What is the Question – February

February 7, 2021 BY

February’s What is the Question sees Roland chat with Committee for Ballarat CEO Michael Poulton. Photo: SUPPLIED

What is your name?

Michael Poulton.


What is your occupation?

CEO – Committee for Ballarat.


What brought you to Ballarat?

When I was 18, I came from Melbourne to study at, the then, Ballarat College of Advanced Education. Despite a number of ‘times away’ I stayed, and I’m proud to call it home.


What is your favourite spot in the city?

Sitting in the middle of the lake, in a single-scull rowing boat and looking east to mounts Warrenheip and Buninyong, and which is eclipsed, just, by walking, riding, or running, on Mount Buninyong.


What is your earliest memory?

The incredibly welcoming Ballarat people that I met and who made me feel welcome.


What do you like to cook?

An aged Rib Eye steak, rare!


What is the most expensive thing you’ve purchased – property aside?

Our garden – it’s not so much a purchase, though we have spent considerable time and money on its establishment, and includes a natural aquatic eco-system. The frogs, birds and insects love it!


What building would you choose to be?

Federation Square. Energetic, fun, inclusive, bold, and a bit random.


What is your most treasured possession?

My 1972, HQ Holden Ute.


What is the greatest love of your life – apart from friends and family?

Activity, play, sport. It’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I hope always will be.


What would you change if you could edit your past?

To win the 400-metres at the Stawell Athletic Carnival.


What or who inspires you?

Those who give and live HOPE. Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, and Jacinda Ardern, are leaders who have a vision for a more inclusive, forgiving, and tolerant world. Their work has, and will continue, to shape the world we live in, for the better.


What is your favourite holiday destination?

Blairgowrie on the Mornington Peninsular. The contrast between the calm of Port Phillip Bay, and the unpredictability of the ocean, surrounded by amazing beauty, is a wonderful parallel of life.


What music and television do you like?

Too tough to call. As it is in life, I love the diversity of different music and television.


What is your favourite quote?

The Best is yet to be.


What person – living or dead would invite to dinner party?

Nelson Mandela


What technological/scientific development boggles your mind?

The simplicity of renewable energy, and the complexity of being able to maximise its distribution and use.  Come on Australia, we can do better!


What qualities do you admire in other people?

Hope, positivity, compassion, and humility


What was your first job?

Primary school PE Teacher. Based in Daylesford, I taught PE in eight tiny rural schools around the region. Sadly, most no longer exist.


What did you want to be when you were growing-up?

To be in the Navy. I loved boats!


What scares you?

The damage we are doing to our planet.


What historical calamity would you choose to reverse?

The impact of industrialisation and the associated human induced climate change.


What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?

Just how significant parents are in an individual’s development. Hindsight tells me that I am so very, very grateful for the values and behaviours that were instilled in me by my parents.


What is the best parenting advice you could give?

Be open, curious, and humble. Open to all that the world has to offer; remain curious by asking great questions; and be humble enough to know you may well be wrong.


What is your most embarrassing parenting moment?

Getting the names of my daughter’s friends wrong – it continues to be an embarrassment for my daughter!


What is the funniest thing you remember one of your kids saying, or doing?

At a picnic carnival in the handicapped running race, Annie was given a huge head-start as all the other kids were older than her. When the race started, she waited for all the other to get to her then she started to run. She ran last!


What do you think is the most difficult thing about being a parent?

Patience, backing-in the fact that your kids will make their own decisions, and sometimes make mistakes.

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