Digital entrepreneur inspires Valedicts

Posted 29th September 2016

“Just starting anything is by far the most important step. The rest of the stuff you can work out after.”

Such was the message TAS Old Boy and co-founder of online retailers the Iconic and Bailey Nelson Nick Perry, gave to departing Year 12 students on Valedictory Day, at the end of Term 3.

Nick shared his fascinating journey from TAS which he attended from 1996-2001, degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics at the University of Sydney and a stint in management consulting and investment banking, to a new direction as an online entrepreneur.

After co-founding internet fashion retailer The Iconic, he then went on to establish optometry retailer Bailey Nelson which has grown from an online business to having 35 outlets creating 270 jobs in four countries. Along the way, experiencing highs and lows that forced him to reflect on what it is that provides meaning.

“Work is going to play a huge part in your life, so you must find something that you really love. Don’t settle until you do,” he said.

Acknowledging the first female valedicts in this inaugural year of co-education, Nick said it was important to embrace the idea that time doesn’t stand still.

“The pace of change in the world is faster than ever, many of you will enter the work force in jobs that have not even been contemplated yet. It may not feel like it today but at some point in the future you’re all going to realize what an incredible start TAS has given you in life.

“None of you will probably use your trigonometry again, or the fundamentals of organic chemistry. What I hope you take from TAS, from all the classes, the Hawkesbury Canoe Classic and Round Square trips is the skill of learning and the confidence to step into new things. “

The presentation and luncheon culminated with OAU president Graham MacDougall presenting Old Armidalians’ Union ties and pendants to all 73 valedicts.

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Deputy Senior Prefect Charlie Wyatt delivered the vote of thanks to Nick Perry at Valedictory Day