Seven People That Changed My Life - 1 : My parents and our move to Australia By Bill Jarrard

Parents always have a significant impact on our life’s journey, after all without them we wouldn’t even be here. My parents Bill and Gladys were and are I’m happy to say two of the best.

When I was young they allowed me to explore my world, encouraged me to try new things, to make mistakes and then make amends. They shaped my values, spurred my education through word play and gave me a love for reading.

But perhaps the biggest change they made was in 1971 when they decided to move to Australia. I was the oldest of four children and at 18 they allowed me to decide to join them or not. I recall the day well.

I was in my first weeks of university and Mum had my car for some reason, so she picked me up at day’s end. As we drove home she casually said “Oh by the way your dad has quit his job.” He’d been with the company for 20 years and was in charge of Western Canada distribution, so that was quite a surprise.

Then she said “Oh and we’re moving to Australia!” What? Where did that come from? Then she added “And if you want to come you’ll need to buy your own ticket.”

What she meant was that at 18 I had to make my own decisions and take my own actions. So after 3 days consideration I bought a ticket on a ship that took us from Vancouver to Sydney in February 1972, leaving 7 days after my 19th birthday.

I left behind a fiancé, lots of friends and started a whole new life. It was a major change in my journey, which was about to take many new turns.

in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia


Founder Mindwerx International. Author, professional speaker, corporate trainer in Critical & Creative Thinking and Making Innovation Happen. COO at

Husband, Father, Grandfather

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