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John Hill


Tutoring in: Economics
 
After growing up on a farm in country Victoria, John moved to Melbourne and gained a BSc and Dip Ed from the University of Melbourne. He became a science teacher for a couple of years before joining the fledgling computer industry with IBM. Although he was very successful in several multinational computer companies, John was sometimes disaffected by the hierarchical work practices of these large companies. Eventually, he decided to form his own software venture so he could create a different type of company, one which recognised employee individualism and nurtured innovation. Apparel 21 employs about sixty people and specialises in providing software and services for the fashion industry. After the business became well established, John allocated 40% of  the company to the staff so that they could share in the its success. 
 
Last year, the company was purchased by a large Canadian public company, the staff/shareholders were paid their share and kept their jobs.  After thirty-three years, John retired but all the other managers remain with the company which continues to be successful.
 
John has had a long- term interest in economic change and nowadays, spends much of his time gardening - as a volunteer at Burnley Gardens, in his backyard greenhouse in  Richmond and, for three days a week at  his large vegetable garden in Castlemaine.  His concern about climate change led him to invest in a Tesla electric car so that his travels between the gardens are powered largely by solar panels on his two houses.  He lives with his wife Christina (also a tutor at U3A) and two Dachshunds.
 
He is also very interested in politics, film and renewable energy.