Paul Johnson grew up in England on a solid diet of sci-fi blockbusters like Star Wars and Star Trek, which have fired his imagination to the point where he wants to write his own futuristic novel one day.
For now, FABLE’s Financial and Staff Resources Manager dabbles in writing short stories, so that in retirement he’ll be ready for the challenge.
“Part of the attraction of Science Fiction is seeing it cross over into reality, like Star Trek’s communicators helping to inspire modern mobile phones and their tablet-like information displays becoming iPads.
“I like being at UWA surrounded by major breakthroughs like the microscopic needle and gravitational waves – we work alongside such clever people. It’s fascinating to think about new inventions and how sci-fi often predicts our future.”
Anyone paying a visit to Paul’s office can see that he has a particular fondness for Star Wars; pictures, calendars and even a miniature version of Chewbacca are dotted about.
“I was eight when Star Wars came out and it was like nothing I’d seen before. I suppose it’s kept the inner child alive over the intervening decades!
“I was really impressed by UWA’s ‘May the 4th be with you’ video – it was really well done and a bit of fun for us all – I’ve put it on my LinkedIn page for others to enjoy,” Paul says.
While on the Star Wars topic, Paul says his favourite hero is Luke Skywalker because he “came from nothing and through his own effort made something of himself.”
To some extent he draws a comparison to himself stating that as a student he professes he was shy and not academic at all.
“It wasn’t until I was in the workforce that I discovered I loved number analysis and problem solving.
“I’m fortunate that I love what I do, and am supported by great staff. We provide a range of financial support services to support FABLE’s objectives, as well as supporting our colleagues in other faculties and the central functions of the University.
Clearly, he likes to bring an element of fantasy into the office, with the team mascot, ‘Bob the Zombie’, a crocheted character, injecting some hilarity into the day.
“I’m a firm believer that work should be fun and Bob is part of that. I’ll randomly leave him on someone’s desk when they’ve gone home for the day, so he’s one of the first things they see when they arrive the next morning, and hopefully it puts a smile on their face!” he says.