Nova Scotia's expat building brands in Melbourne
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Meet ConnectNS network member Joe Rogers, Managing Partner, The Contenders in Melbourne, Australia.
What’s your tie to Nova Scotia?
My parents emigrated to Nova Scotia from the UK in 1981. I was 6. My parents and three of my siblings still reside there. I grew up in East Hants and went to Saint Mary’s University.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “Nova Scotia”?
Great people. I live in a city of 4.5 million people that has grown by the population of Nova Scotia since I moved here in 2006. Melbourne is a big vibrant go city. I love it but there is no off button. When my family and I get off the plane at the airport after a 30-hour flight the sense of space and openness in Nova Scotia is striking. The sense of community and welcoming in Nova Scotia is unique. There is always that moment each time I am back I realize I am back home. It could be someone going out of their way to crack a joke, someone stopping to let me in when driving just to be nice even though no one else is coming or it taking 30 minutes to pick up milk at the shops because I ran into someone who knows my Mum from work and they heard I was coming home. That doesn’t happen where I live.
What do you love most about doing what you do professionally?
Solving problems. Alongside my business partner I run a brand strategy consultancy based in Melbourne and each day we are tasked with solving communication challenges for our clients. The best part is seeing unique ideas develop through the hard work and openness of a group of people to challenging themselves and those around them to come up with a completely new solution to generally old problems.
What’s the best lesson you ever learned?
Think yes, before you think no. I was fortunate enough early in my career to have a tremendous mentor, Joseph Yip Tong, who unfortunately is no longer with us. One thing he instilled in me was his way of looking at the world. If you think how something could work before you think about how it would not, you will go far in life.
What’s the greatest asset Nova Scotia can offer your digital and design communications industry?
A creative population. Growing up in a physical and economic environment that demands you come up with different ways to survive and then succeed — I think this gives Nova Scotians a unique perspective to offer the world.
What do you miss most about Nova Scotia?
My family and friends. There is nothing quite like coming home and having a couple of quiet beers with those who know you best. I miss fall mornings out at my folks place and taking the dog for a walk through the woods as the air starts to cool and the leaves start to turn. Even though I live in a country surrounded by water and spend most weekends at the coast, I miss the coastline of Nova Scotia and the endless point breaks that exist from the South Shore all the way up to Cape Breton. I kinda even miss winter sometimes.