Born in Wollongong in 1953, NSW's next governor, General David Hurley, spent his childhood years living in a flat in Warrawong close to the lake.
His mum worked at a grocery store and his father carved out a living at the Commonwealth Rolling Mills.
"I had a great childhood growing up in a place with so much natural beauty," General Hurley told the Mercury in 2011.
He attended Port Kembla High School, now Five Islands Secondary College. "I am a product of all the Port Kembla schools. I virtually grew up on Port Kembla Beach," he told the Mercury in another interview in 2013.
General Hurley said when he graduated from Port Kembla High School, 53 per cent of the children in his senior class were new Australians, and growing up in such a multicultural environment had served him well.
"I have been fortunate to live in a number of countries, so that gave me the ability to walk into any community and feel at ease with people with different values, a different approach to life, a different language and different food," he said.
General Hurley joined the army cadets while he was at school. He said coming from a regional town, he was attracted to the prospect of an exciting career with the army.
"It seemed the army was a great opportunity to see Australia and the world."
In 1971, he left school and entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon. After graduation, in 1975, he was posted to the 1st Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR).
He attended Command and Staff College and later served as the mechanised infantry adviser to the Australian Army project team in Malaysia in 1989.
He became a Lieutenant-Colonel the following year, and in 1991 assumed command of 1RAR, leading it on Operation Solace in Somalia in 1993. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for service in Somalia.
In 2010, he became a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the defence force.
General Hurley is married to Linda and has three children.