John McDermott, approaching his three score and ten years, has lived long enough and had enough experience to write this book.
At the commencement of his twenty years’ experience as a director involved in health and aged care, twice being the Chairman of National Companies, John was horrified by an inspection of a nursing home owned by the aged care company which he first became associated with. Lip service about the value of older persons was negated by the conditions in which they lived, by their being patronised and effectively removed from society.
Mixing at Board level over the next twenty year with dedicated accountants, solicitors, chemists, doctors, builders, healthcare professionals and others, John was introduced to the concept of the dignity of ageing and the hard work which we all need to pursue to retain that fitness in mind and body which will enable us to enjoy our Vint-Age life in full.
It seemed a pity not to record all the lessons that had been learnt over these years.
Along the way John has attempted to remain mentally fit as the principal of a well-respected legal practice, in serving on various committees with the Law Society of New South Wales, as a Councillor with the City of Sydney Council and otherwise.
Formerly an active rugby player (one Wallaby trial), cricketer and tennis player, John now finds his physical outlets mainly in jogging (the City to Surf Race frequently, the Herald Half Marathon infrequently) and kayaking and swimming with his wife Wendy.
Over the last decade, building dry stone walls — generally involving the movement of large rocks up steep hills — has become a major source of exercise and relaxation which is principally augmented by jogging and reading.
As far as legal practice is concerned, recent years have included some emphasis on mediation, of legal disputes which, half a professional pursuit and half a hobby, has challenged the ‘dark horse’ within the otherwise energetic litigator and commercial solicitor. It also provides great satisfaction when in a sense paralleling the aim of this book — professional skills can be brought to produce a good outcome.