Stephen Sander
Trusted Adviser | Blogger | Eccentric Contrarian*
(*since 1983)
Anti-communist political activist, dissident, deserter, defector, political refugee, dishwasher, kitchen hand, chef, waiter, restaurant manager, customer service officer, commercial lawyer, corporate counsel, knowledge professional, blogger, writer, editor, social media consultant, and equality, human rights and social justice advocate – my life and career in a single sentence.

After escaping from communist Hungary in 1987, and spending a year in Austria as a political refugee, I arrived in Melbourne, Australia in June 1988. I became an Australian citizen in 1990, and now I hold dual Australian and European Union passports.

In Melbourne I worked as a dishwasher and kitchen hand first, while I learned English. Later I was employed as a chef, a waiter, and eventually a restaurant manager. I moved to Sydney in 1992 and continued to work in the hospitality industry as a restaurant manager until 1994.

Someone once said that to follow the path that others have laid before you is a very reasonable course of action, therefore all progress is made by unreasonable [people].
Adam Savage

In 1994 I moved into a customer service role at one of the big four banks, before enrolling to study at university in 1996. I graduated with bachelor’s degrees in law and business, sub-majoring in marketing, and went on to complete a graduate diploma of legal practice with high distinction.

During the past 15 years I worked with some of Australia’s best business leaders and legal minds as a trusted adviser, practising solicitor, in-house counsel, knowledge management professional, and social media consultant.

I am a consummate blogger and writer, a tireless human rights and social justice campaigner, an advocate for workplace diversity and inclusion, and a passionately creative personality.

My practical legal and commercial experience extends across alternative and commercial dispute resolution, general commercial litigation, contractual negotiations and disputes, corporate and regulatory affairs, employment law, financial services, insolvency, insurance, and privacy.

I have a strong track-record in establishing, resourcing and leading project teams, facilitating diverse views and expectations, and cutting through distractions and roadblocks.

I also have an in-depth understanding of emerging media and technologies, and I am a proponent of strategic project management, technology, and social media integration.

Exploring opportunities

In 2017 I am celebrating 15 years with my firm. I first arrived as a summer clerk in 2000. I returned as a research assistant in 2001, as a graduate in 2002, and as a senior associate in 2007 after serving as in-house counsel at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

My latest decade-long period is a testament to my incredible colleagues, the quality, complexity and variety of the work, and the engaging and challenging environment which kept me happy and satisfied far longer than I ever anticipated.

Nevertheless, I am now ready to explore new opportunities and exciting professional challenges.

I don’t have definite plans about what I will do next. Over the coming months I will explore potential opportunities, not just in Australia, but also in the European Union, in business, law, knowledge, education, government, and the community sector.

Given there are career paths now that didn’t exist a decade ago, while other jobs and professions are slowly disappearing, this is an exciting time to keep an open mind and an agile attitude about my future.

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.
Alvin Toffler

I am currently looking to join a dynamic organisation which embraces modern business practices, diversity, social engagement, and technology, in a business-focused role.

My multidisciplinary education in law, and business and marketing, cross-industry experience, understanding of social media and technology, curious mind, and hunger for new knowledge and skills make me the perfect fit for such an environment.