What has changed in the industry since you started?
I started my career at P&O in 1997, so I’ve been privileged to be part of the immense changes in our industry over the past 20 years. The modern and efficient container terminals of today didn’t exist back in 1997, trade has grown threefold, technology and systems have become seamlessly integrated and today in Australia we have vessels calling our terminals that are bigger than the largest vessels in existence back in 1997.
Can you tell us about some career highlights?
There’s been some great highlights, including the many opportunities I’ve had to work overseas, the multiple transactions, port leases and joint ventures I’ve worked on, and my involvement in the automation of our Brisbane terminal have all been great experiences. However, the standout is the people I’ve met and worked with over that time. I’ve been lucky to work with some truly great colleagues.
What excites you about your current role?
As the CFO I am exposed to almost every aspect of our business, which means my day to day job is highly varied and I really enjoy having that breadth of work, which keeps it exciting even all these years later. The other part that I really enjoy is developing new talent. I’ve been lucky enough to handpick the team I work with, and surrounding yourself with smart, highly capable and driven people creates a buzz and excitement in the workplace.
Do you have any hobbies?
I still like to pretend I can play football, real football where you use your feet not your hands. After finally winning our local over-35s competition last year I really should have retired on a high, but it still provides a perfect excuse to catch up with my mates every weekend, so I keep playing. Like most working parents, I spend my weekends being chauffeur to my three children taking them to their various activities and with whatever time I have left I like to build and renovate. I’m pretty handy with the tools and it’s a great escape from office work.
What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
There’s been some great movies in the past year, I really enjoy movies based on true stories and “BlacKkKlansman” is definitely crazier than fiction but the best movie of late for me it’s hard to go past “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Such iconic music and a fascinating story, I really enjoyed that film.
Do you play music?
The last instrument I played was the recorder in Year 8 and my musical talent never extended beyond that. Both my daughters can play the flute well, so they clearly don’t have their father’s lack of musical ability, which is lucky for them.
When you were growing up what job did you want to do?
As a young boy I wanted to be a mechanic, like most boys I loved sports cars and really wanted to own one and be able to work on it myself. I’ve always enjoyed building and fixing things and wanted a hands-on job.
What was your first-ever job?
My first job was working at Grace Bros as a casual while going to university. Socially it was a great job, we all loved working there and I met my wife Rachael there.
What is your favourite thing to eat?
I like variety, especially fresh food, and I am very lucky Rachael is such an incredible cook. It’s a hobby of hers and it means I get to eat great food all the time. It’s like living in a restaurant and I honestly can’t pick a favourite cuisine.
If you were to name a ship, what would it be and why?
Audrey – it’s my eldest daughter’s name and in fact when I was given my first office at P&O there was a picture of a vessel in it named the Lady Audrey.
What does an ideal holiday look like?
Our go-to holiday is Fiji, it’s so close and convenient but my ideal holiday is definitely travelling in Europe. I took the kids out of school for seven weeks in 2017 to travel around the continent, but there’s still so much I want to see and do there.
What advice would you give a young person looking to get into the logistics industry?
The logistics industry, especially stevedoring, is far more exciting and ever-changing than most outside observers realise. For a young person looking for a career path there’s definitely great opportunities especially within the terminal technology space.
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This article appeared in the March 2019 edition of DCN Magazine