Barry Silverton

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After leaving North Sydney Boys' in '61, I was captured by our family's Children's Wear manufacturing business, Freidelle, with offices in Sydney and manufacturing plant in Wollongong. The company was then employing around 300 people.

While studying Commerce part-time in 1963, I gained admission to the State University of New York, USA where I undertook specialised study related to the fashion industry for two years. At the same time I worked for a large US manufacturing enterprise. I returned to Australia and rejoined Freidelle and developed the business further, becoming Managing Director in 1972.

In that capacity at Freidelle, I was able to travel extensively both worldwide and locally and this was satisfying from a personal as well as business point of view.

In 1974, via researching and implementing a computerised manufacturing and distribution system for the company, I established an additional part of the company which provided computer services to similar larger manufacturing companies. This was done in association with a US computer company providing the basic developed software which was adapted for Australian use. In 1984, we purchased the US company's share of this venture and I expanded the company further as a computer hardware and software reseller to larger corporate concerns.

My company's name, Computer Applications Pty Ltd, is located in Waterloo and specialising in Hewlett Packard equipment. HP with the prospective merger with Compaq will be the number two computer company worldwide.

On the personal front, in 1972, I married Jane Weiss who lived just around the corner from me in Castlecove. Jane had attended St George Girls High doing the Leaving in 1964, then University of New South Wales and then part time at the Institute of Technology where she completed a four year advertising/marketing diploma while working as an executive in the advertising industry. She continued working in this field until our first child was born in late 1975. She later worked with me at Computer Applications for over ten years, taking care of the marketing for the company. She left her position the year our second child was studying for the HSC in order to "be around".

Jane and I lived in Neutral Bay for our first six years of marriage and moved to Mosman in 1979. We have lived in the same house for 22 years and have only recently gone through the longest 5 months proposed renovation, lasting 20 months. It was only a small renovation but unfortunately we struck the wrong builder who definitely was not a professional. Please don't ask why we renovated instead of moving? Subsequently we cannot give any recommendations regarding builders or architects.

Our first child, Michael, now 25 years of age, graduated from the University of Technology with a Bachelor of Business degree, '95, after completing his HSC at Sydney Grammar School. He is now an Associate Director at Macquarie Bank, working within Corporate Strategy. He lives in Balmain. Our second son, David, also completed his secondary schooling at Sydney Grammar and then completed his Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Sydney in '99. David is working in his second year at KPMG and this year is undertaking the Professional Year study to become a Chartered Accountant (even though he does not want to be an accountant). He is still living at home enjoying the comfort and says he is leaving following the completion of his Professional studies.

So, as life progresses, it changes with parents passing away and the children leaving home. We shall probably soon suffer from the profound "empty nest syndrome" which we are already experiencing to some extent.

I am a member of various clubs and organisations. I play tennis and golf but lately not regularly but I try to be a regular attendee at the local gym and I am looking forward to restarting my weekly swimming regime which was given up in lieu of building problems.

I can categorically say I have no plans to retire…. although sometimes I think it would be quite a nice idea.