Around 1964, aged 15 years, Rog Fryer shouldered his grandfather's old canvas swag and began travelling on foot through bushland Australia.

 

Three years later, with two round-Australia hitch-hiking trips under his belt, he was writing stories and photos of his encounters in national magazines.

 

With schoolmate Ian Temby, his Wildlife Survey of Stockman's Reward was published in the Victorian Naturalist scientific journal and won a major bursary in the Victorian Science Talent Search.

 

Matriculating with science honours, Rog tried zoology at Queensland University on a Commonwealth Scholarship but found sitting in lectures boring, so swapped for a Diploma of Professional Writing from Canberra College of Advanced Education. There he became co-editor with Morris Gleitzman of the student newspaper Ccaesarian.

After starting his journalism career as a copy boy for the Canberra Times, Rog moved bush, married Gretchen Graf and built a bark-roofed slab home using only pioneer hand tools on six acres in the Deua River wilderness to live sustainably and farm cashmere and dairy goats.

After the Howard government was elected in 1996, Rog briefly edited Canberra City News,and Southern Flyer in Mornington, VIC, before moving to Grafton in northern NSW to serve 20 years as a subeditor with APN newspapers including editor of Richmond River Express Examiner.

During this time Rog started and became president of Mid North Coast Ecotourism Society, a member of Eric Rolls' Watermark Literary Society, and wrote Wildlife and Wilderness in the Waterfall Country which was published by CSIRO.

For 10 years Rog has published a colour magazine, Tracks, for the Bicentennial National Trail, which has recently gone digital.

"Like other journalists I tried to hold back the tide as print collapsed and the internet forged ahead. But now I have bowed to the inevitable and work now mostly online, even recently buying a drone for aerial photography and video." Rog said.

 

"My lifetime of experience has shown me how people communicate and the best ways to transfer information from one to another. Poor communication is the root of all conflict. This is most important these days in the wild west of the internet."
 

For the next 15 years, Rog and Gretchen farmed and worked locally, Gretchen as a primary school teacher and Rog as editor of the Batemans Bay Post, Moruya Examiner and Narooma News with some freelancing

Two kids, Billy Sunrise and April Rose, were born at home delivered by Rog and he went on to deliver three more babies to women in the bush as a male home-birth midwife. Together, Rog and Gretch started the Deua River Bush Horse Races.

 

As the kids approached high school it was time for them to experience urban life and for Rog to get more serious about his career. They moved back to Canberra.

 

Subediting at the Canberra Times and writing freelance feature articles, Rog was spotted by CSIRO and offered Communications at the Division of Wildlife and Ecology at the old Gungahlin homestead outside Canberra.

As a consultant with the Commonwealth Environment Protection Agency Rog wrote speeches for several ministers of environment in the Hawke/Keating governments, including Barry Jones and John Kerrin. He also consulted for Australian Alps National Parks.