We recently caught up with OKC Brian Leedman who is currently the Chairman of BlinkLab Limited, a company founded by neuroscientists at Princeton University, that has developed a smartphone based diagnostic platform for autism, ADHD, schizophrenia, and other neurodevelopmental conditions. Brian graduated from Carmel School in 1987 and traces his successful career back to an early interest in Marketing born from Mr Watson’s Economics class!

1. What did you enjoy most about attending Carmel?

I attended Carmel School from Kindergarten to Year 12 graduating in 1987. The graduating class had 18 students approximately half boys and girls. When broken into class sizes for subjects in upper high school there were in some subjects less than 10 students per teacher which provided a unique learning experience. The close attention paid to each student by the teacher’s is what I enjoyed most.


2. What are you most proud of from your school experience?

That I received an excellent education setting me up nicely for my post schooling education experience.


 3. What skills, knowledge, subjects or people from Carmel helped you in your life or career?

I most enjoyed Economics with Mr Watson. Within Economics I took an interest in Marketing which is where I built my post academic career.


 4. Tell us about your journey since graduation.

I attended UWA from 1988 to 1992 (taking a year off study in 1991 to live on a Kibbutz and travel through the Middle East, Europe and the USA and landed my first job at Challenge Bank (acquired by Westpac in 1998) where I made my way into the Marketing Department to eventually become the Marketing Manager of Retail Banking.

I worked at Challenge/Westpac Bank for seven years and completed an MBA at UWA in 2000 when I left the bank and started a business with a close Uni friend called WAX (West Australian Explorer) Magazine that targeted backbackers travelling to Australia for the Sydney 2000 Olympics highlighting travel adventures and nightlife in WA. The publication grew rapidly, and I was targeted by Ernst & Young for the ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ from which I withdrew following the terrorist incident on September 11, 2001 thinking my business would fail as international travel slowed down. Ernst & Young then offered me the role of Head of Marketing at the Perth Office where I worked for the next four years. In that time, I became President of the Graduate Management Association of MBA students from UWA and was awarded a Business News ‘40 under 40’ Award in 2004. In 2005 I left Ernst & Young and became the Investor Relations Manager for pSivida Corp., a biotechnology company in Perth listed on the ASX, NASDAQ and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges. I became the Vice President of Corporate Affairs and frequently travelled throughout The US and Europe. After ten years I left pSivida to co-found my first of six ASX listed healthcare/biotech companies where I have assumed various roles of Executive Director, Non-executive Director and Chairman.

5. Can you describe your current role?

I am the Chairman of BlinkLab (ASX:BB1) that listed on the ASX in early April 2024 that we licensed from Princeton University to diagnose Autism/ADHD on a smartphone in young children. As Chairman, I assisted in raising $2m in the pre-IPO and $7m at IPO. As the face of the company I use my Investor Relations/Marketing skills to promote the company to existing and new investors and the media together with strategic skills I have developed over many years at an executive level. BlinkLab is currently the best performing new listing on the ASX and is the first healthcare IPO of 2024. BlinkLab follows the success of my previous company, ResApp Health (ASX: RAP) that used signatures in the sounds of coughs to diagnose respiratory disease on a smartphone including COVID and was acquired by Pfizer in September 2022 for $181m.


 6. What do you enjoy most about your current role?

I enjoy leading new companies that I help to create to successful outcomes for investors. I also enjoy company promotion be it on investor roadshows or conferences.


7. What are you most proud of achieving in your life so far?

I am proud of my 17-year-old son Zac who is in Year 12 at Christchurch Grammar School, my wife Natasha (a lawyer) of 25 years, my car collection and weekends to Rotto on my boat.


8. Are there any long-term goals you hope to achieve?

I wanted to retire by the time I was 50 and when that became a possibility, I did retire for nine months following the sale of ResApp Health. New opportunities have brought me out of retirement, so I am envigored once more.


9. What advice do you have for our current Carmel students who are preparing for their future after graduation?

Study hard and go to university. Travel before you graduate or you may never get the chance. My father Bruce who is a retired Obstetrician/Gynecologist gave me sound advice – specialise my son! Be really good at something and you’ll always find rewarding work.