Category: Interview

Marlon Kobacker

marlon kobacker hbyjmMarlon Kobacker is one of the clean energy industry’s most frequently sought-after sustainability advisors and currently serves in a variety of positions in which he is able to provide guidance regarding both financial and sustainability issues to business owners, builders, property managers and asset managers. Marlon currently serves as a director with Sustainable Future Group and as a Principal with Clean Energy Corporation Australia, and he also continues to serve as a sustainability advisor with EarthRights International. In addition to his extensive professional experience, Marlon is a highly respected lecturer, writer and consultant regarding a whole host of subjects associated with the achievement of sustainability performance goals.

What do you do for work?

I am a Principal with Clean Energy Corporation Australia. My main responsibility is to provide guidance regarding sustainable building and design.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in the field in which you currently work?

This is a critical time in which sweeping changes need to be made to the way we use energy, and I felt that the best way to encourage the necessary changes was to pursue a career in which I could demonstrate how green energy could be implemented without adversely affecting economic goals.

In what way does your professional role make it possible for you to have a positive impact on others?

My work has put me in a position to address what is likely the most critical issue of our time, and it is becoming increasingly obvious that clean energy is the best solution we have available for addressing global climate change.

What is it that you enjoy most about living in Sydney, New South Wales?

I’ve always loved the vibrancy of the city and the fact that it continues to attract so many people from all over the world.

What do you do for recreation?

I love to play Ultimate Frisbee, so we have a group that gets together every so often for a game.

If you could travel anywhere outside of Australia, where would you go and why?

I’d like to spend more time in the Pacific Northwest in the United States. It seems to be so unique in just about every way imaginable.

Aussie rules football, cricket, rugby or something else?

I have nothing against any sport, but surfing is my personal preference.

Is there an Australian you admire or who has had a profound influence on you personally or professionally? Explain.

Peter Garrett’s environmental activism had a profound influence on me as well as my decision to pursue my master’s degree in sustainable design from UNSW.

What advice would you give to a first-time visitor to Australia?

I meet a lot of travelers who only did a minimal amount of research about the country before arriving, so I would advise all of those planning a trip to thoroughly research the areas they’ll be visiting before they finalize their travel plans.

What is the funniest or strangest question a tourist has ever asked you about Australia?

The funniest things I’ve been asked about Australia are whether or not we have electricity, whether I have a pet kangaroo and if I have ever wrestled a crocodile! Hilarious.

Andrew Charlton

Andrew Charlton MYI

As the director at AlphaBeta Advisors, Andrew Charlton is able to offer clients the kind of insight and expertise one can only acquire through vast academic and professional experience. With a doctorate in economics earned from Oxford University and previous experience as the Australian Prime Minister’s Senior Economic Advisor during the world financial crisis, Andrew is uniquely suited to advise clients of AlphaBeta on a wide range of issues in order to develop practical plans for continued prosperity. A Rhodes Scholar who is also the author of “Ozonomics,” and “Fair Trade for All,” Andrew has served as Australia’s senior government official to the G20 economic summits and has represented the prime minister at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

What do you do for work?
I’m currently involved in management consulting and serve as the director of AlphaBeta Advisors, where we advise our clients in developing plans for generating long-term prosperity.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in the field in which you currently work?
I’ve long had a natural affinity for economics, and I learned very early on that necessary changes are unable to occur unless the underlying economic issues are addressed first.

In what way does your professional role make it possible for you to have a positive impact on others?
My current role puts me in a position to help clients analyze economic and strategic factors in order to achieve the outcome they are seeking regardless of the industry in which they are operating.

What is it that you enjoy most about living in Sydney, New South Wales?
There are countless reasons I love living and working in Sydney, but I suppose it is the music and culture that appeal to me most.

What do you do for recreation?
I enjoy reading and writing, and I am also quite fond of hiking as well.

If you could travel anywhere outside of Australia, where would you go and why?
I’ve always had a wonderful time during every opportunity I have had to travel abroad, but I will always be especially fond of England.

Aussie rules football, cricket, rugby or something else?
Cricket, though I also enjoy attending horse racing events as well.

Is there an Australian you admire or who has had a profound influence on you personally or professionally? Explain.
I’ve always admired Allan Fells and his work as the chairman of the ACCC.

What advice would you give to a first-time visitor to Australia?
Try to seek out the more authentic experiences Australia has to offer. There are a lot of places that don’t necessarily appear in all of the travel guides that are really worth experiencing firsthand.

John Pryor

Followers of international rugby competition are surely familiar with the work of John Pryor, who has spent the last four years serving as the strength and conditioning coordinator for the Japan Rugby Football Union, the team responsible for one of the greatest upsets in the history of the Rugby World Cup. While his exploits in preparing the athletes of Japan’s national rugby team have earned him widespread acclaim, his work as the director of JointAction has yielded similarly impressive results for workers in a wide variety of industries. The company aims to improve occupational health by offering educational programs regarding an array of preventive and corrective measures.

What do you do for work?

I’m quite fortunate to have been able to manage two professional roles with both the Japan Rugby Football Union as well as with JointAction. I have spent the past eight years with JointAction, serving as its director, and I have been the strength and conditioning coordinator for the Japan Rugby Football Union for the past four years.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in the field in which you currently work?

My academic background includes a master’s degree in biomechanics from Southern Cross University, and I have been involved with athletics and strength training for as long as I can remember, so both of my professional endeavors allow me to apply my education and experience in a manner I find rewarding.

In what way does your professional role make it possible for you to have a positive impact on others?

I think my contribution to Japan’s success in international rugby competition has had a very positive impact on popularizing the sport throughout the country, and my efforts with JointAction have allowed many people in a variety of occupations to develop a deeper understanding of how to improve their overall health and wellness.

What is it that you enjoy most about living in Sydney, New South Wales?

From a practical standpoint, living in Sydney makes it incredibly easy to travel as often as I do. What I enjoy most, however, is the tremendous opportunity for outdoor lifestyle. I hit Dee Why beach almost every morning with my son Wilson. My wife, Bec, and I also do quite a bit of walking in Kuringai National Park. Sydney offers a truly unique combination of beach and bush opportunities, whilst still living In a major capital city.

What do you do for recreation?

I like to stay fit, first and foremost. But the ocean pools, in my opinion Sydney’s greatest assets, are a favourite of mine. I spend a lot of time at ocean pools and swimming in the ocean.

I am to get back into boxing and martial arts this year, which I have been too busy to do lately.

If you could travel anywhere outside of Australia, where would you go and why?

India. I have a fascination with it. My wife and I spent a week in Mumbai. I love the chaos, the cultural diversity and many other things difficult to articulate. I want to go back soon.

Aussie rules football, cricket, rugby or something else?

Just rugby for me. But I really respect rugby league. I believe it’s the toughest sport in the world.

Is there an Australian you admire or who has had a profound influence on you personally or professionally? Explain.

Probably Weary Dunlop and Fred Hollows (born a Kiwi). These were really selfless men committed to devoting their lives to other people’s welfare.

From a coaching point of view, my favourite is Percy Cerutty. He was ahead of his time.

What advice would you give to a first-time visitor to Australia?

I’d suggest coming with an open mind toward experiencing some of the more interesting and unique parts of our culture. And when I say that, it should be inclusive of Aboriginal culture. Most Australians know little about it.

What is the funniest or strangest question a tourist has ever asked you about Australia?

Someone once asked me if my training methods for rugby included boxing with Kangaroos. I thought it was a joke so I just laughed, but he was apparently quite serious and pressed me for an answer.

Dr. Raouf Farag

Dr Raouf Farag HBJThe residents of Australia’s Central Coast are fortunate to have access to the services of Dr. Raouf Farag, a gynecologist and obstetrician practicing out of his longtime office location in Gosford, New South Wales. Dr. Farag has always provideda wide range of obstetric care for women throughout the entirety of their pregnancies, and he has long been considered one of the area’s leading experts on all aspects of the IVF procedure. With the assistance of a caring and compassionate staff that includes several midwives and sonographers, Dr. Farag treats his patients with a great deal of care and has worked tirelessly to ensure he and his staff are attentive to the unique needs of each and every patient.

 

What do you do for work?

I own and run a medical practice focusing on obstetrics and gynecology. I myself am an obstetrician and a gynecologist, and I specialize in IVF treatments as well as high-risk pregnancies.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in the field in which you currently work?

I felt that it offered me the best opportunity to help people in a very deep and meaningful way. It has proved to be a wonderful decision, and there is not a single day in which I do not feel incredibly grateful for choosing the medical field I did.

In what way does your professional role make it possible for you to have a positive impact on others?

In general, the field of medicine allows doctors to generate a great deal of good for others. My role in particular has enabled me to help so many couples start or add to their family.

What is it that you enjoy most about living in Gosford, New South Wales?

The whole Central Coast is just so amazing, and Gosford in particular has so much to do and so much to see that it is hard to identify just one thing. I think the mild climate is the most appealing aspect, especially since I tend to prefer outdoor activities.

What do you do for recreation?

I usually take long walks or hikes through the parks or along the beach. Avoca Beach is fairly close, and there are some very nice national parks nearby as well.

If you could travel anywhere outside of Australia, where would you go and why?

I’d like to see Kyoto in the winter. I’ve heard the temples are absolutely stunning and that winter is particularly serene.

Aussie rules football, cricket, rugby or something else?

I like them all, but if had had to choose one it would probably be cricket.

Is there an Australian you admire or who has had a profound influence on you personally or professionally? Explain.

Jim Lawson was really instrumental in establishing public health programs throughout Australia, and his dedication to addressing the medical needs of the public while also creating programs aimed at prevention has always been a source of inspiration for me on both a personal and professional level.

What advice would you give to a first-time visitor to Australia?

Make a plan to stay in the country for as long as possible. There is simply so much to do and see that a short vacation is not enough time to really get a sense of everything that makes Australia so unique.

What is the funniest or strangest question a tourist from outside the country has ever asked you about Australia?

I’ve actually had a number of people ask about our chemists, specifically why they aren’t called pharmacies instead.