SDDC The Backstory

The Backstory

UQ Student Life (1991 to 1994)
Prior to Semper, he was an ordinary undergraduate student by day, and the internet hadn’t been popularly released so Stephen tended to sleep at night.

1994: Semper Floreat.

Stephen was elected to the office of Editor of the student union newspaper of the University of Queensland. For one year, he ran Semper with David “Davo” Bolton. For half a year, there was another editor, but nobody remembers much about him, which is a shame, because he was there, and he did contribute to Semper. His name is Cameron Ward, and he was a valued member of the Timelords team, even if he and Stephen did part on the ugliest of internal office memo exchanges. Which, in fairness, I definitely didn’t start, but I definitely did finish.

At Semper, Stephen’s tasks included editing, writing, layout, design, herding cats, throwing parties, layout, stocking the nerf rifles, recruiting writers, layout, graphics design, writing and making the magic happen. Turns out somebody was quite good at making the magic happen (and he did do a lot of layout)

The Griffith Era (1995 to 2002)

Beginning a new life as a commerce student in 1995, Stephen left the heady lowlife of UQ student politics and promptly failed to become anonymous. After blitzmode studying his way through to a First Class Honours in Commerce, setting the School’s record for being the first full time first class Honours student they’d produced, he then went on to have four coauthored journal articles published. This flurry of journal activity was before the widespread availability of broadband internet access.

Whilst at Griffith, Stephen completed a PhD in 2 and half years (or 18 months if you count the time from “This is the topic” to “Here’s the thesis. I’m gonna go take a nap”). At the conclusion of his thesis, Stephen created three trial adverts for the use of Princess Diana’s image as a seat belt endorser. One thing led to another, and Stephen found himself in London, on the one year anniversary of Diana’s death, presenting to a crowd of Diana-philes on how her death could be used for advertising purposes. In a Harry Potteresque turn of events, Stephen became the boy who lived, and this sort of thing set the tone for the rest of his career.

Whilst holed up in the Forest City of Nathan Campus, Stephen was a lecturer who specialised in generality, and who could (and did) teach E-marketing, Consumer Behaviour, Advertising, Services Marketing, and Social Marketing. Although he applied to teach Introduction to Marketing one year, he was refused the grounds that “He would mould them and shape them in his own image”. Stephen felt this was such a good line, he reapplied for the class the following year using the very same words.

During that time, he authored three books, a few conference papers and 50 music tracks. He also custom designed and built a reputation as the hardest bastard in the Commerce faculty for his policy on late assignments, extension and the requisite necessity to actually produce death certificates of deceased relatives when claiming special consideration. It didn’t hurt that he showed up in a Friday night lecture after having broken his hand on the Thursday night – and proceeded to deliver the lecture whilst the cast on his hand was still setting.

The OH&S was terrible, but the optics were spectacular.

The Sparten Chronicles (2002 to 2005ish)
Stephen was lured out of the forests of Griffith University by the promise of caffeine, money and all the trouble he could make in the private sector. To hide his secret identity, he was appointed Senior Consultant in Research and Development for the Australia-based sports sponsorship ratings agency Sparten. At Sparten, Stephen revised his role as miracle maker for hire, once more thrust into the unstable and highly fun world of short deadlines and long lead time projects, he continued to “make the magic happen” by producing more quality and quantity than should be possibly without the use of a time machine. He denies having a time machine, just a good working understanding of time compression, and a beta copy of Winzip for Temporal Fluxes.

During this sojourn into industry, he called the entire of the marketing academy who cared about journal ranks (that would be all the senior ones) the “biggest pack of rankers” he’d ever seen, and followed this stunning level of tact by telling a few too many industry truths at a special session where he represented the voice of young academics (whilst safely having an industry job that didn’t have a Dean or Head of School).

This was not the career ending blaze of glory he was expecting.

QUT Work (2005)
QUT demonstrated that the cabal of Marketing Academics Who $teve’s REALLY Ticked off wasn’t as widespread as first believed. Captain Career Limiting Move temporarily found a new home. Whilst working for QUT, Stephen wrote one book adaptation, one new book, nine conference papers and played a lot of online games.

As part of a trade agreement with the private sector, Stephen returned to the academic industry where he promised to only use his powers for good. Nobody actually defined the parameter “good” and he was left to himself with an office, a computer and year’s supply of the Internet. An opportunist by nature, and a fast twitch curiosity leads him to chasing numerous research projects down blind alleys. With the patience of a cat and the subtly of carpet bombing, Stephen will assault a topic area, blaze away at it, and then wander off to pursue a new idea.

This attempt at world domination via the medium of conference papers came to an abrupt end when the Australian National University did the unthinkable and lured Stephen from the warmth of Brisbane to the depths of Canberra

The Australian National University (2006 to the here and now)
Canberra. Toowoomba with the national capital as it was aptly described. A place that was designed to sit between Sydney and Melbourne as a lesson in why compromising on important issues leads to bad outcomes. Apart from the odd minor outburst about living in a country town, most notably when trying to buy supplies or sophisticated electronics, Stephen adapted to Canberra reasonably well.

He did not, and has not, adapted to the cold.

Canberra, on the other hand, is still getting used to him.