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.

Comment News (Gosnells) - - Front Page -

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.

Pic­tures: The Sun­day Times

Glenn De­whurst shows the in­juries he re­ceived af­ter be­ing run over dur­ing the Halls Creek riot in 1996. Above right: Glenn to­day.

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