What does a typical day at work look like for you?
My current role at the Port Authority entails developing better work practices and procedures for our operational staff and our customers. Some of our customers are cruise ships, tankers and container vessels. I’m just trying to accommodate their needs so we can progress as world-class port and not hinder their port stays.

What is the best part of working at the Port Authority?
The best part of working at the Port Authority is that no two days are the same, we have so many different customers. One day I could be chatting with cruise ship captains, and the next day I could be helping assist a tanker with discharge or loading. There’s no day that’s the same. After spending a life at sea, I still get to be present on board ships but I don’t have to actually go away to sea.

What did you do before you took up your current role?
I had spent my entire life at sea. I completed a cadetship with Shell Tankers when I was younger, and I slowly progressed my way through the different deck officer ranks at sea.

Later, I moved across to the Australian offshore oil and gas industry, working primarily on anchor handlers and support vessels.

What was you first-ever job?
The first job I got was a garbage man on a garbage barge on Pittwater. I always wanted to work at sea, but I had no qualifications – I hadn’t finished school. So, skippering this garbage barge around Pittwater collecting rubbish was the only job I could do without a qualification. I quickly realised I could clock up sea time on the garbage barge. One thing led to another and I accrued enough sea time to obtain a cadetship with Shell. I went from a small garbage barge to some of the biggest tankers in the world. It all began on this dirty little garbage barge on Pittwater due to a lack of education.

When I look back on it now, that was the best job I ever had. It was absolutely amazing and, as a young bloke, I thought I was the captain of the biggest ship in the world. At the end of the day, it was just a 7-metre garbage barge.

What is your favourite thing to eat?
I’m a bit of a lefty when it comes to food and have a pretty heavily plant-based vegan diet these days – it’s probably a bit more sustainable as well.

Favourite thing to eat would probably be – well, I’m lucky enough to have a fiancée who really knows how to cook, so anything she puts on my plate is great.

What does an ideal holiday look like?
It would be anywhere as far away as possible from the hustle and bustle of city life. I used to love getting away to sea because I could get away from the city. But now an ideal holiday would probably be on a nice, quiet island, somewhere in the tropics, or South East Asia. Somewhere with no technology, no devices.

Got any hobbies?
Cycling. Most mornings I’m out well before the sun comes up riding somewhere around Sydney. I’m an avid cyclist. I recently qualified for the World Fondo Series in Italy, I’m hoping to try and get there this year. I’m also getting married around the same time as the series, so I’m not too sure that the wife will let me travel.

Are there any social issues you feel strongly about?
Live export – I like to eat an ethical diet; I think more could be done with the live export trade. Is it a barbaric trade, and we could develop more humane ways to ship these animals overseas.

If you or someone you know would like to be a future subject of The Grill, please email editorial@thedcn.com.au

This article appeared in the October 2018 edition of DCN Magazine

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