The first volunteer in our interview chair is Dr Howard Bell OAM, Principal Solicitor at WorkCover NSW.
When I first met Howard Bell, he was my boss and we were working in the chemistry department at the University of Sydney. That was 35 years ago and a lot has happened since then! We hope you enjoy reading his story.
Principal Lawyer at WorkCover. It’s the best job in the world. I love it because it helps to build a safer and healthier New South Wales. WorkCover, as a regulator administers the State’s work health and safety laws. We provide legal services to WorkCover and also other agencies within Safety, Return to Work and Support. I am also an elected Health and Safety Representative.
What other activities are you involved in?
I am also a part-time officer in the Australian Army Reserve where I have been an instructor, project officer, company commander, the Executive Officer of University Regiment and had lots of interesting and rewarding roles in the Reserves, including having deployed overseas peace keeping in East Timor. I have, addition been a part time teacher at TAFE NSW and taught at various universities – most recently at Charles Sturt supervising post graduate doctoral students. I have also enjoyed an active volunteering life with community organisations including Amnesty International, the St Vincent de Paul Society, Cana Communities, music and folk festivals, the trade union movement and other great organisations that strive to make the world a better place especially for battlers, the homeless community and people who need help with their struggles.
Is this what you expected to be doing when you were at school?
No. When I was at school I wanted to go out and become the world’s greatest chemist – but a later interest in Law and social justice led me towards my current career choices.
What was your first job?
Laboratory assistant and landscape gardener.
Can you tell us about a significant turning point in your career/life?
Becoming a dad. And becoming a grandad. These events have inspired me especially.
Who do you admire? Who has inspired you?
My children and grand-children. And people who follow their hearts and pursue their dreams. And people who live to love, to be happy, to build peace and kindness in the world.
If there were no limitations, what would be in the future for you?
I would build 105,000 homes across Australia so that all our homeless Australians would have a safe, loving and happy home in which to live.
Finally, what would you tell your younger self about work and careers?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” (Eleanor Roosevelt). And the world is your oyster.
Do you know someone whose career story belongs in our ‘What’s your story?’ series? Please let us know!