At the age of just 22 (in 1969) and newly qualified in History and Education, John took up a post lecturing in History at what are now parts of Flinders University and the University of South Australia (UniSA). He covered a wide variety of areas from Chinese and Latin American History to the History of Childhood. During this time John completed a Masters degree in Latin American studies in England and was awarded a Rotary post-graduate fellowship to Mexico (1976-77), where he was awarded a post as Investigador Visitante at El Colegio de México, that country’s prestigious centre for postgraduate study in the Social Sciences. In the late 1980s John was commissioned to write a history of the Kindergarten Union of South Australia.
In 1986 John began studying law part time, specialising in Family law areas. He particularly enjoyed mooting and, with partner, won both the Australian and Australasian family law mooting championships. He was called to the SA Bar in 1993. To gain practical law experience, John worked in a part-time capacity for a South Australian legal practice, which has provided him with an important insight into the practice of law.
While still a law student John wrote materials on legal aspects of education and educational administration for the University of Adelaide's M.Ed degree. In 1992 John accepted an invitation to join UniSA's School of Law and won a University wide Teaching Excellence award two years later. John was responsible for teaching the School's business law units in Hong Kong and Singapore and he was promoted to senior lecturer in law in 1995.
John joined Deakin Law School in 1998 as Unit Chair of Competition Law and also taught in the School’s Misleading and Deceptive Conduct unit. John served as the School’s On-line Teaching Fellow in 2004 and received extensive media coverage for his pioneering role in using podcasts for academic purposes (e.g. http://www.theage.com.au/news/education-news/testing-onetwo/2005/10/09/1128796398213.html ). John is recognised by the National Library as Australia’s first user of podcasts in higher education (http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/3537536 ).
In 2006 John elected to move to a 0.6 position (apart from a brief return to full time to cover a sudden staff departure) to accommodate other interests and commitments. In that capacity John has been the sole teacher and assessor of the Deakin Law School’s popular under- and post- graduate Sport and the Law subjects. In his teaching John draws on the ‘Sitz im Leben ‘ (‘Life setting’) approach pioneered by the German theologian Rudolph Bultman and the ‘spiral curriculum’ concepts of the American educator Jerome Bruner. John has published many of his views on teaching ‘preventative law’ to non-law students, in which capacity John is recognised as an effective communicator who can convey and cut through the legal jargon to promote understanding and education.
During his career John has served as an elected staff representative on university standing committees, was for some seven years involved nearly full time as a (student centred) director of academic studies and convenor of academic progress committees. John also served for nearly 30 years on the Synod of the Anglican Dioceses of Adelaide and Melbourne, being in the former Diocese an early and prominent advocate for the Ordination of women. Now in (almost) semi-retirement and full retirement after some 40 years as a tennis player, John has time to continue to read widely and to pursue his interests in cycling and walking (with and without dogs).