How long you have worked with RVTS?
Tell us about your childhood – where did you grow up?
I was born in a small country town call Leeton which is part of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area or MIA. When I was young, instead of singing the Bruce Springsteen song ‘Born in the USA’ I would sing ‘Born in the MIA’!
What is one of your earliest memories from your childhood or youth?
My dad played a lot of footy when I was growing up, so I have a lot of fond memories going to lots of different football ovals around the region and making friends. One of our favourite things to do was to slide down the back slopes of the oval on cardboard boxes. I don’t think I knew the final score of the footy for most of the games.
Did you spend much time in rural Australia – and if so, where and in what capacity?
I grew up in the Albury/Wodonga region, only briefly leaving to spend some time in the USA working with juvenile offenders and street kids in Indianapolis after leaving school, and also some time in Sydney undertaking study.
What field did you train in once you left high school?
I initially trained as a remedial therapist after leaving school and worked in this field for several years in Albury/Wodonga as well as in the allied health areas of the Corryong and Beechworth hospitals.
After some time I decided to retrain in marketing and management which led me in a different career path.
Where did your career path take you before you joined RVTS?
I had moved over to the vocational employment and training industry, and was working for a large group training company that employed apprentices and trainees on behalf of various SMEs and then leased them back.
This provided great experience across a variety of business areas from sales and marketing to human resources and management of staffing. I was fortunate to work in various roles within the organisation across multiple sites both in regional NSW and Victoria, as well as in their expansion into the Melbourne and Sydney markets.
One of the roles was with part of the registered training organisation (RTO) arm of the organisation. It was my job to sell and set up training for a variety of certificates in Agriculture.
I had lots of fun experiences visiting numerous farms across NSW and Victoria, seeing their operations and discussing their training needs. This connection to rural Australia and helping to provide services to them is what ultimately attracted me to the position with RVTS.
What does your role at RVTS involve?
As Operations Manager, my role is wide and varied and that is what I enjoy. From managing the various contracts that RVTS is engaged in, to IT, finance and human resources. Every day is different and that is great.
What appeals to you most about working with us?
Working for a not-for-profit that is giving back to our communities is fantastic. Knowing the impact that RVTS has both for the local community as well as the doctor gives you a real sense of pride in what you do. What RVTS does is not easy to explain to people but it is something I am proud to be part of!
What interests do you have outside work?
I enjoy a variety of activities from working out each week at a friend’s home gym to mountain biking and spending time at Lake Hume or the Murray River with the family.
Favourite music style or band?
I am pretty easy going and like all music.
The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson.
Life is Beautiful.
What are some of the countries you have travelled to – and what were your favourite destinations?
Having lived in the USA for a short period was excellent. I met a wide and varied group of people from across the country. I have also visited New Zealand, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and South Africa.
My wife has lots of relatives in Northern Ireland and Spain, so I am keen to get over there once borders open up again and meet them face-to-face for the first time.
Tell us about one of the most amusing experiences you’ve had.
I was running an information site at a national dairy field day in regional Victoria. It was mid-summer with 40-degree days.
I had to go to my car during the day to pick something up and discovered I had left a can of soft drink on the front seat. I could see that it had expanded in the heat and that I needed to get it out of the car straight away.
I carefully lifted it from the passenger seat and across myself in the driver’s seat, and was going to put it on the ground outside the car when it exploded all over me and the car. Hot sticky soft drink was everywhere!
I was drenched and the car had soft drink spray all inside the cabin.
I knew in the heat that the drink would stain everything in the car so I frantically found some wipes and commenced cleaning the car the best I could in the oppressive heat of the day.
Once that was sorted I was still covered in soft drink and then had to deal with myself as I was in no state to speak to people.
Thankfully I had a spare set of clothes with me and there were showers at the showgrounds where I was able to get cleaned up.
It was not funny at the time but after I had cleaned everything up I had a good laugh at myself!
Thanks very much for letting us know a little more about you, Tony!