‘Actions speak louder than words’ is a phrase quoted so much it’s almost lost its meaning. Like a lot of snappy, motivational one-liners, it sounds great, and there’s a thoughtful message which is supposed to inspire us, but does anyone really take any notice anymore?
Warwick Andison did. The actions which spoke so loudly and drowned out the words came from his parents.
“My parents were ahead of their time: they decided they wanted a change, so they went into business for themselves. They set up a health food shop and it was one of the first in Sydney,” Warwick recalls.
His father was an accountant; his mother, a dressmaker, and they both worked hard. The hours were long and they realised the financial reward didn’t match their efforts, so they decided to do something about it.
Eventually, “they got to the stage where they said to themselves, ‘we can make more money by running our own business’. They were entrepreneurial before the word even existed.
“But it wasn’t just a simple decision to start a business: they decided to move from Concord West, where both my sister and I were born, to Petersham. The business they started had nothing to do with their backgrounds. Why would you start a health food business in the 1950s?”
That hard-working attitude and desire to succeed enabled the Andisons to send Warwick to Sydney Grammar School and his sister to Presbyterian Ladies College in Croydon.
As a result, Warwick saw his parents in action from an early age, making deliberate and conscious decisions to improve the situation for themselves and their family.