Chris Gibson

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I am also in awe of the achievements of some classmates. Maybe the subject is "write a one page fantasy about what you’re going to do when you leave NSBHS"

Being practically numerically illiterate, despite the counsel of the schools kindly careers adviser ‘Foo’ Forster, I moved into accountancy – along with John Harkness and Dave Lincey. Predictably I hated the disciplines involved, but fortunately in the 60’s there were a lot more jobs than seekers. I wound up, after stints costing repairs on battleships, attending Uni full-time, teaching and administering an employer group, as research manager at Packer’s publishing company ACP. In 1971 I moved to News Limited as local and overseas research director at about the time Murdoch started making serious inroads into offshore markets. The 70’s were halcyon days for those involved in Australian publishing – first class travel, hotel suites and lavish long lunches. In between I became involved in restructuring and marketing projects and spent time in San Antonio where News had its first US base.

By the end of the 70’s things were settling down so boredom set in. I accepted a project to launch Penthouse magazine in Australia with two former News Limited colleagues Lloyd Bond and Mark Day. Our backers proved to have less money than hype. Fortunately on the day of my arrival at Penthouse I had a call from Packers then trouble shooter, the unfortunately named John Fink, who offered a job back at ACP. I worked there in various roles, in particular new product development, during the heady days of the 80’s when the companies magazine division grew from 4 titles to 87.

By 1990 the 10 year itch set in again and I took on the task of establishing a New Zealand Gallop Poll and readership survey for the delightfully eccentric Gary Morgan. To the annoyance of the locals, the new company was soon fielding the largest, and arguably most accurate survey in NZ and we extended our activities to Hongkong.

In NZ we developed an interest in horses and during the 90’s had some racing success in Australia including a Summer Cup and numerous stakes wins. I counted amongst my partners Murray Sime and James Packer.

Two years to the day later after arriving in NZ I was invited back to ACP by the then publisher Richard Walsh to take on the role of associate publisher looking after strategy for the Group. I later oversaw the group’s marketing and circulation activities and in 1997 moved in that same role to competitor PMP. I returned to ACP in 1999 as group publisher but after severe and, most likely, terminal differences left at the end 2000.

I am at present enjoying doing project work and planning, wishfully perhaps, the launch of a major magazine of my own.

Clearly my working life, whilst enjoyable, has not been a model of stability. By contrast Suzanne and I were married in 1968 and are still happily together. I also enjoy a close relationship with my three delightful daughters Kylie, Meaghan and Lyndal.