Midweek Interview

Midweek Interview with Greg Erwin, general manager, Mossman Gorge Centre

The challenge for the industry is… For Cairns as a region, flight capacity is critically important, as it is for most fly-in destinations.

Indigenous tourism is gaining momentum and will add a cultural depth to the experiences that visitors will have in any destination.

Far North Queensland has a higher average population of Indigenous people than most places in Australia, so it’s important that this dimension is added to showcase that we have a culture and history dating back thousands of years.

The things I like about my job are… The people, getting to work closely with a community and the local Yalanji people is an experience you cannot replace. They are a wonderfully warm and loyal group of people who are the greatest single strength of the Mossman Gorge Centre.

And the frustrations… I am not usually frustrated at work. If I am ever frustrated by something I try to change it.

If I didn’t work in travel I would be a… A psychologist, there is nothing more rewarding than helping people in need.

Qantas or Virgin? Qantas

My proudest moment was… Becoming a father and opening the Mossman Gorge Centre. Opening the doors to a community dream that took 20 years to materialise and have a team of 60 Indigenous employees ready to go was my greatest single work achievement.

The naughtiest thing I ever did was… I have never drunk or smoked but I loved fast cars. I have a few tickets to my name.

I try to relax by… Getting on the water. Water, sun and wind are all pure energy – whenever I am on the water I can feel the batteries being recharged.

The last time I feared for my life… I can’t remember a time that I feared for my life but working with a community you can see firsthand the effects of a shorter life span of Indigenous people. Death is unfortunately too common in their lives. It reminds you of your own mortality, something that I never gave a seconds thought to before now.

If I can, I always try to avoid… Conflict, not that I don’t face it in life if I need to, but life is easier when you are not in conflict with yourself or others.

I really wish I had… More time with my family. We are all happier when our lives slow down and we have time to enjoy it.

The best advice I’ve ever received was… I was once told that if you have a problem with someone, the problem is yours. It’s easy to blame other people for how you feel but ultimately only you can change how you feel.

I don’t understand why… Justin Bieber is famous.

My greatest weakness is… Fast cars, still…

And my greatest strength… Never being late.

If I was prime minister I would… Call for a conscious vote on legalising gay marriage. It’s the greatest single human rights issue that we will look back on in years to come and wonder why we didn’t wake up earlier. If the next election was based on this issue, it would be an election worth voting at!

If I won $1 million on the lottery I would… Buy a big boat.

If I could be someone else for one day I would be… The Dalai Lama. Is he really that calm and centered on the inside?

I’ve always wanted to travel to… Italy, preferably around the Monza Formula 1 Grand Prix, then off to the Amalfi Coast and Tuscany.

My favourite holiday was… Camping in outback Queensland. It’s amazing how relaxing it is not to have access to a phone and emails. From now on I try to never holiday with a phone and access to work emails.



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