At university I got a degree in Geography, but the last thing I wanted to do was become a geography teacher, so I stayed on to learn agricultural economics, because I wanted to enter the overseas development effort. My first job was with the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture, “advising” (at the tender inexperienced age of 24) poor Tanzanians on how to grow cotton, tea, coffee, tobacco and maize.
That was followed by working for the Danish aid organisation for 6 years in Kenya and Tanzania, the Commonwealth Secretariat in London advising in West and Southern Africa and the Caribbean and ending up in Kenya as co-ordinator of British agricultural aid – before my wife suggested I get a real life, and return to Australia.
Since then I have worked for NSW Dept of Agriculture (and its successors) and when I moved to Orange, I vowed to plant a vineyard and fulfil two duties:
- To be honest and finally practice agriculture, after advising so many poor people, purely on theory.
- Resurrect the family company, and complete the circle, by growing wine.