20/02/2008 - 22:00

Whale of a time likely post-Alcoa

20/02/2008 - 22:00

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Life after Alcoa for former Australian chief Wayne Osborn will be a mixture of business and pleasure – but it hardly sounds like he’s slowing down.

Whale of a time likely post-Alcoa

Life after Alcoa for former Australian chief Wayne Osborn will be a mixture of business and pleasure – but it hardly sounds like he’s slowing down.

Mr Osborn said he is looking at a number of offers to join boards of other companies, but another focus is to engage in his biggest passion – underwater photography.

Both he and his wife, Pam, are keen photographers, though the former Alcoa executive’s preference is to work below the surface of the water.

Their first destination is the islands of the Azores, about 1,500 kilometres off the west coast of Portugal, where sperm whales congregate.

Also avid sailors, the Osborns have travelled to the islands before under the banner of the New York-based Explorers’ Club, and photographed the spectacular pods of whales gathering near the islands.

Mr Osborn said he hopes his activity can benefit conservation.

“I am not a scientist but I would like to do it more seriously than being just a tourist,” he said.

The Osborns plan to remain in Perth, where they put down roots and raised their family over the past two decades or so.

To keep himself busy as a non-executive, Mr Osborn said he would add a couple of corporate board positions to his current role as a director of Brisbane-based integrated engineering group Thiess Pty Ltd.

Like Thiess, the board positions he is looking at need not necessarily be based in Perth.

“I have had a range of offers across a range of sectors. The type of company I can contribute to would be a company exposed to resources,” he told WA Business News.

There will also be much interest in attracting Mr Osborn to pro bono roles in the not-for-profit sector, after more than five years as WA chapter chair of the Australian Business Arts Foundation.

The ex-Alcoa chief admits it feels a bit strange to be mapping out his own future after 28 years as a company man.

“It will take a couple of months to work out what I might end up being involved with,” he said.

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