Politician’s working life started in Dubbo
STATE Member for the Sydney region seat of Campbelltown, Greg Warren, has plenty to be thankful for when he thinks back on the early years of his career path.
He left Dubbo’s St Johns College in Year 10 and scored a mechanic’s apprenticeship, but was laid off in 1989 during a tough season and looming recession,
He’d seen the army recruiting caravan in Macquarie Street and thought that might offer a secure job so went in and signed up on the spot.
GREG Warren is one of Dubbo’s most successful political exports yet he’s got a low profile when it comes to local name recognition.
He grew up in the Dubbo region before moving away and his path to becoming an MP is proof that people can change their circumstances dramatically if they just stick to their dreams.
Back home to spend Christmas with his parents, he recounts his start in life.
“I was born in Dubbo in 1973 on Melbourne Cup Day, Gala Supreme won that year and Dad’s mates have plenty of stories how it was paying high odds and Dad didn’t get his bet on at the Garden Hotel because they said he had to get up to the hospital,” Mr Warren told Dubbo Photo News.
“I finished school at Year 10 and started an apprenticeship but got laid off, so I went into the army careers van and before I knew it I was in the Royal Australian Infantry Corps where I served for a total of about 10 years.
“It prompted my interest in other things when I got out – commerce and law – so it led to my getting an MBA at the Australian Institute of Business,” he said.
Mr Warren left the army and worked for Caltex at Sydney Airport and drove fuel tankers, taking a redundancy after Ansett went broke.
He then scored a job driving coal trucks, and when first son Bailey was born Mr Warren kept up his studies in business while looking after their new baby during the day. He continued to drive coal trucks at night to support his family as well as his tertiary studies.
Jobs followed as a linehaul manager, state procurement manager and general manager for various companies, all worked at while continuing further education.
“It was quite daunting after having left school at Year 10 and having to study again. I remember when I got my first assignment doing my degree I had to Google what a bibliography was, that’s how uneducated I was, but we got through in the end,” Mr Warren said.
“I stood for my local council at Camden, I did two terms on there. I was deputy mayor then mayor a couple of times and then contested the state seat of Campbelltown which is where Simone and I chose to raise our family. She’s from Moorebank and I met her when I was at 1 Brigade at Holsworthy.
“It’s a great place, it reminded me a lot of Dubbo at that time, but like Dubbo, there’s a lot of changes happening with the urban population expansions, and there are the challenges of finding that balance between a good sustainable community, so future residents can enjoy the same lifestyle as existing residents, whilst delivering the desired outcomes of the community,” he said.
He joined the ALP because he believed the party matched his values and principles of fairness, equality, solidarity, and concedes that while the organisation hasn’t always got it right, the party has delivered much for the nation.
Mr Warren said he understands why some people may consider voting independent in protest against the major parties, but believes that’s a mistake.
“Partisan politics I think is important in terms of certainty and stability but what is most important is developing policies that are consistent with the dreams and aspirations of local families, community groups and businesses,” Mr Warren said.
“To be blunt, country people feel forgotten and in my own parliamentary role I know how forgotten they feel – the greyhounds, council amalgamations.
"The message to the Liberals and Nationals is that people need to come before politics, and communities need to come before corporations – we need to put people first.”
To be blunt, country people feel forgotten and in my own parliamentary role I know how forgotten they feel – the greyhounds, council amalgamations.
Member for the state seat of Campbelltown, Greg Warren, grew up in Dubbo. He was in Dubbo to spend Christmas with family here. He's pictured, second from right, at Taronga Western Plains Zoo with Robyn, Mary, Simone, Bailey and Darcey Warren.