This speech was delivered at Mannkal’s Leaders Forum in 2014. I’m proud to say we are still offering Mannkal scholarships and study tours, sending bright students and industry up-and-comers to all corners of the economic world.
One of the joys of being a Chairman, rather than a CEO, is that I don’t have to give long speeches but I’d like to say just four things.
We have a tall goal to aim for in finding 105 students to send to these wonderful destinations which offer so many opportunities. It’s a big task for Mannkal team. They’ll make that goal if they get support from people like yourselves like I have over the years. So, I’m very thankful of that.
The second thing is weren’t we lucky to hear from Richard Court tonight. A remarkable Premier who left our state in a much better condition than which he found it. It’s an achievement Richard that you’ve got to be proud of and we are proud of you.
Giving them hell
The third point is why I am so optimistic. This afternoon I spent some time with five fabulous young people who we are sending off to Hong Kong for a week to attend the Mont Pelerin Society economic general meeting and what a fine bunch of young people they are. They’ll be spending a week there with me as their chaperon. The meeting will provide them with the opportunity to rub shoulders with a great bunch of Nobel Prize winning economists from all around the world. Those economists, from around the world, will learn a hell of a lot from our five. Give them hell, fellows.
The fourth and final thing is Tom Camp got me thinking about free-range thinking. It’s a great thing to do. Just let your mind run free. We did a little bit of that this afternoon. We think there is a fortune to be made if you can solve this problem.
Some of you may have seen a news item, I think on TV last night, about them bringing in an improved version of dung beetles. Do you all know what the dung beetles are? They eat the cow pads and they clean up the mess and they will prevent an epidemic of flies that we usually get once a year.
However, anyone here who has a coffee machine that produces these little turd like, brown objects that you find every time you want a cup of coffee you can’t make one because this thing has to be emptied. Well, what about we import a dung beetle that likes coffee and it can just eat those things and we’ll never have to empty the coffee machine again. There’s a fortune out there for a lateral thinking person.
Now, I want to draw your attention not to the subject of dung beetles or coffee machines but to my lovely wife, Jenny Manners, who is a co-director at Mannkal, along with some other wonderful people. Don’t leave tonight without having a few words and getting to know Jenny. She has had a history of 15 years as a school teacher and then 23 years as a minder for me helping me overcome my inferiority complex and all these other problems that I’ve always had. Just meet Jenny and those of who I haven’t spoken to tonight seek us out, say hello and give us your news tonight because we are very concerned about your ongoing process. You’ve contributed a lot to the richness of our lives and we want to keep in touch.