Today’s Guest Andrew Kelly
Andrew Kelly started his career with eight years in banking and at the same time, competed at an elite level in Road Cycling. It was here that Andrew learned the importance of preparation for racing, training, visualisation, strategy, analysis, persistence, tenacity, determination, accountability…and, as we are talking about today - the unsexy wisdom behind the idea of just keep turning up.
He went on to build and sell an advertising agency before heading to the third sector captivated with the idea of doing good in society. Across two decades, he has witnessed the power of generosity by facilitating transformational gifts to Youth Off The Streets, The Smith Family, The Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS), the Society of St Vincent De Paul and Children’s Medical Research Institute.
Andrew is now the CEO of The Antarctic Science Foundation, which creates connections between philanthropists and researchers to enable catalytic scientific research on the Icy Continent and is an Observer on the Australian Antarctic Science Council.
He still cycles around 300km per week - I rarely drive that far, let alone cycle it - he plays the piano and guitar, reads lots of books but his self-proclaimed favourite role is simply being a dad!
- Andrew became interested in cycling in his early teenage years. He went on to pursue this passion and raced competitively in Australia and Europe, but had to stop due to a burst appendix, which almost killed him. but looking back, he feels happy about how things turned out.
- He shares how the lessons learned from road cycling - such as the importance of conserving energy and always showing up - have impacted his life.He credits his coach with teaching him the "great secret" of just turning up, which has led to success both in his career and personal relationships.
- He attributes his success to curiosity, something that drives him to constantly seek out new information and knowledge.
- Andrew is an avid reader and considers reading a valuable pastime because it requires imagination and effort. It also helps spark new ideas and fuel curiosity.
- Talking about his work with the Antarctic Science Foundation, Andrew shares how Antarctica is a huge repository of information that could help us understand our moment in time and build strategies to mitigate climate change.
Links for Andrew
Links & Resources from today’s show
Thinking, Fast and Slow (Book)
Good to Great (Book)
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Welcome to Push To Be More with Meet your host, Matt Edmundson. This is a show that talks about the stuff that makes life work and to help us do just that. I am chatting with today's special guest all the way from the other side of the world, Andrew Kelly from the Antarctic Science Foundation. We are gonna be talking about the unsexy wisdom of just turning up amongst other things. It's gonna be fun.
Now the show notes and transcript from our conversation will be available on our website, pushtobemore.com. And also, whilst you are there, you can sign up for our newsletter and each week I will email you the links from today's show, the notes, the transcripts, they all just appear automatically direct your inbox totally free, which is all amazing. So make sure you sign up to the news letter now. This episode is brought to you by Aurion Media, which helps entrepreneurs and business leaders set up and run their own successful podcast.
You know what I have found running my own podcast to be really rewarding. It's why I now have three of them. Oh, yes. Uh, podcasting opens doors to amazing people. Just like Andrew. Like nothing else I've seen. I've built networks, I've made friends. I've traveled the world and visited podcast guests. Uh, and I've had a platform to champion my customers, my teams, my suppliers. It's just, honestly, the list of benefits is horrendous.
Uh, and I think just about any entrepreneurial business leader should have a podcast because of the huge impact I've seen it have on my own business. Now, of course, this sounds great in theory, but in reality, there's the whole problem of setting up distribution, getting the tech right, knowing what the right podcast strategy is, the social media, the blood, the list goes on.
You see, I love talking to people, but I do not enjoy all that other stuff. So aurion Media takes it all off my plate. I do what I'm good at, and they brilliantly take care of the rest. So if you are wondering if podcasting is a good marketing strategy for your business, check it out. Check out uh, aurionmedia.com.
That's aurionmedia.com and we will of course link to them in the podcast show notes too, which hopefully. You are subscribed to on the email and if you're not, go to pushtobemore.com and sign up to that. Find out more about Aurion Media and get podcasting yourself. Now, before I get into today's conversation with Andrew, I wanna give a bit of a shout out and thank you to Simon O'Shaughnessy, who actually connected my good self and Andrew.
Uh, Simon, uh, who we used to call, I still call actually is, uh, Aslan. He used to have bright, I dunno if you ever knew Simon, Andrew, when he had red hair and a red beard. So we called him Aslan. It's all white now. Uh, but Simon is great at coaching and just a lovely guy. In fact, he's coming on the show soon. So do stay connected, uh, with what's going on.
Now. Andrew started his career with eight years in banking and at the same time competed at an elite level in road cycling. Oh, yes. Not an easy sport. And it was here that Andrew learned the importance of preparing for racing, training, visualization, strategy, analysis, persistence, tenacity, determination, accountability, all the buzz words, of course.
And uh, what we're talking today. The unsexy wisdom behind this idea of just keep turning up. Andrew went on to build and sell his own advertising business before heading to the third sector, captivated with the idea of doing good in society. Across two decades, he has witnessed the power of generosity by facilitating transformational gifts to check these out. Youth Off the Streets, the Smith family, the Refuge Advice and Casework service, the Society of St. Vincent De Paul and Children's Medical Research Institute. And if that's not enough, Andrew is now the CEO of the awesome. Antarctic Science Foundation, which connects, uh, which creates connections between philanthropists and researchers to enable catalytic scientific research on the icy continent.
And he is an observer, an observer with a capital O, which obviously is a title on the Australian Antarctic Science Council. He cycles still around 300 kilometers a week, which I just think is nuts. I rarely drive that far let alone cycle that far. Uh, he plays a piano and guitar, reads lots of books, but his favorite, uh, self-proclaimed role is, or his self-proclaimed favorite role, actually, I should word it slightly different, is simply being a dad.
Andrew, welcome to, uh, push to bemore, it's great to have you here. Thank you for joining me all the way from the other side of the world. How are we doing?
Andrew Kelly: Thanks, Matt. It's terrific to be with you. Thank you for the invitation.
Matt Edmundson: Ah, no, it's great. Glad you turned up. Now, I'm assuming you didn't have to cycle anywhere to get to the, uh, interview.
Andrew Kelly: No, no. I'm, I'm well ensconced at home now. Uh, on, uh, on Monday evening.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, it's funny, isn't it, with the time zones and how that works. So it's Monday morning for me. It's Monday evening for you, uh, and you are based in Sydney, Australia.
Andrew Kelly: That's right. Uh, as a boy grew up here, always lived in Sydney, uh, with some secondments to, to New York and also to, uh, living in France when I was cycling.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. Yeah. So tell me about this, right, the cycling thing. Um, how, how did you get into that? Was just that you just, when you were a kid, your dad bought you a BMX and you got hooked, or how did that work?
Andrew Kelly: Actually it, it's, it sounds strange cuz it's from another age, but we used to have this program here in Australia called Wide World of Sports. It was on, in the, on a Saturday afternoon and they used to cut up bits of the tour of France and spread it across the, the whole afternoon, you know, the previous week stages.
And I'd sit there and watch these little three and four minute segments and sort of piece together the Tour de France over, uh, you know, three weeks, four weeks, and these highlights, and it just seemed like an activity from not the other side of the world, but from another world. We didn't have internet, uh, we didn't have high definition tv.
And so we got these glimpses of this amazing sport, uh, and I thought, I want to try that. And. And so I got a bike and I started hearing a round on it and, and then I realized it's, it's really hard. I went to a club, club race and started club racing and, and realized after a little while that the, you know, the top level, it's, it's really hard and that the romance of it, um, leaves, um, stage left pretty quickly and, and so I just focused on that.
Um, figured that I could be okay at it and, and really experimented quite a bit with, with my mind and my body, um, training it and seeing how far I could go.
Matt Edmundson: So, and you're doing this, uh, what, when you're a teenager?
Andrew Kelly: Yeah. Uh, I was, yeah, I was a teenager. I started off when I was about 13-14. And, uh, that's, that's junior level.
Uh, and, and then got to seniors when I was 18, uh, while I was doing school. And then in my early career when I was in banking, I was, um, I was actually in overnight markets. So European US markets, uh, working overnight and training during the day to see how far I could take it.
Matt Edmundson: So you were training during the day and you were doing this sort of, uh, I, I never really thought about people working night shifts in banking, but I suppose it makes sense with the worldwide market. Right. Um, and so you, you working nights and you're training during the day to see how far it gets, so how far did you actually manage to get with the, the cycling?
Andrew Kelly: Yeah. So I, I raced here in Australia at an elite level and then went over to Europe in 93 and on an international license, uh, an amateur license, uh, that's how we were classified back then. Mm-hmm. , uh, entered international races, uh, with the hope of turning pro, uh, and getting, uh, scavenging, if you like. Domestic rides with, uh, development squads that had, uh, pathways into the European Pro teams.
So I, I spent a season in Europe in 93 racing, and they said, come back and win a Commonwealth Games or do well at a, at a national level and then come back in, uh, 90, 95. So I would've been, you know, in my. Get getting to my mid twenties by then, which was the normal time for, uh, riders to turn pro. Um, what happened in between was, um, everybody turned pro under the new, the new system in 94 when, uh, pros were allowed to go to the Olympics.
Mm-hmm.. And so Amateurism was basically, uh, stamped out. And I also had a burst appendix. So on the eve of going back to Europe in 95, I had a, a burst appendix. Oh wow. Almost killed me. And, uh, and, and that, that took, put paid to, to cycling. Uh, the cycling world changed. Um, it took me quite a while to recover from that.
And, you know, in some respects, if I had continued on, I would've gone into the, probably the Lance Armstrong era, which have was obviously one of the, the less glorious, um, periods of, of pro cycling. So in some respects, the, the path diverged and though it wasn't pleasant at the time, uh, I'm, I'm pretty pleased with the way things have worked out.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. It's funny how that works, isn't it? The amount of people that you talk to, uh, about stuff that happened, and there's always this sort of, I don't wanna use the word calamity, but there's a, there's something that happens which derails a, a, a path that you think you should be on. And then the, the path that you end up on seems to be a, a better fit.
It's almost fortuitous in some ways, but you, um, I dunno why I, I mean, I'm not saying that, you know, destiny did this, but I'm, I think people make the best of the, the road that they're on, don't they? And they, they can sort of find a new zeal and passion on that road. Is that what happened to you?
Andrew Kelly: Absolutely.
I, I, I agree that it, it's not fate and it's, it's not, it's not some sort of predestiny. I, I don't believe in that. But it's, it's interesting to run the counterfactuals of, wow, if I'd gone that way, these things might have happened. Uh, also, I think that when you are, in my case, a young man in my early twenties, I wanted to be a pro cyclist.
I wasn't really thinking of what it might be like to be a husband or a father or, uh, a family man or, or to have a profession outside of cycling. So there's, there's that wisdom that's not, uh, existent in, in a younger person. With a few years and a few scrapes, you, you start to accumulate that. Hmm. Uh, and then you can see, um, how valid and also how limiting some of your earlier thoughts or, or dreams or ideas or projects might have been.
Matt Edmundson: That's interesting. That's interesting. So, um, so the path that you end up going down after cycling, we mentioned in the introduction, I mean, one of the things that, you know, we've talked about, uh, before hitting the record button obviously, um, is how the, the cycling, the lessons that you learned there, um, really impacted then how you approached this sort of new path that you were on.
Um, what were some of the things that you sort of, you know, we call the show push to be more, I'm always curious where people have had to sort of push and overcome things. So here you are, uh, you know, a young man cycling, there's, I'm sure there's a lot of lessons there where you've had to overcome. Right?
Andrew Kelly: Yeah. So the first thing about, um, road cycling particularly, I was just thinking about this the other day, which is one of the big races here in Australia is called Gold Liverpool. It's 180 kilometers and it's a, it's pretty hard race back in the day. And I remember when I ended it the first time, I, I think that I'd probably be counting each of those kilometers off.
Such was the pain that I expended. Wow. Uh, during that race. And, and over time you actually get a sense that, uh, through training you, you are up to it and the kilometers fly by in, in road cycling, we have a bit of a code, which is you only push your pedals hard when you have to. Mm-hmm.. And when you have to, you push them as hard as you possibly can.
And so that's that whole notion of you've gotta conserve energy, uh, during a race that's as long as that. And especially when those races are back to back, like the tour de France and big stage races. And then when you are called upon or you call upon yourself to make that supreme effort, it has to be.
Absolutely all out. So that, that's a, a bit of a motto that I've carried through my life as well. Yeah. But the, the big one, I suppose, is that notion you talked about, which is just keep turning up. And, and that was a, that was a really formative moment in my life. Uh, I was late to training one day, and again, this is back in the day when we didn't have mobile phones.
We just met at a particular corner at 5:30 in the morning, which was a bit of a hike from where I lived. Uh, it was about 17 kilometers, so I had to get on the, on the bunny pretty, pretty early to, to meet the training, training group. And one day I was late and I, if you're late, you just have to chase on.
So I chased on. I was pretty good at time trialing and catching, catching up the road. Uh, caught the group. We did the training session and we got back to where we, where we used to, um, split up. And my coach said to me, you were late to training this morning. And I said, yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, and sort of just brushed it off.
And he said, you know, Andrew, um, everything you get outta life is what you put in. You've gotta put in before you can expect anybody else to, to help you. Um, and he says the great secret in life is to just turn up, he says, cuz if you turn up to training on time, then the, the rest of the bunch to some extent is gonna do the training for you.
You're in the bunch and, and you'll get the benefit. He says, and then there'll be race meeting out in the country where it's rained for a week and a whole bunch of people who are gonna go to that race, that road race, they won't go. They'll stay at home instead of venturing into the country knowing it's gonna be a really wet, a wet park call.
And then on the morning of the race, people will look outside the hotel. And they'll say it's been raining overnight. And so they'll stay in the hotel rather than turn up to the, to the start line. But you turn up to the start line and then the race starts off. It rains. It rains for the first two hours, and a whole bunch of riders just peel off and jump into the team cars.
You stay in the race, you just turn up and stay in the race, and then a break goes away and you just turn up into that break. A break you've got no business being in. But given the conditions and given the mindset of those around you, you get into the break and then you'll be seven kilometers from home and there'll be a rise in the road.
Everyone's looking at each other. It's been a really hard day. And you go away. You just turn up when there's that opportunity and you end up winning a race that you had no business winning. Mm-hmm. . Uh, and it's simply because of the cumulative effect of turning up. And, and that's a message that Robert, my coach, uh, you know, he still rides his bike.
Um, even in, you know, he's really pushing on and he's had enormous health problems. Um, but that's a message that. I've taken out of cycling and into everything else that I do. And it's that cumulative effort, uh, of just turning up, putting in the effort each day, which, which builds a career. And, and it also, uh, builds connections.
It builds wisdom, uh, and it's the most valuable thing I've ever been told.
Matt Edmundson: That's really powerful. It's really powerful, isn't it? The power of just keep turning up. I mean, it's, it's, you know, we say in, when it comes to things like social media, the, the way you win in social media is consistency, right? It's just the, you just keep turning up.
Um, you do something of value. Obviously you don't turn up with dribble, but you, you do something of value and you just keep turning up and eventually you win because everybody else drops out. And it's a really interesting one, isn't it? That, um, that here you are on the bikes learning the same lesson that actually everyone just drops out.
Same in e-commerce, you know, when the, the, the businesses that we, we are involved with, people just drop out all the time, and it's the ones who deliver something of value consistently, uh, over time. I, I, I love that the unsexy wisdom of just keep turning up because it's not something. Uh, that people want to hear usually these days.
I don't know if, if you, whether it's just me that thinks that Andrew, or whether you've noticed this as well, there is a sort of a, I don't want to hear that. I want the sort of the latest technique or silver bullet or something. You go, well, it's just keep turning up and you're like, well, no, no, no, no.
Surely I need to know. Yeah, you just keep turning up. Uh, it's, it's a really, What do you find, actually, when you talk to people about this, I'm curious, do they, do they roll their eyes or do they go, oh okay?
Andrew Kelly: I think intuitively we know it's true. At the same time, if you switch it into finance, people talk about the cumulative effects of bank interest to compound interest, uh, and or reinvesting, uh, your dividends.
So we know, we know in another arena that, that it is absolutely the cornerstone of, of success. Yes, we would like a hack. Yes, we would like that nip and tuck or, but, but it's never transformational. And I, I agree. You know, whether it's social media or any, any domain, it's those who have the track record of, um, turning up, doing the work, um, and, and building your craft.
That's the other, that's the other piece, you know, they often say, you know, There's only one question you ask a surgeon when you're going into hospital for an operation, which is how many times have you done the surgery? If he says, I'm really excited to do it for the first time, you know, you wanna run and don't look back.
Yeah. Uh, so that's what you're looking for when you put your life in somebody else's hands. So, uh, I just figure it's probably a good, a good, uh, approach in, in anything that's worthwhile.
Matt Edmundson: It's interest, isn't it? Because my, my brain functions slightly differently, uh, this juncture because I'm like, yes, I don't want the surgeon doing it for the first time, but my, the flip side of that will be, well, if he's done it a thousand times, how's he not got complacent?
Because I, I, I, I find actually the, the, this is what separates the, the craftsmen just from people who are really, they're okay at something is the craftsmen don't get complacent. They're always trying to look at how to, how to improve or how to make it better. Whereas the complacent guys go, well, I know what I'm doing, it's fine.
It'll be alright. Um, and I'm I, outside of work, I do a lot of joinery, woodwork type stuff. I just love making stuff out of wood with my hands. And, um, I learned this lesson when I put my hand through a table saw, uh, just being complacent. Uh, and you kind of think, well, yeah, how do you, how do you stop that complacency?
How do you, how do you keep building your craft?
Andrew Kelly: Curiosity. Uh, I think that curiosity is, Something that's driven me on, uh, I'm, I'm always interested in meeting other people, uh, hearing other views, uh, reading and absorbing, uh, information and knowledge. So curiosity is a, is a terrific, um, quality and in the case of your surgeon, yeah, you want, you want to see somebody who is, um, staying on top of their game and, and wanting to improve and keep up to date, and, and they're pretty easy to spot.
Uh, if you can ask them a question about, you know, what the current, uh, trend is or the, or the latest technique, uh, in any field. I find that really interesting, just talking to people in different fields to understand their craft, how they keep up to date, what led them to do that craft and, and what keeps them curious.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, I like that. The power of curiosity. Uh, just the, the ability to ask questions. I think it's one of those things that they don't teach you at school or at university. And actually, if you, if you were to distill. The success of people down to several, you'd say, well, the big part of my success maybe was, look, I was in the right place at the right time, or I saw an opportunity, I took advantage of it.
But one of the things that I think is probably quite true that people don't really mention is I think I'm successful because I've learned how to ask questions along the way. And I, and for some reason I asked the right question at the right time to the right person, which opened the right door and you.
You, you, you get kind of intrigued by this, don't you? That the ability to ask questions and the ability to be curious is one of those things which makes us distinctly human. But somehow I think in the advent of maybe it's social media, again, I dunno if you've got any thoughts on this Andrew. But we, because so much information is given to us, we seem to have lost the ability to ask questions of people.
I don't know.
Andrew Kelly: Yeah. That, that's really interesting. So, so the curious mind, uh, is, is in real trouble when you start getting into, into social media or an enormous vat of information like the internet. And, and what I've come up with is, uh, through reading and listening to people, is that the, the real skill on top of the curiosity is relevance realization.
So looking at something and understanding. Is that relevant to me? Can I make that relevant to a situation, uh, that I'm in or I might be in? So it's collecting information not just as trivia, but it's information techniques, approaches, mindsets, uh, through a relevance realization lens, uh, which actually narrows down what you are looking for.
Uh, and, and I think that that'll probably become one of the skills that is, is really in demand, uh, and will be, um, you know, the, I suppose the distinguishing, um, talent or skill of, of people who can, who can navigate all of that information. Cause we've just got too much of it at the moment.
Mm-hmm. much more than we ever had.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, no, it's very true, isn't it? That, um, I like that. Uh, very clever. Very clever. Are you a, are you a learned man? As in, do you, do you read a lot?
Andrew Kelly: Yeah, when I'm, when I'm not walking or working on, I'm reading. I, I read an enormous amount and it's, yeah, it's one of the life's great pleasures. And again, it's that, uh, curiosity and, um, testing my views and my opinions or my ideas against those of others. And I think it's one of the, the great pleasures and, and the great tech human technologies is to have another person's opinion on a piece of paper.
And to have that person convey that to you and then to be in some really, it's in communion with that other person where you're trying to understand them and they're also trying to understand you, not knowing that you even exist or that you'll be there at the other end of the writing. Yeah. So yeah, reading is, is tremendous and, and novels, I, I think are the most understated and, and probably the most countercultural and subversive art form that there is because it's somebody putting an idea or story, uh, the machinations of relationships into your brain, uh, which I find endlessly fascinating. I have enormous amounts of, uh, admiration for people who can write that well.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, you and me both. I've tried it on the odd occasion and I just come away going, how in the world? You know? I've just, it's just, I totally agree. Right? But I think it's interesting with novels, isn't it? Because there's something quite powerful that I've not been able to articulate yet, but there's something quite powerful at the end of the day just to pick up a novel and read it.
You kind of disassociate with, you suspend reality is maybe a better, and you get drawn into this story, which in your head is not real, but you are so engrossed in it. Uh, and I find it a remarkable way just to sort of switch off and, and, and just relax and recharges just to read a novel, you know? And I'm, I'm, I, I just reread.
I should, I dunno whether I should admit this or not. I just reread all the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child, right? So I know there's a new one just come out, which I'm saving for a Christmas present. Uh, but I, so I reread all like 20 million novels that, you know, Lee Child has written beforehand. But there's just something about getting drawn into it.
And then you watch the TV show on Amazon and you go, well, it's close to the book, but it's not quite the book is it? And uh, and there is something quite powerful, quite magical, like you say, about a novel.
Andrew Kelly: Yeah. The, the suspension of disbelief that you are reading letters off a page and you are feeding this imagination in your mind when every other, uh, absorption technique that we have has been improved enormously. We now have super high definition televisions and, and cinema screens. We, we have, uh, better and better fidelity headphones and, and speakers to listen to music and watch, watch cinemas, but we are still there with, uh, you know, The, the novel printed by Penguin, or Favor and favor.
It's just letters on a page and we suspend disbelief that we are, we are reading this ink off a page, but in fact, we are having this amazing imaginative, uh, process take place in our, in our mind. And, and, and we are participating. That's the other thing where, where, uh, you see something on Netflix or the cinema, it's being done to you in almost every sense. Whereas with, with reading, it's, it's hard yacker, there's a, there's a real effort that's, uh, required. You don't build up momentum when you're reading, except if you are drawn into the story, as you've said with, with the novel. So, so reading is hard and, uh, and writing in an age where reading is getting harder is is a real skill.
Matt Edmundson: Mm, yeah. It is. It is. I like that. So reading, I mean, my son would listen to, do you listen to audio books? Uh, you know, I, I, my son listens to novels as opposed to, well, one of my sons listens to novel. The other son likes to read them. Um, both of which require you to sort of imagine the scenes, right? Sure.
The writer is painting. The scene with some words on the page, but it's very incomplete. Whereas Netflix is very complete. There's no room for imagination because cgi now everything is so. Pristine. Uh, you don't have to, you can take your brain out the box and watch the program, whereas, like you say, with a book or an audio, but you have to get involved and you have to imagine scenes, don't you?
And build these things in your, in your mind, very good. We could wax lyrical about that. It's always nice actually find, uh, people who like me at the end of the day, just like to sit and read a novel and just enjoy the novel for the novel's sake. Um, I think it's a great way to sort of unwind at the end of the day.
So you, do you read business books as well, or is it just predominantly novels?
Andrew Kelly: I, I do read right across genres and, and certainly, uh, you know, there's some, there's some really good books, uh, around economics or cognitive psychology and, and, and behavior. Um, you know, thinking fast and slow is a, is a tremendous book by Kahnerman.
Mm-hmm. , uh, which is pretty influential. Um, I also like, um, Benoit Mandelbrot, wrote some great books about chaos. You know, he's the godfather of chaos. Chaos theory and his applications to human behavior and also to markets is, is pretty interesting. I like Nassim Taleb, uh, and his work around black swans and, and being fooled by randomness.
That, that whole series is excellent and it's very countercultural. Uh, so, uh, you know that, that would be the, uh, The extent of, of business related books that I've read and, and there's, there's trading books and, and the like, but I also like science and history and, um, maths and poetry. So it's, it's a, it's a pretty broad range of books and I'm a bit promiscuous.
I, I have lots of books on the run at any one time. I really try hard to, to keep it down to a few ongoing, but I, I inevitably run off and have an affair with a, with a..
Matt Edmundson: You know what we're so similar, Andrew, uh, I said to.. My wife, said to me, uh, my wife and my daughter and I were sat around the table. And Zoe and my daughter was like, what do you want for Christmas, dad?
I said, oh this. These books that I've been recommended. And Sharon's like, you don't need more books. You've got 20 books by the side of the bed. You've got four books on your Kindle, which you're reading, right? You don't need any more books. I'm like, I definitely need more books. It's just funny. There's just something quite lush about it.
Andrew Kelly: Well, I think, I dunno if it was Umberto Eco. I think it was, he said, you should have and, and certainly Nassim Taleb, so I may confuse the reference, but one or other or both of them said, you should have the biggest library that your financial means can, can sustain. And it's a. It's a constant reminder of that which you don't know and that you have access to.
And so whether it's, uh, you don't know the end of the particular novel series that you're on, or you don't know a particular, um, the history of a particular country or region, it's, it's a good, um, it's a good provocation to have information around you that possibly you might not get through in a lifetime.
But it's there and it's, it's whispering that, that you don't know everything. And, and I think that that's a, that's a good, um, well, I, I find it healthy.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. Well, it drives curiosity, doesn't it? Going back to, to what you said, you know, it drives that curiosity ideal. You said on your, um, LinkedIn bio, two great tasks of my life have been learning how to think and being in the service of others, which I thought was a really interesting quote, right?
So the, the two two things that they don't really sort of teach you necessarily at school, um, but sort of this idea. the two great tasks, learning how to think. And so this again, is highlighted by your love of reading, your sort of, and your curiosity, your thirst for knowledge. Was that something that you've always had or is that something that you consciously developed later in life?
Andrew Kelly: Uh, I think early on I got a sense that, you know, we had this amazing. Amazing mind that's given to us. And I read, uh, Edward, De Bono's, six Thinking Hats really early in. Yeah. Uh, I think I was a teenager when I read that. Um, I think my dad gave that to me. And, and also, uh, towards the end of school into university, read, um, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which is just a brilliant book, which I read, I reread every 10 years.
Mm-hmm. , uh, out of school and knowing how powerful our minds are, but also how prone we are to, to biases and, and easy thinking. Mm-hmm. uh, really makes me curious about how, how to best approach situations, uh, with curiosity, with an open mind rather than, um, by rote and just using the same techniques every time.
So one of the things that I do in situations is I ask myself, what would I have to believe for this to be right? What would I have to believe for this to be wrong? And so I try to take that, you know, that, uh, two-handed approach or, uh, opposing views of a situation, of a view, uh, of an opinion. And, and quite often that helps uncover, uh, blind spots, uh, that are just, just out of the periphery, uh, of, of my vision.
Um, That's, that's really, you know, in, in simple terms, what, what I've tried to do is, is just avoid fooling myself. Uh, and, and we, we can be, um, we we're all prone to, to fooling ourselves. We, we can, um, We can be us ourselves the best. Uh, you know, if you, if you can, if you can do it to yourself, you can pretty much do it to anybody else.
And so if you can, if you can just, um, step back and look at situations and, and not participate in magical thinking, that's, that's another piece which is, you know, that somehow this will all work out. Uh, and just, just bring a bit of rigor to it. Um, and so, That's led my curiosity into, into that field and just understanding how I think.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, it's interesting that, um, I, I, as you were talking then, I was reminded of the, the book Jim Collins, Good To Great. And he talks about, one of the things in there was the confrontation of the Brutal Facts, is what he called it. Um, and he was, uh, he referenced Viktor Frankl's Man's search For Meaning book.
Uh, he talked about life in concentration camps. Phenomenal book if you ever get a chance to read it. And, um, Oh yeah, just eye opening. Um, and this whole idea of actually the, the magical thinking is what made me smile and think of this actually is this, this understanding of, actually you can't do that. You have to confront the brutal facts. Uh, and you have to, be aware of them and, and, and, uh, and deal with those.
So this is, um, You know, your, your sort of desire to learn. The second part of that, uh, statement you put on LinkedIn was in being in service of others. And there seemed to be a very distinct career switch for you where you went from sort of, uh, Banking, economics, advertising, all that sort of stuff into what you, you call the third sector that you mean, where you've now been doing, uh, that for a couple decades, fundraising, um, raising in effect awareness and resources for some incredible charitable work.
Right. And you are now with. The Antarctic Science Foundation. Tell us a little bit about that. What does the Antarctic Science Foundation do? Sounds really cool, by the way. Uh, you know, it's probably the best job title ever. I am CEO of the Antarctic Science Foundation. Just sounds really cool.
Andrew Kelly: It's pretty amazing.
Uh, so the Antarctic Science Foundation was set up to fund projects and, and very tenacious people to go south into the most inhospitable hardest environment you can possibly imagine. I mean, one of the, one of the great fibs of Antarctica is you see these beautiful vistas of white and blue skies, but the place is brutal.
When, when the first explorers went down there, you know, 200 years ago they called it hell. No gps, no email. Uh, Facing 200 meter cliff faces of ice not knowing where they're gonna park. The, the wooden ship that they've sailed away from, from home and family on. And so the foundation backs people through our supporters, our, our amazing supporters back these people to go south into this environment, to to do the research, which arguably will inform.
The future of life on this planet. Antarctica is a, a huge repository of information. So, uh, in, in the ice, in the, in the species and animals that are down there in, in the geology, uh, in the waters is information that we have never seen. And so I often describe Antarctica as humanity's greatest library.
But again, we've barely read any of the books and you can only get down there, uh, you know, about five months of the year. Mm-hmm. the rest of the time. It's impossible. It's, it's easy to get people on and off the International Space Station most days of the year than it is to get them in and out of Antarctica.
And so it is, of course it is. Yeah. Yeah. . So we are really dealing with the extreme of, of elements and, and to be able to go down and do, uh, ice cores, uh, to, to, to drill down into, uh, these mountains of ice and take out cores, which possess these ancient bubbles full of particles and gases, which will tell us.
What the atmosphere and in the environment was doing million years, 2 million years ago, is crucial for us to understand our moment in time compared to, uh, that which has come before us and for us to understand how we will build strategies and mitigation for the amount of carbon that we've emitted into, into the atmosphere and then if you like, rep charge back to, to, to get that information and then put that into, uh, strategies in society that will allow us to, to flourish. Mm.
So that's the, that's the work of the foundation. Uh, we do it with the support of, uh, amazing, uh, supporters, philanthropists, and donors. Um, from the very big to, to the, to the moms and dads. Ultimately what we are looking for are those, those answers, uh, that will, that will push us forward and allow, uh, us to, to flourish on this planet.
Matt Edmundson: That sounds fantastic. Is that what drew you to the Antarctica Science Foundation?
Andrew Kelly: Absolutely. Antarctica is the canary in the coal mine if you like. Hmm. Uh, it drives our, our oceans. The circumpolar current in the southern ocean drives all of the oceans in the world. Uh, it drives, it is the engine room of, of global climate and weather systems. Uh, it has a tremendous effect on us here in Australia, uh, but also right around the world for, uh, arguably, uh, 150 million years it's been taking, uh, carbon and heat and returning.
That to, to the environment and cooling our planet. Hmm. So there really is no greater touchstone, uh, for our time and our moment as a, as a human community than Antarctica. Uh, we have certainly influenced it when we go and look in those ice cores. Uh, we can, we can see the, uh, the coal being burnt in Glasgow, Dublin, Edinburgh, uh, in Newcastle steelworks here in Australia, turning on and turning off. We can see leaded fuel turning on and turning off an unleaded fuel coming in. So it's almost like csi, Antarctica. We can see the fingerprint of human interaction and, and it's that knowledge, uh, which is absolutely unique to that environment, which we need to, we need to grab.
We need to discover, we need to put the best of the best minds onto it, uh, so that we can answer those questions, which are urgent. They're, they're absolutely urgent. Uh, as we can see with the meetings that are occurring around the world, uh, presently, uh, and, and talk to, as I say, Antarctica has, has the answers. We just need to ask the questions.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. Uh, that's amazing. Uh, uh, I find the whole thing down there fascinating. I mean, I, I have to be honest connecting with you. I obviously understand it a little bit more than what I did. So, um, if you like to know more about the Antarctica Science Foundation, the work that's going on there, why it's so important.
Head over to Antarctica Science Foundation, www.asf.aq. I dunno what the AQ standards for, an unusual domain, but I, anyway, that is the domain asf.aq.
Andrew Kelly: That's um, The, the domain for Antarctica.
Matt Edmundson: Is it? Well, there you go. I figured it. It must have been something like that. Uh, the, uh, , I can't imagine there's that many people on Antarctica searching for Antarctica domains.
Um, , matt.aq might actually still be. Um, so you've been doing that for a couple years, right? So, um, here you are sitting in Sydney, which in my head is probably one of the warmest places on the planet doing work in probably what is the coldest place on the planet. Um, and you, you, you've been raising funds and awareness.
You told me actually a story, uh, Andrew, which really intrigued me about a lady who came to the, the website and left a donation. I couldn't remember what it was like 70 bucks. It was a small donation. You wrote to her and she left the donation on behalf of somebody else. Do you know the, do you remember the story that I'm talking about?
Andrew Kelly: so, uh, the, there was a lady who, uh, left the donation and it was in honor of one of her great friends, and I sent a note as I do for, for new donations and noticed that she was from the US and asked her, Firstly, thanked her for the donation and asked her, um, how she'd come to hear about the Antarctic Science Foundation.
And she said, oh, uh, I, my best friend is, um, is a, a huge fan of Antarctica and I'm making this donation on, in honor of his 90th birthday, uh, which was in a few days time. It turned out that he'd been in Operation Deep Freeze in the, the US program in the fifties. Mm-hmm. And such was the impact of his time in Antarctica, uh, that he, I suppose, much like my cycling has taken that experience and it has informed the rest of his life and he still gives a, a learning in the community program at Oregon State University, even in his nineties, and uses his experience in Antarctica as the cornerstone of, of that, that program that he still delivers.
Matt Edmundson: Mm, fantastic. Fantastic. How it all sort of brings all of this together. So as we sort of, uh, finish out the show, I, I understand I suppose areas where you've had to push.
I understand you. In terms of how you fill your tank, whether it's on your bike, reading a book, or just being around people, um, and being intensely curious, what's your hope for the future, Andrew? What do you, what do you wanna be, uh, involved? What do you see? What, what do you wanna grow into? What do you wanna be more of those kind of questions.
What, what, what, 3, 4, 5 years' time? What are we, what are we hoping?
Andrew Kelly: Well, the, the thing I hope for most and, and work for is, is to have energy. Uh, I I think that energy, personal energy is, is the, the currency of getting anything done and, and having a, a good life. And, and you ask most people, um, as they get older, they just say, oh, I just wish I had more energy. So, uh, as I get older, I, I really focus on that and, and keep a close eye on it because, um, I'm a dad, um, which is a young man's sport.
They tell me. Uh, so I've gotta, I've gotta keep up with my daughter and, and be a, you know, vibrant dad and husband. Um, and also to give as much as I can, uh, in, in my work. And when you say 3, 4, 5 years time, uh, For Antarctica and, and for humanity we are really facing some, some serious questions over, over the next, uh, five to 10 years.
Uh, and what we do in that time period will have, um, serious knock on effects for the future. Uh, we can't do it individually. We're going to all have to do it together, and, and that is as it should be. Uh, so. I'm focused personally on, on making sure I've got the energy, uh, to do the work and, uh, and then with that energy to be able to do it as best as I possibly can.
Matt Edmundson: Mm oh, fantastic. Outside of, um, cycling and reading, uh, how, how do you maintain or build energy? What are some of your insider secrets?
Andrew Kelly: You've gotta keep moving. So the, the exercise is, is crucial. And also I think it's mindset as well. So making sure that, um, I, I try not to fixate on, on things too much. That's, that's easier said than done. Uh, but trying to keep, uh, that mental balance, uh, where there's variation between doing the work but also spending time reading, uh, spending time in conversation with, uh, intelligent and attractive people like you, Matt.
Matt Edmundson: Sorry I shouldn't laugh.
Andrew Kelly: But conversations a terrific, uh, a terrific energy builder. In fact, I think it's one of the, one of the great ones because it's, it's, again, it's that sharing that communion between two or more people where you, you're sharing ideas, you, you're comparing experiences, um, letting curiosity run.
Uh, and, and I find that even when I'm at, at my most tired, uh, a good conversation, uh, I, I've always got energy for that.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, no, true. It's very, very true. It's why when, uh, you, you see friends you've not seen for a while, you're quite happy to stay up until two o'clock in the morning just chatting away and it, this is just a beautiful thing, right?
Yeah, yeah. No, I've been Absolutely, absolutely. So, Andrew penultimate question. As you know, this show is sponsored by Aurion Media, which specializes in helping interesting, intelligent, and good looking people like yourself, uh, set up and run their own podcast. Maybe that's what we should call the show from now on. Uh, so, um, you've obviously, you've been on a lot of podcasts, but let's assume you've got your own podcast, The Andrew Kelly show. Uh, I'm really curious to know who your guests would be. Who would you want to have on the show, the people that have impacted your life, or people that you think could have the best impact on what's going done in on down in Antarctica?
Who'd be on the show and why?
Andrew Kelly: Well, I mean, my, my first top of the list would be my dad who passed away 20 years ago. If I could have anyone on the show. Um, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Uh, that, that's a, that's a great question, Matt. There's, there's so many scientists that are doing great work that are virtually unknown. Uh, any one of those scientists, uh, to have on, on a podcast would be fantastic.
Uh, not only to give them a platform, but also to show, uh, you know, wider community, uh, the, the work that's being done in, um, in Antarctica, in, in all of our names. Uh, so yeah, certainly some of. Some of the scientists that I work with who have, uh, a tremendous sense of humor, an amazing sense of application, and again, that tenaciousness, that, that, um, sends them back down to the icy continent when, uh, it's, it's a pretty tough, pretty tough environment.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. Yeah. I dunno if there's a Netflix streaming service on Antarctica. So I, I It's one of those, isn't it? It's one of those. I'm curious, why would you, if you don't mind me asking, why would you have your dad back on the show?
Andrew Kelly: Uh, he was, you know Mark Twain said when I was, when I was 17, I thought my dad was an idiot. When I was 25. I was amazed at how much he'd learned in eight years.
Oh, that's brilliant. You know, and I, I just look back at my dad and just amazed at the wisdom that he had. Uh, you know, he grew up in Nottingham. He was a, he was a Nottingham boy. Uh, left school when at the age of, uh, you know, the equivalent of year six. Um, and, you know, had, had, had businesses, raised a big family.
Um, and, and I think that the quality that I, I love most about him is that he was always open to good things happening. Mm-hmm. . He never fretted about a car parking spot. Um, one would always materialize cuz he always figured one would. Um, but he was open to having conversations. Um, he always, he always encouraged us to ask people, uh, how they'd been successful, how have they done things.
And that's been an amazing door opener for me. Just to know that you can drop an email to an author, or anybody. And most of the time they, they reply and, and the conversations that I've had with the great and the good is, you know, quite remarkable and I owe that to my dad.
Matt Edmundson: Fantastic. Fantastic. I like your Mark Twain quote as well. I'm gonna put that on a piece of paper and give it to my kids.
Wonder if it will help them. Might help me, I dunno. Uh, Andrew, listen, it's been a great conversation. I've loved every minute. How do people reach you? How do they connect with you if they want to do that? How do they find out more about the Antarctic Science Foundation, all of that sort of stuff.
Andrew Kelly: Uh, certainly connect with me on LinkedIn, Andrew J. Kelly. Uh, you'll find me there, uh, on LinkedIn. And as you said, the Antarctic Science Foundation website is asf.aq.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, definitely check those out. Uh, we will link to Andrew's info in the show notes, uh, which as I've said, you can get it for free along with the transcript at pushtobemore.com or direct to your inbox if you've signed up for our newsletter.
Uh, Andrew, thank you so much Bud, for joining me. Thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. Thank you for the work that you do down in Antarctica as well with the, with the foundation. Appreciate you looking out for us. And, um, honestly, mate, it's uh, it's been an absolute joy and a privilege.
Andrew Kelly: Thanks, Matt. I've, I've really enjoyed it. Thanks for the invitation.
Matt Edmundson: Oh, it's been great. What a great conversation. Huge thanks again to Andrew for joining me today. And also don't forget today's show sponsor Aurion media. If you are wondering if podcasting is a good marketing strategy for your business. Check out their website cause I'm convinced it will be.
Uh, aurionmedia.com. That's aurionmedia.com. We will, of course, link to Aurion, uh, along with, uh, a link to the Antarctic Science Foundation, along with the link to Andrews, uh, LinkedIn profile, all of that sort of stuff, uh, on our website too. pushtobemore.com. Um, and you can find all of this information there. Be sure to follow push to be more wherever you get your podcast from because we've got some more fantastic conversations lined up and I don't want you to miss any of them.
And in case no one has told you yet today, uh, dear listener, uh, let me be the first. Uh, you are awesome. Yes you are. It's just a burden you have to bear and uh, Andrew has to bear it. I have to bear it. You've gotta bear it too. We're awesome people. So Push To Be More is produced by Aurion Media. You can find our entire archive of episodes on your favorite podcast app.
The team that makes this show possible is Sadaf Beynon, Josh Catchpole, Estella Robin and Tim Johnson. Our theme music was written by Josh Edmundson, and as I mentioned, if you would like to read the transcript or show notes, head over to the website, pushtobemore.com where coincidentally, you can also sign up for our weekly newsletter and get all of this good stuff direct to your inbox, totally free.
So that's it from me. That's it from Andrew. Thank you so much for joining us. Have a fantastic week. I'll see you next time. Bye for now.