1. What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Mick Leahey and I currently live in Canberra. I was born in Sydney in Darlinghurst before my parents moved to Canberra where we lived in Tuggeranong when the suburb had only just settled. I grew up in Canberra and went to school at St Edmunds College and I still live in Tuggeranong today with my gorgeous wife and my two sons Sean and Jacob.
2. Favourite band and/or artist?
I really like Justin Timberlake and my favourite band is U2: I’ve seen U2 three times and Timberlake just the once. My bucket list concert would be Justin Timberlake in Las Vegas.
3. Creature of habit or maverick thinker?
I would say I am probably a creature of habit; that might come with age I guess. But I have flashes of the maverick thinker in me – I like to call it ‘moments’.
4. Biscuits – dunk or leave unsullied?
What I find with dunking is you get caught short; I hate scotch fingers at the bottom of my tea and having to make a fresh cup. So definitely no dunking these days. However, I am totally unopposed to anyone else who wants to dunk unless they are making a mess, in which case I might frown. Slightly.
5. Before joining Delib, how did you put bread on the table?
For the last eighteen years I have worked for local government in Canberra. And then for the last twelve months I have been doing some travelling and working on a number of shorter contracts with commonwealth departments. These included the ACCC and AHL.
6. Why did you want to join Delib?
I was attracted to the customer service nature of this role. That’s what I really love doing. I was drawn to how interesting the role was and it’s a great opportunity to continue to drive great customer service in Australia. I am not a massive tech person, I’m a people person, and that’s what I hope to add to this role. I really love working with people and helping others to feel comfortable and confident.
7. If you are not at the office where can we find you?
You will find me talking rugby league and any sport in general. In the middle of the Winter you will find me at my local training ground that we call the oval, coaching my junior teams in rugby league. Not everyone will make it to the NRL but it’s about developing those habits of hard work and working for all their team members. I really love seeing the kids putting in the hard work and getting the rewards. It’s not just about the sport, it’s about helping them to become better people. I try to make all the extended family feel a part of the team as well and that everybody counts. Our family home is a bit of a hub for a lot of the team. Everyone seems hungry just around dinner time and we quite often have a few extras- it’s a great conversation time. Coaching for me is not just about footy being the only thing- it’s about making sure life outside of footy is ‘gravy’ as well.
I played rugby league competitively until I lost my leg at the age of twelve, and dad was a massive fan and I guess I inherited that. After the loss of my leg I was determined to keep playing and had great cousins and friends that I caught up with.
During the time after my leg was amputated, Wayne Bennett was coaching the Raiders and I got to spend time with him and really talk. He asked me what I wanted to do with my life and I said I wanted to coach footy. Some other people had told me I would never be able to coach because I wouldn’t be able to play at that elite level. He told me I could be whatever I wanted to be. He said that it wouldn’t matter that I wasn’t able to play at a high level- I could still be a great coach. From that conversation I became determined to be the best coach I could be. I studied a lot about coaching and how to get the best out of people.
I started training at the National Institute of Sport in 92 after a lot of encouragement from everyone around me. I have taken a lot from those coaches and the lessons they taught me during my time at the Amputee Nationals and the Paralympics.
Otherwise I am currently getting thoroughly schooled by my wife at table tennis!
8. Any shout outs, comments or other musings?
I am really looking forward to getting to know everyone better.
And talking sport. Lots of sport!