Barber, aged 39, lives in the inner city of Brisbane. Rowan has a special reason for participating in
the Leukaemia Foundation’s
‘World Greatest Shave’
event these past two years. “A couple of years ago my
older brother was diagnosed with lymphoma,” explains Rowan.
|| After the
his newly shave head excluded
him from some nightclubs.
brother had his first treatment of chemotherapy he ended up
in remission. "My
brother and people like him often remain in a kind of limbo between
their remission and full recovery.
doesn’t let cancer interfere with his life. He just gets on with
it and doesn’t complain. My brother suffers in silence but he does not
make a big deal of it. He does not utilise any
Foundations but he has given me an awareness of cancer. He is quite independent and likes to deal with his own
problems himself," says Rowan.
studying at QUT, Rowan met the marketing manager for the Leukaemia
Foundation. Rowan then decided to participate in the shave.
The Leukaemia Foundation is
focused on helping families with members suffering with leukaemia.
“Often it is more known for children to get it (leukaemia).
Children living in the remote rural areas will often need to come to
regional centres for treatment. The Leukaemia Foundation provides
accommodation, information and education, and it assists the
children with leukaemia and their families to cope with the
situation,” Rowan informs me. This year Rowan has already raised
$380 for the Leukaemia Foundation, and he is still hoping to raise
Rowan is also a Champion for
It was through
the initiative of his friend that Rowan acquired the idea how to
support both causes, the Leukaemia
Foundation and WaterAid.
“During the lead-up to ‘World and Water Day’ a friend of mine in the
UK sold a glass of water on e-bay. He was demonstrating the costs
for water under various circumstances and in various countries,”
explains Rowan. “For
some people water is priceless.
We are now competing, trying to come up
with creative ways to raise awareness and funds for WaterAid.”
From this incident Rowan decided to utilise his shaved head-space
from the Leukaemia Foundation's ‘World’s
Greatest Shave’ by auctioning on e-bay
‘advertising space’ on his newly shaved head. Funds raised will go to
AusNotebook Music & Creative won the bidding for Rowan's
head-space! “I have
mixed feelings about AusNotebook winning the bid for my
head-space,” says Rowan. “I am glad that AusNotebook won
it as it is an entity that supports good causes and the
Australian music industry. However, I would have loved to have
seen something more focused on the ‘water and sanitation’
side, or one of those big companies that have money to burn
or to donate to the cause. That was the original intent,
but I am quite happy with the outcome. The actual auction
itself was insignificant in the scheme of the raising
awareness and really giving it a plug for causes.”
Even at the young age of seven, Rowan had ambitions similar
to WaterAid’s goals. At Sunday school Rowan would sit and
listen to the Missionaries explaining about poor people in
underdeveloped countries. “I didn’t want to go and save
them (poor people), I just wanted to give them something to
drink and help them with water for growing crops. That’s
what got me into the profession I am now in,” says Rowan.
At 17, Rowan started studying for his engineering degree and
32 years later (being 39 now) he is doing the work he always
dreamed of doing. Rowan works for an employee owned,
multinational engineering consultancy. He is involved in the provision
of water and sanitation for developing communities. "I
cannot change the world
but water and sanitation can make a world of
difference in a community which lacks it," comments Rowan.
Rowan participated in the charity event Crewsin’ the Streams - rowing regatta,
which aims to raise awareness and funds for
Life Stream Foundation. Rowan
won 'best costume' on the day.
met the Lady Mayoress, Lisa
Newman with AusNotebook’s logo proudly displayed on his elk
There are many other causes for which Rowan is passionate. He
is an advocate for women, youth and those in extreme poverty. Rowan
is on the executive committees of a number of special interest
groups within the Australian Water Association
and Engineers without Borders.
He is also involved with a consortia of pilots, putting together a
flying hospital operating theatre.
involved in multiple things. I generate energy in one source
which is synergistic. I
connect through networks, franchising concepts and ideas, so I am not reinventing the wheel,”
justifies Rowan. “These projects all give me a focus for my
energies, and an outlet for my altruism. When it comes to the
crunch, I do altruistic deeds almost out of an irrational sense of
guilt because of how good my life is and how much I appreciate
Rowan has another
reason for his positive on-look on life. Last October he was run over by a
seven and half tonne truck. “You come out of a near death experience
thinking, ‘I should not be here’ I broke my tibia, I had all my
internal organs bruised, but none of them ruptured. Damage to any
one of those internal organs would have been the death of me,” he
now Rowan doesn't take anything for granted. “I celebrate life! If I
get a pain in my knee I celebrate that, as it reminds me that I am
alive!” laughs Rowan. “So I really try to optimise what I do and do
what is important to me.”
strives for multiple purposes that can only make the world a better
place. He is a sincere, enthusiastic and
energetic person who loves life. Rowan will no doubt continue his
various undertakings with admirable strength, working towards his
goals. He will continue
travelling the various paths that
life’s journeys will take him to achieve these outcomes.
Article written by
Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative (13/6/06)
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