COAST VOICE: Gruff, committed and passionate, Ashley Robinson.
COAST VOICE: Gruff, committed and passionate, Ashley Robinson. Patrick Woods

Voice of the Coast: Ashley Robinson

WE GO behind the public persona of Ashley Robinson OAM, the high-profile Coast resident who has fingers in many things from sport to charity work and beyond.

Being 60+

I am bitterly hanging on to 61. I am torn between working with a lot of young people with the football and lifesaving. You think you are younger than you are until you actually look in the mirror. I like to try think young, but you get a rude shock every now and then when you realise how old you are getting.

Keeping fit

I do a lot of walking. I was doing a lot of swimming but I have a problem with one of my shoulders which I've nearly fixed.

And the diet?

Hah! I actually don't eat a lot, but I probably don't eat the right stuff a lot of the time. I've got off the gluten and it's made me feel a lot better.

I do eat a lot of fruit, but probably too much salt like a lot of people my aged.

Will you retire?

I have a son in jail in Bali so I will have to keep working full-time until I am about 67; that's the target. The Alex Surf Club's 100 years is in 2024 which is when I have contract till.

And then what?

Probably drop dead like my father did. My mother was 99 and my father 66; hopefully I will be in the middle somewhere.

I like to travel so if I have any money left I would to explore what normal people are doing in other countries like go where the locals are and understand how they live.

If I can't afford that I see myself travelling to country towns. You know, west of the range, everything tastes better and people are a bit friendlier.

Any regrets?

I have had depression issues over the years and tried to be public about because it seems to help others. Before I get out of bed, I sling the legs over the side and decide if it's going to be a good or bad day, and you have to pick good.

Probably the biggest is I wasn't as close to my father as I would liked. I said to my wife there were so many things I never said to my father. So, I spent a lot time with my mother and didn't leave anything unsaid.

I learnt a lot about parenting from what my father didn't do. Men of that era tended not to talk about things. I have tried to be opposite with my sons.

Highlights?

I have always said, when I met my wife I was lost and then I was found.

The two grandchildren; they have given me goals to keep moving and keep my health. I would like to see them turn 21. That gives you some motivation.

The other is when Bill Hoffman and I started the charity swim. I always wanted to do something that made me feel good. That probably changed the way I thought once we got that going.

Is there anything left to do?

I would love to win a lot of money. If I did now, I would make sure I distributed it to people who needed it.

Dealing with the public profile

I always wanted to be a football star, but it was never going to happen. Now I am the complete opposite. I am happy to just fly under the radar wherever I can.

I go to Bali to visit my son where I have become a fan of Hindu temples. I can sit in a temple and I am as happy as Larry, just in my own little world.

Who are you now?

I probably look a lot more crankier than I am. And a bit prickly even though I don't have anything to be prickly about.

Once I meet and trust people, I think I am a pretty supportive to the person.


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