I graduated from The Henry Lawson High in 1987. Let’s set some context of what was happening around this time - U2 had a number of chart stoppers including Where the Streets Have No Name and With or Without You; Michael Jackson’s songs Bad and I Can’t Stop Loving You were released and our very own Kylie Minogue topped the charts with Locomotion.
Bob Hawke was our Prime Minister and the first mobile phone call in Australia was made (I know, what did we all do before mobile phone technology?), and Queensland won the State of Origin. Now you have the setting of the time around which I graduated, here’s a little bit about me: outside of school I was an avid horse rider, spending most weekends competing in dressage, show jumping and one-day eventing.
This took me and my family to lots of country towns and cities including the Sydney and Canberra Royal Shows; both places I ended up living in once I had left school.
My favourite subjects at school were English and wood technology. One of the reasons I liked English was that my teacher was very engaging, her name was Miss Ayoub (now Mrs Lynch), a person you probably all know quite well; I continue to read a range of fiction novels and have a keen interest in news and current affairs.
In my parents’ living room, there is still a cabinet that I made at school, evidence of my efforts from my time in wood technology.
My fondest memories of school days definitely centre around our time as a year group, relaxing after the school week, usually at the local Chinese restaurant and then everyone coming back to my parents’ house to watch videos and relax.
The friendships I formed at school have been enduring and we still have reunions and catch-ups after all these years. Following school I worked in the bank before moving to Canberra to join the public service.
I moved to Sydney in 1999 to commence working in the real estate industry. In 2012 I bought into the Raine and Horne Real Estate Agency in Newtown and am one of the Directors.
Career highlights include being recognised as the number one agent in the Raine and Horne Network, 2008-2009, and I have since maintained my position in the top two spots.
I have also won a number of industry accolades and have been asked to present at many national conferences.
My greatest achievement and highlight outside of work has been the birth of my two children, Maddie in 2008 and Oscar in 2010.
As a gay man, the option to be a father is often not one that we are able to achieve, as the path is less obvious.
My advice for those about to embark on the next stage of their journey in life is to embrace all the opportunities that come your way; don’t be afraid to make mistakes, this is often how you learn the most about yourself and grow as a person. I
f I had to start again, I would have taken more seriously the importance of study and education; this has probably been made more evident to me as an adult as I have progressed throughout my career, and also as I have recruited staff to our business.
Take it from me, I was not the most academic student at school, but once I found my path and passion - entrepreneurship, marketing and sales, there was no holding me back.
So, find what you are passionate about and follow your interests and dreams - it is possible to make them happen!