Former civilian peacekeeper, Advocate, opinion writer, volunteer surf lifesaver.
Nick has experienced life right across global communities. He learnt early-on how to embrace change. He knew how to seek common-ground, and influence positive outcomes. His single-mother's resilience and hard-work ethic were his role model.
At school Nick was elected to represent his peers on council. The opportunity to be part of positive change inspired Nick to get involved in broader activism.
While studying at University Nick became the first elected to the student council from his party. He also became the youngest local government candidate ever to stand in his shire.
Nick completed his University degree and majored in development studies. During these early years Nick worked for a number of federal and state members of parliament, including as a policy and political advisor to the state governor. In 1997, Nick moved to London, where he worked as a writer and media adviser to Westminster City Council, and provided advice to advocacy-based bodies including the Disability Rights Commission and National Consumer Council.
His professional experiences have provided him with valuable insights and empathy in advocating on behalf of people from all backgrounds.
In 1999, Nick spent a year as a volunteer, joining Australian Volunteers International with a posting in Thailand, working across south-east Asia.
Later Nick teamed up with the United Nations in 2001 in the Republic of Congo serving the UN Development Programme. After his time in Congo Nick accepted a posting in Burundi with the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs. This was the first of a number of missions in Burundi: a country in transition between war and peace. Nick was awarded for this work with a commendation from the South African Defence Force Detachment Commanding Officer.
Nick went on to serve as part of a humanitarian response team dispatched into a war-ravaged Liberia.
Nick’s experiences of encouraging international understanding and common ground on areas of disagreement have provided him with a rare and valuable skill in negotiating between conflicted and often competing parties. His on-the-ground work has honed his ability to assess what is really needed and respond quickly, with compassion and humanity.
Nick was also fortunate to spend time in Afghanistan with the UN NATO-led mission. In his last field assignment with the UN, Nick served as a civilian peacekeeper working directly for the Secretary General’s Special Representative in Burundi. Throughout this period, Nick honed his skills of diplomacy and understanding.
In late 2005, Nick returned to his native Australia, determined to be part of an effort to achieve a strong state and federal governments. For two years he worked for the Victorian opposition as his media director and press secretary.
From 2011 until March 2013 Nick worked for the Victorian State Government, later devoting himself to campaign as a candidate in Australia's 2013 federal election. Nick won the ballot on primary votes receiving 38,422 votes compared to the incumbent's 34,813. Under Australia's electoral system the incumbent parliamentarian was returned after the distribution of Sex Party and Green Party preferences in her favour.
In 2014, Nick was appointed by the Australian Government to serve the Refugee Review Tribunal and Migration Review Tribunal.