Nick was born in 1975. His early family life had a profound influence on him. Nick’s mother, Linda, raised him and his brother. Making ends meet was a constant theme for much of his childhood, as his mum turned her hand to community and warehouse work to raise her two young children.
It was at home where Nick’s passion for politics began. That's where family decisions with his mum and brother were made. As renters, they moved frequently. Nick experienced life right across communities. He learnt early-on how to embrace change. He knew how to seek common-ground, and influence positive outcomes. His mother's resilience and hard-work ethic were his role model.
Nick’s determination to find solutions to his family's daily challenges extended beyond the front door. At school he was elected to represent his peers on school council. The opportunity to be part of positive change inspired Nick to get involved in broader activism.
In 1991 he joined the Liberal Party. Nick’s core beliefs are liberal ones. He believes in freedom of thought, worship and choice; in families fostering values and respect; and in democracy that champions the rights of the individual, individual responsibility, and incentivises reward for effort.
While studying at University Nick became the first ever candidate to be elected to the student council as a Liberal. He also became the youngest local government candidate ever to stand in the Shire of Eltham when he ran for office aged 18 years.
Nick completed his University degree and majored in development studies. During these years Nick worked for a number of federal and state members of parliament before gaining a permanent position as a policy adviser in Premier Kennett’s office aged 20 years.
In 1997, Nick embarked on a new chapter, traveling to London, where he worked as a contract writer and media adviser to Westminster City Council, and worked for advocacy-based bodies including the Disability Rights Commission and National Consumer Council. Nick also volunteered with, and completed a paper for, UNICEF UK Committee on the use of child soldiers.
His experiences provided him with valuable insights and empathy in advocating on behalf of people with a disability, as well as those less educated, enumerate or illiterate.
Inspired by his time in London, Nick joined Australian Volunteers International with a posting in Thailand. Here he worked with people across south-east Asia to advance respect for human rights and encourage community involvement in nascent democracies.
In 2001 Nick joined the United Nations for the first time in what became a longstanding and treasured partnership in humanitarian, public affairs, and public policy work. He first consulted on development planning and communications in the Republic of Congo with the United Nations Development Programme.
Nick was later stationed in war-torn 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 recognised and awarded for his work during the early stages of the peace process in Burundi by the Commanding Officer of the South African Defence Force Detachment.
Nick later formed part of a rapid humanitarian response team dispatched into a war-ravaged Liberia, after president Charles Taylor fled, and the country descended into lawlessness.
Nick’s experiences of focusing international attention 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, and with compassion.
Nick was also fortunate to spend time with the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, accepting an opportunity to assist that country transition to a new constitution, before joining a small team to help re-establish the UN’s entire Iraqi operation in Cyprus (later Jordan) after the UN had evacuated from Baghdad.
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.
As a Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff, Nick aided the Special Representative in the running of a Mission that concluded the Arusha peace agreement, continued to demobilised rebels - including child soldiers, and conducted free and fair elections for the first time in a decade.
During this period, Nick honed his skills of diplomacy and understanding.
In late 2005, Nick returned to Australia determined to be part of an effort to achieve a strong democracy for all Australians. For two years he worked for the then Victorian opposition leader Ted Baillieu, as his media director. After the 2006 State Election, Nick’s entrepreneurial spirit motivated him to start his own business.
In the proceedings years, Nick worked for the Australian Red Cross (Blood Bank) and served the UN again, this time at its headquarters in New York with the Bureau for Development Policy. The Bureau was responsible for giving specialist policy advice on poverty reduction, democratic governance, the environment, gender, and HIV/AIDS.
From 2011 until March 2013 Nick worked for the Victorian State Government, later resigning to devote himself to campaign as a Liberal Party candidate in Australia's 2013 federal election.
Nick and his team achieved a 9 percent swing away from the incumbent and drew 8.02 percent toward the Liberal Party. Nick won the ballot on primary votes receiving 38,422 votes compared to Labor'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 Minister Scott Morrison to the Refugee Review Tribunal and Migration Review Tribunal. In mid-2015 these tribunals merged with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Nick and his family live on Sydney's Northern beaches. Nick is actively involved in his local community, including the local surf club, state school, and community-based advocacy group with local residents and friends.