Hugh and Jack met while studying at Bond University on the Gold Coast. Hugh studied business, majoring in entrepreneurship. Jack studied law and journalism. While at university, we worked together on organising an on-campus festival called Bondstock. Two of the fifteen events during the festival saw guest speakers Sir James Gobbo AC CVO QC and Andrew Forrest AO present to the students. Much to our embarrassment, we only had 17 and 44 students attend these two events in empty lecture theatres. Even though their speeches were inspiring, we figured there must be a better way share the thoughts and advice of Australians who have made a name for themselves. Enter The Thread.
Why The Thread
A uniquely stifling trait of Australian culture is that our most inspiring personalities avoid analysing their own success. The Thread features an instantly recognisable line-up of luminaries, who have until now avoided scrutiny about what has set them apart from the pack. Honest introspection has typically been reserved for niche public speaking events and even autobiographies are littered with false-humility. As the youngest person to have sailed unassisted non-stop around the world, Jessica Watson, will reveal, “if you ever came across in an interview or in the media as a little bit up yourself, a little bit too keen to talk about yourself, you would be knocked down in a very harsh way.” The wide-reaching ramification of such self-censorship is that everyday Australians are needlessly deprived of sage suggestions for avoiding the pitfalls encountered during the climb to the top.
After toiling away for three years on the list of the Port Adelaide Football Club, Hugh’s promising career as a footballer was cut short by a knee injury. Jack went bush (twice) to have a crack at print journalism - once in Griffith and once in Wagga Wagga - but has since landed a job with the Daily Telegraph. We set out to shatter tall poppy syndrome that has stifled the conversation and find the common thread binding our best and brightest.
Conscious of connecting with as wide an audience as possible, we travel to five states across Australia to interview inspirational people from a broad range of disciplines. Testament to their calibre and influence on the fabric of our society, half of the interview subjects have been awarded Australian of the Year gongs. One regret we have is that, despite best efforts, we weren't able to secure Indigenous trailblazers for the series. Here's to a Season Two though!