A Kiwi by birth (of Scottish ancestry), I first came to Western Australia (Kalgoorlie) in 1975 and was honoured to be granted Australian citizenship on Oz Day 1996 – in fact, I was ‘arrested at sea’ by Jon Sanders, in the company of some other nefarious characters, including close mates Anthony Wayne and Tracy Bartram. We were then frog-marched to the stage on Fremantle Esplanade and given the choice of accepting citizenship, or being beheaded! What would you do? The only time I’m really conflicted about being a Kiwi born Aussie, is when the Wallabies play the All Blacks, it’s too bloody hard!
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/the-family/thumbs/thumbs_27-gordon-steve-greg-tipene-jody-caitlin-the-ross-m.jpg]380The Ross mob - (l-r) Gordon, Steve, Greg, Tipene, Jodie and Caitlin
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/the-family/thumbs/thumbs_council-house-lunch-17th-june-2011-008.jpg]330Jodie and partner Brent
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/the-family/thumbs/thumbs_bathurst-09-folder-1-004.jpg]270Gordon Ross
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/the-family/thumbs/thumbs_lisa-aaron.jpg]260Lisa and husband Aaron
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/the-family/thumbs/thumbs_the-girls-stay-over-1st-feb-025.jpg]220Granddaughter Caitlin
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/the-family/thumbs/thumbs_lila.jpg]150Granddaughter Lila
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/the-family/thumbs/thumbs_mitchell.jpg]130Grandson Mitchell
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/the-family/thumbs/thumbs_3-nz-trip-march-2008-023.jpg]160Steve Ross
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/the-family/thumbs/thumbs_nz-day-14-029.jpg]130Brother Stephen and his son Tipene
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/the-family/thumbs/thumbs_19-tipene-on-the-black-widow.jpg]150Tipene on the Black Widow
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/the-family/thumbs/thumbs_ann-and-brigitte.jpg]130Ann and her mum Brigitte
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/the-family/thumbs/thumbs_hope.jpg]140Cousin Hope and me
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/the-family/thumbs/thumbs_7-nz-trip-march-2008-022.jpg]130Cousin Hope and her daughters
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/the-family/thumbs/thumbs_nz-day-6-001.jpg]120Colin Cleave - mates since we were kids
[img src=http://www.gregross.com.au/wp-content/flagallery/the-family/thumbs/thumbs_ross-boys.jpg]160The Ross Boys - (l-r) Steve, Tipene, Gordon and Greg
All but one of my children live here, as do my three grandchildren (all West Aussies). I’m engaged to Ann, who comes from Germany and her mum, Brigitte, is now very definitely one of the family. I love machinery, own a classic car, plus a wonderful, mad non politically correct late model Aussie V8 and a cruiser motorbike, not to mention spending many years at the wheel of trucks, road trains, tourist coaches, cars and motorbikes.
In terms of business life, I started my working career as an office boy at an Auckland (NZ) advertising agency. When I first came to Australia, I worked as a wholesale representative for a New Zealand tour company, before resigning to resume travelling myself. In WA, I moved from truck driving to tourist coaches and started to become involved in the advertising and marketing side of operations, as well as driver / tour guide work (something I still love). I was, for a long while, marketing manager for the Barbagallo Group, later taking up the role of CEO of Dowerin Events Management (the iconic Dowerin Field Days), then spending a period as marketing manager of Yirra Yaakin (the wonderful Aboriginal theatre company), before deciding to take time off from the corporate world, play with my grand kids and follow some of my passions – I write (I’m a past finalist in the Maj Monologues playwriting competition), play music (I play piano … sort of! and foolishly imagine I can play guitar), I love photography, want to learn to paint, accept more acting roles and travel. If the charity event is worth it, I’ll even drag Aunty Jack out of the closet to help raise much needed funds!
To pay for it all, I’ve been doing FIFO roadtrain driving in the Goldfields, the Pilbara and the Kimberley. I still take on marketing consultancy work and when requested, lecture on arts marketing at WAAPA. I also occasionally work as a freelance photo journalist.
Sport? As mentioned, a Rugby Union fan and an ex player and also a great fan of motor sport – V8 Supercars, Superbikes and Formula One. Music? Almost everything, from Beethoven, through to Cold Chisel, but I should probably confess to being a long-term Leonard Cohen fan – Ann and I have just seen two of his concerts – one in Dublin and the other in Berlin. You may not know who he is, but I’ll bet you love his song “Hallelujah.” At 79, still playing to adoring audiences all over the world, he’s also a great example of what older people can offer the world and their community.
The future? After the recent spectacular political failure (won’t try that again … probably!), it’s back to the good life – driving road trains (to keep the wolf from the door and pay for overseas trips). There’s a lot of Oz Ann hasn’t seen and a lot of the world I still haven’t seen, not to mention family and friends in Aotearoa. Then there are tales to write, moments to catch with the cameras, jobs to do, wine to drink and friends to break bread with.
All good things