Category: Personal

Sydney Cricket Ground Trust SCG or Gold Member? Vote for my friend Craig Meagher for board election

Many of you would have connected with my friend Craig (@Meaghery on Twitter, Craig Meagher on LinkedIn) and if you have you would see his experience profile described as “GM & Strategic Marketer, Executive, Family, Friends, Marketing, Strategic Branding, Sponsorship, Entertainment and Sports Guy”.   What you wouldn’t know is that Craig and I have been friends for over 25 years, having attended high school together and stayed friends ever since.

I am writing this blog post to support Craig who needs our help – from the 18th May, The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust (SCG Trust) is holding their Member election for the SCG Trust Board, and Craig is standing for election.

If you are a Member of The SCG Trust, consider voting for Craig who I believe would be a great addition to the SCG Trust Board.  If you know any Members please let them know about this post by sharing this link  to this post: http://bit.ly/CraigSCGTrust Only Members can vote so I appreciate your support.

Craig has provided me with some background on himself which clearly articulates his suitability for admission to the SCG Trust Board.

Craig has been a Gold and SCG Member for over 20 years.   He regularly attends winter and summer events with his family and uses the Stadium Fitness Centre gym facilities as well as playing tennis as a Member of the Sydney Lawn Tennis Club at the Sydney Football Stadium.   He is a career marketer, general management professional, former Australian Rugby Union Head of Marketing and former SCG Trust General Manager.  Importantly, Craig understands all the members’ issues and can make a difference representing their interests on issues such as: car parking, seat allocations, reserved seating for the Ashes, availability of Member seats at premium events, Rugby and Cricket fixtures moving to ANZ Stadium, Member subscription increases, match day queues, the return of South Sydney, fitness centre facilities, bookings and food and beverage prices.

On  a personal note, I have watched Craig over the past couple of years embrace the new connection technologies that you know I so enjoy using for business and personal benefit.   I had been discussing the benefits of using tools like LinkedIn and Twitter with Craig for some time, and he decided to first join LinkedIn, and later Twitter.  It is now clear to all that connect with Craig that he is passionate about sports and marketing, and shares his knowledge and experience with those who connect with him.  I am even pleased to say that Craig has been experimenting with the newer “location-based social network” Foursquare, where he regularly “checks-in” at the Sydney Football Stadium.  This interest in modern connection and communication technologies will serve him well as an informed commentator should he be elected to the SCG Trust Board.

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Today is the launch of the book “The Perfect Gift for a Man – Stories about re-inventing Manhood”

Today is a very special day for me, as it marks the launch of a new collaborative book I have contributed to in support of an important cause – improving the mental health of young men.   Special mention should go to the hard work of local Sydney bloggers Gavin Heaton and Mark Pollard, and to the 30 people from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience who have written stories for the book.

The book is called The Perfect Gift for a Man – 30 stories about reinventing manhood.  Here’s the front cover:

You can preview and order the book here.

Some of the contributors have recorded a personal video message about the book.

This is a very important cause – please tell your communities about this book, and consider buying a copy for a man in your life who may benefit from it.

For more background on this project, the Mornings with Kerrie-Ann show interviewed Gavin Heaton and Steve Crombie here:

The Perfect Gift for a Man book – interview on Mornings With Kerri-Anne from Tony Hollingsworth on Vimeo.

The Perfect Gift for a Man – Stories told from the Heart

The Perfect Gift for a Man – Stories told from the Heart is an initiative to raise awareness around men’s mental health – following on from the recent #Manweek postings from various bloggers around Sydney.  Below is my submission for the collaborative book ‘The Perfect Gift for a Man’

The Perfect Gift for a Man – Stories told from the Heart is an initiative to raise awareness around men’s mental health – following on from the recent #Manweek postings from various bloggers around Sydney.  Below is my submission for the collaborative book ‘The Perfect Gift for a Man’

Fatherhood – the joys and challenges of being a man, father and husband

Today I am a husband and father to three primary school-aged daughters and have been happily married for 15 years.  I had a fantastic childhood growing up in Sydney’s eastern beaches in the 1970’s.  There are so many great memories.  When dad walked down the stairs of my grandparent’s house with a brand new Morey Boogie Board, I was thrilled.  I no longer had to ride one of those uncool blowup surfmats!  Every year we would join our family friends for “cracker night” letting off firecrackers and playing games all night.  I never wanted those days to end.

The 1980’s were my ‘formative’ years, completing high-school and university.  The school years were so much fun – I was the ‘class clown’, always able to get a laugh from my classmates.  Very cheeky, I never did anything seriously wrong but was often distracted from my studies.  I realised I just enjoyed sharing and communicating with people, was often bored with the formalised class structure and preferred a more creative approach to learning.

During the 1990’s I travelled the world, fell in love and got married.  My career in the information and data industry blossomed – you can imagine my excitement at discovering the power of the Internet.  I revelled in the ability to discover and disseminate information so quickly and being able to help people do the same.

So far, my life seemed completely free!  I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to.  I guess you could say I had managed to avoid responsibility.  Life was a big adventure and I was enjoying every moment.

In the 2000’s our children were growing up from toddlers to school-starters, and the responsibility of being a man, husband and father began to dawn on me.  We had to build a home for our family, I had to get more serious about my career and the cost of living just kept increasing.  It made me realise what my own parents went through to raise me – they worked so hard and gave up so much so that we could receive a good education and happy childhood.  Today, I do not find it easy to carry the burden of this responsibility for my own family.  I can feel the pressures of life building on me.  It can even be frightening.

Fortunately, I have the most amazing community around me.  My dear, hard-working wife, who inspires me; my children, who amaze me with their growth, optimism and speed of learning; my family, who provide love and support; my friends and professional network, who provide love, support, mentoring and inspiration.  This community gives me reason to live, to give and press on.

Life can be enormously challenging for us all!  The way I deal with the challenges is to surround myself with my community, draw from their love and support and press on.  I am reminded of the Simon & Garfunkel song “I am a Rock” – for this teaches me how I should NOT be living my life.  It says “a rock feels no pain” and “an island never cries” – without those emotions I don’t believe we can live a full and happy life.

Thinking about Manweek

This week is Manweek – brought to my attention by Servant of Chaos last week at Coffee Mornings. It’s about men talking about their feelings. Not easy – as I am finding now, since I’ve been thinking about this post since last Friday.

I’m going to be brief (it’s a way of me getting out of this easily 🙂 – but the thought that is in my head is that I am very good at relationships in general (business and personal) however I don’t think I am good at communicating my feelings to those I care about most – particularly to my immediate family. I am going to talk about my father now – a man who reminds me of the good qualities shown by Walt Kowalski – Clint Eastwood’s character in the movie Gran Torino I have the utmost respect for my father – he works hard at everything he does, is a good man but is easily misunderstood. Sometimes I think we misunderstand each other – and that I believe is due in part to the difficulty in communicating our feelings.
With this in mind, I am going to try to be a better communicator of my feelings. Meanwhile, I am going to say this: dad, I love you – you’re a great inspiration to me, and I look forward to sharing many years ahead of happy family times, and great memories.
Phew! This post was extremely difficult to write, but at the same time, it makes me feel good to write it. For those men reading this, and who may also feel that they cannot communicate well with a loved one, perhaps try writing something down – a letter, an email, a blog post.

Online Communities – presentation to primary school community

I recently presented to my local school on online communities and the implications for our children.  This was prompted by my desire to share some of my own experiences with social networks with other parents who may be curious yet somewhat inexperienced in this area.  Particularly with our children having greater access and in many cases greater abilities than our own in navigating through and communicating with others on these networks.

I’ve embedded the presentation below: 

You should be on Twitter – creating serendipities and building community

Twitter is an incredible tool for so many reasons. If you don’t know what Twitter is, watch this brief video to get a good overview (the video only skims the surface of it though)

A couple of reasons I enjoy using Twitter is it creates serendipities and builds community. Only today, we were celebrating our school’s 90-year anniversary. I noticed Malcolm Turnbull was in attendence so decided to send him a notice on Twitter (I am wondering if he is actually using it or employs a ghost writer. See for yourself by visiting his Twitter profile here.)

Here’s where the serendipitous moment occurred. Later in the day I checked my email and noticed that one of my Facebook friends (a past-teacher from the school who has relocated overseas) had “commented on my status” I realised immediately, that although this person wasn’t even on Twitter, that they had seen my status update which had automatically been sent to Facebook via the Twitter/Facebook application. This person was pleased to be reminded of the event I was attending and had said so in their comment. I was really chuffed by that moment, as it showed how something so simple as a Twitter update (sent from my phone with an investment of time of no more than a few moments) had put me back in touch with them, and caused them some happiness and fond memories.

Creating serendipities and building community – two good reasons you should be on Twitter.