Mary Rossi Travel | Our Story So Far
Mary Rossi Travel celebrated it’s 50 year anniversary in 2020! This is our story. It is the story of a wonderful industry and a remarkable woman, Mary Rossi O.B.E., my mother, who built an iconic business while raising our large family of ten children who also shaped the business.
Although by tradition we consider 1970 to be the year that Mary Rossi Travel was founded the story really begins years before when my mother (b. 1925) was a child growing up in Sydney but with her head often turned to what was going on everywhere else in the world.
Mum whizzed through school skipping whole years along the way and going to university when she was only 15. She graduated with an Arts degree with Honours in History and English when she was 18. She worked as a researcher to a politician and later for what is now the Department of Trade. She lived in outback Queensland as a jillaroo for a few months, was engaged several times and was plotting the big overseas trip when she met Dad in 1947. Fortunately, my father’s pleading telegrams convinced her to get off the ship in Adelaide and return to Sydney where they were married.
It was to be another 11 years before Mum would make that trip to Europe. In the meantime Mum and Dad had the first six of their ten children. In addition, Mum had a very successful television career being one of the first woman to have her own TV show in Australia – A Woman’s World with Mary Rossi.
The weekly national daytime show featured Mary Rossi interviewing interesting people from all around the world on current affairs. Australian women admired her combination of on-screen warmth and professionalism and she was a great example to a whole generation of women (including her own daughters) of how one could have a career and continue to have a happy marriage and a growing family.
But Mum was still yearning for that overseas trip and in 1959 she managed to find a babysitter for their six littlies and abandoned us for 12 weeks to travel around the world on a business trip with Dad. They left on the newest airplane – the Super Constellation – and traveled to India, Europe and the US.