My father immigrated to Australia as an infant with his family in 1937, hence the long Dutch last name. I was born in Australia and have never been to Holland but would like to visit there one day.
Growing up with my parents and younger brother and sister, I always enjoyed sport and being outdoors. Having left home at the age of 18, I know very well the meaning of taking responsibility for yourself and your actions and also how to give help to others when they need it.
I started out doing labouring and construction work and later played four seasons in the National Basketball League with the Hobart Devils. This allowed me to support myself while attending university and completing a Bachelor of Economics.
From there I started working with BP Australia learning valuable skills as I climbed the ladder within one of the world’s largest companies for the next ten years. When I resigned from BP to go into private enterprise, I was Distributor Marketing Manager for SA, WA, NT and North Qld based in Adelaide.
In early 1999 investment partners and I bought Spud’s Roadhouse at Pimba, 170km north of Port Augusta near Woomera, where I lived for the following seven years. I was the working partner and in that time built the business up to include others at Glendambo, Marla and Innamincka.
In late 2005 I moved from Pimba to Wilmington to be with my then girlfriend and now wife, Rebecca, who is a theatre nurse specialised in heart, joint and major accident/emergency surgery.
While retaining business interests in the Outback, I worked on tourism development in the Flinders Ranges with the South Australian Tourism Commission, local Councils, businesses and communities. While very broad, the majority of this work centred around the development of cycle tourism in the Southern Flinders Ranges.
Port Augusta has been my regional centre since 1999 and Rebecca and I love living in Wilmington. When not working we enjoy as much time as possible with friends and our ten nieces and nephews and three god children, bushwalking, camping, fishing and renovating our home.
My community involvement includes being a volunteer with the Wilmington CFS brigade and a White Ribbon Ambassador.