The Chamber - Winter 2022

the Chamber 19 Meet The Member Where are you from originally? I was born in Salisbury in the UK, but I grew up in the middle of England. With a love of watersports including sailing and windsurfing, I spent most of my time escaping back to the south coast to be near the water including studying both my bachelors and MBA at the University of Southampton. Where was your last posting and what brought you to Australia? Given the aforementioned love of the water and watersports, it is perhaps no surprise that I was drawn to Sydney where you I can sail all year round (the other watersports still require me to wear a wetsuit even here). My first posting to Australia was as a graduate when I was given the opportunity to work on an AusAid project in East Timor and in a hospital setting in Broken Hill. We’re at an exciting time in the Australia-UK relationship, how do you see it changing over the course of the next year? Since Brexit and then through the pandemic, it feels like protectionist measures have been on the rise globally, and I’m looking forward to the FTA being enacted; helping to open up the visas necessary to attract people with the right skills and capabilities to travel and work here and support the growth and our continued partnership. In my business alone, I know that there is plenty of interest from the talent in our UK team (particularly younger talent who will qualify for the working visas) who would be keen to come down to Sydney and share their knowledge with us. Which sectors and topics will you be focussing on during your tenure? I’m focused on solving the pain points in the small-scale property development market which is a key segment for helping to supply much needed affordable Australian homes, as it is currently poorly and inefficiently served by traditional funding sources. On the other side of this marketplace, I’m actively talking to investors and advisors about how we can offer better returns, always secured by first mortgage over great local property projects. How do you see the Chamber being involved in these? We have been increasingly working with the Chamber over the last year to bring together potential investors, borrowers and partners. Last week the Chamber kindly hosted a seminar in the British Consulate with Mike Bristow, our CEO and Co-founder from CrowdProperty UK as well as speakers from PwC who were all talking about the challenge of Affordable Housing in Australia. How do you find the business culture here (and there)? There is so much opportunity in Australia. It is not a surprise that there is great start up and fintech scene here. I like the fact that most people in Australia are passionate about something outside of the workplace, and isn’t just about going the pub (although, they do that too!) How do you relax? I love the outdoors and can usually be found mountain biking, or out on the water, windsurfing on the weekends, twilight racing in the harbour, or racing in the great Sydney to Hobart yacht race – although the latter is not so relaxing!