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Creating a successful business is no easy feat but old scholar Jamie McClurg has done just that.

11 June 2020

After graduating from Pembroke in 1989 Jamie followed his passion for building construction and joined it with his joy of creativity and leadership.

He saw the idea of creating something that can last and be significant to someone as something he could pursue. Although dreams like this can be hard to achieve, Jamie said ‘You have to be in it to change it’. Through his role as the Executive Chairman of his company, Commercial & General, Jamie has been able to take part in the creation of such well-known buildings as the soon-to-become SAHMRI 2 (South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute) and the Calvary Hospital. In 2020 Jamie was named one of The Advertiser’s Top 50 Most Influential People in SA for his role in these developments.

Jamie has now spent over 20 years in his field of work after building his company from the ground up. In his opinion there are five important leadership skills: persistence, deep thinking, being genuine, having guts and being able to embrace failure. Jamie expressed the need for people to ‘have the guts to give it a go, because if you never try you never know if you could succeed, and even if you do fail you can learn. There are no downsides to giving something a go’.

Currently we are all going through some unexpected, difficult times. Jamie’s advice for these hard times or any challenging time is to be persistent, stay your course and keep your head. Jamie believes that staying grounded and genuine is important in times like these.

Some of us may be going through stressful times and might find it hard to stay motivated and inspired. Motivation has a different meaning for everyone. Jamie finds motivation and inspiration in the everyday, stating that ‘it has to come from yourself; no-one can force you to do anything, only you can push yourself to do it’.

Jamie remembered his time at Pembroke very fondly and spoke about his involvement with Rowing. His participation allowed him to develop his time-management skills and drive to succeed. He remembers his Head of the River win in 1988 and his Rowing Coach saving him from getting into some trouble during his Sydney Rowing trip. Jamie remarked how Pembroke provides a very supportive environment for its students, and after graduating introduces connections with people around the world, all providing great advice.

Jamie’s tips and inspirational knowledge about life after school, or just how to cope with events of today, are all very crucial for challenging times such as these. As a Year 12 student, hearing Jamie’s advice about motivation inspires me to see what is possible for the future, and how any goal that I set can be made reachable through hard work. His motivational input helped me to look at our current situation and how it is affecting our educational year in a more positive light. I now look at it as an opportunity to keep pushing through and working hard, to not give up.

Lucy Standen
(Yr 12)

Lucy S

About the author
Lucy Standen is a current Year 12 student at Pembroke and a member of the SSE. She is very enthusiastic about her work in the Service and Cause Committee, and is involved in multiple Sport and Music co-curricular groups. She is currently a strong History-based student and, after graduating, is looking into various future pathways such as studying nursing at The University of Adelaide or aviation at The University of South Australia, to continue into a path as a Defence Force pilot. These possible careers all allow Lucy opportunity for travel, new experiences and challenges.