Rod is from a North Queensland cane farming background and worked in a variety of jobs and industries. After a stint with the Australian Post Office/Telecom he commenced work for the Federal Department of Employment, Education and Training. Rod spent the last few years as Regional Manager (Commonwealth Employment Services) Gold Coast. During this period he undertook placements in Logan, Brisbane State Office and Cairns including Thursday Island.
He was also a committee member for the Woodridge Skillshare (WAYS) where as a CES officer he was involved in career talks to disadvantaged clients and youth placement activities. He completed a Bachelor Degree in Administration and Industrial Relations through Griffith University and a partial psychology degree through New England University.
After the privatisation of Federal Employment Services he commenced with a private provider as their National Manager (Research and Policy Development) implementing a major expansion of training and employment services in Qld, NSW, Vic and SA until his retirement.