I've always been a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. Well I had to be it's in my blood really. I lived in a coal-mining village called Wangawilli with my huge extended family close by and you know, I'd heard about tradesmen as a kid, but I'd never actually met one.My great-grandfather was a bullocky, my dad's dad was a stockman and my mum's dad was a shearer. Uncle Ben and Uncle Arthur were mechanics, Uncle Charlie was a bricklayer and my Dad was a coal miner. They had their own garages and workshops and helped each other out. They came from an era where you had to be resourceful and possessed a commonsense sort of wisdom. But when there was work to be done, us kids had to help.
I wanted to be an actor though and I graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 1973. Sometimes though acting gigs are pretty hard to come by so I drew on my bushie-type history and turned my hand to building and labouring work. I built my first house in 1976 and I've since built and restored eight more.