Hamish Jolly CA

Innovator and Research Director for the Australian Institute of Marine Science

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Hamish Jolly is anything but a traditional accountant. He's a research program director and helps commercialise science and technology products. Jolly has helped shark deterrent technology become commercially viable and is extremely passionate about marine science. He launched his career with former Big Four firm Arthur Andersen where he learned "accountancy is essentially the language of business".

Jolly's the type of person who has "no issue getting out of the bed in the morning" and doesn't have a typical work week (working hard even on weekends) to bring an ethical and professional approach to all his undertakings. Here, he shares a typical week:


I jump on a plane to Darwin and from there I'm out to an offshore island to discuss a marine science project with the island's traditional owners. This project is about mapping an ecological survey of the marine estate surrounding the island for the better management of sea country. On the plane, I can catch up on lots of emails and prepare for the week. My 'Ideas Worth Sharing' video on TED.com is one way people find out about the work I do. I try and make time to connect with them, respond to enquiries and answer questions that people from all over the world ask.


After my island experience, I fly back to Perth. I've got a road show presentation to stockbroking firms in preparation for capital raising and potential ASX listing - or initial public offering - of a new marine and biotechnology company focused on mitigating the risk of shark attack, including the Clever Buoy, which uses sonar tech to autonomously detect and alert for sharks. I've collaborated with Optus and Google on this project. I spend the day on teleconference calls to technology suppliers in Australia, USA and UK and coordinate the delivery of the Clever Buoy commercial-ready prototype, which was deployed in a 30-day trial off a NSW beach early in 2016.


I host a site visit for potential partners and investors at a biogas waste to energy plant we developed in WA. The plant uses anaerobic digestion - a series of processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material without using oxygen - to turn 50,000 tonnes a year of food waste diverted from landfill into two megawatts of renewable electricity every hour. Also, today I'm in negotiations and discussions with commercial food processors for the roll out of biogas plants around Australia.


Time for my pre-work morning ocean swim at Cottesloe Beach to help me prepare for the 20km Rottnest Channel Swim with the team. Then it's on to a day of meetings with oil and gas companies and regulators to discuss applied marine research relevant to the sector. Later I run workshop sessions with marine scientists at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, CSIRO and University of Western Australia Oceans Institute regarding the evolving blueprint for marine science in WA. I'm working to coordinate the registration of our 30-hectare sandalwood plantation in south-west WA, so I spend some more time on the phone to qualify for carbon credits under the Australian Government's Carbon Farming Initiative.


I'm up early and on a boat to Rottnest Island to meet onsite with my business partner who runs our ice-creamery and coffee house on the island. The island's packed with holiday-goers enjoying themselves. I watch customers playing our newly launched Archery Tag game, where punters can (safely) shoot each other Hunger Games-style with soft-tipped arrows. We secured a licence for the concept from the USA. Next up is lunch and a beer at the Rottnest Hotel looking out over the crystal-clear bay full of pleasure boats. Then it's back on my boat and over to Fremantle, bouncing through a strong sea breeze.


Most of the day Friday is spent preparing for a flight to Cape Town over the weekend. I'm heading there to spend three weeks on board a research vessel testing shark attack mitigation technologies with Mossel Bay's great white shark population. Wish me luck!

Note: This interview was conducted in 2015. Hamish Jolly CA is now the Director at Delorean Corporation.