Who am I?
Hello, my name is Richard, and welcome to my profile page! I am a board member and mentor for the Achievers Club WA. I have been mentoring since September 2017 and my favourite subjects are maths and science ;)
Where do I come from?
I was born in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne at the start of the greatest musical decade the world has ever known, the 80's :) Dad's family immigrated to Australia from Malta when he was 3, and my mothers' from Holland just before she was born, so I'm quite a typical random ethnic blend! We moved to Perth in 1988 after a holiday here where my parents fell in love with the weather and laid back lifestyle.
What do I do?
After finishing high school and not knowing what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, engineering seemed like a good option, with a diverse range of disciplines and job prospects. 6 years and 2 knee reconstructions later, I had my degree in Civil & Construction Engineering! It was a very difficult degree, and I never would have made it through without working with a few other classmates in a small study group.
I am now work as a project engineer & planner for a privately owned WA construction company, Ertech, and have been here for well over 10 years now. I have been fortunate to have worked on projects all over Australia in my time, including Queensland, South Australia, Northern Territory and literally all over WA from Ravensthorpe to Kununurra. Australia really is a beautiful country. I am now based in Perth at our head office, most of my job consists of developing detailed construction schedules for our tenders, and assisting with the projects we have won to monitor and report on their progress.
Why did I start mentoring?
Growing up I spent a great deal of my time playing basketball and played in a lot of junior state competitions, playing 6 nights a week for a fair amount of time! This love of sport transitioned into adult life and most of my spare time revolved around basketball and beach volleyball competitions, until eventually I had to have a third knee recon (my 5th knee operation overall). Finally my doc persuaded me to stop as it was obvious I wasn't going to do it on my own, so I found myself with much more free time than I was used to. It might sound strange but that did leave a rather large hole in my life, and I reflected a lot about myself, what made me happy and what I wanted to do going forward.
The thought of giving back to the community had always appealed to me, but I had never really tried to see what was out there and where I could help. After a bit of research I was put onto the Achievers Club, and after meeting Danny, the other mentors, and especially the kids, I knew I had landed in a good spot!
I was fortunate to get through school without too much difficulty as my parents weren't academic and both left school early. Still, I had a pretty smart older sister to help me, and then during university I had our small study group so I knew the benefits of having the support of friends, family or classmates were invaluable. The Achievers Club afforded me the opportunity to help those that don't have that close support network that a lot of us rely on.
It is easy to get wrapped up in your own world and sometimes it just takes a little nudge, or torn tendon, to move you in the right direction. Volunteering with the Achievers Club has been very fulfilling in the time I have been involved. People often say that it's a nice thing to do with your spare time, but we are all rather selfish creatures in the end, and you could just as easily say we do it for our own satisfaction. It is a privilege to help others have the same opportunities you had, or even took for granted, to watch them grow & develop to achieve dreams of their own.