To all my friends in Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Africa I wish to let you know that I have now stopped regular work with CCES after nine years.
As most of you are aware I spent 33 years working in Australian Customs, starting in Adelaide and moving to Canberra in 1983. There I worked in Investigation, Intelligence, International Branch, Dumping and Passenger Processing. I was also lucky to be seconded to Hong Kong Customs where I worked for just over 2 years for the World Customs Organization establishing the first Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) and receiving recognition for this with a WCO medal and a commendation from the Commissioner for Hong Kong Customs. On my return to Australia I spent a short time in Dumping and was transferred for 3 years to the Washington Embassy as the Senior Customs Attaché. After finishing in Australian Customs I spent two years as Deputy Comptroller of Customs in the Republic of Seychelles, Indian Ocean.
In 2004, following discussions with Mark Harrison and David Widdowson, I commenced work at CCES. This period was probably the most fulfilling in my life. CCES gave me the opportunity to learn and to teach, not just tertiary programs face-to-face and on-line at the University of Canberra, but on the ground throughout the Pacific, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. This I thoroughly enjoyed as I met Customs and Border Officers from many countries and discovered that many of the management and operational problems were similar, no matter what the size of the organisation. In addition, besides teaching, I was lucky enough to review risk management operational activities at the land, sea and air borders in Papua New Guinea and at the sea port of Monrovia in Liberia.
Through the diversity of personal contacts, my nine years in CCES greatly widened my experience and supplemented the years in Australian Customs. The understanding I gained in 20 or more countries proved very useful in training courses where I found I could give practical, realistic solutions to problems raised by participants. I will miss this interaction, but at 71 years of age, it’s time to slow down a little and play a little more golf. However, if you are in Canberra, you may well catch up with me at CCES.
Best of luck to my colleagues at CCES and to all my friends manning the borders throughout the world.
Remember education is lifelong.