Sports-mad Robbie Humphries in a career that he loves, thanks to Moree Secondary College

HE may be a world away from his beloved hometown of Moree, but Robbie Humphries is carving out his dream career – an ambition forged many years ago at the Ron Harborne Oval cricket nets.

This self-described ‘mad cricket fan’, who graduated from Moree Secondary College in 2002, has successfully turned a passion into a business, establishing World Sports Xchange, an agency for talented sports people.

Now based in the UK, Robbie has fond memories of his time at Moree Secondary College, and believes it was this local education that instilled in him a dedication to a community often not achieved in larger centres.

“I have always been very active in my local community, and finishing school locally allowed me an education without having to miss out on the other things in life I enjoyed,” Robbie said.

Being able to maintain a dedication to cricket, as well as rugby union, rugby league, motocross and various community groups was a priority for Robbie during his teenage years.

And, as the son of Moree Mayor Katrina Humphries, it seems this community spirit is in the blood.

Robbie and Jac Humphries with their kids, Tyler and Scarlett (Image Supplied).

Having also enjoyed success in the financial services sector, Robbie attests that the ability to work part-time during his school years was advantageous – then, and now.

“I was able to work for mum at Fishabout and earn my own money from a young age,” Robbie said. “That allowed me to respect what I earned, but also how to engage with adults and the general public at a young age.”

It also gave him the grounding needed for his first job after finishing school, at Westpac Bank, Moree.

Again, it was cricket that inspired his first move to the UK in 2004, when he relocated to play in the Norfolk Club county cricket competition for 12 months.

Returning to Moree after the season he re-joined Westpac, and later iconic local business Lillymans.

However, the UK calling was too great, and he settled back in England in 2007.

Between working for National Australia Bank’s UK operation Clydesdale Bank, and finding himself a lovely English wife, Jac, Robbie set about developing his sports talent agency start-up.

He is also an English Cricket Board Accredited Agent and Level 2 Coach, and South African Cricket Accredited Agent.

Earning a living managing the UK’s top cricket stars sounds like a job too good to be true, and Robbie credits his Moree Secondary College Business Studies Teacher Naomie Bowen for giving him the confidence to pursue such a career.

“She was honest, candid and wasn’t dismissive of ideas. She allowed me to think outside the box when it came to business decisions in later life, all while following my passion,” Robbie said.

In 2010 Robbie and his wife returned to Moree, where their two children were born.

 “It was great to have those few years as a family in Moree, working for Auscott, and later Suncorp, and contributing again to the community,” Robbie said.

As President of the Moree and District Cricket Association, he said it was particularly satisfying giving back to a great bunch of players, and the game that gave him his own start.

In 2014 Robbie returned to England, and having initially worked with Whitbread PLC, as of January 2018 Robbie is now proudly running his business full-time.

With plans for his agency to expand into rugby, soccer and rugby league, he has also recently turned his hand to property development, trading as Bengerang Investments UK Limited – a nod to his maternal ancestry home, Bengerang, where the Murray family originated.

Describing property development in the UK as “lucrative but challenging” he laughs that the English “aren’t renowned for their speedy work”.

“I have been fairly nomadic since finishing school, but I think that is because you can’t just sit still and expect your perfect life to come and find you,” he said.

With two children of their own and two foster children, Robbie cites family as his priority, and that the vast distance between the UK and Australia is always a challenge.

“Being away from my family in Moree is tough, but you must go where the best opportunities are for yourself,” Robbie said.

“No matter where I live, I will raise my family based on those same community-based principles I developed growing up in Moree.” 

Words: Georgina Poole

Image: Supplied