Most people in the Clare Valley would know Sam as the owner of SJM, the largest construction company in the mid north of South Australia. He wanted to bail on this interview, not wanting to be in the spotlight, but I’m so glad he went ahead with it as his story is captivating.
A 9 –time award winning company, SJM employs 22 people, working on more than 200 new homes, renovations and commercial projects in the mid north.
Many people would also know Sam after the devastating loss he and his family faced a few years ago when his eldest son Kade passed away.
But this episode is all about Sam. About the struggles in the early days, about the time he walked away from the opportunity to be professional rugby player, and about his passion for sustainable building design.
How did he get to where he is today? We need to go back to the beginning.
Sam’s life began in Melbourne. For 12 years he grew up in Boronia in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges with his mum and 3 younger brothers. His dad left when he was only 8 years old which made him grow up very quickly. His mother worked night shift a lot , which meant he had to step up and cook dinner for the rest of the family and care for his younger disabled brother, Hamish who had cerebral palsy.
Hamish is an inspiration to Sam. You may or may not know, but Hamish is now considered one of Australia most respected Paralympians. He is a gold medallist, a shot put world record holder, worked for the UN, has an OAM and now works for the Australian Institute of Sport as a coach and is off to the Olympics in Tokyo later this year.
This interview begins at a time when life for Sam and the rest of his family was pretty tough, but then it all changed.
To find out more about SJM: http://www.sjmbuilders.com.au/
Check out Hamish MacDonald : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamish_MacDonald_(athlete)
I'm a former ABC radio broadcaster and journalist based in the Clare Valley in regional South Australia. I have recently started a small business called Voice it. I am a Voice Coach, teaching public speaking skills to to adults and children and I also run a Drama School, MC and this podcast is a complement to the business. I absolutely love interviewing and hearing people's stories and sharing them with the world. To find out more check out my website: https://voiceit.me.
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