Getting to know Glenn Turner

Update 29 Nov 2014
Congratulations to Glen Turner who completed the Via Francigena in 66 days and raised $100,000 for research into dementia, diabetes and depression. Read about the amazing outcomes of his walk in his final blog post.


Novocastrian businessman and  Hunter Medical Research Institute Chairman Glenn Turner is embarking on a  self-funded three-month solo trek through Europe in an effort to raise awareness of our society’s number one health epidemic – lack of physical exercise.

His goal is to raise $250,000 for continued research at HMRI into three main diseases that result from our more commonly sedentary way of life; dementia, diabetes and depression.

Glenn will be recording his adventure via a blog. “It is my intention that my journey will be both informative and entertaining and well worth your donation. Even if you don’t donate and you follow my adventures online, I will have succeeded in enlisting your understanding and possible future assistance.”

Following the  1,700 year old pilgrim trail, the Via Francigena Glenn will begin his journey in Canterbury, England on Friday 25 April,and continue through France, Switzerland, and Italy before reaching the final destination of Rome.

The 3D Healing Walk is a journey of discovery, not only for Glenn personally, but for the wider community who will benefit from money raised for continued research dementia, diabetes and depression that negatively effect our modern way of life.


Engage Newcastle asked Glenn some questions about his background and Newcastle as he prepares for his journey.


Tell us about your background, including what drew you into your field?

I was born and educated in New Zealand and  transferred to Australia in 1971 and have been here ever since. I came to Newcastle 1977 when Port Waratah Coal Services formed, and spent the next 30 years  in and around manufacturing, construction, mineral processing as in roles that included CEO, Director and Chair of various companies and bodies such as Hunter Water, NSW Manufacturing Advisory Council. From 1996 to 2007 I helped build a medium publicly-listed company by internationalising and focusing on Australia’s strengths.

What are you passionate about? Can others in the community get involved?

I have always been  drawn to technology and what it can do. There is always a better way.

These days it’s all about Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI). Community can get involved by becoming a supporter; donating, volunteering and spreading the word and possibly serving on Foundation.

What do you hope will be achieved by the 3D Healing Walk ?

Raise $250,000 for research into ways in which personalised medicine and regenerative medicine can assist with diabetes, depression and dementia.

What’s been your proudest achievement to date? 

I have always endeavoured to build things and achieve growth in whatever I am involved in.

What would be your dream project?

Renovate a villa in Italy.

What does the future hold?

Involvement in as many things as I am drawn to or asked to, for 75% of my available time.


What’s your favourite Newcastle neighbourhood and why?

City/Cooks Hill. Developing, central to beaches, parks, harbor and an emerging city vibrancy.

What do you look forward to doing most in Newcastle in summer?

Beach holiday and lazy barbeques.

And winter?

Rugby, rugby and rugby in that order.

Where and what was the last greatest meal you had in Newcastle?

Always home, my wife Leda is a very, very good chef. I dine like a king most nights. Last night was sautéed calves liver piccata ( lemon and capers ) with caramelized onions and sweet potato mash.

What is your favourite getaway destination?

Always Italy.

Your #1 Newcastle insiders tip?

Walk everywhere. The harbour is crucial to understand Newcastle. Also Newcastle Museum and Bathers Way.


Show your support for Glenn’s mission by donating to his Everyday Hero campaign.

Follow Glenn’s journey via the 3D Healing Walk tumblr and on Facebook.



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