By Leonie Wood
Steve Vizard had all of it: wealth, status and tool, in equivalent and bold proportions . . .Once a favored, fast-quipping television comic and Gold Logie winner, a legal professional and much-loved kinfolk guy who had even been topped 'Father of the Year', Vizard had turn into a depended on neighborhood hero. at the forums of numerous businesses, together with Telstra, Vizard considering each element of public and company lifestyles. and during the charitable Vizard beginning, he used to be noticeable to foster artwork and different strong causes.Then a few curious cheque transactions and the invention of six mysterious work in Vizard's own documents prompted investigations into Vizard's former bookkeeper, Roy Hilliard, who, it became out, had swindled on the subject of $3 million from Vizard over a number of years. yet Hilliard knew plenty of secrets and techniques approximately his outdated boss, and while confronted with legal fees he hit again demanding, accusing the businessman of unlawful proportion bargains and extra. He portrayed Vizard as a grasp of deception whose public photograph used to be a charade; Hilliard depicted himself as basically the businessman's dupe. Vizard, even if, observed it very differently.In this compelling tale of Vizard's fall from grace, Leonie wooden seeks to discover the fellow at the back of the general public character, and to reply to the query at the lips of many: why did he do it? used to be it greed, audacity or sheer stupidity? And what will we quite find out about Steve Vizard?
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Additional resources for Funny Business: The Rise and Fall of Steve Vizard
Herbert Geer & Rundle, like Weigall & Crowther, was a mid-tier law firm with about ten partners. It was housed in a sleek new high-rise office building in central Melbourne, and in the mid-1980s it was considered a firm going places quickly. It offered what other more traditional and conservative firms would term, with a perceptible sniff, ‘innovative solutions’. Tax planning was a specialty. 23 Funny Business TEXT PAGES 25/9/07 8:13 AM Page 24 Funny Business Fairley had developed a niche advisory role negotiating contract terms and salary packages between football clubs and their star players in what was then known as the Victorian Football League.
Vizard took three weeks to ponder the offer. ‘I wrote a great huge list of why I shouldn’t move,’ he told journalist Karen Kissane (Time, 23 April 1990), and it was not quite as simple as tossing aside a highly paid legal career; now there was a wife to consider. In March 1988, Vizard had married Sarah Jane Wilmoth, the vivacious love of his life, a practical and very sociable partner who 30 Funny Business TEXT PAGES 25/9/07 8:13 AM Page 31 Climbing the ladder could parry Vizard’s wit and laughingly knock his ego down to size.
But much of it was genuinely about pursuing aspirations. ‘I remember we asked Steve along to have a hit of tennis one day, you know, old mates, that sort of thing,’ a former university friend says. ‘And we were there in our old shorts with beat-up racquets. Steve turned up in what looked like brand new tennis whites—the shoes, the socks, everything. He was like a parody of a tennis player. He looked like what he must have thought tennis players were meant to look like. Sometimes I felt a little like the character Nick Callaway in The Great Gatsby—you know that scene in the movie where he’s looking up at the big house?