A born survivor, John’s endless optimism and humour have served him well in a life that has been anything but ordinary. While at the Bush Orphanage (Tardun Agricultural School) he gained a reputation as someone never afraid to stand up and be counted. This reputation has endured throughout his years of farming and charity work.

Ever an activist, John formed the WA Noodle Wheat Growers Association in 1989, working directly with Japanese buyers to fight for fairer wheat prices for farmers. This pioneering work resulted in John being awarded as the WA Rural Achiever of the Year in 1993.

As one of the founders of the Tardun Old Boys Association, John has worked to ensure ongoing support for a generation of child migrants. Their objective - to preserve their unique legacy and keep safe a network of childhood friends who have stuck together throughout their lives.

Together, these friends set up the Australian Child Migrant Foundation in 1995, raising hundreds and thousands of dollars to help reunite child migrants with their families. They continued their work until the British Government set up their own travel fund.

A father of two daughters (Jo, 28 and Belinda, 25), John has now swapped the red sands of the desert for the golden sands of Australia's west coast. He currently lives in Scarborough Beach, Western Australia, where he continues active involvement in the Tardun Old Boys Association and his local community. His most recent work has been in establishing a charitable foundation to support the Benish Kasih Orphanage in Bali, raising thousands of dollars. All proceeds raised have gone directly into ensuring the welfare of the children and the future self sufficiency of the school.

In July 2009 John joined old friends in Tardun for a final reunion. Sadly, after 85 years, the Bush Orphanage (formerly the largest school in the world), has closed it's doors.