Barry Penney attended Adelaide University reading Education. He spent the early part of his career working as a primary school teacher before leaving education to take up a job in sales and marketing. He eventually rose to general sales manager of Ciba-Geigy, a major pharmaceutical company. He went on to attend the Australian Administrative Staff College in Victoria and serves as an associate fellow at the Australian Institute of Management.
Again a change of career: Barry, with his wife, purchased and skipper-chartered a forty-foot yacht in the Greek islands; they then ran their own hotel for five years in Bodrum, Turkey. After the death of his wife, he operated a business in management training in Sydney. Barry studied CELTA (Cambridge English Language Teaching for Adults), taught foreign students in Sydney, and then taught for three years in Vietnam and China, respectively.
He is currently seeking a volunteer position teaching English in Cambodia.