Andrew’s outlook on life is a comedy sandwiched amongst tragedies. Early in 1974 floods had devastated the Australian town of Brisbane, Andrew's birthplace. Fortunately for him, Andrew was living with his family in Darwin at that time and they were spared the tragedy of the floods directly. During that same year Andrew moved back to Brisbane, only to escape further natural disaster in the form of cyclone Tracy which flattened Darwin on Christmas Eve 1974.
The exceptionally fortunate circumstances of this relocation, seemingly timed in between two natural disasters, sparked a subconscious awareness of nature’s tremendous forces and of the human struggle against it.. A very young Andrew was also called upon to donate some of his clothes to the cyclone relief effort, beginning a mindset of benevolence, sharing and caring for those less fortunate than himself.
Andrew recounts the experiences of his early school years, in which he’d walk to school each day. One day he saw a fellow student from the school steal a dog collar from a dog, only to put it around his own neck and fasten the buckle up. For that student, it was perhaps a dog’s life…. Also as part of this daily walk, Andrew would pass a high retaining wall, painted in an unremarkable pale colour. One morning after the overnight work of some vandals, there appeared an interesting graffiti slogan in stark contrast:
“Born. School. Work. Die: Your Life.”
Andrew sees these events as the humble beginnings of his own philosophy career, but also a silent recognition that creative genius appears in many forms.
Throughout all his school years, Andrew was heavily involved in music groups (not simply because music was offered as the alternative to sport to suit those less physically coordinated!). He actually played in concert bands, brass bands, marching bands, orchestras, string ensembles, stage bands, brass ensembles, percussion ensembles, big bands, jazz quartets, solo performances, as well as many jam sessions and maybe even a recorder ensemble. These experiences shaped a strong foundation for being able to perform both individually and in groups. This foundation also enabled a desire for all things (natural and artificial) to perform in concert with their surroundings, and for the mind to give way to the soul and create rhapsody and harmony, rhythm and rhyme.
Andrew followed-up his schooling with the pursuit of a career in engineering which produced significant technical solutions for Australian and international industry. He subsequently employed his unique and innovative style by establishing a niche project management consultancy in 2004, and for ten years or so that business provided creative solutioneering to the commercial and industrial sectors. These are the makings of Andrew’s view that there is simply no business without passion. The passion that he has injected into his own business dealings, combined with astute commercial acumen and a desire to see the community prosper while having some fun, have been the motivations for Andrew being Chairman of the Non-Bored to further Humourversity's benevolent purposes and its community spirit.
Andrew’s vision for the Humourversity is to draw together all the threads of cultural significance that he has experienced or that he has seen others experience, and create something even more intensely meaningful with them. This “Ha-Ha World” incorporates respect for unstoppable natural forces, the skills for engineering change upon good foundations, all expressions of innovation and creativity through language, music, art and diversity, business and busy-ness, and also a mix of practical constraints and blue-sky futurism. It includes the love of natural diversity, the frail limitations of human emotion, and the solutioneering of a sustainable civilisation amongst the squeeze of global resources pressures and increasing populations.
It is Andrew’s dream that there will be no community in the world living in boredom or despair by 2020, a perfect year for perfect visions of the future. Ha-Ha will abound, and the world will flourish in peace. Humans will continue their co-dependent journey with nature and neither will overwhelm the other. For this dream to become a reality, Andrew sees that Humourversity has a crucial role for effective transfer of Ha-Ha skills to all peoples of the world.