What is your job?
I publish ‘ Mt Beauty and Falls Creek – This Week’ which is a tourism newspaper started back in 1980. Because we were an SEC town we were not all that welcoming to visitors, so I tried to put in stories about the local people so that visitors knew what a good town they had chosen to visit, and stories about the visitors that made the locals see how important tourists were to the town. That is still the policy and without the visitors our town wouldn’t survive. I also run the laundromat which we took over in 2010. It had been closed for seven years, so we renovated the space and turned the front into an office for the paper and to make it more welcoming.
Is it something you always wanted to do?
No I didn’t really think I would end up doing what I am. I left Melbourne in 1980 where I had been selling boats for five years. The boating industry took a dive when the OPEC countries did the world over with the price of oil, and boats took a real hiding so I came to Falls Creek looking for work. I’d skied here since 1976 and enjoyed the lifestyle. I did labouring on the building site of Sundance Inn, and I got a job parking cars. Working with the local guys I found that there was a lack of information for the visitors. The manager at Sundance asked me to make a flyer which went out weekly and was pinned up on notice boards. That was the beginning of ‘ This Week’.
What do you love about the job?
It’s an enjoyable position, communicating with a lot of people. You have a pretty good handle on the community, though you don’t know everything. It provides a lifestyle where you get to talk to people, go skiing and spend time on the High Plains.
What do you do in your spare time?
I’ve been a member of the tennis club since 1990, including a period as president. I’ve been a member of Rotary since 1996, including two terms as president. Rotary is a great organisation, Bill Gates chose to support Rotary in its polio eradication program because he knew all the money gets to the right place. I’ve been to Timor Leste three times to work on schools and community centres. I try and do a lot of volunteering; I support the Kangaroo Hoppet committee too and collect for the Salvation Army, things like that. For the last four years I have been working in the Visitor Information Centre at Falls Creek where we’ve started doing guided walks. I’m also a member of the Falls Creek Historical Society, and I volunteer at the museum up there.