What’s your link to Townsville?
Townsville was where I had my first full-time, permanent job as an instrumental music teacher with Education Queensland. I lived there for seven years. Like Tasmania, where I grew up, Townsville is full of places of natural beauty and tranquility, such as Magnetic Island and the reef. I particularly enjoyed going up to Paluma.
Where are you now?
I’m living in Brisbane, still working as an instrumental music teacher with Education Queensland in a high school and a primary school. I teach around 200 students each week to play violin, viola, cello and double bass, and conduct seven orchestras before or after school. I’ve just started a new orchestra in Brisbane, the South Side Youth Orchestra, with the support of some colleagues. It brings together the best of the students from the surrounding schools.
What’s happening with your family life?
I have two boys (both born in Townsville) who are now studying at university, so my wife and I are enjoying seeing them gain independence and develop their own paths through life.
How did your time in Townsville set you up for success?
I was lucky to arrive in Townsville when there was a lot happening musically. The Australian Festival of Chamber Music brought out some of the world’s top musicians, the James Cook University music department was in a very strong position having just hired new violin and cello lecturers from Europe and there were many opportunities to work with these people. I was also very involved in the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition and the Barrier Reef Orchestra.
Do you still come to Townsville to visit?
I’ve been back to play in the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition, to play with the Barrier Reef Orchestra and to do workshops for the local string teachers. I still keep contact with friends and former students, some of whom still live in Townsville and some of whom have moved to ‘the South’.