- Compiled - 1/1/2015 -|
Born: Mildura, Victoria - 16/4/1943
Height: 190cm. (6ft)
Status: Single (Divorced 35 years)
Brother: Christopher - Perth WA
Children: Cheryl, Warren, Sonya - Hobart
Children: Terry - North Carolina, USA
Home: Adelaide SA and Hobart TAS
I enjoy a challenge - any challenge. If I don't have something testing me at any time I will create it. Whether it is
renovating a room, designing a houseboat, making my own crosswords, experimenting in the darkroom or writing a book I
can always find something to do. I can live by myself quite easily and have done for 25 years.
I was born in Mildura in Western New South Wales to Daphne Cullen (my mother) and John Gordon Wallace, a married itinerant soldier from Cygnet in Tasmania who never acknowledged me. To give me a name my mother married Arthur Wilfred Wilkins, and we moved to Adelaide where my brother Christopher was born.
In 1956 my mother left Arthur in pursuit of my father and we moved to Tasmania. Her endeavour was unsuccessful and, although I met him twice, he was little interested in me or my mother.
I terminated my education in Tasmania at 15 and left school to become a sales clerk at the tnen Brownell's (later Myer). I didn't enjoy this much and left to take up various labouring jobs including working on the new Hobart Bridge, and eventually finished up in the dry-cleaning industry which became my trade for many years.
I developed an interest in photography and set up a darkroom in my bedroom. I began taking photos of children in their homes and developed a small business as a part time thing. Photography later became my interest and my profession.
In 1964 I married Libby Leeson and we moved to Sydney where our first child, Cheryl, was born. I started work in the dry-cleaning industry and later moved into film processing at Pacific Films, Kinelab, Channel 7 in Brisbane and Sydney and, through that, into contributing scripts to the Mavis Bramston Show.
By 1969 we had a son, Warren and another girl Sonya on the way. With my brother and a mate I headed north to seek our fortune on the prawn boats out of Karumba on the gulf. This didn't work out and my wife sought a divorce while my brother and I moved on to Alice Springs.
I sang with the local band for 12 months before heading back to Sydney where some friends and I went into the building industry erecting houses around Sydney until I met my second wife, Daughn, and moved back to Adelaide. I was building in Adelaide but frustrated to return to Alice Springs and in 1974 we moved there. I had built three beach buggies which I intended to hire out in Alice Springs and a friend and I drove two of them up the dirt track in 1974. The corrugations in the roads around Alice Springs proved a problem and I gave this away and got involved in publishing with some people setting up a new newspaper. Their attempt failed and, after a while I began the 'Alice Springs Star' and a monthly travel magazine 'Territory Travellers Tales'. I also produced a map for the Central Australian Travel Association. In 1979 I split with my second wife, sold the paper, and moved to Scotland.
In Scotland I mapped St Andrews and produced several others including Kirkcaldy, Perth and Inverness before returning to Australia where I developed maps of Alice Springs, Darwin and the Northern Territory. In the mid 1980s a friend, Carmel, and I took over the old open-air Pioneer Theatre in Parsons Street and I built 20 shops into it and we opened the Pioneer Market. The venture didn't work due to various problems including the lack of air-conditioning, and I was left with a massive debt for materials used in the building. I retreated to Wallara Ranch for a couple of years to repay the debt and gather my thoughts. I was there when Chernobyl went up, and Halleys Comet visited, and left around 1986 to concentrate on mapping.
Moving back to Adelaide I started a highway map between Adelaide and Melbourne and, soon, towns along the way were asking if I could do a map for their towns. Horsham, Mt Gambier, Ballarat and others were added to the list.
These days I produce some 80 maps across south-eastern Australia and spend my time between offices in Adelaide and Hobart. The job involves the things I love including photography, writing, travel. art and sales.
I also maintain several web sites but, quite frankly, they are getting to be a pain and I don't enjoy them as much these days.
Now in my 70s I am fortunate to enjoy good health and have no intention of retiring.
Copyright © 2015 - All Rights Reserved - Peter Warren Wilkins