Former basketballer David Spear MAICD talks about his role as AICD’s South Australia/Northern Territory state manager and what makes him tick.
Q&A with David Spear
Company Director (CD): What does your role entail?
David Spear (DS): As state manager of the SA/NT Division, I look after the operations of a diverse and dedicated team who care a great deal about our members and their needs. As a group, we coordinate our Director and Board Development programs, events and member services for SA and NT. It is my role to ensure we continue to provide the utmost professional services to the benefit of members.
CD: What challenges confront you day to day?
DS: It would have to be the shifting landscape directors find themselves in. We continue to look into the future to see what challenges may lie ahead, which at times can be a very difficult task. Also, finding great speakers for our state events can often prove challenging.
CD: What would you most like to achieve in your role?
DS: I would love to see AICD continue to make a difference in the lives of Australia’s Indigenous people, working together with organisations such as Indigenous Business Australia. To achieve this, we need to have many more Indigenous corporations, land councils, board members, and so on, trained in governance and directorship. I keep hearing from Indigenous business people that they need help and believe that having greater government support in this area would certainly help us with this cause.
CD: What do you most enjoy about working with the SA/NT director community?
DS: I have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people from very different backgrounds who all share the same goal. These include our members, guest speakers, directors, community-based people and Indigenous Australians.
CD: What is your background?
DS: My previous roles have always been in the corporate sector. Before joining AICD, I worked as corporate business manager at Australia Post and Ansett and as state manager for Regional Express (formerly Kendall Airlines) and Ausdoc Information Management. Currently, I am also a director of the Australian Children’s Theatre Company (Windmill), the Minda Foundation and the SA Rugby League.
CD: Why did you decide to join AICD?
DS: While working as state manager of Ausdoc Information Management, the company was sold to Brambles Group and the majority of executive roles were amalgamated. At the same time, the role of state manager at AICD’s SA/NT Division came available and I was thrilled to be asked to take up the position – there are so many interesting challenges in this industry. Plus, I soon learnt there was a great team to work with!
CD: Who inspires you?
DS: My dad has always inspired me. Even now as a director he takes on challenges that few would have the intestinal fortitude to deal with at his age, and win! One piece of advice he gave me still works for me today: “People can take away your house, your car, your job, your money, but they can never, ever, take away your principles… so along with your family, always value them the most.”
CD: What is the biggest lesson you have ever learnt in life?
DS: I come from a sporting background so it has been ingrained in me to never give up and to always compete. But as you get older (and hopefully wiser), your lessons change, or perhaps how you view them changes. I think that now, my biggest lesson in life is that we only get to go around once, so love those who are with you more and make it count.
CD: Outside of work, what is your greatest achievement?
DS: I played for the Adelaide 36ers in the National Basketball League (NBL) from 1983 to 1990. In total, I played 144 games and was lucky enough to win a Championship back in 1986.
CD: What do you do in your spare time?
DS: I still play the occasional game of basketball and tennis with my school friends. I also coach a kids basketball team, but most importantly, I look after my family.
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