By DALE LUMA
BRIAN Bell Group chief executive officer Cameron Mackellar believes the continuous support of his family has enabled him to take on larger and more challenging roles throughout his career.
“I effectively started my life here in PNG many decades ago. Although I was only one when I arrived in PNG, both my parents were very proud to have worked in Port Moresby for a number of years in the late 60s, early 70’s.
“My father was the headmaster at the Port Moresby High School and my mother taught primary school at Boroko East public school.
“I enjoyed a barefoot upbringing for the first few years of my schooling life before my family returned to Sydney prior to PNG’s Independence. I was schooled and educated in Sydney before embarking on my work career.
“I’ve been extremely fortunate to have such a supportive family and my wife (Monique) enjoyed and did a super job running our family after having four kids very close in age.
“That wonderful support at home essentially allowed me to take on some larger and challenging roles through my career, including roles in PNG.”
From 2012 to 2014, he worked in PNG as the chief executive officer for another group of companies.
“An enjoyable and challenging period but ultimately saw me return to Australia for a few years before heading back to PNG to take up this role with Brian Bell. I was very fortunate to secure this role with Brian Bell. I joined in October 2016.”
Much of his career was spent in other sectors outside of retail.
“Much of my experience in those other sectors like manufacturing, services and technology really helped with some of the successful strategies we’ve applied and adopted here in the past few years, also challenging ourselves to introduce new thinking and ideas. Brian Bell has been in PNG for 62 years and intends to be around for another 62, and more.”
He has been with Brian Bell for a little under four years and thoroughly enjoys every aspect of the role, business, country and people.
“Time has gone quickly over the four years and my wife loves PNG as much as I do. She’s up here every month (other than the Covid-19 period) engaging with our team and driving our visual merchandise in stores to look and feel different to anything else in PNG.
“There’s absolutely a sense of obligation to maintain the integrity of our brand and what it represents to PNG.”
He thinks it is really easy to be sidetracked in PNG and concentrate more on the noise and not the sounds.
His mother told him from an early age that he should always “listen a little more than you speak”.
“Providing you remain focused on the main game and don’t fall prey to all the distractions which deliver little in the end, you’ll not only survive in PNG but also, most importantly, accomplish stuff.
“That’s why we are here, to deliver good outcomes and make a difference. It’s not complicated really.
“I’m responsible for business change, and frankly, if we wait for everything to be right elsewhere or conditions to rapidly change, we’ll deliver very little.
“We all have thoughts about what could be better in PNG. However, that’s no different to anywhere else in the world. If we achieve our goals at Brian Bell, PNG wins. We do more, we spend more and we create things.”