As the newly appointed chairperson of LESNW, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you.
I have been part of the LESNW board for the past 2 years, and have had positions on Lutheran school boards in the Barossa dating back to 2007. All my 3 children have competed their primary and secondary schooling in Lutheran schools (Tanunda Lutheran, Redeemer and Faith) and so I have seen first hand the sense of community and education excellence that Lutheran schools provide. My eldest daughter has chosen teaching as a profession so education continues to play a large part in our family.
My wife, Judi and I live in the Barossa Valley – a place we have called home for the past 28 years and have 3 wonderful adult children.
From a professional viewpoint, I have been involved in the general insurance industry for the past 36 years, holding various positions in that time. For a number of years I was the state manager of Elders Insurance, overseeing and supporting a network of franchises across both South Australia and the Northern Territory. I found this extremely satisfying in seeing individual business realising their potential and supporting them in their growth and success. Over the past 14 years I have been a joint managing partner in an Elders Insurance franchise in the Gawler, Barossa and Clare Valley regions. With a focus on customer service excellence, regulatory compliance and a sound strategic plan, our franchise has grown to be one of the largest franchises in Australia.
I have always had a passion for continual learning and development, and so I embarked upon completing my Masters of Business Administration at the University of SA. During this time I also completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course to further enhance my knowledge and experience in a board environment.
Whilst I do not have a formal education background, I feel that my business experience will provide a fresh set of eyes as chair of LESNW. We have a wonderful group of people working on the board, who are all extremely passionate about seeing every learning community realise their God given potential. The amazing work that is being done is a testament to the passion and commitment shown by LESNW staff and board. My hope and prayer is that we continue to help you provide excellence in learning for our leaders of the future. The strategic intentions lay a great foundation for us to achieve this, and I see a large part of my role is to ensure that we continue to support and enable the great work that is being done.
We have many challenges as a community to face at the moment. Nehemiah faced a number of challenges in his time too. In the midst of a dispersed nation, crumbled walls of Jerusalem and opposition all around, Nehemiah brought the people of Jerusalem together and rebuilt the walls despite the odds. How? He kept reminding himself and his people that God was in control and was above all things. He also had a plan. A strategy to rebuild the walls. He persevered even when things looked dire. He practiced what he preached. And most importantly he brought the people with him on the journey. May you all have God as your strength and focus as you continue to build your communities.