About Me

My youth and the workplace

I grew up in Port Erin and for most of my life, it’s where I’ve lived.  I have many happy memories of jumping off the pier and the lighthouse in the summer, climbing the rocks behind the marine biological station, playing football in the park, jumping off the raft on Port St Mary beach and working at Darnill’s Garage after school.

When I was very young, police officers had to move to wherever they were working and so my family and I moved around a lot.  This made making friends and keeping them difficult but despite this, here I am today, blessed with many good friends in Rushen and many fantastic memories.  When I was eight I went to Rushen Primary School and this is where I finished my primary education.  Following this I went to Castle Rushen High School where I still have fond memories of my time in the sixth form.

When I left school in 1994 I wanted to be a policeman or a teacher.  I decided to take a year off from studying and fell into a role at Hansard International as a junior trainee accountant.  One year turned into eighteen and after many happy times at some great companies I felt I should make the move into teaching because despite that I had worked with some fantastic people, I had also worked for some people that were only interested in what they could get out of the Isle of Man and theirs was the darker, greedier side of finance.

BusinessI’ve worked for some big names like Marsh, Willis and PokerStars and I’ve loved every minute of the work; the exposure to the boardroom environment and the audit process, running accounts teams and sales teams, meeting clients and new people in different countries, the pressures of accounts preparation at busy times, writing policies and procedures, writing company KPIs, running my own company and helping others to set up or to restructure, and so on, and it’s all served to enhance my skill set.  Everything I’ve learned, I can bring to the fore if I’m elected to serve as your MHK.

In 2012 I decided to make the move to teaching, I had to do it before I turned 40.  I started out by volunteering at QEII High School for six months and at St Ninians Lower School Learning Support for four months.  Whilst I was doing this, I was able to find out what I needed to do to qualify and what experiences I would need to make me an attractive employee to the Heads of the Island’s schools.

I undertook the Certificate in Education and QTLS route, all paid for by myself and without any government assistance despite being eligible at the time and I embarked on a great adventure where I met some of the hardest working people you could meet and where I was able to reach out to and make small differences in the lives of the children on our island.

BallakermeenI got into teaching to make a difference, to give something back and it has been incredibly rewarding but the frustrations borne out of budget cuts totaling nearly 10% of the education budget and from over-zealous bureaucracy as well as other issues of organisation, poor training protocols (not in the schools, they’re excellent) and a general disregard for the pressures that teachers are under has forced my hand and now I am running for MHK.  Someone has to stand up for our children and their future and I won’t rest until the IOM stops cutting corners and stops treating education like a necessary evil, and starts investing in the future our children deserve.

I say enough is enough and I want us all to recognise what the Island can achieve if we rally together.  If government can afford to sell key national assets for £3M under value and pay money towards and support companies that in my mind are not complying with the spirit of their original agreement to supply their own education resources then government can afford to increase the education budget.  We are already spending less than half of the OECD average on education and we were doing so before the budget cuts, and I am finding myself increasingly frustrated that I can’t do the job I always wanted to without having to ask students to share resources or apologise for technology breaking or whatever an issue might be.  These kids are our future, they deserve the best and that is why I’m running for MHK.

It was a sad day when I left Ballakermeen and I’ll miss my students but if all goes well, I can effect change that will
enhance their futures and give us all peace of mind that we are at last heading in the right direction.

Personal

I’m not married nor do I have children of my own but I do have many nephews and nieces that fill that place in my heart.

MK NomadsI used to train with and briefly played football for Colby.  When I got past the football thing, I took up a man’s sport, rugby (cue lost votes from footballers).  I played for Southern Nomads for many years and I have coached their under 13 and under 16 sides.  I’m currently the defence and forwards coach for Nomads and I’m really enjoying being involved again (injuries prevent me from playing).

I was a passionate power lifter and gym goer before my knee injury got the better of me.  I still go to Elite Fitness five times a week but the joints don’t cope so well with the heavy lifting anymore.  I enjoy walking around this beautiful island and injury permitting, I’ll head out on my mountain bike from time to time.  I enjoy reading books on science, sci fi, sci fantasy, psychology and business.  I’m a keen movie fan and my collection of DVDs is getting to the point of ridiculous.

My favourite TV shows are Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice from where I will take inspiration, anything sci fi, The Last Ship, Zoo, Game of Thrones, Brooklyn 99 and now thanks to my youngest nephew, Thomas and Friends.  I enjoy watching various sports and I am eagerly awaiting the start of the new rugby season – come on Tigers!

Clubs and associations

I have been involved in numerous clubs and associations and I have listed these below:

1998 – 1998     Sun Life Social Committee member and Southern Nomads RUFC Treasurer

2002 – 2003    Junior Chamber of Commerce, Treasurer and member of the Executive Council

2006 to date    ACCA

2008 – 2009   Coach to Southern Nomads RUFC Under 13’s side

2011 to date    Chartered Insurance Institute (‘CII’)

2011 to date    Institute of Directors (‘IoD’)

2011 to date    Junior Achievement

2012                 Coach to Isle of Man Vagabonds RUFC youth teams

2012                 Coach to reformed Western Vikings RUFC

2013 to date    Rugby Football Union

2013 to date    English Football Association

2013 – 2014     Coach to Isle of Man Vagabonds RUFC

2016                 Business Forum

2016                 Defence and Forwards coach to Southern Nomads

 

Please see attachment for my schools and my business CVs.