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About The Editor, John Snelson – Chief Photographer and Writer

Things aren’t always as they may appear to be, are they ?

John Snelson, that’s me – here it is – my first job at 18 years old was with The Ministry of Defence at The Royal Ordinance Factory in Patricroft where I qualified as a professional Chartered Management Accountant. After nearly 6 years with the MoD as an Executive Officer, aged 25 I moved to London to be part of the emerging computer industry and took a position as a Systems Analyst and programmer with ICL (International Computers Limited) in London.

After 3 years with ICL, I worked for Comalco / Rio Tinto and then in 1979, with 15 years experience in information systems, industrial environments and management accounting, I joined Ernst & Whinney (E&W)’s consulting business as a Senior Consultant. I was invited into the Partnerhip in 1984, appointed National Director of the Performance Improvement Division, becoming Managing Partner of the office Management Consulting practice before the merger with Arthur Young.

I worked for most my career at E&W with blue-chip companies, such as Bank of America, Cadbury Schweppes, Coca-Cola, Readers’ Digest and Time Warner.

As Government’s progessivily strove to make their utilities and services more business-like and accountable, I played a role in financial and strategic aspects of the development of State Owned Corporations on various countries and jurisdictions and the commercialisation, corporatisation and privatisation programs in rail, gas, electricity transmission and distribution, telecommunications, postal services, environment and planning, land management, ferries, water catchment, processing and distribution, mines and grain handling.

The merger with  Arthur Young & Co in 1989 created opportunities with the new Ernst & Young. I managed the Performance Improvement Division as the business lurched towards a more IT focused enterprise away from traditional consulting.  I was asked to lead the Manufacturing arm of the consulting division before taking on the Oracle service line responsibilities. “Such is life” as Ned Kelly is supposed to have commented on the scaffold.

EY Management Consulting was sold to the international consulting colossus, Cap Gemini in May 2000 and rather than going with the sale like lambs to the slaughter like the other professionals I decided to retire and recommenced the following Monday as a contractor with the grand title of Ernst & Young Executive Consultant, and so I remained in full employment for the next 7 years until finally retiring altogether in 2007 at the completion of the assignment in India.

This was one of the best decisions I have ever made – and I was so glad that I had another life of 7 years making a contribution with EY.  It worked so well for both of us – and I ended up carrying out some really interesting and valuable assignments for the clients, for EY and for myself.

In 2001 – 2002 I worked as a special consultant with EY on the privatisation of FreightCorp, a freight rail business.

Overseas, in 2002, I provided the financial input into an assignment as Accounting Team Leader on a special project for The Asian Development Bank as special advisor on the costing and pricing of Community Service Obligations.

For three years (2003 – 2005) I was apponted Chief Executive of a charity, following a lead from a senior EY partner.

I worked in New Delhi, India leading a team for the World Bank as Project Director Accounting Reforms (Indian Railways) from 2006-2007. The engagement was managed by EY India – the firm formed an international team with consultants drawn from France, the UK, Australia and India.

Meanwhile, as a private initiative, in 2001, I conceived the idea of opening a new bank in my community and led the team behind the establishment of a local Community Bank. I chaired the steering and development committees I am still the incorporated company’s #1 shareholder. I was the first Chairman of the franchise owner which operates two branches of the bank. I chaired the Company’s first meeting in 2003 but stood down so as to take on my consulting responsibilities overseas.

I remained a member of the Board as Finance Director for many years to ensure the path to profitability matched my original vision for the Community Bank.

I have been involved at a Board level or as the Director, Convenor, Designer or Co-ordinator with the following entities …

  • Director – Southern Cross Connect Pty Limited (Internet Service Provider);
  • Director – Southern Cross Genealogy (Family History Services);
  • Instigator, Designer – LIOBIANS Websites and Chat Groups
  • Inaugural President – The Rotary Club of Darling Harbour
  • Director – The ClaimRoom Pty Limited (Online Dispute Resolution);
  • Councillor – The Society of Genealogists (Historical Society);
  • Founder and Convenor – The Dead Persons Sociaty
  • Director – Traction Management Services Pty Limited,
  • Director – The Royal Exchange (Private Business Club);
  • Chairman – KFSL (Community Bank);
  • Chairman – 2HHHfm 100.1 and 2NSBfm 99.3 Radio Stations;
  • Vice President – Hornsby & Ku-ring-gai Rural Fire Service Communications Brigade;and …

more recently as …

On Tuesday 2nd October, 2007 I was presented with the National Community Award by The Minister for Defence on behalf of the Prime Minister, being a Certificate of Appreciation “for outstanding service, contribution and dedication to the community”.

In 2011, I launched Get Shot Magazine – to give aspiring journalists an outlet for their work, returning nostalgically to those heady days when he was a Member of The Cavern Club ’61-’63, where I saw The Beatles perform more than 50 or so times when they were just a great covers band, in the days of Pete Best, long before Ringo, Brian Epstein, before they ever wrote a song or made a record. Magic days indeed.

Liverpool Institute High School - March 1960

Liverpool Institute High School – March 1960

Here’s Paul, George and er, me – I am sitting on the end, 2nd row up on the left as you look at the image. McCartney is unmistakable, standing up towards the back on the right of the photo, as is George Harrison. Can you spot them ?

I often queued up for an all-night session outside the Cavern in Mathew Street, see below. That looks like me in the duffle coat, winkle pickers, drainpipes and scruffy haircut. Oh yeah, oh yeah, they all look like that don’t they.

You won’t be surprised but you may be pleased to learn that I am still the one in some old, rather shabby coat, with the Che Guevara badge or Lakeland Green anorak from Muskoka, possibly Converse sneekers, old jeans and rather unkempt haircut. Things haven’t changed too much – apart from the addition of the inevitable Leica and Nikon cameras bulging from the pockets and inside the jacket.

Cavern Club - Mathew Street Liverpool - Queue for The Beatles All Night Session 1962 Photo by Astrid Kirschner

Cavern Club – Mathew Street Liverpool – Queue for The Beatles All Night Session 1962 Photo by Astrid Kirschner

In 2013, I was enticed to start a radio program, Get Shot Radio, to complement Get Shot Magazine.

In my spare time, I took up genealogy as a hobby in 1970, and have been looking in vain for treasure, nobility, deeds of daring, adventure, achievement, fortune and royalty in his lineage but alas have only found a family of bogans, derros, \ agricultural labourers and rustic clods. I compiled and maintain the global Snelson DataBase & Index.

Professional Qualifications:-

  • FCMA Fellow Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
  • CGMA Chartered Global Management Accountant
  • CPA Member Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants

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