By day, Max Torkar is a self-described “counter of beans”. On weekends, the DEUTZ Australia Finance and General Manager “takes off the brown cardigan” to hit the tennis court or golf course.
“I am a handy tennis player and I have even beaten our club champion, although he was the club champion from 1969,” Max says with a smile. “I am also a General Rescue Member for SES, so do not be surprised if you see me saving a pussycat from a tight spot!”
There have been few dull moments in Max’s life. He was born in the south of France to parents from Italy and Slovenia, who brought him to Australia as a child. Max’s parents
were technically refugees, as they had escaped from communist Yugoslavia.
“They had a tough life, endured war, made a lot of sacrifices and my siblings and I are grateful and fortunate that they made their way to Australia,” he says.
Before joining DEUTZ Australia 10 years ago, Max worked for another German business, engineering company KHD Humboldt Wedag. At DEUTZ, his role is diverse and throws up new challenges most days.
“My role can include IT issues, compliance, human resources, operational issues and lots of reporting especially to the Parent Company,” he says. “I work closely with the Managing Director, Craig Chamberlin. We have a similar mindset and we normally think alike. The only thing we are likely to dispute on is who is paying for lunch on our weekly Pho soup date.”
Food is a constant theme in Max’s life. When he makes the long trip to visit the parent company in Cologne, it is made worthwhile by the Kolsche and Pork Knuckles.
Max says DEUTZ is a great company to work for as it looks after and respects employees. “The culture is very healthy,” he says. “We have many long-term employees and when they leave it is usually because they have retired.”
Personally, life is also good after Max married his “beautiful African Queen” in Zambia in 2014. It was quite an experience, also involving food. “I was made to eat caterpillars as part of the marriage process whilst also trying to avoid some of the wild animals lurking in the midst,” he recalls.
“The weather was great during the whole time there and fortunately most of the family were able to attend and enjoy this unique experience. Zambia is a peaceful but still a developing country and my wife still has most of her family there and we try to support and sponsor them whenever we can.”