Joel Levin – Self-Made Man
NAME: Joel Levin
LOCATION: Perth Western Australia
Consultant and Business Owner
I was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia, the middle child of three boys. Mum and Dad were also both born in Perth and my grandparents were part of the post war migration from places like Germany, Poland, Vienna and Palestine.
Judaism played a big part of my up-bringing, I went to a Jewish primary school, played sports for the Jewish club and was an active member of a Jewish youth group, eventually being the state and federal president. I lived in Israel for a year after graduating from school and took a tour group back there in my early twenties. This youth group was one of my earliest experiences of leadership and working with groups.
School and me never really got on and it wasn’t until year 11, that issues such as dyslexia became more fully understood. I had natural leadership abilities and was appointed a House Captain but was told my grades were not high enough to be considered for prefect.
After failing every subject, bar chemistry (I had a tutor!), University was not an option and so my first job after school was to become a dealer principal in a car yard. A family friend saw my leadership and offered me a form of traineeship, where I would eventually work my way through the business – starting with a year in the spare parts department. This was a brutal time, with a line manager that was aggressive, inconsistent and at times plain mean.
At the same time I repeated my year 12, started to do some remedial work for my dyslexia and this time turned “f’s” into “A”. I was accepted into University for Psychology and Business but I chose to study Natural Therapies instead.
From there the ‘patchwork’ that has been my career began . . . from massage, to Natural Therapies, to counselling, to youth work, to management, to training, to facilitation, to community engagement. These jobs were never sequential, and at one time I had three different types of job in three different places simultaneously – running youth programs, Counselling, Lecturing.
In fact, while I have done some short stints in Government and the Not-For-Profit sector, most of my life I have worked for myself.
I still live in Perth, I have been married for 19 years. My two boys are now teenagers and working through their own journeys in the education system.
We live in suburban Perth, with what people would call a ‘family block”, big back yard, pool and are 15 minutes from most key sites – the City, the beach etc.
Perth is one of the most isolated Capital cities in the world and as a result it can be a challenge to remember there is a world beyond Perth at times.
For the past 11 years, I have run my own consulting business. The core of my work is people and supporting them through change and growth, either working internally in the organisation, facilitating planning and cultural change work or facilitating larger engagement projects with communities and stakeholders.
So in many regards, my work has its roots in those early youth group experiences.
Over the years, my work has grown from with Not-For-Profits, to the three tiers of Government to working with Businesses. I work across Australia and in a diverse range of sectors. People intrigue me. I love exploring what makes them tick and what makes them crunch when working together.
It is amazing that a person with a non-traditional education background has built the credibility and reputation they have in sectors that place a high value in the number of initials after your name and university standing . . . in fact I have even been a guest lecturer at a university!
This is one of the most confirming aspect of my life – the fact that who I am and the abilities that have been crafted over a lifetime, still carry merit in this day and age. It assures me that: