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Four Great Leaders who Inspired Murray House

Sunset Field

Murray House is the facility where we teach leadership development on our Perth campus. Each of the four classrooms is named after a great integral leader. A little background on each of these fantastic leaders is provided below:

The late Ray Anderson lived from 1934 to 2011. He founded one of the largest carpet manufacturers in the world. He graduated from college in 1956 and spent the next 14 years learning the floor covering business at two major US companies. He founded Interface, Incorporated, in 1973, and turned it into the giant that it would become. That alone would qualify Anderson as a great leader, but it was what he did later in life that would define his legacy.

Anderson dedicated the last 17 years of his life to what he called “Mission Zero.” Mission Zero’s goal was to totally eliminate his company’s negative impact on the environment by 2020. He also created the not-for-profit Ray C. Anderson Foundation whose purpose was to fund projects with innovative approaches to sustainability.

Ray Anderson, simply stated, was a giant, both in industry and for environmental causes. He is sorely missed–but his mission lives on.

John Flynn lived from 1880 to 1951. He was a Minister who founded the Royal Australian Flying Doctor Service and the Australian Island Mission. Flynn was a great man who was far ahead of his time, in his vision for using what was then new technology in novel ways.

While the rest of the world saw the use of the newest radio and aircraft technology mainly for war, Flynn saw both as an opportunity to provide acute medical service to those in need. Flynn and Australian pilot Clifford Peel formulated a plan and published it in the Presbyterian Church magazine.

Flynn then raised the funds to purchase aeroplanes and medical equipment. In 1928, his first medical flight took place, taking off from Cloncurry, Queensland. By 1934, Flynn’s talent, energy and leadership resulted in the formation of the Australian Aerial Medical Service. Flynn would lead the organisation and raise funds to keep it operational.

In 1939, Flynn was named Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia. You may recognise his name from being featured on the rear side of the current $20 note. We recognise him for being a leader and a visionary.

Suu Kyi, born in 1945, is an international symbol of democratic freedom and the struggle of all oppressed people to obtain freedom. Her father, Aung San, was a national hero in Burma. Kyi’s mother, Khin Kyi, would be named Ambassador to India and Nepal, and Suu Kyi followed her mother to India. She eventually studied in London and the US before returning to Burma in 1988.

On 8 August, 1988, (8-8-88), mass demonstrations erupted across Burma in favour of democracy and were met with violence. On the 26 of that month, Kyi spoke in front of an estimated 500,000 people at a rally in the capital, but a military junta assumed power in September. Kyi helped create Burma’s National League for Democracy in September and became its Chairperson and General Secretary.

In less than a year, however, she was placed under house arrest. Kyi went on to spend a total of 15 of the next 21 years under house arrest. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and was finally freed from house arrest in 2008. She was finally able to give her Nobel Prize acceptance speech until 2012.

The late Banjo Paterson lived from 1864 to 1941. He will always be immortal in Australian history for writing “Waltzing Matilda.” Paterson was a poet, a ballad-writer, a war correspondent, a soldier, a horseman, overlander, bushman, and a squatter who was instrumental in creating the Australian legend.

Paterson was educated by a governess and taught in Binalong, at the bush school, as soon as he was able to ride a pony. By age 16, he was afforded the title of “articled clerk” in a legal firm, and he would attain qualified solicitor status in August of 1886.

He started writing poetry under a pseudonym in 1890, and a collection of his works was published in 1895, named after his then most beloved poem, The Man from Snowy River. That book still stands as the collection of Australian Bush Poetry that has sold the most copies, and it is still in print–118 years later.

Paterson would go on to fight valiantly in World War I and appears on the $10 note.

Ron Cacioppe

Ron Cacioppe is the Managing Director of Integral Development and holds a BSc, an MBA and a PhD. He has taught in the Graduate School of Management at Macquarie University, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia.

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