Upper South Island
Shed: Picton Men’s Community Shed
I have had three sea changes in my working life, the first when I commenced my electrical engineering apprenticeship with AEI/GEC UK in heavy switchgear, but after the factory closed I was transferred to GEC/Siemens Hirst Research Centre where I also qualified as a traffic signal engineer. From here I went to work for IBM UK and became their 1968 Engineer Service Award Winner which saw me working in France and Germany.
In 1969 I happily sailed to Sydney – as a ten pound pom – where I undertook a crash course with GEC Australia in telecommunications, so I could complete the Adelaide to Perth section of the microwave link which brought colour TV and 600 extra phone lines to Perth. I also finished the track/signal testing for the inaugural Indian Pacific Railway, the Hammersley/BHP N W Pilbara mine line, and various railway boom gate crossings in WA, which are all still there today.
My next sea change saw me move successfully into sales and marketing with such companies as Sperry Rand followed by a management role with the USA conglomerate Data Point. I set-up my own sales and marketing company, which I ran until 1998. All of the products I have launched into the Australian and NZ markets are still there today, ie Nulon, Selectamark and Neutra Rust.
While still running my company I went back to uni in 1994 and did a BA double major in Anthropology/Sociology with a minor in philosophy and a TESOL (English language teaching qualification) which enabled me to conclude my 3rd sea change of teaching English; technical, commercial and academic in the main, across Asia, the UK, Australia and NZ. So, being a ‘bright spark’ counts for nothing when you know your existing hard disk drive is failing and you can no longer get an upgrade cause the first one is outdated!
I have two daughters, one married and living in Texas and the other in Perth and an aging mother who won’t stop volunteer working in the UK.