Richard has known Jim McDonald for a number of years having built a relationship with him throughout the process of building Arete Executive while Jim moved through a number of different board positions. Jim has played an integral role and been at the forefront of driving the oil and gas industry within Australia for many years, and when the pair sat down for Arete podcast the pair shared an insightful conversation about Jim’s life and career. Jim is currently the Director of IntelliGas Group Inc in unlisted company which specialises in gas technology and has a number of significant patents for high pressure engine gas.
After a stint working within his family’s retail business as a young man, Jim ventured into the oil and gas industry, spending the majority of his early career with Esso Australia Limited, after joining the company in the 1970s. In 1994, Jim joined AGL first as Managing Director at the Eastern Australian Pipeline Operations and then as Foundations CEO and Managing Director of APA Australia. In 2005, Jim left his executive career to move into a portfolio career and has been an active Company Director and Chairman of organisations such as Hastings Funds Management Limited , Pearlstreet Limited; Director and Chairman of WDS Limited and Chairman of Energy Pipelines CRC. Jim is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Jim was born in Traralgan in country Victoria in 1940 and was raised as one of four children after his older brother died in infancy. His father was the local barber and his mother ran a tobacconist and gift shop at the front of her husband’s store. The influence his parents and his early family life had on Jim is central to his conversation with Richard on the podcast; he describes growing up in post-war Australia and being schooled by the Josephite Nuns and later, by the Marist Brothers, as a wonderful time. In his final year of school Jim was planning to study medicine but decided to become a Catholic priest and entered Corpus Christ College Werribee where he completed two years of training. After deciding not to enter the priesthood, Jim returned to Traralgan to work in the family business before kickstarting his career with a small gas business in the Northern Territory.
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