What is your job?
I’m currently between professional engagements. Up until about this time last year I was a computer networking teacher at Albury TAFE. They were downsizing our department and I was offered a redundancy. I am currently working as freelance information technology support. I have a small client base in the local area. I have also been involved in Alpine Timing, an events timing company Michal Trnka has set up.
Is it something you always wanted to do?
At school there was no IT but I used to borrow people’s programmable calculators so I could fake results for physics and chemistry pracs at school. I was fascinated by the whole business of programming and what you could do with it. I was a country kid from Swan Hill and after school I headed down to the city to find out more about these things. I went to Monash University and did a computer science degree.
I got a job with Telecom, as it was then, working on computer-controlled telephone exchanges. We were working with the precursor to the system we have now. I was working on trunk exchanges for long-distance and gateway to international calls.
I was working with paper tape and punch cards and other technology which was meant to be obsolete.
I find it interesting to reflect that I got into IT fairly early, and my teachers had learned from some of the pioneers of the business. So I was only about second or third generation.
Telecom became Telstra and I worked for them for 17 years, and then contracted back to them for a few years more.
\My job was writing programs and supporting the people who used them: looking after the software and making sure that all the facilities could run the programs and do what people wanted. It’s like running the engine room. I have spent all my working life keeping up to date with developments in technology. I worked a long time for the same company but in fact I’ve worked in lots of different areas of IT.
How do you come to be in the valley?
My wife Jenny is a keen skier and we holidayed up here from the late 1980s. We built a house and she moved up here and I followed as soon as I got the job at Albury TAFE.
What do you love about your roles?
I just love sitting down and writing programs. It’s just like other people sitting down with a puzzle. I make it a hobby by learning more about areas I don’t know much about.
What do you do in your spare time?
I am a motorcyclist and I have recently started to ride a push-bike. I ski in winter – mostly downhill, and I really enjoy getting away and doing some off-piste stuff.