Financial services leader Damien Frawley honoured his Catholic faith during a speech to 200 Brisbane members of the Assembly of Catholic Professionals recently.
The 52-year-old spoke on wearing his faith on his sleeve as a businessman and sportsman.
As chief executive officer of Australian funds manager Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), Mr Frawley said religion was “at the core” of him as a person.
He said he was “privileged” to have been brought up in a devoutly Catholic home.
Mr Frawley said his faith “has never waivered” despite facing many challenges in his personal, business and sporting life.
At 16, Mr Frawley’s brother died of cancer, a moment that left an “indelible print” on him.
His mother also suffered from a stroke in her early 50s.
“At those times in life, it’s easy to disbelieve,” Mr Frawley said.
“Those things make you ask questions, like ‘Why did this happen to me; is this fair? Is there a God?’” he said.
He said leaders in the finance sector often had “tough conversations” with people, but Catholic virtues forced him to be kind, compassionate and understanding in such situations.
Mr Frawley said he had never experienced prejudice against religion during his 26 years in the finance industry.
The Queensland-born businessman attended St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace, before representing Australia in rugby union.
He and his wife moved to Sydney for about 17 years when he worked for global investment management company BlackRock Australia.
QIC brought him back to Queensland in 2012 as the company’s CEO.
The Assembly of Catholic Professionals hosts sponsored luncheons featuring Catholic guest speakers four times a year.
The Catholic Leader sponsored the ACP luncheon on May 20.