After an esteemed career as an economist, policy advisor, chair professor and author, Nicholas Samuel is enjoying a well-earned retirement.
“That was my last hoorah, I’m afraid—it took me about three years to research and write,” he said.
“It’s a comprehensive book covering all aspects of the current crisis and is written in a satirical way without being superficial.”
As a young man in Sri Lanka, Nicholas first fell into economics because the career was profitable and in fashion but he quickly discovered he enjoyed the discipline.
He moved to London shortly afterwards to study at the esteemed London School of Economics and Political Science, in what would be the first of several overseas moves.
Nicholas says the experience was often isolating, but all of his attention was devoted to passing his course.
“It was a very difficult program—it had a failure rate of more than 50%,” he said.
In the end, his hard work paid off. He went on to obtain his PhD at the University of Michigan before being offered a position as a senior researcher within the Whitlam government in 1974, requiring a permanent move to Australia.
He eventually led teams that made policy recommendations to reform the Australian agricultural sector under Prime Minister Bob Hawke.
“I competed for that position—a migrant from Ceylon recommending changes to Australian agriculture, leading teams of true blue Aussies!
“I was privileged to be able to make a contribution.
“But I think a lot of the credit should go to Australia for having made those opportunities available, for acknowledging and recognising merit.”
The opportunity allowed Nicholas to share his knowledge through a prestigious chair professorship with the University of Adelaide, four books and over a hundred articles and reports.
Now, six months into his retirement after decades of hard work, Nicholas is still getting used to being able to put his feet up and relax at Bartonvale Gardens.
“I was invited to write another book by Amazon but I just don’t have the motivation anymore—I’m very much enjoying retirement in a congenial environment.
“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!”