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Meet our Flinders Foundation Board: Q & A with John Gannon

FLINDERS FOUNDATION – Connect | Engage | Support
BOARD PROFILE: John Gannon, Flinders Foundation Board Member
July 2019

Q: What does your role involve as part of the Flinders Foundation?

My role is to support the Foundation team in pursuing the goals of the Foundation board, the school, parents and students of the College.

Q. What do you enjoy about being involved in the Flinders Foundation?

The opportunity to give something back. I enjoy working in a varied environment with a motivated and passionate group of people who care about the welfare of the College and its students. The chance to leave a legacy of a better college for future generations is a great motivator.

Q: In your view, why is the Foundation important to Flinders’ future growth?

The Foundation has over the years provided funding and support towards the development of programs and assets for the benefit of students, including the provision for scholarships and building projects. As a good example, the Foundation made a significant contribution to the Flinders Performance Centre, a world-class, multi-use venue.

Q: Aside from being on the Flinders Foundation, what is your link to the College community?

With three children at Flinders, I have enjoyed a close association with the College community, including several years of coaching both the Flinders cricket and rugby teams. My wife is also an active and passionate member of the Flinders P&F so we all have the opportunity to give something back to the community.

Q: What is your career role, and why are you passionate about your job?

After a career as a lawyer and insurance broker both in Australia and the UK, I enjoyed taking a number of businesses from start-up, through periods of high growth and eventually through to a stock market listing. I particularly enjoyed developing people and widening their skill sets – the importance of quality, committed people can never be overstated.

Q: How else are you involved in the wider community? Which projects or events do you support?

I now consult with a number of UK-based business who operate in a wide variety of areas from DIY to the design and build of semi-conductors for the artificial Intelligence sector. I am involved with charities including Variety, The Children’s Charity and a local group raising funds for Beyond Blue, Drought Relief for Farmers and support for victims of domestic violence.

Q: What are your hobbies or interests?

Our family are keen skiers and I have recently completed my commercial pilot’s licence studies with a view to becoming a flight instructor. I cycle, play tennis, scuba dive and I swim regularly and remain a keen ocean sailor. We are also enthusiastic travellers and have been lucky enough to share a number of these experiences with our children.

Q: What is your favourite book that you would recommend others read? Why?

Dr Carol Dweck’s ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’. It’s all about focusing on the process, rather than the outcome. It underlines the importance of resilience when dealing with challenges in life and it applies at all levels of school, work and your personal life. Dealing with success is easy, however, managing in a positive way challenges and setbacks is the harder and ultimately more fulfilling task.
Q: What do you enjoy about living on the Sunshine Coast?

Having grown up in South-east Victoria, school in Ballarat and then time in Hobart and 20+ years in the UK, I have to say the weather sits up there. This area offers a great lifestyle with many of the benefits of urban life but in a rural setting. The proximity to sporting events, airports and Brisbane is very attractive as well.

Q: What are some of your favourite spots to visit on the Sunshine Coast? Why?

Sunshine Coast airport – when I am going for a fly! Noosa is a gem with amazing beaches and restaurants. The hinterland, especially around Maleny, is a lovely part of the world. I do love taking visitors to the Parkyn Street fish markets and Noosa North Shore and the beach drive to Rainbow Beach is a great highlight to show visitors.

Q: What did you love about your schooling years?

I enjoyed the unlimited opportunity to play sport and mix with a wide variety of kids from all over the world.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

In business, if you have people with acumen, cunning, guile, wit, charm, intelligence, loyalty, understanding, a solid work ethic, experience, a willingness to accept change and persistence – you would take persistence every time.

 

Each month we share Q & A profiles with each of our Flinders Foundation Board members. We hope you enjoy getting to know our wonderful volunteer board members whose mission through the Foundation is to build community and foster philanthropic support to help facilitate the ongoing development of facilities and programs at Flinders for the long-term benefit of our students. For more information about the Flinders Foundation, and how you can get involved, please visit our Flinders Foundation page here

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