Hugh Riminton was a small-town New Zealand teenager with a possible drinking problem and a job cleaning rat cages at an animal lab when a chance meeting with a radio news director changed his life.
The news man took a chance on him, and at 17 Riminton became a cadet reporter.
On the strength of a two-line job ad in a Perth newspaper, he escaped to Australia.
It was the time of Hawkie, Bondy and $40,000 houses.
Within three years of getting his start in television, he scored one of the most prestigious and sought after jobs in Australian journalism - the role of London-based correspondent for the Nine Network.
As a foreign correspondent, he travelled the world, reporting from Somalia, covering the IRA bombings, narrowly avoiding being murdered by a mob in Soweto; the Balkans were at war; the tanks were rumbling in the streets of Moscow. Back in South Africa he got a chance to see up close the genius and humanity of the great Nelson Mandela. And then the Rwandan genocide began, and Hugh was despatched to investigate - with former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser tagging along.
As the French prepare to resume nuclear testing in the Pacific, Hugh flew to Tahiti to be caught in the middle of the protest riots. After a day of being teargassed and watching his hire car getting torched, evening fell with the capital Papeete in flames. His reporting won him a Logie Award.
Over nearly 40 years, he has been shot at, blown up, threatened with deportation and thrown in jail. He has reported from nearly 50 countries, witnessed massacres in Africa, wars and conflicts on four continents, and every kind of natural disaster.
He has also been a frontline witness to pivotal moments in Australian history, from the Port Arthur massacre to the political dramas of Canberra, receiving almost every major journalism award Australia has to offer.
Minefields is Hugh's fascinating story of over 40 years on the front line of the news game.
©2017 Hugh Riminton (P)2017 Hachette Australia