Richard Gill sits back and stretches his shoulders. “I’m a bulldozer,” he declares. “I’m not going to change, I’m 75. I’ve got a loud mouth, and I go for the jugular.”

The question asked related to how he gets results and his ongoing frustrations with matters to do with music education, but it could equally apply to any or all of the organisations he’s led and the causes he’s championed over the past 50 years.

Richard Gill. Photo by Sam Grimmer

Right now, we are sitting in a café in Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building. Not Gill’s favourite café – that was closed off as he’d arrived early for an 8am interview and the upper echelons of the building weren’t open to the public at such an ungodly hour. He’s wheeling his carry-on luggage prior to a flight to Melbourne, and though I’m clearly squeezed in between his waking up and taking off, he’s never less than generous with his time.

I’ve known Richard Gill now for just two years, but I would definitely count myself in the category of supporter and fan. That doesn’t go for everybody, mind. Gill can be a...