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A coffee with…

Gary Philpott of Lincolns

Many of you know Gary Philpott as your accountant, your advisor, your planner and everything else in between.

What many of you might not realise is that once upon a time, not only did he have hair, but Gary also wanted to be a chemist!  Luckily for us, he realised that science didn’t make sense to him the way numbers did and, after dropping Geography, he took the only course left available - Accounting.  He is now a highly respected business leader, accountant, colleague and an integral part of Lincolns and where the business is today.

To celebrate more than 30 years with Lincolns, we thought we would shine a spot light on who Mr Philpott really is…

To start us off, tell us who Gary John Philpott is…

I was born in Katanning in December of 1963, even if I like to tell people I’m five years younger and born in 1968!  I spent my childhood in Katanning where my Dad was an electrician and my Mum was just Mum to me. During their prime, there was a Philpott in every year of school from Kindy to Year 12.  Now there are only two left in Katanning.

Like most country kids, I went off to boarding school in Perth where I could tell you many a horror story of what the students get up to at an all-boys boarding school!

Today, I’m a husband, a father, an accountant and one of five partners at Lincolns.

Did you always want to be an accountant?

No I wanted to be a chemist … but I hated chemistry!  I was studying Geography and despised it.  I switched two weeks in and took the only subject left, which happened to be Accounting.  Numbers always made sense and I wound up being Dux.  From there, I went on to do a cadetship at Dewsbury’s.  They had an opening for a position in Albany in 1981 at their Collie Street office, so I began six month stints alternating between Albany and Perth.  This was back in the days when the offices were old sea containers – I shared mine with the payroll lady!  I’ve had some interesting offices during my time – another was previously an old morgue!

I did a sandwich course, meaning I did six months in Perth then worked for six months.  But I knew that at the end of it, I wanted to be in Albany. I was lucky that my wife Robin got a job at the local TAFE when I was given the opportunity to be back in Albany in 1988.  A year later, I was a partner and have been ever since.

Outside of a busy life at Lincolns, what do you do in your spare time (if you have it!)

I have been a hockey player for 40 odd years and still enjoy playing and competing.  I’ve also recently taken up golf so trying to improve my handicap at the moment.  I also enjoy playing tennis in summer, competing in marathons and taking a kick boxing class. I’m trying to use my powers of persuasion to entice the team to take the class too; a couple are converting slowly but surely.  I also love travelling with Robin.  We’ve previously travelled around Australia on motorbikes, New Zealand, Europe and most recently Japan.  You may have seen the picture of us dressed as Mario and Luigi on Facebook – we took to the streets of Tokyo in a real life game of Mario Kart!

Your colleagues describe you as the bright, energetic, mischief maker of Lincolns. What keeps you so energised and ready for fun?

Nanna naps. I went to my doctor a year ago and told him I was feeling tired and just felt like I wanted to take a nap.  I asked what I could do about it. His answer was to tell me I was getting old and to just take the nap!

I keep myself busy and lively with sport.  My kick boxing, golf and thirst to travel keeps me going.  I’ve realised in the last 3 to 4 years that you don’t have to work yourself stupid to be happy and successful. Selling our farm was a huge step in the right direction with that.

What’s changed over 30 odd years at Lincolns?

The computers.  The typewriters.  The carbon paper.  The machines we used to have to kick to make more than one copy!

Your future aspirations or goals?

To travel and avoid winter.  To never be bored or lonely.  But most importantly, to make sure that Lincolns never gets boring. I’d never want Lincolns to lose the spirit and enjoyment we have behind the scenes and become just a work factory.  You know you’re doing something right when you have current employee’s friends telling you they need to fire someone because they see the fun the team gets up to and want to work at Lincolns!

If you had the power of hindsight, what would you do differently?

Nothing.  Maybe delegate more and have not worked so hard in the early years.  The phone was never off; in the days of only home phones or mobiles that were the size of bricks, I would have clients ringing me from 6am to 11pm.  It took many years and some stern words from Robin to change that.  I eventually realised that work needed to be work and my family needed me at home during my time away from the office. Being able to say no is okay.

I do wish we had travelled more but we are making up for that now and I’m looking forward to a trip to America, Canada and Alaska next year.

The Lincolns Legacy…

Lincolns used to be just a business… but I reflected with Russell at our Lincolns reunion that today, it is so much more than that.  It’s not just the people who work in the office; it’s their families, their partners, their friends, their kids. It’s everyone as a person.  They make Lincolns not just work but a life.

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You can find Gary at garyp@lincolns.com.au or by phone on 9841 1200.

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