With a business degree from Newcastle University in hand, Isaac headed for Canberra and spent a decade working for the Australian Government. He started his professional career as a Graduate at the Department of Defence before moving into politics where he rose through the staffer ranks to take on senior manager roles including Principal Private Secretary and Chief of Staff. Following multiple changes of Ministers and Prime Ministers, Isaac decided to take a break from politics and the cold Canberra weather, and returned to Newcastle to start caduceus pr – a public and government relations firm. Isaac is an aspiring writer, an ancient history enthusiast, a novice strongman and a wishful musician.
1. Where do you see your industry heading and how have you positioned yourself to benefit from these changes?
Pericles said “just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you” and it is true to this day. All three levels of government have a major impact on business and our lives, and people shouldn’t just sit back and let government happen to them.
People are quite rightly becoming frustrated with politics and politicians. This dissatisfaction is playing out in the rise of minor parties and independents creating chaos and disfunction in our parliaments. But, it’s not all doom and gloom.
The whole point of democracy is for people to get involved, question their representatives and influence outcomes. That’s why I started caduceus pr to help businesses and individuals shape their messages, reach their audiences and encourage change so they can attain advantage. caduceus pr can make sure your message is heard in Canberra, Sydney and our local council chambers. We can help you stay informed and ahead of your competitors, and assist you in navigating the minefield of public policy and public relations.
2. What motivates and drives you?
I’ve always been driven by a desire to help people – that’s why I joined the public service and got into politics. I know it sounds very cliché to say, and there is no doubt an element of personal ambition in everything we do, but I thought I could help make a difference in people’s lives. While there are some people in politics who are genuine and selfless, there’s a growing number who are the opposite which is depressingly why I decided to get out of Canberra for a while, and to use my skills and experience in other ways to help people get ahead. Whether that is by helping them learn a new skill like public speaking, training them for media appearances or helping them get their business on a more stable footing, I’d love to be involved.
3. Where would you like to be in 10 years?
I would like to have a strong and successful business which is helping people achieve their goals. I’d love to have published a couple of novels and maybe a screenplay or two. I hope to have competed in a couple of amateur strongman competitions and maybe finally have learnt more than three songs on the piano. I also love to be spending more time travelling and learning about other cultures, including ancient Rome and Greece.
4. How do you define success?
Success to me is ticking items off my to-do list. Whether they are small jobs like remembering to pay a bill on time or large goals like helping a client secure a grant or affect change in legislation after months of trying, I see that as success. When you look for wins in even the most mundane tasks you can always find something to be positive about. I think we often try to live out Queen’s mantra “I want it all and I want it now” which can make ourselves depressed because it never seems to come. So, my philosophy is to celebrate each milestone on the road to SUCCESS as its own individual success.
5. What advice would you give to someone five years younger than you, in any industry, to help them achieve success?
Set goals – short, medium and long-term – from the mundane to the aspirational. The aspirational will give you purpose and drive, while the mundane will help you feel a sense of achievement along what might be a long road to achieving your long-term goals. When you know the outcome you want to achieve, it helps clarify and put everything into perspective which will help you manage your time and focus your energy.