NT election 2020 candidates – Tony Schelling

by | May 13, 2020 | Uncategorised | 0 comments

The NT Independent is providing you with a light-hearted look at the candidates for the August 22 NT general election. We’re not looking at policy or platforms at this time, but rather at the person behind them.

Our Q&A should help you get to know the humans of NT politics.

Today’s profile is CLP candidate for Casuarina Tony Schelling. Tony was transferred to the NT with Commercial Bank of Australia / Westpac in June 1981 and has worked in Darwin, Jabiru, Katherine and Tennant Creek.

Tony returned to Darwin in February 1995 to start Mortgage Choice NT as the owner and franchisee. An inductee into the Mortgage Choice Hall of Fame in 2013, and a multi-industry and franchise award winner over the many years, Tony said he also introduced the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia to the NT in 2002. He is also a Fellow of Institute of Managers and Leaders Australia and New Zealand.

Tony is a life member of Casuarina Kiwanis Service Club and has been on the Australian Board of Trustees since 2014. He and his family purchased their first home in Nakara in 1988 and returned there in 1995. The family were schooled at Nakara, Holy Spirit Primary, O’Loughlin Catholic College and Casuarina Senior College.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and who did it come from?

“Two ears, one mouth”: My father. My Dad was very direct. He migrated from Holland in 1949. We grew up on dairy farms in south eastern Victoria. As a teen I had so many good ideas to impart.

For hay carting, I was on the trailer in the paddock stacking loads on my own. My older brother could take instructions, so he could work with Dad in the shed.

My parents visited me in NT for the first time, after four years, in 1985.  At a function we attended, Dad later noted one person to me. “This bloke is a good listener,” he said. “He stands back and listens. Then when he engages, he listens to what the other person is saying.  So when he speaks, he knows what he’s talking about.”

This was a message I never forgot.

Tell us something interesting or quirky about yourself

In the old rule I’m around  6’ 5” tall (195 cm) My arm span is 7‘ 2” (218 cm). As a 16-year-old I got fitted for my first suit. The small stature tailor asked two questions. “Which side do you dress on?” was one. My mother explained what that meant. “Are you related to an orangutan?” was the other. My mother intervened quickly.

Also, my eyes focus independently and I see on two horizontal plains. It made it interesting playing cricket when not wearing specs.

Neither are interesting. Both are quirky.

How would your best mate describe you in twenty words or less?

Loyal to a tee. Squeeze one more quick thing in, so often late. From my Dad – “Always be on time”.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could bring one movie, one album and one book, what would they be?

If I’m alone, perhaps a book on mindfulness mediation, to get in touch with myself. Otherwise, Tai-Pan in the James Clavell series because it is easy reading. Bob Seger’s Stranger in Town. Australia

If you could have dinner with any person in history, who would it be and why?

Gordon Ramsey. Dinner is about food. I like food…and lively conversation.

A couple of really quick questions. You can give one-word answers if you wish.

Tea or coffee?  

Tea (at the moment – harder to mess up.)

Folder or scruncher?




Wet season or dry season?


Coles or Woollies?

Does it really matter?!

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