A Personal Message from Mike Martin

After some long and serious deliberation, I have decided to move on from my role as Executive Director of the Halogen Foundation.

When we talk about the power of getting started on simple ideas at Halogen events, it might not be obvious that we are speaking from experience, but we are.

Sitting around my parent’s dining table in the mid 1990s, stuffing envelopes to schools for my brother’s company, I don’t think anyone imagined where this crazy venture would have ended up. But here we are, a strong and modern not-for-profit organisation that has been serving Australian schools since 1997.

The change from a Halogen volunteer into an employee came unexpectedly for me in 2004. When I think about everything that has happened since, I still smile and shake my head in some disbelief. Not all of it has been fun, and even less of it has been easy, but I wouldn’t trade any of the wisdom, nor the friends I have gained for anything else in the world.

My job at Halogen has given me experiences that I’ll treasure forever. Of those, it's not the flashy functions or stage moments that I remember, it’s the quiet, honest conversations that happened well away from the spotlight. I’ve had quite a few of those; with speakers before they step on to a stage in front of a crowd, with teachers (usually over several cups of tea) who judge our product with grace and care, or with students lit up with enthusiasm about a life path they see as possible for the first time. Remembering the wisdom exchanged in those moments makes me feel very privileged indeed.

I’ve also been lucky to do my work alongside some fantastic people.  My most sincere thanks go to the Halogen board, staff and volunteers who quietly and constantly go about making awesome things with a minimum of fuss or fanfare. 

It's now time for me to take some of my own advice and seek some new leadership challenges.  The first one will be to devote some more time to my family, who have patiently accommodated my work adventures for some time now.

The search for my successor has begun. I’ll be assisting in that task to its completion, then afterwards, for as long as I am useful, as a Halogen Director.  There is no shortage of work to do in supplying our country with better leaders in the future. I am as excited as anyone to see the evolution of that.

A personal note from Halogen Chairman Andrew France

Mike Martin has resigned as Executive Director of the Halogen Foundation after more than ten years of passionate servant leadership.

Mike first stepped into the role when his brother Matt, founder of the organisation tragically died in 2004. Through this incredibly tough personal time Mike steered the organisation and provided the leadership it needed to continue on.  He guided the organisation through the GFC and made significant changes to ensure its sustainability into the future. Mike leaves Halogen a stronger and more robust organisation ensuring that in the years to come, many more young people will have the chance to learn about what it means to lead themselves and others well.

Mike oversaw the creation of the Halogen brand and has been a remarkable defender of it and all that it stands for. He has enabled the role out of the brand to the extended network in both New Zealand and Singapore. 

He has built around himself a strong and skilled team who together have excelled in putting on events of an exceptionally high standard.  The events have been a ‘who’s who’ of Australian leadership featuring the well-known leaders of our country and the not so well-known who have achieved great things.

During his time as Executive Director Mike has presented to over a quarter of a million high school and primary school students and challenged them to lead themselves and others well. He has forged relationships with other like-minded organisations and extended the value and opportunities presented to the youth of this country through the work of the Halogen Foundation.

Thank you Mike for the massive contribution you have made to the future leadership of Australia.  Thank you also to your family for the support they have given to the organisation as they have freed you (often at personal cost) to travel the country educating young people.

Mike finishes up on the 30th of April.


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