The remarkable rise of Gosnells’ Mayor
Some may consider new Gosnells mayor Glenn Dewhurst a lucky man. Cr Dewhurst literally won the top job by lucky dip last Monday, but it’s not even close to being the greatest battle he’s been fortunate to emerge from, as BEN SMITH discovered.
GLENN Dewhurst did not finish school, spent 20 years with the police and worked with Andrew Forrest. Now, he is the new Gosnells Mayor.
Cr Dewhurst was elected to the City’s top job in stunning circumstances when his name was drawn out of a barrel after he and two fellow councillors were tied after two rounds of voting.
Last Monday’s event was another remarkable tale for a man who already has plenty of stories to tell.
Born in Collie, Cr Dewhurst grew up in Belmont and went to school in Queens Park, but upon completion of Year 10 travelled north and worked as a stockman.
After a few run-ins with the local police, he decided to join them as a 19-year-old, which was the start of a 21-year career with the police force.
One of the first from his graduating class promoted to Sergeant, he spent time throughout the south metropolitan region and served with the Riot Squad.
Cr Dewhurst said he survived a close shave with death during the Halls Creek riot in 1996.
“I got run over by a Land Cruiser; I went literally underneath it and I was lucky it was a tall anchorage,” he said.
“It was front page of The Sunday Times; there’s a picture of me with a big bruise and they said ‘give us a quote’.
“I said I’ll give you two; ‘One Powerball and I’m out of here’ and when the Land Cruiser hit me, ‘Oh what a feeling’.”
He said his time with the police taught him the importance of communication and co-operation, something he has pledged to emphasise in his council dealings.
“You’ve got to really communicate and give people feedback; if you don’t do that and don’t engage, you’ve failed,” he said.
“Everyone is different; people say they don’t like so and so because they’re grumpy, but that’s their makeup. If we’re all the same, it’s very boring.”
After his time with the police, he worked with mining magnate Forrest (“He will ring you up at 3 o’clock in the morning”) before he started his own specialist consultancy business.
He also founded Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre in Martin and continues to contribute to the rehabilitation of the endangered birds.
Glenn Dewhurst shows the injuries he received after being run over during the Halls Creek riot in 1996. Above right: Glenn today.