David Barnett

 
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After an undistinguished academic career at school, I obtained a clerical position at the Electricity Commission and did Arts part time. After two years, during which period I became totally disillusioned with the public service, I was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship and changed to Arts/Law. Five of my seven years study at Sydney University were part-time but I finished both degrees in 1968 and became a Solicitor in early 1969.

I worked and subsequently became a partner in a medium sized law firm until 1977, when I was offered a corporate law job at Peko-Wallsend Ltd. In due course I became General Counsel and Company Secretary there and only left in 1988, when the company was taken over. During my period at Peko I sat on various mining industry committees and also completed an MBA.

Staying with the mining industry, I then joined Pancontinental Mining Limited in a legal/commercial position. That job lasted until 1991, when that company was taken over too, whereupon I joined Consolidated Press Holdings Limited where, at the time of writing, I remain as General Counsel.

I married Sue in 1970 and we have four children (lawyer, doctor, advertising person and final year school student). We live at Balmoral with one of our children, and others coming and going.

In my 30ís and 40ís I became very interested in fitness and regularly competed in marathons, triathlons and long distance swimming events. Of recent years I have encountered some joint problems but still swim about a kilometre a day, nine or ten months of the year and do other exercise too. In part this is because, somewhat incongruously, I eat and drink too much. I am also interested in politics, reading and sport.

I have been most interested to read the diverse activities and attitudes of many of our brethren. I was very keen on rugby league at school (but not now) and then found it hard to find others of a like interest (Angelo Jones was one). However, we now have Lindsay Black and, even more surprisingly, Leo Radom, as rugby league supporters. Also, although we are both lawyers, Bruce Donald and I seem to have addressed many of life issues quite differently and for clients with opposing interests. For example, I have yet to see the "obviousness of feminism" and prefer Larry McMurtry to Germaine Greer. After doing so for more than ten years, I am also readily accepting of "doing the bidding" of Kerry Packer.

My father, the redoubtable "Basher" Barnett, is still with us and sends his best wishes.