Future Anything. As is often the case with the English language, words and expressions can mean so many things. The allure of such nebulous expressions is the ability to give them your own definition. And, so it is with “Future Anything”. For me, that expression means possibilities. It means dreams. It means motivation. It means leadership. It means taking destiny by the horns.
The start of my Future Anything journey can be traced back to my teen years, when I dreamed (like many others my age) of playing in the dizzying lights of the top football leagues in Europe. I was fortunate to be selected as a member of the elite football squad at Westfields Sports High School, which at the time was the first program of its kind in Australia. I chased the dream, leaving Westfields as a green 16-year-old to trial and play in the lower divisions in England and Italy, hot on the footsteps of my fellow Westfields alumni, Harry Kewell. Alas, ultimately my playing career didn’t work out as I had dreamed. Nevertheless, life experiences – if capitalised on the right way – positively shape you as a person. It has been no different for me.
While I did not crack the footballing “big time”, my playing journey provided me with the motivation to return to my studies, graduate with a double degree in Law and Business as a Football Scholar, and ultimately end up in sports administration as Senior Legal Counsel at the NRL. Chasing my soccer dream contributed significantly to who I am today, and was just a part of my journey. Importantly, that experience has also engrained in me a steely determination to Future Anything, and the possibilities that go with that mantra.
My eyes are now firmly fixed, through the Future Anything lenses, on a successful career as leader in sports administration. I have derived so much pleasure and learning from playing sport, and only now do I fully appreciate the incredibly powerful tool sport can be for change, and the positive impact it has on the lives of so many people, particularly marginalised individuals and communities. It is a great leveller. I have learnt so much as a Senior Legal Counsel at the NRL, and it has set me on a path of wanting to secure a C-Suite position in a large sporting organisation. If I do get there, I would have the power to make a positive impact using sport as the tool. I have no doubt the University of Sydney MBA will make that dream a reality.
My journey of leadership is still in its infancy, and the University of Sydney MBA is an important means to reach my Future Anything. The possibilities, dreams, motivation, leadership and destiny – they are all within reach, for me, for anyone. Whenever in doubt, I default back to my “have a go” attitude forged from years of fierce on-field competition, and the sage words of Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right!”.