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Design (Product)

My expertise is in projects with some form of textile element. Can cut patterns and personally fabricate samples

and prototypes. I sew. Have travelled the world (physically and virtually) to source materials and components.

Possess a good working knowledge of the characteristics of most synthetics and natural materials. Even know

what a Pantone colour fan is, and how to specify lab dips for custom dyeing. I can ably sketch to indicate

product function and construction methods, tho' am less adept at pretty pictures for story-boards. Completion of

a Bill of Materials is second nature. As is working with factory staff to ensure the more efficient production

methods and workflow can be attained. Though a little rusty, my knowledge of carpentry and metal work is well

rounded and helps when considering the engineering of products. More on some of my original designs can be

found here.

Design (Communication)

InDesign, FileMaker Pro, Photoshop, Keynote, QuarkXpress, PageMaker, Freehand, and Canvas, are all

applications that I've used extensively to create materials for customers and employers. Have owned a

Macintosh since 1991, when I first studied CAD and computer graphics. But good graphic design is not solely

about one's tools. It also requires one to understand that the message being conveyed is ultimately more

important than any clever visual trickery. I therefore think more about the communication result rather than just

the graphics. That said I've designed award winning catalogues, as well as logos, newspaper and magazine

adverts, brochures, posters, CD-ROMs, display stands and more. See my resumé for  graphic design awards.


I'm innately curious. An attribute that makes snuffling out hard to find information a pleasure. CSIRO

developed a new wool-based cloth called 'Sportwool' and engaged INOV8 for the market research to gauge

worldwide potential. A New Zealand food product needed customer feedback on what was thought of their

packaged meals — I stood in shops to find out. Greenpeace spearheaded the push for the Sydney 2000

Olympics to be 'green' and then wished to quantify what successes had been achieved — INOV8 researched two

of the seven issues that concerned them. The Centre for Design at RMIT put together Australia's first

comprehensive guide to environmentally responsible building materials, and I was the research manager that

coordinated the team to complete that project. At Paddy Pallin I commissioned laboratory tests to confirm the

performance of selected materials.


My working life began as an outdoor pursuits instructor, where people's well-being rested on my ability to

transfer succinct, actionable knowledge. And many similar gigs have followed. I have lectured in sustainable

design (product, interior, textile) to five tertiary institutes in Sydney. The Textile Institute, the NSW Education

Department,  and the Institute for Sustainable Futures, amongst others, have asked me to guest present. The

Centre for Design at RMIT invited me to be a EcoRedesign workshop facilitator. I avoid reliance on both

'Powerpoint' style presentations, use of microphones, preferring to use 3D examples, and speak with my

audience, rather than at them. Often I invite early questions, to drive the presentation or lecture, audiences are

more engaged when active, not passive. Click for a list of presentations.


Commercial writing evolved from the product design. Desperate to ensure salepersons and end users understood

the reasons for labouring day and night over designs, I wrote staff training manuals and 'copy' for catalogues.

Amazingly this led to awards for excellence in copywriting. Magazine writing followed and editor positions,

such with Environ (eco-architecture magazine) and Greenpeace (How Green the Games? publication).  I have a

tendency to write as I might speak, as if the reader is in the room with me. Some find this approach a bit casual,

but most comment that they find it more approachable, which is as I like it. At time of writing I have contributed

over 1100 stories on eco-design to, a modern+green lifestyle website, a finalist in the 2005

Weblog of the Year Awards, and often ranked in the top 100 of linked weblogs.


I'm constantly in awe of the beauty that surrounds us every day, especially that of the natural world. I've tried to

capture just a glimpse of that, to share with those not so fortunate to have seen the sights I've witnessed. My

brother is the professional photographer, not me. But I do seem to have a practised eye for seeing moments, that

if photographed can convey a 'sense of place.' My photography has been praised both at both a personal and

professional level. Images I've taken have been used commercially since 1988, in both local and international

product catalogues, and well as many outdoors magazines. My collection includes 25 years worth of

transparencies, and is now increasingly comprised of digital pictures. Examples of some of these images maybe

seen online here.


Still wet behind the ears, at age 23, I was managing adventure camps of over 60 people, responsible for

accommodation, catering, transport, timetabling, and more. Since then I have found myself in many other

managerial positions. Like a retail floor manager, managing cash takings, staff rosters, stock control,

merchandising and the like. Or as Regional Manager for Conservation Volunteers Australia in charge of the

vehicles, tools, and projects for about 120 staff, volunteers and participants, in both field and office activities.

With responsibility for staff morale, participant discipline, matching project income to budgets, liaison with

external project partners. Later in a National Program Manager position,  I set up the reporting processes for a

wetlands restoration program worth over 1.5 Million AUD. At the Bower Reuse Centre (in a job share role), I

manage staff, budgets, funding proposals, hiring/firing, retail computer systems, OH&S policy, stock control,

marketing, etc.


One of my strongest beliefs is that people learn skills by doing, not simply by observing. I lead from the rear. I

guide, nudge, enthuse and occasionally cajole, but rarely stand up front, calling "follow me". I agree with the

adage that the most successful team is one that at the conclusion of project thinks " we did this ourselves".  Yet

there are times when someone needs to step forward, take charge and be responsible. I have no issue with

performing this latter role, though prefer the former. I have led many teams, of both young people and adults, in

the unpredictable outdoors. I've dug and slept in snow caves beside commercial clients that discovered they

were claustrophobic. Allowed groups to be 'lost' in the bush for hours, so they'd learn the art of navigation the

hard way. Engendered teenagers with lateral thinking, and respect for others, whilst on Green Corps field

conservation projects.