Jock Noble was a student at Carey from 1962 to 1970.
Although he left school without finishing Year 12, he has a Masters Degree in Enterprise and Innovation from Swinburne and a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Management from Latrobe.
Jock contracted polio at the age of four. At school he struggled with grades and was unable to participate in sports. He felt excluded and under-valued by the school community and concluded that isolation caused by difference was a lost opportunity for everyone involved.
Jock held a couple of jobs in the steel industry before commencing a ‘spiritual journey’ in search of life’s meaning in 1980.
Travelling to the UK via India he came across Buddhism and was fascinated by the different way of thinking it presented. Although brought up a Christian,
he found Buddhism a logical extension of Christianity.
In India he started a buying agency that worked on behalf of a number of international fashion companies raising funds to fight leprosy. He went on to help run what is now the world’s biggest Buddhist publishing company.
In 1983, Jock went to Washington DC. He became involved in the Church of the Saviour where he helped tackle problems such as the provision of low-income housing, vocational education and training and employment services for disadvantaged people living in inner-city ghettos, and other programs to help homeless people, including a hostel for pregnant, teenaged women. Jock returned to Melbourne in 1990 and began a life of service to people excluded by society in Melbourne, in Australia and overseas.
He established a number of businesses to employ homeless and disadvantaged youth, including This Way Up Furniture Company, a unit of the Salvation Army, which enabled participants to develop the skills needed to produce durable furniture, thus fostering the self-esteem and confidence that would help them find jobs in the wider community. This Way Up was a workplace where understanding supervisors provided training, award wages were paid and ‘second chances were given’. The concept proved so successful that it spread to other states.
In early 1995 the St Kilda Baptist Benevolent Society purchased a run down rooming house in Alma Road to provide low income housing. Jock took over
the operation, and established the Scottsdale Special Accommodation House for 20 residents with severe mental illnesses. He negotiated with numerous layers of government to arrange funding, renovations, staffing, and the settling in of new residents. Scottsdale continues to offer the same services 10 years later.
In 1996 Jock started a notfor-profit, social enterprise organisation called Diversity@Work, which was to become a key player in the employment of people with disabilities. It is now one of Australia’s leading providers of consultancy services, resources and training for organisations engaged in strategic diversity management.
Through Jock’s efforts, thousands of people with disabilities, indigenous Australians, sole parents and mature age job seekers facing barriers to employment found work.
Jock is now working for World Vision as Manager of Social Entrepreneurship and is spearheading new and innovative approaches to economic development in poor communities. He will spend the next 12 months based in Indonesia as well as continuing to run projects in Kenya. His experience, energy and business
acumen have seen him make a visible contribution – often ‘out of left field.’
Jock has given exceptional and outstanding service to the community, often against difficulties and always with persistent commitment. In doing so he affirms the enduring spirit of William Carey the person, and the School he inspired.
Roz Williamson, Carey Medal Committee