To most people Tom Cowlard is known as the hard working, forward thinking, General Manager of the Devonport Country Club but few know what role chance played in his arrival in Devonport.
Tom was born in South Africa but soon moved to Rhodesia as a result of his father’s work. When Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, the time was right for Tom, now 24 and a qualified mechanic, to move his young family to South Africa. Their intention was to emigrate to Australia but life intervened and it would be another 29 years before they made the move.
After completing a university degree in transport management, he went to work in the sugar industry. He worked for the big multinational company, Tongaat Huletts Sugar, becoming a senior manager in charge of logistics. In 2004 he began a six-year stint teaching logistics to indigenous managers in East Africa and Mozambique.
A keen sportsman, Tom began playing golf as a 10-year-old, going on to play competitive golf in Rhodesia, take on Club Captaincy in South Africa and become President of the Zululand Golf Union.
It was on a trip to Australia in 2008 to visit family, including his brother-in-law in Devonport, that a chance sighting of an advertisement for theatre nurses caught his wife’s eye. Two years later they moved to Tasmania. Not one to let the grass grow under his feet, Tom was soon appointed as Manager of the Devonport Golf Club.
Tom loves his job and is excited by the challenge of establishing the new Country Club, seeing it as essential to the long-term prosperity of golf, bowls and croquet in the region.
“It might have taken me 29 years to get here but I love it,” said Tom. “Moving to Tasmania is the best thing we’ve even done.”