As reported by Stephen Lacey in Domain 29/06: For full story click here.
Evan Williams, a sales executive at Ray White Double Bay, trained as an opera singer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Show business runs in Williams’ blood; his brother, Kip, is the head of the Sydney Theatre Company.
At 21, Williams and his wife had their first child, so he stopped singing and got a real job‚ selling houses.
Last year Williams broke the Australian price record for a property sold under the hammer.
The couple have three children.
Which living person do you most admire?
My grandmother, retired actress Wendy Playfair. She had a lead role on Prisoner.
She is over 90 now, and yet was in a movie with Geena Davis only a couple of years ago.
She lived through the Depression, which was a time when actors, particularly females, weren’t paid terribly much.
I look up to her for her extremely high level of resilience, and the steadfast way she has always taught us good manners.
Most memorable sale and why?
It has to be 22 Albert Street, Edgecliff; an art-deco block of flats called Eynesbury.
I sold it in December last year for $33.25 million; the highest residential price ever achieved in an Australian auction room under the hammer.
What do you consider your greatest achievement (outside of property)?
Starting a wedding business – Kashaya & Co – with my wife, when we had two very small children.
Who are your heroes in real life?
The midwives at RPA Hospital. We’ve had three pregnancies that have all required special attention. My wife and I believe the midwives are the unsung heroes of modern society.
What is your motto?
‘To see a thing through’. It’s a family motto from my mother’s side.
Growing up in the fast-paced eastern suburbs, you see a lot of young people who assume it all happens overnight. It doesn’t; it involves hard work and seeing it through to the end.
What was your first job?
When I was nine, I’d sing at three or four weddings every Saturday at St Mark’s Church. We’d all get paid very well: $30 per wedding, which was a lot of money for a nine-year-old.
I also had a paper run when I was 12. My dad was nervous about me heading out in the dark at 5am.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Seeing my mum with breast cancer, because it was so out of my control. She was diagnosed only three months after my wife gave birth to our son James, when I was 21.
Name your guilty pleasure …
Visiting a friend’s Black Angus cattle farm in Moss Vale, where there’s no phone reception. We go there to eat blue cheese, let the kids run around in a paddock and switch off.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
The Southern Highlands. It has a cool climate, it’s very green and it’s close to all amenities.
What is your defining characteristic?
Success to you is …
To be, rather than to seem to be.