How many people do you know who can be in the same job for 17 years and still feel like they are 'living the dream'? Mitchell Giles was the CEO of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation of Queensland (ADFQ), before it merged with the Gold Coast Drug Council in 2012 to become Lives Lived Well, and he's remained CEO since then.
If compassion were a blood type you could be certain that Mitchell has it running through his veins. After the obligatory career experimentation upon leaving school, which included a failed attempt to get in the air force because, he could "basically only see in black and white," he settled on nursing, way back when male nurses aren't so common as they are today.
A posting in a drug and alcohol unit at a not-for-profit hospital became the start of a long career, rising to the role of Nursing Manager, but when the hospital was privatised, Mitchell soon realised that he had a distinct preference for the not-for-profit environment and made the switch to community nursing.
His passion for his work and his part-time studies for a Masters of Health bore fruit when he was tapped on the shoulder to take on the CEO role at the ADFQ. Starting with 40 people, and with a handful of mergers along the way, he's since grown the organisation to over 500 staff, providing drug and alcohol support as well as mental health and gambling support, throughout Queensland and in rural New South Wales.