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I guess for me my love for the outdoors started when I was 5 back in 1980. We moved from the Northern Beaches (Newport) of Sydney up to the New England Area of New South Wales, to a small town called Walcha. My stepfather Austin had one of the most extensive properties at Rowley Creek 2,800 acres of prime land right on the edge of the Apsley Gorge.
That began a mixed life between parents. Dad, on the Northern Beaches living a surfing existence with my step Mum Sue and siblings. And then with Mum and Austin on a grazing property. Before I knew it I was 6 and driving our old 40 Series Landcruiser with close to a million miles on the dial, our tractor and the life a young station hand begun. This life on the land introduced me to the basic of camping and that you didn’t need all the gear, just family some good friends and a great location to have fun.
Camping back then was in the 40 Series, under a rope between trees. My sister Rebecca used to come back from PLC a boarding school up in Armidale and bring a few of her friends. Us kids would then jump in the 40’ and head out onto the property for many a motorbike/4WD and camping adventure. Indeed, adventures they were, back in the day as young teenagers smoking and numerous other escapades that still continue to be recited around the campfire to the new generation.
The next stage in my life saw massive change. At the ripe age of 12 I went off to boarding school in Sydney, to Joey’s (St Josephs College) in Hunters Hill. That is where I met one of my best mates, Pat Callinan. You may know him as Mr4X4. But to us he’s just Patto, the larrikin of the bunch destined to do stand-up or be a barrister. Well that was the plan.
Pat ended up finishing Joeys and doing Law. I stayed in Sydney and started doing Forensic Science (Applied Chemistry) at UTS. Before you know it Pat was working as a 4WD Journo and ended up getting head hunted to start up a new 4WD magazine, I got the call up to join the team and we proceeded to launch 4WD Monthly which many would know today as 4WD Action.
This period consumed over a decade working for ‘Express Media Group’ and then under my own business M&M Advertising Solutions as the Sales & Marketing director. Opportunity came a knocking and I jumped on board with my old mate Pat Callinan to head up a team of just two back then, Pat and I. Back then 11+ years ago it was merely the TV show. Together we both then proceeded to launch Australia’s number one 4X4 and Caravan Magazines,
#Unsealed 4X4 – Issue 001. Launched at a Melbourne 4X4 show and became the Number #01 4WD Magazine in Australia overnight
#RV Daily –My involvement in this was not selfless as one of the best things in life is being able to give something away for FREE to someone worthy. So many past winners of Pat’s competitions have been so worthy, sick people on kidney dialyses, retiree’s with no savings & a few inspirational families
Working with great people and companies is very high on the priority list for me. Being in the 4WD, Caravan & Camping industry for over 21 years I have gradually seen a race to the bottom with cheap product that don’t last, and that comes at a cost to consumers and the environment. I saw a gap that needed to be filled, with long lasting, quality 4WD, Camping and Adventure gear. This idea eventually lead the launch of A247 in late 2018.
I was on the search for products of excellence and quality. In my search I stumbled upon GoTread’s whilst looking at industries worldwide and came across them at the Overland Expo in the US. Arne, the inventor, came up with the idea in 1975, the year of my birth, a sign from the gods! GoTread’s were made in the USA and came with a lifetime guarantee that is one unique thing. To me this instantly screamed excellence and quality.
Meeting Shane was the cherry on top in this whole process. The fluke meeting in a retail shop in Brisbane has led to partnering up with an amazing like-minded bloke with an identical philosophy to life and business.
Our vision for A247 is to continue to grow by accumulating quality brands to the A247 family. Essentially the brands we represent will stay true to our philosophy of excellence and quality at the best possible price. We won’t be putting the A247 name to gear and brands that don’t meet that premium quality. To the extent great brands like ‘Revolution Batteries, Redarc Electronics, Ultra vision Lighting, Darche and MyCoolman are now available to consumers through A247.
Shane and I are both passionate about giving back and hope to do this through our chosen charities that relate to men’s mental health, indigenous Australians and the environment.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Let us know how you get on with any of the A247 product you purchase we’d love to hear from you.
Cheers big ears!
Director | A247 Pty Ltd