From a very early age growing up in the outback of Australia I have loved adventure and the great outdoors. I have led numerous adventurous expeditions (Himalayas, Africa and Europe) picking up qualifications, experience and excellent stories that have allowed me to contribute to making Scouting fun, challenging and rewarding for our young people.
Perhaps it was my early freedoms in the outback, as a Wolf Cub, and later as a Scout and Venture Scout in the UK that led, after university, to a commission in the army. From early beginnings at Sandhurst to serving with the Royal Marines, Airborne forces and United Nations, I maintained my passion for adventure with several diverse and challenging home and overseas expeditions, as well as active service in conflict zones – I’ve been lucky enough to run the gamut from the Arctic to the desert!
At the end of my military service, I completed a PGCE and MSc through Oxford University and started a second career as a secondary science teacher, which has led to some high adventure in very challenging schools! My current role is one of School Improvement Adviser – working with headteachers and struggling schools to become good and outstanding.
My involvement with Oxfordshire Scouting began as a Venture Scout leader in 1995 and, as my own children have progressed through Scouting, I have had numerous other adult volunteer roles at county, district and group level. My favourite role so far is my current position as District Explorer Scout Commissioner, which I view as a chance to promote challenge and adventure and, most importantly, to support young people in planning their own adventures and creating their own future stories!
It has always been my aim to provide and support great opportunities, which include our expedition to Kandersteg, for our Scouting young people, giving them the skills for independence and the chance to achieve the Queen’s Scout Award. As such, I maintain up-to-date qualifications in several outdoor pursuits/activities and also provide training and support for other adult Scouting volunteers to ensure that we can continue to maintain appropriate support, supervision and opportunities for our young people in Scouting.