Men of the North

Written by: Success North Queensland | September 27, 2018

The expertise, talent and dedication on show throughout North Queensland is unsurpassed. We have brought together some of the many men driving our region forward. Some of them you may know, some of them you may not. Each of them is influential and inspiring.





Ken Taylor  | Director

As Queensland Law Society President 2018, and Director at Purcell Taylor Lawyers, Ken Taylor is committed to progressing his industry into tomorrow. Ken shares his thoughts on how the industry has changed, and what challenges are ahead.





20 YEARS IN 2019

Purcell Taylor Lawyers Pty Ltd was established in Townsville in 1999 and continues to provide legal services to clients across all areas of law. We provide lawyers with extensive experience in family law, insurance and accident compensation, business and commercial law, all general civil litigation, police and traffic matters, Will preparation and disputes, and general conveyancing and leasing.


Purcell Taylor Lawyers, like a lot of businesses, is looking to embrace the benefits of improved technology. We are currently examining ways to best improve our service offerings to our clients in a manner that is best suited to their needs. We are expanding our commercial offerings to wider geographic boundaries including international clients with a focus on China and the Asia Pacific region. Our lawyers have always been prepared to travel to meet clients and we value the personal contact we have with clients from all areas of Queensland and overseas. Our links to regional areas throughout Queensland and our local knowledge assists in providing our clients with ongoing expert legal assistance and support in their commercial ventures.


Previously, I was the Chair of the Advisory Board for many years of one of the local primary schools including involvement in the several subcommittees. I’d also coached junior soccer teams and up until this year was also coaching a junior rugby side. Currently, I’m on the board of Mater Health Services North Queensland as well as being a member of the subcommittees including the Finance Risk Committee and the Mission Committee. In addition to holding the role of President of the Law Society for 2018 I am also a member of the Society’s Finance and Risk Committee, Executive Committee and Accident and Compensation Law Committee. 


I’ve had to relocate this year to perform my role as Queensland Law Society President 2018. Working in Brisbane has granted me the opportunity to be involved in completely different work and to meet with a whole host of different people, as well as spend more time with my daughter who is studying Science at UQ. However, I am very much looking forward to returning to my involvement with Purcell Taylor Lawyers in Townsville. I have some new ways to look at how business can be conducted and am keen to improve the service offerings to our clients, utilising the advantages that both technological change and personal consultation can bring.  |  p. 07 4758 5858  |





Hywel Jones  |  Design Manager

Hywel Jones has spent his career designing and bringing to life beautiful places, crafted as much for practical use as they are for visual enjoyment. For Hywel, design is about form, function and the feeling that can create. 






Place Design Group is a leader in planning and design. We have teams throughout Australia and China; and are dedicated to creating great places through service excellence, inspired leadership, and innovation. Our people are passionate about improving the quality of both our living and built environment, regardless of a project’s requirements or size.  


While strategic communications has been part of our offering for a number of years, it is only recently that we have formed a dedicated team that specialises in industry-specific approach to engagement, communications, graphics and 3D visualisation services. This adds to our existing service offering for private and public clients of landscape architecture, urban design, master planning, strategic planning, strategic communications and development services. With our Townsville based team, our Design Principal, Wal Smith and I, share over 50 years of local Townsville experience. We’re excited to be working on a number of local and regional projects including, The Village, North Shore, Greater Ascot, Kalynda Chase, Cosgrove, Harris Crossing, and the recently completed Yeppoon Foreshore.


I read a quote once from Stephen Covey who wrote the book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. He said something along the lines of, “If you carefully consider what you want to be said of you at your funeral, you will find your definition of success”. I’d like to think success includes being well respected, being good at what you do, and being recognised for delivering good quality work on time, every time.


My son played a lot of junior sports, including playing junior rugby league for Western Lions JRL. My wife became the Secretary of the club for a few seasons, while I worked tirelessly with Council to prepare a Landscape Master Plan for the home grounds and project managed the upgrade of the Western Lions Park in Charles Street. It was good to be part of that.


When I am at work, it’s all about work, and being motivated, organised and productive. When I’m home, I try not to think about work; it’s all about spending time with family, relaxing, and doing things we love to do together.  |  p. 07 4725 7843  |





Robert Carey  |  Chairman 

Robert Carey shares with us his family business’ history, with its solid roots in North Queensland, and the opportunities that await in 2019.







The Carey Group had its foundations back in 1951 when my father, Brian Carey, purchased the accounting and audit practice in Ingham from Larry Kelly. The firm heeded its advice to clients and sought to diversify the practice, thereby removing the heavy reliance on the sugar industry. In 1980, the firm expanded into the Cairns region, followed by expansion into western Queensland grazing community in mid-1985. The early to mid-1990s, saw the firm extend its services to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and in 2002 opened its Townsville office, as well as introduced financial planning and Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) administration to its service offering. In September 2017, the firm acquired Shirvington Partners with offices in Cairns and Malanda, allowing the firm to have a presence throughout the north.


We continue to develop the financial planning and SMSF administration services in all centres, and to work with our clients to integrate new cloud based accounting and financial systems into their businesses, so that we can systemise and automate their processes. This allows the partners to focus on providing advice on strategic management and growth of businesses and investments.


Coming from a sugar town and being a substantial cane grower, I naturally have a strong and close association with the industry, an industry which is a “price taker” and one that struggles against subsidised international competition. Over the last 10–15 years, I have been Chairman of two unlisted public companies, Ethanol Technologies Limited (Ethtec) and North Queensland Bio-Energy Corporation Limited (NQBE). Both of these entities were established to drive change in the industry and provide diversification opportunities. Ethtec recently finalised all documentation for Federal government funding ($11.9m), a NSW government grant ($4.6m) and an international investment ($11.9m). This funding (almost $30m in total) will allow for the Second Generation Cellulosic Technology to be commercialised and deployed within Australia and internationally. The Queensland sugar industry is well placed and should be a significant beneficiary once the technology is commercialised. The NQBE Project, which has received all the Federal and Queensland State government Development Approvals, aims to deliver a state-of-the-art sugar, ethanol and renewable power generation facility to the Ingham cane growing district – a game changer for the industry.


Play hard, but be fair and reasonable, has to be the philosophy for real success. Being honest and having integrity is absolutely important, no matter whether we are talking about work or personal lives.


Townsville  p. 07 4760 5900  |  Ingham  p. 07 4776 5300  |  Malanda  p. 07 4096 6455  |  Cairns  p. 07 4051 1110  |  | 





Ralph Smither  |  Regional manager Far North Queensland

A proud Cairns man for 46 years, Ralph Smither lists the climate, the people and the absence of traffic jams as the perks of living in the north. At work at Queensland Country Credit Union, Ralph is enjoying delivering clever new products to help make Members’ lives easier.






Queensland Country Credit Union has a long and proud history of providing banking services to our Members throughout Queensland. We exist to provide you with better banking products and fairer banking, not to pay dividends to shareholders. Decisions about how we run the business and price our products in the market are focused on trying to provide our Members with the best outcomes.


It’s been a busy year for Queensland Country. We’ve broadened our branch network right across Queensland with the recent mergers of Queenslanders Credit Union and ECU Australia and just recently released some big upgrades to our mobile banking app that provides Members with greater functionality and control of their money. After several years of mergers, growing our business and incorporating new people and ideas, it’s nice to take a breath and start to really see the benefits that these major changes have created for Members. 


We are extremely proud of our bill paying and budgeting product, SmartBudget, which takes bill stress out of the equation by streamlining payments for bills and regular expenses. It calculates your annual bill expenses and divides the total into regular manageable payments to your SmartBudget account under an agreement you enter with Queensland Country. After your agreement’s initial eight weeks, your nominated bills are then paid out of this account regardless of the balance, provided your payments are up to date and it doesn’t exceed the allowable debit balance. This smooths out your household budget and makes cash flow much easier to manage. It’s been a real life-changer for many of our Members.


I think a good yardstick is to be proud of your legacy. When you walk away hopefully the people that matter can look at your achievements fondly and see you made a difference.


Having been schooled and lived in Cairns for 46 years you tend to become a part of the North Queensland community, certainly for many years I was extremely involved in the Football (soccer) scene, making many longstanding friends. These days my time is spent predominately supporting my branches with the community activities we participate in for their communities throughout our region and in addition, I am a member of Rotary Cairns Sunrise group.  |  p. 1800 075 078  |  |  Queensland Country Credit Union Limited AFSL 244 533





Travis Farley  |  Creative Director/Owner

For Travis Farley, work as owner and creative director of design and web agency TBD Design is an adventure. Whether he’s working with clients on their new ventures, or learning slang from his younger staff, each day brings new lessons.






We work with people, ranging from small business owners through to larger organisations, to help visually communicate their ideas. We develop custom websites, design logos, create brands and pretty much produce anything you can print or post. And we’ve been going since 2005.


I love meeting people that come to us to help them start new ventures, whether that’s the Port Authority planning a multi-million-dollar expansion project or an individual wanting to launch a brand-new tech idea, it’s all exciting.


The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is “Don’t shoot in this direction”. I grew up on a farm in south-west WA so that advice was from my dad, explaining to his 10-year-old son some basic gun rules (this was the ‘80s remember) when shooting at birds while he was working in the orchard! My parents always put a fair bit of faith in my sister and I so I think that common sense and willingness to trust people has been a positive influence. And I never shot Dad, so that advice paid off for him as well.


Managing a work-life balance is a constant work in progress, but I keep pretty active with basketball, crossfit and running events, then off-set that by sitting on the couch watching AFL and NBA, and catching up with mates at our Scotch of the Month Club (which is exactly what it sounds like). Add to that family life with my wife and two boys under 10, weekend sport, coaching an Under 11s boys basketball team (which is like herding cats, but really rewarding), camping, renovating an old Queenslander, learning to play guitar (horribly) and of course running a business. 


To me, being a good leader is about having full confidence in your knowledge or ability whilst at the same time being open to learning and listening. At this point in my life and career I’m able to recognise I’ve got some runs on the board and I’m able to have an influence on younger people in the industry but at the same time I have a lot to learn from them. Things like “it’s lit” being slang for it’s cool or awesome. Who knew?  |  p. 07 4724 3366  |






Jarrad Wild  |  Digital Director/Owner

As well as incorporating an element of ‘fun’ into his work and design projects, graphic designer and web developer Jarrad Wild loves challenging the notion that NQ businesses are years behind the capital cities. 






TBD Design is a full-service graphic design and web development agency run by Travis Farley and myself. We assist businesses from the creation of their brand through to their digital strategy and everything in between. We’ve been doing our thing throughout North Queensland for the last 13 years. Oh, and we’re also fairly competitive ping pong players too.


Lately we’ve been expanding our digital offering and building a lot of custom software which integrates with various third-party platforms. This is everything from stream-lining annual member registrations, integrating live inventory and customer management systems through to easily deploying property listing across multiple platforms. This is allowing businesses to automate processes that usually take hours to complete whilst also adding an additional income stream or sales funnel. 


Travis and I work really well at balancing our work/lifestyle schedules. I also think it’s important to have an active and fulfilling life outside of work that acts as a reward to the effort I put in through the week (and sometimes weekends). I try to do something each day after work from going skateboarding, playing soccer, going on an adventure or even just catching up with a mate for a beer.


In 2019, I’m looking forward to the new and exciting opportunities for TBD Design to showcase our skillsets. We’ve been working closely with The Museum of Underwater Art and are gearing up to launch the new website. I’m looking forward to that project taking off and seeing the museum be brought to life throughout NQ. I believe it’s going to have an incredible impact on our tourism and bring a breath of fresh air to the region.


From a professional level, I try to be an active member of the creative industries within NQ. I help organise a regular meet up for designers called DesignNQ, which provides a platform for industry professionals to offer advice and educate on important topics within the industry. Plus, there is free beer and pizza. I also guest lecture at JCU and regularly go out and talk to the Design and IT students to provide advice and guidance on making the leap from university into the workforce. TBD Design is also a member of Townsville Chamber, so I try to get out and meet local businesses through Chamber when I can.  |  p. 07 4724 3366  |





Craig Rushworth  |  Head of Product Development and Technical Services

Always on the go, Craig Rushworth is either visiting North Queensland’s many postcard-worthy towns to deliver hearing care services, or working to innovate and improve hearing care technology. With a new product launch in the pipeline, Craig is excited for what 2019 will bring.






Coast to Country Hearing is a family owned and operated business, offering hearing care at our main centre in Kirwan and visiting sites at the following locations: Airlie Beach, Bowen, Bushland Beach, Cardwell, Charters Towers, Condon, Ingham, Mission Beach & Magnetic Island. We do things differently; we like to look outside the square and offer hearing solutions tailored to the individual. 


We have adopted new approaches in order to improve the take-up of hearing assistance. We have developed a new product called BluEar which we will soon launch to the Australian and New Zealand markets starting with Retirement Villages and Group Living Centres. It transmits directly to people’s compatible hearing device’s delivering high quality audio. The sound is clear and easily accessed by the end user.


My Mantra to live by is “Keep doing – don’t wait for the opportunities to come knocking, get out there and create them yourself”. At the start you may not go in the direction you wish but as long as you keep doing you are creating possibilities.


The ability to hear effectively keeps us connected to our community, friends and family. We believe that the invention of BluEar will improve the take up of hearing devices and start to dispel the stigma associated with hearing loss. We are committed to keeping the manufacturing of BluEar based here in Townsville as we have strong ties to the area; our family is here and our four grandchildren have been born here. 


We spend a lot of time in between the various towns that we service throughout picturesque north Queensland. We consider this an opportunity to support the local businesses just as they are supporting us. What’s not to love about the north! 


We are corporate members of the North Queensland Cowboys, attending each home game and hosting winning clients from our monthly maintenance renewal draw. We love to get behind the boys and support a good game of football. We attend and sponsor local community events. I also run Kali Fusion Alliance Townsville, which is a Filipino Martial Arts twice a week.  |  p. 07 4723 6610  |





Arie Prabowo  |  Head Chef, Miss Songs Asian Kitchen

Recognising that food brings people together, Miss Songs’ Head Chef Arie Prabowo creates traditional Cantonese cuisine with a modern twist, that is as delicious as it is a conversation starter. His number one goal? Inspire great customer feedback.






Miss Songs is a fine dining Asian restaurant focusing on traditional Cantonese food with a modern twist. Townsville’s never had a fine dining Asian restaurant so the concept of Miss Songs is very exciting. We’re proud of what we do and are always excited to give our diners a different dining experience. We just want to keep surprising people with world-class Asian cuisine, so we can make a name for ourselves, not only in Townsville but elsewhere as well.


Food is a great way to bring communities together, so Miss Songs has been involved in some energetic community events since we opened. We’ve held celebrations for Chinese New Year, Chinese Moon Festival and Dragon Boat Festival. These events not only give the local Chinese community somewhere special to celebrate, but also invite other members of the community to be involved and learn more about Chinese culture.


As a chef, I’m very lucky to be in North Queensland because the seafood is amazing. You always get fresh barramundi and coral trout and other produce to work with. We like to change the menu two to three times a year along with the seasons. Of course, in Townsville it’s either summer or ‘a little bit cooler’, but we do like to make some small tweaks along with the climate.


For me, success is about what expectations you set for yourself. If you meet your own expectations, then for me that is a great success. But as a chef, there’s no bigger success you can ask for than receiving good customer feedback.


My work is very important to me. You have to get the job done no matter how many hours it takes; what has to be done just has to be done. I spend a lot of time with my family on my days off. But they’re very supportive and understanding of what I do and that makes it easier to balance everything.


As a leader, communication skills are key. You have to be clear and direct. Training is also important, and you have to put the right person in the right job. For me, it’s also really important to always say thank you to everyone in the team at the end of service for doing a good job.


Always try your best and pursue new challenges.  |  p. 4722 2222  |





Nick Trompf  |  CEO

When Nick Trompf isn’t proudly flying the flag for Cairns and the region, driving tourism and economic growth, he has most likely retreated to his Atherton Tablelands home with his wife, children and many animals to enjoy the enviable lifestyle we revel in here in the north.






Like so many others my wife Alison and I came here (in 2001) expecting to stay for 2–3 years as part of a career/life experience. We instantly fell in love with the region and have happily raised our three daughters here. Cairns is unique in Australia; it’s a combination of a significant regional city with amazing international access as well as a laid-back lifestyle in stunning scenery. 


Advance Cairns is the leading non-government advocacy and economic development organisation in tropical North Queensland. As a not for profit we are fully funded by business and industry with our primary focus on securing catalytic infrastructure investment from the State and Federal Governments as well as key policy changes to enhance growth in TNQ. We also work actively with other private and government stakeholders to facilitate economic development opportunities.


Advance Cairns is leading the biggest ever business delegation to Canberra in October entitled Cairns TNQ Convoy to Canberra. More than 50 industry leaders are collectively headed to the nation’s capital to advocate to Government, Opposition and cross-bench MPs for key priorities in the region. We are collaborating with our sister organisations Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Cairns Chamber of Commerce on what is a vital delegation given there has to be a federal election by next May.


In the 17 years since first coming here, I’ve been involved in many community organisations on a voluntary basis – the Cairns Amateurs committee, Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal business committee, Events Cairns board, AFL Cairns board, Advance Cairns board (twice) and most recently a new venture entitled Discover Sport at JCU.


You don’t have to be the best, just be the best you can be and surround yourself with others that share your vision. 


Never thought I’d say this, but in 2019 I’m most looking forward to the Federal Election. With the polls showing the Government at risk, it is the ideal backdrop to win commitments for the region.


p. 07 4080 2900  |





Shane Jurgens  |  General Sales Manager 

When he’s not working alongside clients to promote local business and events, Shane Jurgens is outside experiencing our brilliant outdoor weather. You may spot him running, riding or swimming, in training for the Cairns Ironman 70.3 this coming May.






Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) is a multimedia business and home to Nine TV and Townsville’s leading radio brands with Townsville’s 102.3 Triple M – the only one for Pricey for Breakfast and the only one to get you home with Kennedy Molloy. Townsville’s Hit103.1 – Get up with Cliffo and Gabi, and your drive home starts at 3pm with Carrie and Tommy, followed by Hughsey and Kate. On the telly, Nine is your number 1 Townsville TV station, home to NRL, The Block, Doctor Doctor and plenty more drama, entertainment, news and sport.


The recent 4TOFM rebrand to Townsville’s 102.3 Triple M was really exciting and sad at the same time, some say they have lost an old friend! But it’s just a new lick of paint with no changes within as Pricey, Chooky and Minty will continue to deliver amazing content each and every day.


SCA has launched its Digital Marketing Agency. DMA is focused on helping you with digital platforms to ensure that you leverage your broadcast advertising. Our local team of digital specialists can help you understand the importance of road-mapping your customer’s buying patterns.


Life is too short to sweat the little things you can’t change, it can consume your energy, so focus on the things you can influence and enjoy life each and every day. My Nan gave me some great advice – Be grateful every day, starting your day with gratitude sets the tone for a positive day. (Thanks Nan.)


I maintain work-life balance by starting each day with some meditation, running for an hour, then fuelling the body with some healthy food. Life is all about balance!


I’ve been involved with Uni Hawks Football Club since 2004 where I have taken on roles as Junior Coach, Junior President, President and Senior Coach of this amazing football club. In 2016 I was recognised for all my hard work with a Life Membership of the league and Qld Volunteer of the Year. 


Next year I am looking forward to taking on the Cairns Ironman 70.3 in May. It’s my bucket list goal for 2019.


p. 07 4729 2111  |
























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