“I will study, I will prepare,

and my opportunity will

come”

Abraham Lincoln (unverified)

At 30, I dropped into academia after working in various industries, including the following: stretching opposum skins over and onto sharp 2 cm nails on drying racks; installing telephones & cabling; manually packing ‘butter pats’; operating computer controlled milk separators in New Zealand; or giant juice presses or evaporators at SPC in Australia; selling cash registers; and, losing a bundle through a retail start-up business using the latest in photocopying technology at the time.

Along the way, I ran a couple of marathons teaching me the power of desire and persistence, rediscovered a passion for teaching, communicating, and learning…leading to a PhD in Communication.

In my 40s I rejoined the business world in the form of real estate and finance for a few years, leading my wife and I to buy a mortgage agency. We built it up and sold it 12 months later at a profit so I could follow my dream back into academia where I stayed for the next 20 years.

I taught at the University of Otago in New Zealand before leaving the security of a tenured job to seize a lecturing opportunity in a Middle Eastern university. Living in the hottest city in the world I successfully applied for promotion to associate professor and served as Head of Department for two of the seven and a half years we lived in Kuwait.

For me, being part of a community has always been important whether it be communicating how people with disabilities or those living in rural Australia struggled for their rights to access a reliable and affordable telecommunication service, sharing the stories of survival and sense-making of Sri Lankan survivors of the 2004 tsunami, mapping state and community communication initiatives after the 2012 Christchurch earthquake that destroyed the CBD, speaking on talk-back radio, or running workshops for regional councils how to communicate unpopular but necessary environmental policies, making more visible the discriminatory language or stereotypes in the media of minority groups in society, or sharing successful social media strategies developed by key managers in international organisations such as the UN. Check out my research published in international peer-reviewed journals and my google scholar page.

Along the way, I picked up an appreciation for excellence in people wherever and in whomever I see it…convinced the right attitude will always spur along aptitude. That unverified quote (there are quite a few) of Abraham Lincoln’s became my professional mantra…and as far as mantras go, it’s not a bad one:)

Crossing the line at the 1987 Budget Melbourne Marathon.It’s amazing how quickly you forget the pain at the finish line.

“For me, being part of a community has always been important whether it be communicating how people with disabilities or those living in rural Australia struggled for rights to access a reliable and affordable telecom service…or sharing successful social media strategies developed by key managers in international organisations such as the UN”