Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the Sutherland Shire in Sydney (The Shire). It was just typical suburban Sydney upbringing. We went to the beach, and played cricket and league out on the streets and parks. Then holidays on the coast. It was a good, traditional Australian suburban upbringing and I have many fond memories.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I either wanted to be a first-grade rugby league player or own my own business. I was fortunate enough to do the latter, I had my own logistics-based consulting business. Not as fortunate with the former but certainly played league until well into my twenties and loved it.

How did you get into the world of customs broking?
That goes back more than 30 years with Owen’s Group that later morphed into what is now known as Mainfreight Australia. They were based in Sydney and I was fortunate enough to start with them in finance. I then got moved into operations, marketing and management. I had a really great upbringing across all the business disciplines within a multifaceted domestic and international freight-based organisation.

What do you enjoy about working in customs broking?
I think it is the pace of it and the fact that you are helping service Australia’s international trade. It is the fascination of the full supply chain and the end-to-end aspect of it.

Would you recommend customs broking as a career?
Absolutely. The job prospects are very strong. Particularly for someone who wants to do a Diploma of Customs Broking, the job prospects within this industry sector are very strong. There’s the chance to earn a good salary from very early on.

What do you do in your spare time?
I like to go and watch the Sharks, I live near Shark Park. I’ve got a couple of friends who are also mad Sharks’ supporters and we’ve got season tickets. Also go to the movies and occasional visits to the gym and bodysurfing. I also like walking and just spending time with the family and friends. My wife and I are also working on a bucket list to check off, in terms of travelling overseas.

Have you got a favourite rugby league player?
Probably Steve Rogers. I’m a bit biased because I’m a Sharks supporter but he was the greatest player I’ve seen to date. He was a centre and had great attacking and defensive skills.

What did it mean to you for the Sharks to win the 2016 premiership?
It was a load off my mind and a load off my back, and an absolutely fantastic experience. Having supported them since I was young man and lived in that part of Sydney for most of my life, it was a great feeling and that sense of the underdog finally getting that monkey off our backs. We didn’t have to leave the porch light on for Harold Holt to come home any longer (laughs).

When you’re at home, what music do you like?
I like my alternative rock and roll music, going back right through to Led Zeppelin, The Ramones, Linkin Park, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Queens of the Stone Age, those sorts of earthy rock bands.

Can you play a musical instrument?
I keep on threatening to play the guitar. I’ve had some lessons and I do own a guitar, although it’s gathering dust at home.

Have you got a favourite holiday destination?
Probably the Sunshine Coast. We’ve got fond memories of that place because we spent four years in Queensland when I was state manager for Owen’s Group quite some years ago. We used to spend every available weekend on the Sunshine Coast. We love it up that part of the world.

Are there any social causes you feel strongly about?
Children’s rights and poverty, people who can’t help themselves. I have concerns in those areas but am also pleased that in a number of those areas there seems to be improvements by governments and social systems but there are still some challenges.

Is there any Australian you find inspiring?
The late Bob Hawke. I think he’s probably the best Prime Minister we’ve had. He made brave decisions with a social and economic conscience. He could relate to Australians of all walks of life. He was probably one of a kind and we probably won’t see his like again unfortunately.

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 August 2019 edition of DCN Magazine

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