Our Sidekick community is made up of people from all walks of life. Their backgrounds, their passions, and their stories are part of what makes them so good at what they do. Barry is a Perth-based Sidekick, who has been married 41 years, has renovated a property in France and was once named WA junior soccer coach of the year. See why he loves what he does.
Where were you working before you started Sidekicking?
I’ve had many jobs in my lifetime. I served as an apprentice shipwright in a shipyard before becoming a self-employed fit out carpenter. This type of work took me all over the world fitting out cruise liners, hotels and even a palace in Saudia Arabia.
My wife (married 41 years) said I was having too much fun so we immigrated to Perth 29 years ago where I became a facility manager for the government looking after museums, art galleries, libraries and theatres for the Department of Culture & the Arts.
Six years ago we decided to start a renovation project in France and turned an old house and derelict barn into two luxury cottages but we missed our grandchildren (16, 15, 10 and 1) so we came back to Perth.
Tell us something unique about yourself
I am a passionate ex-soccer player who retired at the age of 50. Not a bad run! I have coached at a high level and was WA junior coach of the year in 1996. I even worked with Southampton reserves in the UK and coached a French team.
Last year I completed the 87km walk across Hadrians Wall from Newcastle to Carlisle in the UK. It was built by the Romans 2000 years ago, probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but loved it. I’ve also kayaked most of the rivers in France, fantastic scenery.
What was your first Sidekicking gig?
My first Sidekicker gig was as a bartender at Gloucester Park Races, I was a bit nervous at first but they made me welcome and I’ve been back for several shifts since.
Coolest thing you’ve done at Sidekicker?
Coolest thing was probably a shift I did at Rottnest, was a great day and great experience. I also enjoyed the hospitality course at Sidekicker HQ, it was all new to me but I learned a lot.
What was your first job?
My first job ever was stacking empty sweet jars for a confectionary company, occasionally there was an odd lolly left in them too…yum!
What do you hope to do in the future?
I hope to ease back on the project management work and pick up a few regular exciting shifts as a bartender with Sidekicker. I love the variety of jobs and venues.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
A professional soccer player, I was keen but just wasn’t good enough.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to be a Sidekick?
Don’t be shy. Go in with a positive attitude and grasp the opportunity with both hands. I’ve met and worked with some really lovely people.
Why do you love what you do?
I love the flexibility of choosing my shifts and the variety of places you get to work.