Graham Leach (IT Project Manager)

Graham Leach BSc  is an English born Australian IT Project Manager. Since 2004 he has been working in Australia primarily in the retail and healthcare sectors.

Life and Career

Early Life

Leach was born in Chelmsford, Essex. His father, Edwin, was an Electronics Engineer a graduate of the University of London, who worked as a researcher for Marconi’s in Great Baddow, Essex. His mother, Beryl (née Watkins), born in Wales was a Mathematics Teacher and a graduate of Cardiff University.

Leach attended Little Waltham Primary School. Although quite academic he loved sport and  loved playing football. Leach passed the Eleven plus exam for entry into a grammar school. 

However this was a time when grammar schools were being phased out in favour of the more egalitarian comprehensive schools. And so it was that the young leach ended up going to a local comprehensive school in the market town of Braintree, Essex. Some 7 miles by bus from his home in Little Waltham.

Early career

Leach left school at the age of 18 and almost immediately began work as a Bank Clerk at Lloyds Bank in his home town Chelmsford.

Having successfully passed his first year banking exams in Law, Accountancy, Banking and Economics. Leach then took a change of career decision that would impact his life to this day. He moved into the then newly emerging commercial field of Computing. He successfully gained employment working for a financial institution based in Chelmsford as an IBM mainframe computer operator.

The University Years

In 1982 Leach left Chelmsford to embark on an academic journey at Sheffield Polytechnic (later to become Sheffield Hallam University) that would last 4 years. He initially enrolled in an HND course, but his outstanding performance in the first year of that course saw him persuaded and invited to undertake the degree course. He ultimately obtained a respectable 2nd class Honours degree but not before completing a 3rd year placement for a local software vendor (Coggon Computers Sheffield Pty) as a junior COBOL programmer.

Film career

While at University Leach set out on what was to be a short but notable career in the film industry. When in 1984 he starred as an extra in the acclaimed BBC television drama Threads filmed on location in Sheffield.  

UK IT career

Graduating in 1986 Leach spent the next 17 years working in IT in a variety of industries and organisations. These included manufacturing, local government, insurance and retail. The latter role working for JDA Retail saw him engaged as a consultant. With JDA he frequently travelled to Europe and in particular France where his French language skills and his understanding of the French psyche saw him become a valuable member of the European consulting team, frequently working in Paris and Lille.

It was however a 6 week placement working for Target in Geelong in May 2000 that was to radically change the course of his personal and professional life.

Sporting career

In 1999 Leach became a qualified level 1 UK cricket coach. For the next 4 years he would train British youth in all aspects of the cricketing game. It is almost indisputable that this training set in process the long overdue domination of English Cricket in the Ashes matches with Australia for the next 15 years and more.

Australian IT career

Following his visit to Australia in 2000 Leach in 2003 applied to the Victorian government for a sponsored fast track permanent residency visa. This quickly led to his family emigrating to Australia in September 2003. Within days of his arrival he was contacted by and subsequently employed by Australian retailer Target (part of the Coles group) who he had worked for previously in 2000.