Roger Simons sent in some wonderful photos from Australia in his OB rugby shirt and socks, as he helped with the volunteer effort in Queensland after the recent floods and cyclones, which prompted us to find out more about what he's been up to!
"The impact of the flooding here in Brisbane has been pretty dramatic. Possibly even more amazing has been the volunteer response from Queenslanders to get out and help those in dire need. I like many thousands joined the council led workforce to help with the volunteer effort. I am proud to say that as well as my Old Brightonian rugby socks I was wearing my tour rugby shirt from the OBA tour to St Malo - with happy memories of days spent playing rugby against the French, English and Romanian touring teams. For those who may remember, we got through to the last day of competition, but much to the annoyance of the tournament organizers decided to head back to St Malo for beach rugby and beer."
- When you were at Brighton College, what did you want to be when you 'grew-up'?
I wanted to be a RAF fighter pilot foremost and an architect second to that - I blame my art teacher, Nick Bremer, for suggesting architecture - both involved 7 years training.
- What are you now you've grown up?
I am an architect but I no longer practise architecture; I am a Director of Turner & Townsend, a global project and program management company. That was achieved after 7 years of architecture, a law degree and a masters in construction law ... it would have been a lot simpler to have been a pilot!
- What is your best memory of school?
As well as all the sport, the excitement of reaching the 6th form with girls in our classes (and out of them).
- What was the best piece of advice you were given?
Be afraid of people with beards (Nick Bremer had a beard), but don't be afraid of change, which is why I am doing what I am now here in Australia rather than being an architect and being in the UK.
- What does your job involve?
As a Director of Turner & Townsend I have many of the usual corporate responsibilities such as business development, team/financial management etc, but my main role is as the full time technical director for Queensland Health on the Sunshine Coast University Hospital Project; a $1.97bn project which will be Queensland's first health Public Private Partnership (PPP) and the largest single hospital development in Australia.
- What are the most challenging parts of your job?
The sheer scope and scale of the Sunshine Coast Hospital project and managing my full time role with Queensland Health with the day to day requirements of Turner & Townsend.
- What have you done that you are most proud of?
Having been born and brought up overseas (Nigeria / Tanzania / Egypt), I had always wanted to get back abroad. I am immensely proud about realising the dream of being here with my family, who love it here, as well as working on such an amazing project with a stunning team of people.
- What is the single thing that would most improve the quality of your life?
Quite simply working fewer hours and under less pressure, but it goes with the territory of wanting to deliver big projects and, in particular, social infrastructure projects that will make a difference to people's lives.
- What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?
Apart from my wife and my two boys it would have to be a decent stereo, my CD collection and anything that allowed me to keep up to date with international cricket and rugby - an IPAD would do it!
- How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who didn't care what other people thought of me, but cared deeply about the people and issues I was passionate about.