A brief profile of Tim Harding

Tim Harding
Tim Harding at the controls of Radio RPP FM in Mornington

Tim Harding joined Beaumaris Probus after he was our guest speaker in September 2020. His subject was the pioneer aviator and boat builder, Major Harry Turner Shaw OBE (1889-1973).  Major Shaw lived at ‘The Point’, which was a substantial estate overlooking Ricketts Point, Beaumaris, before it was subdivided into residential blocks. (Incidentally, Major Shaw was the grandfather of two of our current members Tom Glass and Derek Skues). 

Tim grew up on one of these residential blocks in what is now Point Avenue, Beaumaris. He went to Beaumaris Primary School then to Haileybury and Monash University, graduating in 1971 with a B.Sc. in biochemistry and microbiology. 

Tim worked in the water quality laboratories of the former State Rivers & Water Supply Commission for a year or so. Then he joined the new Victorian EPA, working on water pollution control policy. After around ten years at the EPA, he was promoted to the Department of Premier and Cabinet as a natural resources policy advisor.

Back in the Conservation Department, he managed Cabinet, legislation, and parliamentary business, sometimes spending long nights in the Victorian Parliament building. He was later promoted to Director, Flora and Fauna, conserving wildlife and native plants, including endangered species. In this capacity, he was appointed as a founder member of the Royal Botanic Gardens Board in 1991.

Tim was then given the task of developing the new Fisheries Act 1995. After that, he was assigned to helping Austrade to open up new markets in East Asia for Victorian seafood. This involved visits to wholesale fish markets in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan plus meetings with Asian seafood importers.

In 1998 he became a regulatory consultant, specialising in responsible gambling, agriculture, animal welfare and public safety. His clients included the Federal Government and various State Governments.

In 2009 Tim returned to Monash part-time while still working as a consultant. He graduated as B.A majoring in philosophy and history. He is interested in how western civilisation got to where it is today, which he thinks is taken too much for granted.

Along the way, Tim has also been a part-time jazz musician, playing trombone, writing arrangements and leading a 12-piece swing band, the Australian Cotton Club Orchestra. They have recorded 4 CD albums and have regularly performed for corporate and charity functions in the large international hotels.

Now that he has retired from consulting work and bandleading, Tim presents various weekly jazz radio shows, currently recorded from home during COVID lockdowns. This ties him up for around 2 days per week on average. He spends the rest of his time reading, gardening and dreaming about travelling overseas again. 

Tim has been married for almost 30 years to retired teacher and current book reviewer Lisa Hill. They have one mature son Carl, who is a charter airline pilot.