From humble beginnings...
I grew up in Kallangur with my two younger brothers and have spent most of my life in Moreton Bay. Mum was a primary school teacher and dad was a journalist after starting off as a ringer. Both mum and dad were brought up on dairy farms, Dad at Youngs Crossing in Petrie, mum moved around a bit as a kid and lived in Beaudesert, Morayfield, Beachmere and Kallangur.
I attended Kallangur State Primary School and Dakabin State High School and like most boys my age, left school at the end of Grade 10, age 15 to pursue an apprenticeship and get a trade; my first dream was to be a motor mechanic. I started as a driveway attendant at a service station which I did for a month with a view to starting an apprenticeship. This didn’t work out and I ended up in retail starting as a storeman and working my way into a sales role, then assistant manager and then finally store manager ironically right across the road from my current office in Caboolture Square shopping Centre.
Some say working the first five years of my working life on the minimum wage would have been difficult, but for me they were happy years. I might have driven an older car, lived in a smaller house but that didn’t bother me. I worked hard and listened to men and women far more experienced than I and worked my way up to management. From there in my 30s I was able to start my own business and have been in small business for myself until being elected in May 2019. I still have ownership in a small business.
My desire for the people in this community is to see people regardless of their education, skin colour, age, gender or religion be able to find a fulfilling vocation in our community whatever that may be. As the son of an educator, I understand and value education, but from my own experiences I know that pathway doesn’t suit every kid. One of my goals as a federal member of parliament is to ensure that people who don’t suit the traditional education system have other pathways to achieve their chosen career.
As a father of 4 great kids and grandfather to 5 grandchildren, I want the generations after me to have a future and hope. I will continue to share my journey with the youth in this area so they to know that no matter how you start your journey, there is more than one pathway to success.