The mortgage industry in Australia is big business. In fact, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the total value of mortgages in January 2016 was $1,466 billion. The Aussie dream of owning your own home is alive and well, and Aussie—the business—is making those dreams come true. CEO James Symond has been with Aussie right from the very beginning. “I started from day one, when I was 19 years of age,” James says. “I had a call from my uncle, [!john!] who is also my godfather, who said, ‘Look, come and give me a hand for a week!’

“We were a start-up with a small handful of team members, and there was next to zero money to be had. My first job was literally sorting out the jumbled secondhand stationery I had bought from an auction house. It took me a couple of days to sort and place it all into the little spare boxes they gave us, to make sure that the team members didn’t think we couldn’t even afford new stationery.

“That’s a small example of how we started from ground zero. While money was thin on the ground, we did have a big man with a big vision—which was John—who stood on his fruit box and screamed loudly, and he made sense. His simple message of ‘We’ll save you!’ got through to the mums and dads out there.”

Twenty-four years later, James is still with the business and can’t see it being any other way. “This business is in my blood,” he says. “I grew up in this business. I know Aussie back to front and I love it. I don’t confuse business with pleasure—what I do is a way of life, and it’s something I am very proud of. John and I have an extremely strong relationship, and I was very fortunate to start working with him from such a young age. Aussie is a trusted household name that has arguably changed the industry. It’s remarkable looking back at footage where the Prime Minister of Australia stood up in Parliament many years ago and said, if it wasn’t for Aussie Home Loans, every mum and dad would be paying more on their mortgage. They are incredibly proud moments to look back on. We were disrupters before we knew what a disrupter was! It’s cool today, but 24 years ago we didn’t know what it was.”

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