TEAM MEMBER STORIES – IAN LINDSAY
When Active Tree Services Chief Financial Officer Ian Lindsay swapped the rain of England for an endless Australian summer in 2019, he had a couple of boxes he was seeking to tick.
First, he wanted to enjoy the outdoors and the climate, but he had a greater purpose in mind as well.
As a former mental wellbeing coach, Ian had an interest in men’s mental health and within a few months of arriving here, had co-founded a not-for-profit.
The initiative is designed to bridge a gap for men who might be experiencing negative thinking and behaviour – whether that’s due to previous trauma, relationship breakdowns or the general challenges of everyday life.
Ian notes the organisation provides support via an inclusive space where men are encouraged to share their feelings, discuss their challenges, and become one of many rather than going it alone.
“It’s about moving forward,” Ian explains.
“Often people have tried counselling, psychologists, or mindfulness, but the challenge is even with those tools, the negative thought loops can still be there.
“We provide an avenue to work through them in a safe space where they can share, and also trust enough to share.”
Ian notes often men are encouraged not to speak about their feelings.
“But once they witness others recounting their experiences, they soon understand they are not one of one, they are one of many.”
Ian notes the initiative draws people from all walks of life, with everyone from CEOs and tradies to former military personnel sharing their experiences.
“It doesn’t matter what job you do, how much money you have or your family circumstances, people quickly find there are many others who have the same internal struggles.”
Ian explains starting a not-for-profit drew on his passion and aptitude for coaching, but it also tapped into his own personal experience.
After a marriage breakdown and serious back injury in his 30s, Ian says his mental health quickly declined.
At the time he saw a psychologist, but then started to work with coaching organisations.
“It had an incredible effect on how I felt and helped to move things forwards,” he says.
“It turns out, I had a natural aptitude and passion for it that I wanted to put to good use.
“Men are particularly under-supported to in this space, so I felt it was something I could offer.”
In his day job at Active Tree Service, you’ll also find Ian subtly supporting the men’s health and wellbeing cause as well.
Like many in the company, Ian is currently taking part in Movember and is sporting a moustache that he concedes is a lot more grey than he would like.
He notes he’s proud to work for a company that is so supportive of the Movember initiative and mental wellbeing as a whole.
“Our business is about 90 per cent male and it’s important to continue to create that awareness,” he says.
Active’s focus on health awareness was one of the attributes that drew Ian to the company when he applied for the position of Chief Financial Officer last year.
“I’ve worked for lots of businesses that talk about all the right things but the leadership team in Active actually walks the walk,” he says.
“They are willing to lead by example and share their personal experiences.”
Prior to his role at Active, Ian had worked as a finance officer for some of the biggest names in the United Kingdom, including Vodafone UK, Virgin Media, British Telecom and Thruvision.
“I came to Australia with the goal of embracing new challenges,” he says.
“I was thrilled when the opportunity came up with Active.”
Ian can be contacted directly to learn more about the not-for-profit he helped establish.