education.
When I was on the Board, I saw it as very important that the TC spirit and the sense of community needed to reflect the real community (indigenous representation, students from many other nationalities, students with disabilities, refugees, different income levels, and different suburbs). This spirit and community provide the basis of the great education students receive. I was very pleased to assist the school to maintain this ethos during a period of significant change around its built environment, government funding and structure of the parent body.
What path did your life take after you left Trinity College?
After I left Trinity, I completed a Bachelor of Engineering degree at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and then commenced as an engineer with Clough working on some major resource projects in the North West. As my experience grew, I went from being involved in projects to management roles.
In 2001, I completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and in 2006 took an opportunity to become the CEO of Integrated Group, an ASX listed staffing and marine services company. One year later it was acquired by Programmed, which I have been the CEO of since 2008.
Over the journey I married my wife Kerry, in Trinity Chapel (1988), and have four children (two boys and twin girls).
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
I think Trinity has played a significant role in making me the person I am; the way I think; the skills I have developed and the empathy I have for others.
This has greatly attributed to;
- Being married for over 30 years with four beautiful children (all adults now and successfully forging their own lives) and;
- The building of a business into the company known today as Programmed, with over 25,000 employees and nearly $3b in sales. Care and empathy is a core value at Programmed and it has been my experience at Trinity that has taught me the strength of this value in building a committed team as large as Programmed is today.
What is your fondest memory of your time at Trinity College?
One of the special moments was when my brother and I were both awarded General Exhibitions in our TAE examinations and were featured on the front page of The West Australian Newspaper. This was a great shock and would not have been possible if teachers like Br Tony Kelly, Mr Duncan MacLaurin, Mr Jef Middleton and Mr Peter Robertson had not shown us the possibilities and given us the confidence to achieve the best we could.