When you were a student, what did you want to do beyond year 12? What did you end up doing?
I started working at the Bendigo Benevolent Home as a trainee Health Administrator. I studied accounting, then a Bachelor of Health Administration at the University of New South Wales. This was mostly by correspondence, but I won a scholarship to attend the university campus for one year full-time in 1968, which was a great experience. I then worked at the Alfred Hospital, the Mercy Private Hospital, a village health centre project in Bali, the Epworth Hospital, works in health and travel insurance in Jakarta, and finally at the Peninsula Health Care Network based at Frankston Hospital. Most of the work I did was in the area of medical administration.
What do you love about the type of work you did?
Essentially it was about caring for others—patients and staff. As the years progressed the ideal faded as more and more emphasis was placed on money (and the lack of it). However, in the last jobs I did have some direct patient involvement, as well as human resources involvement (employing doctors).
What’s one of your most vivid memories of your time at the college?
Wonderful friendships made with a wide circle of people, well beyond what I could have obtained in my local community (Inglewood). One negative memory was the militaristic-type school assemblies and marching routines!
Was there a particular teacher or staff member that inspired you?
Noel Fary – Economics teacher. I liked him and the subject, achieving honours! I have even met him a few times in recent years.
Were you involved with any extra-curricular activities?
Choir groups, including a wonderful production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Iolanthe” at the Capitol Theatre. Teachers took lead roles and students in the choruses.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
Enjoy school life, study hard and get the most out of it. Get good career counselling and help to see beyond the present. I gave up on the idea of a career as a pharmacist because I couldn’t see myself finishing Year 12.