Paul Olds

Class of 1990
Chief Executive Officer, MND and Me

Describing himself as a people-person rather than a charity man, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the MND and Me Foundation is no humblebrag.

Paul’s own life was touched by Motor Neurone Disease (MND) when his close personal friend, Scott Sullivan was diagnosed with the debilitating disease in 2010, leading Paul to his current role.

Although Scott founded the organisation in 2011, Paul worked alongside as a volunteer and took up the role of CEO following the passing of Scott in 2014.

MND sufferers have an average life expectancy of two-and-a-half years post-diagnosis and there is currently no treatment or cure available. Paul’s aim is to continue raising the money and support required for the 350 people across Queensland affected by the disease.

‘I get the privilege of seeing what we do and how we help people’ says Paul. ‘It is rewarding in its own sense seeing not just where that donation comes from but how it makes a difference to people and their resilience.’

After graduating from John Paul College in 1990, Paul undertook a Bachelor of Teaching (now a Bachelor of Education) at Griffith University from 1991 to 1994. He went on to become a preschool teacher at JPC in 1995. Following his time teaching, Paul made the move to London where he spent the next two years.

Upon returning to Brisbane, Paul went back to teaching at JPC whilst he completed his Masters of Business Administration at the Queensland University of Technology in 1998. Following the completion of his Masters, Paul was working in accounting and legal industries when Scott’s diagnosis made him reassess things.

‘This role has shown me you shouldn’t wait for a major life upheaval to reassess your priorities like I did. You should always be reassessing and I asked myself; Do I want to help people save tax or do I want to help make a better society?’

Looking forward, Paul sees his continued involvement with the organisation once he steps down as CEO and hopes that he continues working with people to make a difference.

Reflecting on his time at JPC, Paul recalls the vibrant social nature of the school. Back then, there wasn’t much going on in Logan so the College was the social hub.

‘There were no bad memories of my childhood and JPC was a large part of that’ Paul recounts, ‘I loved being a part of something, and I still remember the school song ‘We Are Family’.’

He looks forward to his 30-year reunion which is approaching next year, noting the social nature of his cohort and predicting a large turnout. Paul often keeps in contact with other JPC Alumni whom he notes are happy and generous in their efforts to assist the organisation.

Despite its challenges, Paul feels humbled and rewarded every day in knowing the MND and Me Foundation is making a difference.

‘It’s the little moments every day, and knowing that help wouldn’t have happened without the organisation’ he says.


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