My working life spans over forty years and during that time I’ve worked with the poor and the wealthy, many of whom I call friends. I was earning a man’s wage at the age of fifteen, working during the school holidays on the wharves in Sydney and from there went into banking, accounting and school teaching. After achieving mediocre results at school I duxed Teachers College and spent my first three years teaching in the Northern Territory. Only five of us completed the three years we were bonded to teach in this area and I could write a book on each of these years. While holidaying in Sydney after my second year of teaching I met the girl I would marry, and following a whirlwind courtship we became engaged. After conversing by mail only for the next four months we were married. Barbara then accompanied me as I returned to complete my final year in the Northern Territory on an outback aboriginal settlement 200klm west of Ayers Rock.
We’ve now been married for 35 years, have five children and to date, six grandchildren. As a teacher I was unique. Continually operating outside the conventional frame, doing things and initiating programmes nobody else had done, but I knew this was not my life’s work. After fourteen years I left teaching amid the concerns of many colleagues who thought I was crazy! Barbara and I pursued a business in direct selling but it wasn’t my niche. In desperation I resorted to casual teaching, even teaching at the school I had left. My ex-colleagues were wonderful but I felt a failure until one day an idea flashed into my mind and with it I marched into the Reptile Park at Gosford owned by Eric Worrell, the world famous herpetologist. I confidently told him that as they did not have an educational facility I would set one up and quadruple the number of children coming into the park. It worked and finally I felt I had found my niche. I loved every minute of my job which saw me not only presenting shows for children but also presenting many of the displays for the general public. It was here I discovered my ability as a showman, an educator and an entertainer. I also discovered I had an uncanny ability to be calm and focused during the most dangerous of situations. Being a showman meant that the boundaries were constantly being pushed and Barbara was called to the hospital twice following bites from venomous snakes, but despite these incidences my love of the job remained unchanged.
After three years as an employee Barbara and I formed our own company. Bob Turner Wildlife and contracted to the Reptile Park. I was paid according to my ability to attract patrons and according to my reckoning I was the highest paid education officer in Australia. Before Mr Worrell died he paid me a compliment I still treasure. He walked up to me in the office and said “you were a one in a million find” then he walked out. His wife looked at me in astonishment and said “you can take that as a compliment, for I have never heard him say that to anyone”. Not long after this Barbara and I decided that for us to progress we had to leave the park and thus once again we jumped into deep water. That was over fifteen years ago and during this time our business has gone from success to success. I have performed in front of every possible group imaginable and I estimate we have conducted over 15,000 shows in front of audiences ranging from a dozen to 2,500.
Everybody’s life reads as a book and we bring our book to you. It’s all been a wonderful journey and learning experience. We’ve chased our dreams and we’ve learned what is necessary to realise those dreams, not just in the business world but in all aspects of life thereby achieving a sense of fulfillment, happiness and peace. All of this requires certain ingredients, certain laws of life that must be followed. These we impart to you during a wonderfully entertaining show using a collection of very interesting wildlife.You can be a better spouse or partner, a better parent, a better employee and even a better employer if you follow these principles but more than anything you can learn of the power that is within you to be a more productive person. There is an almost imperceptible voice that guides all people through this life and when we learn to tap into this voice our fondest dreams and our greatest potential will be realised.