Tim_Riches_Feb2012Tertiary Orientation Program (1986)

Managing Director

​Tim finished secondary school early at the age of 15 or 16 years. Originally he chose to study Arts Law at Monash but because he was younger he was never really clear about what he really wanted to do. He was torn between undertaking a course for the academic pursuit of the law and a course that would be use his creative bent.

Tim decided to take a break year between secondary school at University High and university. He chose Box Hill Institute to do his Tertiary Operation Program (TOP) year because at that time it had the reputation of one of the best providers of an arts/crafts education and some of his friends had also undertaken courses. During the year Tim was exposed to painting, photography, film making, design and drawing.

Upon completion, Tim went to university. He enrolled in Law and Arts, majoring in philosophy with a minor in visual arts. He went on to complete his articles and was admitted to the Bar.

Throughout this period of time Tim still wasn’t clear whether he was suited to a field in which he was required to be analytical and to suppress his creativity.

Deciding that Law wasn’t for him he went onto work in advertising as an account manager. This role required him to balance between his craft skills and thinking skills.

Tim worked at Cato Partners, a major design firm as a design/project manager before moving to Future Brand, a company that specialised in creative/strategic activities and research and consulting, where he worked for 12 years.
Now, the managing director at Leading Edge, a market research and brand strategy company Tim was asked why he thought some people strayed from their first career choice. His response was that he doesn’t think you get a full picture from careers counsellors or parents. “They are not really aware of what jobs are available. People may not necessarily follow a linear path in their careers but every job gives you the opportunity to take something from it into your next pursuit” Tim said.

His year in TOP and the creative training he was given helped his understanding of the process that designers follow. At work he believes that he knows how to make the connection between the creative and the business context when dealing with clients.

He rightly says that TAFE has a philosophical difference in that it teaches craft and practical skills.

Tim now has two young children aged eight and five. He has spent a couple of years in Singapore with Futurebrand as chief growth officer, where he took advantage of the location and travelled extensively for both business and pleasure.