Business Owner

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     DAVID SEARLE

“As a born artist or a maker, you will become a bitter person if you don’t become who you are.”

I co-direct the Melbourne School of Guitar Making, and have my own practice building electric and bass guitars.

Although I built my first guitar in high school, my original profession was as a jeweller.

I always knew that I wanted to do something to do with the arts and crafts, so when I saw the Gold & Silversmithing course at RMIT in a year 12 university guide, it seemed like the right fit. Continue reading

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     JUSTINE BUHRMANN

“The most successful people in recruitment are sales people who are hungry for success.”

I am the Director of Gough Recruitment, specializing in Property and Real Estate Recruitment.

I loved school and did well, but wasn’t always 100% sure what I wanted to do. I went to university, but wasn’t really passionate about it, so at that point in my life I went and found a job.

Back in those days, you looked for jobs in the newspaper. I saw an ad for Real Estate Receptionist in The Age, and for the next five years I worked my way up through the Real Estate industry. Continue reading

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All photos courtesy of Adele Leah

     ADELE LEAH

“I believe having the right career is part of your overall well being.”

I work as a recruitment consultant for the creative industry, managing the Melbourne office of a company called Become.

I grew up in Manchester, UK. I was always into arts in school, but my teachers and family didn’t really understand it, so it was difficult to see a career path early on. My dad, who was an accountant, seeing that I wasn’t academic, suggested I should learn how to type. ‘If you can type fast, you can always be a secretary’, he told me. Continue reading

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     JAMES CRUMPTON

“When you spend your life looking for relationships, you value and cherish the good ones”

I am the director of Prime Careers, a recruitment company specializing in real estate recruitment.

I struggled with health issues towards the end of high school, and missed a lot of class time – to the point where it felt like I was so far behind, I’d never catch up. So I dropped out in the middle of year 11, something I’ve since regretted.

I tried doing a carpentry pre-apprenticeship, but it didn’t work for me due to a bad back I had as a result of playing state cricket when I was younger.

So I started working at a gym doing membership sales which to date is the hardest job I’ve ever had. It’s such a shallow and cut throat industry, they don’t care if people stay on and use the gym, if they lose weight – as long as they keep paying. It didn’t sit well with me as I felt like I was almost tricking people into wasting money. Continue reading

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     LUKE COLLARD

“Recruitment is a rollercoaster job – what we call Champagne and Razorblades”

I own a recruitment company Watson Collard with my business partner Craig Watson, specializing in recruiting for other recruitment agencies: Rec-to-Rec.

I think if you ask most recruiters how they got into it, the common answer is ‘I fell into it’. That’s been the case with me, too.

I did a science degree in uni, but never pursued it. Then I spent a year backpacking in Australia, falling in love with the country. Coming back to UK, I figured I’d better get a real job, so I went to a recruitment agency with no idea what I wanted.

They suggested I try recruiting, and that’s how I got started! Continue reading

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     KRISTINE TUAZON

“You have to begin with an end in mind.”

I run my company Good People HR specializing in recruitment and executive search.

From an early age, I had the drive to work and achieve. Possibly this stemmed from the fact that my parents arrived here from the Philippines when I was five and had to work hard to give me and my siblings a better life.

So I always saw our lives in Australia as an opportunity to work that could not be wasted. In school, I would make friendship bracelets and then sell them for a dollar a piece. The second I turned 14, I went out and got a job in a fruit shop. Continue reading

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     TINA KOH

“The accounting course is our date night: I’m always looking forward to Wednesdays!”

I am a property investor, a dental clinic manager, a student  and a mother.

Even while I was studying for my a Bachelor’s degree in Science and Commerce at the university in Auckland, I knew that I didn’t want to sit in an office 9-to-5. I thought there had to be something more than that. It got me thinking about financial freedom and wealth.

I also had other reasons to think about financial independence. I lost my dad to cancer when I was 18. After his loss, I went through depression – it was my lowest point, and my family’s.

When he passed away, the stability of my family was lost. He was a successful businessman, and everyone depended on him. With him gone, I watched my mother and siblings really struggle to get through life and its challenges. Continue reading

Tania Kunze a ceramic artist from Adelaide working on piece on the pottery wheel

Photography by Val Bubner

     TANIA KUNZE

“A hard earned thing is deeper appreciated.”

I am a ceramic and mixed media artist, specializing in custom design and community projects. My small business trades as Tatty K.

I didn’t really know who I was or what I wanted to do at school, so I quit school after year 11 and worked in retail and hospitality (because I knew how to work hard and be polite to customers – and therefore earn a wage).

I also moved out at 17, because my parents lived in the rural area of Darwin & I couldn’t wait to live in the city. At 19, I moved to Brisbane with a few friends & continued to work as a waitress, barperson, maitre’d, short order cook, book keeper – “whatever was needed”.  Continue reading

Adrian Butera director of Compton Green real estate at ease in his office

     ADRIAN BUTERA

“If I think something’s great and I believe in it, I can’t leave it. I’ve got to do it.”

I am a Real Estate agent and auctioneer. I am also the director of Compton Green Real Estate.

I went to Parade College in Bundoora, squeezed through year 11 and had no real aspirations to do year 12. I was offered a cadetship to be a Training Manager at Safeway where I had already worked before. So I decided to do that; at 18 it was a big role for me.

Even from that early age, I was driven, I wanted to be a young buck – in something, though I didn’t have a clear idea what. Funny thing is, I remember looking at some course brochures: one for a real estate course, and one for electrical and lighting design. Both appealed. But then my father offered me an opportunity to go into business with him, and I put that decision on hold for a while. Continue reading

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     MEL HIATT

“I believe there’s a real synergy of your mind, your body and your spirit. When you’re working on your body, you’re training your mind and your spirit.”

I run two Step Into Life fitness franchises in Bayside.

Growing up, I moved around a lot, eventually finishing school in Victoria. Yet all through school I had a part-time job at McDonald’s – kind of ironic, with my current career in health and fitness! But it gave me good grounding and work ethic; I learned a lot about systems and processes.

After school I was offered a place at university, but it was a long way away from home and I wasn’t ready to move out. I decided not to go and continued working at McDonald’s as a manager. I was doing that for over a year.

After a while though, I didn’t feel like it was going anywhere, so when the police force were doing a recruiting drive, I thought I had nothing to lose by applying. Continue reading