“I coped, you can too”


Prior to meeting Liesel, I had not long returned from 4 years of travel overseas. My final trip, home from Ireland, included sailing on a 48’ yacht from Waterford (Ireland) to Ascension Island on route to Capetown in South Africa, a 9hr US military flight from Ascension Island to Antigua, driving across the US from Miami to LA via Denver, flight to Brisbane & hitch home to Dalby.

Everything was pretty loose, not much planning and pretty much take on what ever opportunity came up. Exciting & good times. Within 18 months of returning to Australia, not only had I given away the idea of taking up a job in either of Russia or Singapore, I had met & married Liesel. Liesel & I had met & married in 10 months….. “If you are on death row, you may as well go to the chair” & a pat on the shoulder was the reaction from a good mate, who had also been on the yacht with me. For me this was a monumental step.

Not half as huge though as finding out after 4 weeks of being married that Liesel was pregnant with our first child. I can still remember having that “Oh Crap” feeling & sitting down at the table in our little house thinking “I’m not sure if I am ready for this”, even though I was 30, I still wanted to play for a while yet. Typical boy, a bit slow to grow up, avoid commitment, all that sort of thing. We had no money, I owned a pretty rough little cottage, I had a trade but no real full time work, I was mucking around working for myself a bit. Life as I knew it was about to change for EVER…… how was I going to cope with that, “I’m not ready for this”, kept going through my head.

Well, today we have just had our seventh child & I reckon I have coped just fine. Our first child Robert is now just 17, I am 48 and back at the start with an 8 week old. I must admit that when Liesel told me that she thought that she may be pregnant this last time, I had a brief moment of thinking “Oh crap, I am too old for this”. We have a boy 17, girl 15, girl 13, boy 12, girl 8, girl 2 and a boy 8 weeks. Probably my only regret is that we didn’t fill in the gaps!! We are so blessed to be able to have children, we live in a great country with lots of opportunities & things will work out. I just love to watch how the children, specially the older ones react & deal with the little ones. It is great!!


Posted on

November 8, 2016


  1. Trevor Grace

    Good on you for sharing Gavin’s story, it certainly resonates. And thanks for all the tremendous work in trying to protect the unborn babies. I’ve put up the ad Not Born Yet – Gavin’s Story (incredible that it was pulled from the 10 Network) on the website http://www.redandwhiteribbon.org
    All the best,

    • Jeanette Harris

      Hi Trevor – thank you so much for your support, and for emailing us – it really means a lot. Have a great day.


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