Phil Splitter
Founding Team Member

“…Don’t be ridiculous,” my father said “you can’t make a living out of music or acting; come and work for me, just for a while until you work out what you want to do!” And, with those words I put my dreams of music and
acting in a box on a shelf, and went to work in my father’s photo shop. That was in 1972 and I had just completed high school with no real desire to go on studying. My real interests at school had been playing in a rock band at
lunch times, singing in the choir, and acting in school plays, but I had no understanding or encouragement as to how I could go on and study music or drama. So I went to work for my father ‘just for a while’ and that while
turned out to be 15 years!
Sure I played and sang music as a hobby and even made a few dollars on the side, and I dreamed of being a great musician or actor or comedian, but I knew that’s all they were -dreams, and dreams stayed in a box up on a shelf!
I learnt the skills of the photo trade and became a good salesman, looking dapper in my suit and tie, and whenever anyone who saw me playing music or acting said “Why don’t you do this for a living; you’re good at it and you
obviously enjoy it?” I would say, “I only enjoy it because it’s a hobby and I don’t have to rely on it!” I didn’t realise that I was using that ‘excuse’ to keep me in my comfort zone and to keep my dreams up in that box – out of reach!
So I stayed in my comfortable job and after a failed marriage and divorce; (actually the marriage failed, but the divorce was a huge success!) I left the family business and travelled overseas for 6 months to ‘find myself’. I did achieve this to a great extent, travelling alone and making friends with myself. One funny incident that sticks in my mind happened while I was
staying in a youth hostel in San Francisco. Back home I had always been in the shadow of my younger brother Martin, who was also in the family business. Whereas I am somewhat easygoing and laid back, Martin is more
the ‘business man’ and somewhat serious. As he was more the front man, it was not uncommon for people to see me as ‘Martin’s brother’. So here I was, thousands of kilometres from home, and I ran into another Australian. When
I introduced myself he said, “You’re not Martin’s brother are you?”