JULY 2010

THE school of life is often spoken about as the real passage to achieving brilliant feats in business. The school of hard knocks, where lessons are learned at the coalface speaks volumes.

By no means am I trouncing the importance of a university education. I wouldn’t be sitting here bashing away at this keyboard were it not for the odd tenacious lecturer who faithfully honed in on a few deeply buried talents I exuded as a student.

But there’s something spirited and refreshingly raucous in those characters that are carved from the culture of the old school, where a hand shake is as good as thy word. They are a dying breed. In fact, the subject of our cover story was almost such a statistic had the will to survive not been so vehement after a horrific helicopter crash that almost claimed his life.

Veracious as the day is blue, CuDeco chairman Wayne McCrae is somewhat of an enigma in corporate Australia. Part Renaissance man, part cowboy styled from the Wild West, his story is one that inspires some and troubles others.

This month, a significant milestone will be clinched when resource updates are announced on CuDeco’s Rocklands project in north Queensland. For McCrae and the company’s 8500 shareholders – 1000 of whom have become millionaires on the back of the company’s shares – it’s another step closer to the grand plan.

McCrae will steer the cap $650 million copper miner into the next phase the same way he always has – without taking a backward step. In this issue, he speaks candidly of his vision and the mountainous challenges he has overcome along the way.

On a smaller scale, the virtue of hard work and patience has also proved a successful strategy for listed medical technology company Medigard. Seeking to raise around $10 million after signing a manufacturing and distribution deal for its innovative blood collection device (BCD) in the US, the company is finally on the verge of commercialisation.

From medical device, to medical advice, health tourism is bracing to become a $100 billion global industry by 2012. Its prospects in Australia however could be hindered by misconceptions. A medical tourism agency has called for mutual respect from local health practitioners as ‘misconceptions and slander’ present major challenges for the industry in Australia.

This month’s young entrepreneur profile also has international connotation. It’s the story about two 20-something entrepreneurs who turned a $100,000 loan into a multi million dollar learning concept.

After a few tough start-up years, the brother-sister entrepreneurial act of Richard and Niesha Brown is now recognised by Britain’s Language Travel Magazine as one of the top five quality English language schools in the Southern Hemisphere.

If all that seems too arduous to absorb in one sitting, pack your bags and head to Bali for inspiration, sunshine and crystal blue waves – the location enforced by the owners of this prestigious publication upon the editor for a recent assignment.

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