Ray Weekes, CEO in Residence QUT Business School & Chairman CEO Institute of Queensland

Ray Weekes – CEO in Residence QUT Business School – on Taking Time to Reflect, the Power of Education and Why You Can Never be too Optimistic.

Ray Weekes is currently an Adjunct Professor and the CEO in Residence of Queensland University of Technology Business School. He is Chairman of the CEO Institute of Queensland and a director and advisor of various organisations within both the community and commercial and academic sectors. Ray is the former Managing Director of Castlemaine Perkins and former CEO of major, multinational company Rothmans Holdings Limited. Ray has also previously been a member of the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation Board and is a member of the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame Governing Committee.

Ray is dynamic and highly engaging, someone who I was really excited to host on the Arete podcast. He was open and genuine throughout our conversation and was all too happy to reflect on his career, sharing his insights and accomplishments with honesty and humility. I’ve known Ray for a long time and he’s been a tremendous friend and mentor not only to me but to Arete Executive. It was a welcome opportunity to return the favour by giving Ray the space to share his fascinating story. Ray is a great example of someone who has used his success as a platform to give back, by mentoring young CEOs and senior executives emerging through the ranks; as well as showcasing the achievements of those who have walked the path before him.

Born in Sydney’s Bondi, Ray started boarding school at just four years of age and later attended Canterbury Boys’ High School before completing a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting at the University of New South Wales. After university adventure beckoned and  a young Ray travelled extensively through Europe in a Volkswagen van. He spent a significant time in Canada before returning to Australia to become a chartered accountant, and complete post graduate courses in business administration and education.

Ray was raised by his Mother in a single parent household on a modest income. Ray’s Mother was a senior executive at a time when it was unusual for women to hold top-tier positions. She taught Ray the power of education, and instilled him with an understanding of the opportunity for financial security and independence a career in business presented. They are values which still ring true, inspiring Ray’s role as Chairman of QUT’s Learning Potential Fund – a scholarship which provides assistance for financially disadvantaged students to help them achieve their academic goals. Ray can count many milestones along his long and diverse career, but cites being married to wife Penny for 46 years as one of his greatest achievements.

Ray is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Management, and is also a member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.

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