Kelly Grace

Events manager IGNITE Bellingen NSW

Background Image

Hi Dr. Gregory. My sincere thanks for your time, input and inspiration through the Ignite preamble and day. You’ve given me some very interesting food for thought on the application of skill sets (and translation to employability), the ingrained drive for productivity over self-care and family that non-Indigenous cultures carry. I was also interested to consider that my family indeed does have ‘culture’, they just don’t choose to identify with it, nor converse about it (thank you for pointing that out too).


Every now and then a story comes along that impacts you, that changes you, that makes you think, ponder, contemplate and grow.

This is one of those stories.

As someone who too left school at the exact age of 14 years and 9 months ( I still remember the yellow form that was signed to excuse me ), I see some similarities between my own life, and that of Gregory.

Where we depart however, is in the extremes that define us and it those extremes that make Gregory’s story almost unbelievable, such is the shift in his life.

This is a book that I would recommend to anyone who has questions about life, themselves, the world around them, and their place in amongst it all. It is a book that shows the value and importance of goal setting, of determination and dogged perseverance.
A true inspiration.

Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.

Clinton D – Sydney


An email from a fellow travelor

Dear Gregory.

Briefly but politely I must assure you that omission to your academic title on this (above) header is by no means an insight announcing disrespect; in-fact something to the contrary.

My name is Thomas, not my birth name which is a common transition amongst those of us who’s childhood beginnings still dictate their every adult step. My experience started at 2 years old till 16, 5 placements but I was not a ward, I was private entry & in between lived with a mentally ill mother, a common story sadly. And yes when the gate finally open’d I wanted to run straight for the forest. I won’t get long winded here, as much as you already know that is one of the traits we excel as Forgotten Australians.

What I wanted to say sir, was thank you for taking up to completion the learned journey you’ve walked looking for all of us in a shape and colour that only those of us raised in these institutional environments in those times can recognise. You have truly brought a tear to many of us I’m sure. So many of us myself included in later years found ourselves in emotional pain enough to pursue studies as a means of identifying with ourselves or at the very least a means of finding ourselves. I had hopes and dreams too, and buried myself in all kinds of books, mind sets, and number’s looking for an explanation as to why?. But my hopes to go further were replaced by a need to care for my wife, someone who held out her hand to me while the hell of memory ate my soul for all to witness. You know how that works Gregory, when nobody else was there, you only see that person nothing else seems to matter anymore. So now I’ve arrived at 67 & the mirror is still the keeper of a confused child. But my shoe laces got further away a long time ago now so I walk with the stride of denial in a facade built from my right to be here. Yes like many of us I’ve lived basically under a shrub, down the beach and in the hills. Strange isn’t it, we yearned to belong while we scurried from view so often. I’m guessing the society jigsaw never quite offered our shape enough for us to fit in completely. A bit like a grey triangle trying to fit into a black and white square. Anyway Gregory, again thank you so much, I am not well these days, my life is showing it’s once distant door a little closer now & melancholy inflicts my eyes with a tear more often. But I wanted to honour you in a brief contact to let you know you are quietly loved by those of us who shared those times and places. Take care of yourself brother:

With highest regard. Thomas.

‘The reasons we are & the people we’ve become, can find their origins in the innocence of a child’.


“Thank you for your talk yesterday at our annual gathering in Lennox Head.
You are certainly inspiring. We received so many comments from our staff that your words had great resonance with them and their work on many levels. Several Ability Links staff commented to me how they appreciated hearing your thoughts about taking small steps with people we work with and allowing them time to move at their own pace, that reinforced their own work practices”.

Robert Baldwin, Social Futures, October 2018.


“I just wanted to thank you so much for coming and speaking at our all in day this week. Everyone absolutely appreciated what you had to say and we were all very moved by it. We are all talking about it, and I know will continue to do so for quite a while. Our 10 copies of the book are in high demand and we have more on order”!

Tony Davies, CEO Social Futures, October 2018.


“A number of our School attended Gregory’s book launch in Mullumbimby last night where Gregory’s experiences, insights and wisdom moved us all”.
Professor Barbara Rugendyke PhD GAICD, Dean and Head of School, May 2018
“We received great feedback from our staff about your talk… I think your involvement added a lot to our day and definitely delivered a dose of reality and honesty to our proceedings that was appreciated by all”.

David Havilah, Geolink, August 2018.


“Thank you Dr Gregory, your talk to thousands of our jobseekers across the eight Jobinar events was truly inspiring. Feedback from the jobseekers was overwhelmingly positive, you have touched and inspired so many. On behalf of our staff and the clients we serve, we would like to thank you for your humble and candid telling of your life story! “

Michelle Dowding, NORTEC, August 2016.