Banking executive, adventurer and motivational speaker.
After I completed my degree in accounting and business law I moved into the corporate finance world. Banking and corporate finance was my passion for the next 20 years.
Moving on from there, I went through strategic planning and investments looking at mergers and acquisitions before moving into the risk management area.
My interest in Everest was sparked when I was a lad in England in the Boy Scouts. I was in the Hunt patrol, named after Sir John Hunt, who was the leader of the Everest expedition way back in 1953 when Ed Hillary summited.
While in risk management, I had the opportunity to go for a trek to Everest base camp. I looked up at the mountain and thought if Ed Hillary can do it then why can’t I?
Back in Perth, I met the only Western Australian to have climbed Everest at the time. He convinced me that if I believed in myself then anything was possible.
To cut a long story short, four years later I stood 80 metres from the top of Everest looking at the summit but also looking at terrible weather. It would have been suicidal to keep going. Accordingly, I managed the changed risk by electing to take the safer option – leave and return home.
"To take on extreme sports didn’t mean to avoid risk, it meant to manage risk."
It was the learnings of leadership that I took from Hunt. He allowed Hillary to go to the summit rather than seeking the glory himself – he put the goal of the team ahead of personal ambition.
The lessons that I took from my career in risk management allowed me to pursue adventures understanding that to take on some extreme sports didn’t mean to avoid risk, it meant to manage risk.
I went into semi-retirement in 2010 and subsequently I’ve been invited to take on a position on the board of P&N Bank.
What would I tell my younger self?
Believe in yourself. Anything is possible if you have self-belief and are prepared not to set boundaries on what you can achieve.
Take the challenges head on, understand the risks and manage them.
This article is from the September 2014 issue of INTHEBLACK magazine.