My name is Chris Edwards and I work as a personal coach and mentor specialising in leadership development and business communication. From my base in Canberra, I provide personal coaching support, including life coaching, to clients throughout Australia and New Zealand.
I’m known for having a strong sense of loyalty, a broad base of life experience and a lot of time for people. I’m passionate about maintaining a healthy work-life balance and I enjoy working with clients who are prepared to put the necessary effort in to achieve their goals.
Born: Waverley, NSW, Australia
Childhood: Sofala District and Blue Mountains (NSW) – Boarding school in Sydney.
Resides: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Occupation: Life Coach, Leadership & Communication Specialist.
My Professional Background in 92 words: Entertainment – Movie News Magazine, Sydney Opera House, John Denver, Evil Knievel, The Two Ronnies, Peter Frampton, Shirley MacLaine, et al. Annual Report Designer – Commonwealth Bank, Reserve Bank, AMP, Amoco, Wormald, BP etc. Art Director Copywriter – Arnott’s Snack Foods, Ansett Air Freight, McDonalds, TAB, Bacardi, Microsoft, Canon, Castrol, etc. Creative Director & Advertising Campaign Strategist – Fiatagri, Volvo Australia, UD Nissan Diesel, Clarendon Homes, Linde Gas. Hilton Hotels Malaysia, Singapore Mandarin Group, Johore Waterfront City. Work Locations – Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, China. Federal Government and Education Sector – Australian Taxation Office, Australian National University.
Other Roles: Past Vice President NSW Chapter of the Advertising Institute of Australia, Past Australian Delegate Regional Access Asia Pacific, Past Board Chair at Hall Primary School, Founder and Inaugural President of Club VW, Past ANU representative on the Cross Agency Digital Archiving Group, currently Community Director at The Rotary Club of Hall and representative on ATO Small Business Partnership Forum.
What I do: I work one-on-one to help my clients achieve a more productive and enjoyable life. This is achieved by providing consultative support, coaching and guidance, based on principals of good leadership.
It is my firm belief that when any individual chooses to apply principals of effective leadership in their daily lives, the result always leads to improvements in relationships, career opportunities, social development and business growth.
Like a good sports coach, I challenge my clients to set achievable goals – and then I push them to achieve the goals that they have identified. I love to see my clients reach their true potential in all aspects of their lives and I feel it is my responsibility to equally honour their commitment.
Professional Summary: When I was in my last years of high school I worked weekends as a custodian at the Norman Lindsay Gallery. I used to sit there reading Norman’s old books and admiring his artwork. My teenage ideal of a dream career was greatly influenced by his life and work, and I found myself considering a lifetime of life drawing, painting and illustrating books.
When I finished school, I did do some life drawing and a few illustrations but the need for a regular income led me to seek a ‘real job’ as a trainee graphic designer (back in the day, when graphic design was a craft involving pencils and paint!).
Throughout the many projects I worked on in the decades since, a common thread has always been my fascination in the art of communication. At first it was visual communication, painting, photography and design, then the written word in combination with colour, sound and movement.
I gained many years experience producing print, TV and radio commercials for internationally known brands, and in 1994 also became heavily involved in commercial web development.
When I began to shift my focus from mass-communication to inter-personal communication, I was pleased to discover that I got ‘better-than-average’ results as a leadership coach. I loved it and soon found that my broad experience in advertising and media made my particular set of skills and experience very attractive to business owners.
At the heart of it all is my love of creativity and those whom I refer to as ‘genuine people’.
Education: Both my parents were school teachers, so my formal education started far too early. When I was four I went for a sleepover at my friend’s place and got into an argument over the sodium chloride, (my friend thought it was called ‘salt’!).
My father thought it was very funny to teach me the scientific names for everything but not the common names, so we had arthropods in the garden, we put sucrose on our corn flakes and we had a pet Melopsittacus Undulatus that talked a lot. One of the things he was fond of saying was, “Hi, I’m Herbie, Melopsittacus Undulatus”.
In many ways it was a confusing upbringing and to top it off my parents thought I was a bit of a ‘mummy’s boy’, so after explaining this to me, they promptly shipped me off to boarding school at the age of eight so that I’d ‘man up’. I did most of my schooling at Sydney Grammar School, where my family had some history, and my final two years at Blue Mountains Grammar.
Tertiary studies: Advanced Advertising Management at UTS, Illustration at Randwick TAFE, Panel-beating at Granville TAFE, Blacksmithing at Mudgee TAFE, a Diploma of Management at Wisdom Learning, Leadership Coaching at Integrity and Values. I also did courses in Life Coaching, an IT Diploma whilst at ANU and a number of courses such as Train the Trainer and Production Management etc. Along the way I’ve also been involved with numerous conferences, workshops and courses as a presenter, trainer, organiser, attendee.. (Blah blah blah!)
I consider my most valuable education has come from personal experiences obtained over decades at the school of hard knocks in roles such as father, stepfather, brother, son, friend, employee, business owner, employer, consultant, coach and mentor.
Other interests: I love innovation, film, art, photography, theatre, travel and adventure. I love the outdoors, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and I like to start the day with some exercise, be it walking the dog or going for a jog. I’m also fascinated by interesting old junk, vintage cars, ancient ruins, old machinery and the age of steam.
- I was packed off to boarding school at the age eight – and loved it.
- My best friend at boarding school, Tony Wilkinson, died in a tractor accident when we were 11.
- I missed the train on the morning of the Granville Rail Disaster through a random decision to visit my grandparents the night before, otherwise I’d have been sitting in the non-smoking section of carriage three. I knew two people who didn’t come home that day.
When I was 21, and still invincible, I volunteered to act as co-pilot in a home built aircraft test flights (I survived 13 take offs and landings).
- I was married for 21 years and had three children (now adults) and I’m a step-dad to three more.
- I have completed the annual Sydney City2Surf Fun Run every year since 1971 and am known as the youngest of ‘The City2Surf Legends’.
- My great Great, Great Grandfather Harry Edwards was shot in the head at Gallipoli on June 20, 1915 and was evacuated by hospital ship to Malta, arriving with the Turkish bullet still lodged in his skull. Fortunately he survived, because without his fortitude and resilience I wouldn’t be here today.