Vince grew up in an outer suburban area of a large metropolitan city. He was undecided about a range of options on completing school in 1991, and was interested in physical education, forestry and photography. He decided on the third of these as his first choice but was unsuccessful and so began a course in computers and applied physics ‘to keep occupied’. He soon gave it up (‘wasn’t really interested in it’) – but was also doing some volunteer work for a National Park environmental group and so moved to a horticulture course (‘a lot of outdoor work – which is what I wanted’) and then a certificate in resource management. He started a correspondence course at a regional campus in Parks/Recreation/Heritage in 1994 – used local resources and went up to the campus for two weeks a semester to do the required labs etc. – ‘self-motivation and interest in what you’re doing is the main thing’.