Jim Boyce - B Ward

Jim Boyce

Jim Boyce: historian, economist, rugby rep.

It's a unique life experience Jim Boyce brings to the table as a candidate for We Love Warringah - he's a former Wallaby rugby player; holds a Masters Degree in Economics from Berkeley and is a renowned local historian.

Even when he was on rugby tours for the Wallabies in the 1960s, Jim was scouring the local book shops and talking to the locals about the history of their places.

Understanding our past - improving our future

"I always loved to go walking by myself, have a cup of coffee, talk to the locals and watch the town wake up. It's something I still enjoy," he says.

Jim has been the President of the Manly, Warringah & Pittwater Historical Society for the past two years. He was the author of a Council- sponsored "Pictorial History of Warringah" and found that the more he studied the district the more fascinating it became.

"Warringah has a rich mix of heritage in its buildings, cemeteries, bush, headlands and indigenous carvings which has never been given the recognition it deserves," says Jim.

His aim has been to strengthen the history of local community groups by improving their research and archival skills. This has led to the restoration of grave sites and research with the Australian War Memorial.

At home in Allambie Heights

Jim and his partner Val Hutt live at Allambie Heights backing onto Manly Dam Reserve. He delights in the local flora - bloodwoods, scribbly gums and flannel flowers. Jim and Val work on a bush regeneration site inside the Reserve and after the August 2007 bushfire removed nearly ten truck loads of broken bottles, building refuse - and a multitude of golf balls, secreted there by the crafty crows, currawongs and magpies.

He and Val share a "can do" attitude to life. "Find the edges and get stuck in," he says. "Take people along with you and, above all, enjoy the ride.".

Jim was raised in the Eastern Suburbs and graduated from Sydney University in Economics and obtained a Masters degree at the University of California, Berkeley. This started an interest in American and Canadian politics and urban development. He has always been a staunch supporter of the role Local Government has to play.

Jim's business career focussed on marketing and social research. In the 1990s, his growing personal interest in town centres saw him involved in projects reviewing the performance of pedestrian malls and the urban mix. A report, "Emerging Centres" published by the NSW Dept. of Planning in 1996 is based on research and analysis undertaken by Jim.

Why is he running for a position on Council?

"There's a job to be done here," he says. "We need the sort of long-term planning that we've never had in the past. For example - we should be ensuring that our young people, thirty years from now, have the sports grounds they need.".

Having seen the operation of local government all over Australia and New Zealand, Jim is adamant that Warringah needs a long term perspective. It needs an independent administration and an appreciation of the constraints of our geography in planning future infrastructure.

Jim has lost count of the number of community groups where he has served as Treasurer. He believes community groups are often weak in finance and long term strategy. "It's essential to get the muscle in these areas, so that grants systems can be accessed and other volunteers can concentrate on their contributions," he adds.

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