Tell us about your role and what it involves.

I only recently started with AIMS as CEO.For me, this role is about what possiblefuture growth opportunities there are andhow we get more of a connection with thecommunity, government and industry.The remit is fairly big, and I’ve only goteight weeks with feet under the chair, soI’m still learning as I’m going and meetingmembers. I’m at the start of a journey withthis industry and I’m looking forward to it.

Where did you work before AIMS?

In the lead-up to being recruited for thisrole I was working for Property RightsAustralia, and I’m still doing someconsulting work with them. They’re anot-for-profit looking at issues affectingland, property right owners and landholders. I also spent a good decade with theQueensland Seafood Industry Association(QSIA). There are some common issuesacross commercial fishers and the farmingcommunity; I think it’s misunderstoodjust how critical our farmers are. I’mpassionately an advocate for them, and I’llremain so.

How did the transition to marine surveying come about?

I was interested in AIMS because I workin that representative space. There is asafety element in marine surveying andwhat they do has a material consequenceon the health and safety of people thatare working on the water, whether you’retaking about recreational vessels, the bigbulk carriers or transnational shipping.There’s also the ongoing aspect of howyou help engage a community of practice;there’s a rich amount of history and skillssets and experience in this space and thechallenge is being able to promote withinand outside of the sector.

Where did you grow up?

I’m a city kid. I was brought up in Brisbaneand I’ve lived most of my life in Brisbane,but I’ve had a few stints in Canberra forjobs. I used to work with a mob calledthe Local Government Association ofQueensland. That was one of my firstforays into representing a group, whichhappened to be Queensland councils. I gotthe opportunity to go up to Cooktown witha group of public servants. I’d never beenwest of Roma by car, so Cooktown felt likethe middle of nowhere. The furthest northI travelled was to Thursday Island, and I’venever seen bluer water in my life.

What do you miss about QLD when you’re travelling?

Without being overly parochial, there’sa vibe in Queensland that’s differentto my interstate travel. I’ve come toappreciate the pace of where I live. Thepace of Sydney is a lot faster, and themix of different cultural backgrounds inMelbourne is different to what you see inBrisbane.

When I’m away I miss the pacein Queensland. And I missed Queenslandweather when I lived in Canberra; I findwinter is not really winter for too long uphere, and a cold day up here is not a coldday in the southern states.

Is there anything you don’t miss?

Getting out of Brisbane in the peak ofsummer. You either get used to it, or youdon’t. I can’t hand-on-heart claim I’ve everfully acclimatised to the heat up here, butit is what it is.

Tell us about your podcast.

I was doing some podcasting for QSIA, andwhat got to me was getting voices heardand the passion in those voices. When Istarted to do leadership research for mypostgraduate studies, friends encouragedme to devote time to a leadership podcast. Ihave a very deep curiosity as to why peoplelead and what the leadership process meansto them. I want to know what they considerkey leader capabilities for themselves andothers. For years into that, I’ve had about230 conversations with leaders, and I’ve hadthe best professional free development thatanyone can have in the leadership spacefrom talking to these people.

What does leadership mean to you?

Controlling a passionate response issomething I’ve learned over time –respectfully getting a message across tosomeone who might not like what I have tosay. I’m a work in progress, and I’ve alwaysbeen a bit suspicious when someone tellsme that they’re optimally as good as theycan be. I don’t subscribe to that, because ifyou’re not constantly wanting to educateyourself, you’ll go stale after a while. It’sa constant conversation, not just withyourself, but also with others.

What’s an unexpected food you like?

I’ve been trying to eat healthy over thelast couple of years, and one food I missis WeetBix. I was a WeetBix kid for a longtime and I could eat a whole box if I wasnot careful.

What’s the correct way to eat WeetBix?

Loads of them with lots of really cold milk and some sugar on top.

This article appeared in the September 2023 edition of DCN Magazine