What is your role in The Oasis Townsville?
I am The Oasis’ Compliance Officer. Having been with The Oasis since its inception, my role is to provide advice to the Board and Management in relation to legal, regulatory and workplace matters. I also own a boutique law firm and I support the Wellbeing Program by providing guidance to their veteran community clients. Please make contact with a wellbeing navigator to assist in booking appointments.
Tell us about yourself
I served for 19 years in the regular Army. I joined at 17 and was soon posted to B Company, 2 RAR - it’s fair to say that for a Wollongong boy, the heat and humidity of Townsville was a shock! In 1999, I qualified as a Sniper Team Leader and deployed to East Timor as part of INTERFET. A few years later I applied for in-service commissioning and graduated from RMC in June 2004, to the Royal Australian Corps of Signals. As a Signals Officer, I deployed to Iraq in 2006 and was then posted to 152 Signal Squadron, SASR. Service with SASR was incredibly rewarding and certainly the highlight of my military career. During my time in the unit, I served as a Signal Troop Commander, the A/OC of the Signal Squadron and as the S6 of the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan in 2010. Returning to Townsville in 2011, we were welcomed by Cyclone Yasi as I commenced as the 2IC of the NQ Wing of the Warrant Officer and Non-Commissioned Officer Academy. This was intended to be a rest posting but I soon received the news that I was to be medically discharged after my second shoulder reconstruction didn’t go to plan. I was fortunate to have a very understanding CO who gave me the flexibility to attend lectures and tutorials during work hours – this allowed me to commence a law degree part-time. My long-service leave then came in handy when it allowed me to complete the bulk of the degree in 2013 before discharging in 2014.
Since that time, I have gained experience as a solicitor in private legal practice in Townsville and I have also taught a range of law subjects as part of JCU’s law degree. In 2021, I starting a boutique law firm and now work with clients in the area of corporate governance and compliance but I also have extensive experience in employment law, personal injury claims and commercial litigation. As a current Director of Tec-NQ and the Company Secretary of Smart Precinct NQ Limited, it’s fair to say that Townsville is now home. In my spare time, I’m either mountain biking at Douglas, hiking around the region with my wife or reading pretty much any printed words I can get my hands on.
Why have you joined the team at The Oasis Townsville?
My support for The Oasis commenced several years ago when I first met with John Caligari and he set out the vision for the organisation. At that time, I realised that the goal was to empower Veterans to achieve their personal potential and their life goals outside of the Australian Defence Force. I wanted to be part of the endeavour because The Oasis wasn’t simply about establishing another ESO and duplicating services that were already out there. I see the value in supporting Veterans as they navigate the web of post-service support providers and I am passionate about helping Veterans reach their potential outside of the Defence machine. Where necessary, I also want to assist those that need it to receive appropriate recognition and compensation for service related injuries.
What are you most proud of in your life?
I wasn’t a great student so one of the things I am most proud of in my professional career is, despite not completing High School, studying and working to be admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia, and then establishing my own boutique law firm so that I can be my own boss. Another thing I am also quite proud of is watching my wife complete her studies toward a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning. After receiving her unwavering support during my service years, it’s great to finally be able to repay her.
What’s the best fun you’ve had with family and/or friends?
Our family holidays! The locations have included Pacific cruises, and trips to Bali, Fiji, China and Singapore. Each has come with their own unique experiences and have led to amazing memories. The highlights include: Water Bomb Bali (Townsville really needs a large scale tourist orientated water park – who is with me on this?), exploring the history of China – especially the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors and visiting Tiananmen Square, and in Singapore, experiencing and learning how such a small country has grown to become an economic powerhouse whilst fully incorporating sustainable environmental policies.