Our philosophy at Emu Gully is that your success in life, whether personally or corporately, will be based primarily on your character. That is; "The real you" and the way you handle the circumstances of life, whether they be good or bad.
The development of one's character is measured in the way we handle pressure and difficult circumstances. At Emu Gully, we choose to focus on the core character values displayed in times of tremendous hardship on the world stage. The character values taught, promoted and reflected upon at Emu Gully include Courage, Mateship, Perseverance and Sacrifice.
The majority of our activities at Emu Gully are framed to provide a simple historical context of epic events such as The Western Front, the Siege of Tobruk, The Tunnel Rats of Vietnam, The Bridge over the River Kwai and the Kokoda Track. Each activity confronts participants with the choice to demonstrate and reflect on the character values needed to succeed in the activity, and more importantly in life.
It should be noted, that at Emu Gully we do not promote war. However, one can not ignore the impact that war has had on the development of our nation. It has been stated that "nothing has shaped our culture more than war". Banjo Patterson put it this way;
"The mettle that a race can show,
Is proved with shot and steel,
And now we know what nations know,
And feel what nations feel".
At Emu Gully we understand the significance of history and its impact on future generations. Our unique approach provides a hands on history lesson that promotes the ideals and character values that are at the very core of our national identity.
Emu Gully History
Emu Gully Adventure Education Group Inc. was founded in 1995 and is a non-profit Incorporated Association. It's director Barry Rodgers (pictured right), is an experienced educator who has taught in both state and private schools. He was the founding Principal of Hillcrest Christian College, a large inter-denominational college in Victoria. Barry has served in the Australian Defence Force, and has wide knowledge and passion for Australia's military history.
From humble beginnings, Emu Gully now employs over 30 staff including directors, management, facilitators, catering and maintenance personnel and caters for approximately 15,000 participants each year across 3 campuses (Helidon Standard - cabins, Helidon Adventure Camping - tents, and our Pindari Campus in NSW) with all programs focused on the character values of Courage, Mateship, Perseverance and Sacrifice.
The Helidon campus was established in 1995 and Pindari in 2002.
Our Helidon Standard Campus is set on approximately 180 acres, and is situated 17km east of Toowoomba. It is very well developed with air conditioned dormitory style accommodation for 170 guests. All groups are fully catered for out of our large modern kitchen and use one of our 3 dining areas.
The activities at Helidon are purpose built for developing teamwork and leadership qualities and are typically based around epic historical events.The Helidon program is seen by many as an essential element of their curriculum, often being used by schools specifically to select, and empower their leadership teams.
We have duplicated our low ropes and core activities to enable us to more effectively deliver programs and cater for the individual needs of each group. Twisters and Skirmish are offered as optional extras at our Helidon Campus.
The Emu Gully Adventure Camping Program is a unique alternative to our standard program that has been developed to meet a growing need and demand for character based learning outcomes in this current generation.
Participants are provided with a personal two man tent and mess kit which they are able to take home with them at the end of the program. Meals are army style ration packs which are prepared by participants.
Twister buggies are included at no extra charge for our Adventure Camping program.
Pindari Campus - Our Pindari campus is a 2500 acre property situated in northern NSW, approximately 22km east of Ashford, bordering the Pindari dam.
The Pindari campus has a wilderness theme and caters for approximately 150 participants sleeping in deluxe swags. It utilises outdoor showers with rudimentary water heating and long drop toilets. Meals are prepared by the campers in well equipped dining shelters and cooked over open fireplaces. The onsite classroom is also used as a central meeting point, teaching centre and for night time activities.
The activities at Pindari campus utilise the wilderness environment and range from GPS navigation and bush walking, to the "Buttress" (a large rock scramble with magnificent views), as well as twister buggies and motor boats.
The Pindari program should be seen as a fantastic opportunity for participants to have a reflective look at themselves as well as provide a very unique opportunity to develop relationships within the group.
Emu Gully Staff
At Emu Gully, we offer a unique character based program delivered by professional staff and produce outstanding, long lasting results.
We are aware of the increasing demands being placed on groups to ensure the safety of their participants such as risk assessments and staff qualifications.
Safety is one of our core values, and our Risk Assessments are available if required from our office.
Through discussions with QORF and other industry specialists, the majority of activities offered at Emu Gully would be classified as Low Ropes or Problem Solving / Initiative activities. The exceptions are Indoor Rock Climbing (Helidon) and the Buttress (Pindari).
Our facilitators participate in regular in-house training, extensive on-the-job training and external professional development. Additionally all facilitators have either;
- Completed or are completing appropriate elements of Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation and / or
- Are in the process of Registering or Re-registering with NOLRS (National Outdoor Leader Recognition Scheme). This process can take many months.
With Respect to Indoor Rock Climbing and The Buttress, all facilitators are specifically trained and assessed on our indoor climbing wall by qualified instructors.
External staff (usually provided by Coefficient), used to facilitate or assist with these activities comply with industry standard qualifications.
A dynamic visionary with an ability to make things happen. Barry is a founding director of Emu Gully and has had many years experience working with people of all ages. Combining his passion for young people and for our proudheritage, Barry has played a vital role in developing Emu Gully from the ground up. Previously, Barry was the Principle of Hillcrest Christian College in Melbourne and has vast experience in business. Barry recently organised the 90th anniversary reenactment of the Charge of Beersheba, and is heavily involved with the Australian Lighthorse Association.
Gwenyth, Barry's wife, is an Emu Gully Director and spent many years running all office processes for camps. She is now retired from our front line reception, however serves a vital role on the Board giving direction to the future of Emu Gully.
Darren is a qualified Secondary Physical Education teacher with over 17 years of experience of working with young people. He also has Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation. Darren has been part of the Emu Gully family since 2002 as a facilitator, later combining this with program development and staff management before stepping into the role of CEO in July 2013. He is passionate about helping people achieve their best and is totally committed to fulfilling Emu Gully's mission. Darren has big plans for the future of Emu Gully and is determined to be on the cutting edge of outdoor education, delivering programs that are unique, effective and produce lasting results.
Guy has joined our team in 2017 and is a great addition with a wealth of experience and great people skills.
Laury has worked for Emu Gully full time since 1998. He has a Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation with many years of experience under his belt of working with young people. Laury has a very distinctive style of relating to people of all ages and backgrounds with his compassion and sense of humour. He has played a major role in the development of Emu Gully, not just in terms of programs and activities, but also in construction and site development. He is an invaluable member of the Emu Gully team.
Lynda is a qualified primary teacher with experience in both Australia and Papua New Guinea. She has been part of the Emu Gully team since 2002 and is currently working 3 days a week. Lynda brings a fresh perspective and is able to have a significant, positive influence in the lives of all she meets. Her greatest asset is her compassion and genuine care for others. Lynda has also been instrumental in the development of our Heritage and Stock horse stud.
Jon is a quiet and compassionate facilitator who has an amazing ability to connect with young people. Although his previous formal experience was as a motor mechanic, Jon has a heart for helping people. He has completed his Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation and is committed to seeing young people grow and develop. His sensitivity towards others is a wonderful quality.
Anthony has a Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation and has many years of experience working with other Outdoor Education institutions. Anthony has a heart to equip young people to grow and develop and make something of their lives. He has a very dry wit and is able to relate to all in a very calm and professional manner. Anthony helps us out on a casual basis as he has formally moved on to work for the Queensland Fire Department.
Dave joined the team at the start of 2013. Prior to Emu Gully, Dave spent the previous 13 years working with young people in rehabilitation programs and loves the opportunity of impacting lives in a positive and profound way. Dave has also completed his Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation and is passionate about seeing young people thrive in life. We value his experience and his investment in people.
Chris has been on staff since the beginning of 2013, completing his Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation since joining us. He joins the team with a diverse background ranging from truck driving, rodeo riding, chaplaincy, high school seminar presenter and youth work. His insight and calm nature have been an asset to Emu Gully and we look forward to learning from his considerable experience as we fulfill our vision.
Adam is a natural people person. In addition to his teaching qualifications and 8 years full time service as a pastor, he has completed his Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation. Adam is servant-hearted and has a unique ability to make instant connections and lifelong impact with those he meets. His genuine and down-to-earth approach endears him to many.
Josh has been with Emu Gully since October 2014. His background is in employment services and training. He has a desire to help people reach their potential and is able to make fantastic connections. He has completed his Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation and is an invaluable addition to the Emu Gully team.
Tayla began her internship with us in 2014, and after working for us casually in 2015, has come on board full-time in 2016. With a Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation under her belt, Tayla is quickly becoming an exceptional facilitator with her natural warmth and desire to serve. We have loved seeing her grow both personally and in her skills since joining the Emu Gully family.
Ethan was our first mature age intern in 2015 and has continued on with us in full-time employment. His mature and calm nature are perfect for coming alongside young people and helping them achieve. Ethan has completed his Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation and has a big future in this industry.
Emma joined us in January 2016. She has natural gifts in engaging with and teaching others and is currently studying a Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation. She continues to exceed all expectations and is a wonderful addition to the Emu Gully family.
Anita also joined us in January 2016 as an Emu Gully intern. She is full of spirit with a heart to learn and positively impact other lives. She is currently studying a Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation and is developing beautifully into an insightful and endearing facilitator. We appreciate her sweetness and compassion for others.
Jake joined us halfway through 2016, and has been a great addition to our team.
Cole began his employment at Emu Gully in our maintenance department, but has evolved into a well-rounded and talented individual who now facilitates our camps. We are lucky to have him.
Adam is our Catering Manager and has been part of the Emu Gully family since 2006. Adam is in charge of all aspects of catering from food ordering to meal delivery, as well as managing the other kitchen staff. Adam has trained under various chefs in Toowoomba and has a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery. He consistently delivers meals of the highest standard to all our guests. Adam has a heart to serve and always goes the extra mile to cater for a very diverse range of needs.
Rick has worked for Emu Gully for many years. After a short time away, Rick returned to us in 2007, and has worked alongside Adam in the kitchen. Rick has a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, and uses his wide range of expertise to deliver the highest quality meals. Rick demonstrates a "can do" attitude and never ceases to go that one step further for each of our guests.
Jude has been a part of the Catering team since 2007. She plays a very important role in keeping the kitchen functioning efficiently and is always calm and professional. She is a tireless worker and a vital part of the Emu Gully family.
Stacey works casually in the catering team and plays a vital role in our food preparation and delivery. She has a sweet and fun personality and is a blessing to us all.
Ross has been a member of staff since late 2012. He is our Maintenance Manager and has worked steadily to improve the systems and raise the standard of our facilities and equipment. His attention to detail and willingness to serve have taken Emu Gully's maintenance and future development to a whole new level. The Emu Gully landscape has never looked so well kept! His commitment to excellence is a great asset to Emu Gully.
Andrew worked part time for Emu Gully through 2014 and stepped into a full time position in 2015. Andrew is a qualified motor mechanic with a passion for building and repairing hot rods. He has an incredible servant heart and can turn his hand to all things maintenance. He has been a great addition to our team and is central to the ongoing maintenance needs of Emu Gully.
Jason worked part time for Emu Gully through 2016 and has started full time employment in 2017 in our maintenance department.
Andrew worked two days a week for Emu Gully through 2016 and stepped into a three days a week position in 2017. Along with mowing and other maintenance tasks, he assists Rod to keep things clean around the campsite.
Yvette is one of our front line receptionists and has been a part of the team since 2003. She works a 6 day fortnight in the office, managing everything from taking bookings to invoicing to rostering and programming. Yvette has a heart to serve Emu Gully and works tirelessly in partnership with all our clients to ensure every aspect of camp is covered to ensure the best experience for all involved. Her commitment to excellence and service is invaluable.
Georgi has been part of the team since 2012 and is a vital asset in the office. Job-sharing with Yvette, Georgi works a 6 day fortnight and is our go-to person in the office. Her wealth of experience in this environment is like gold to us and her diligence in her work is greatly valued. Her heart to serve people is extravagant and her professionalism is an asset to the Emu Gully team.
Suzanne joined our team in March 2013 and is our finance officer. Not only is she professional and extremely capable in her role, she has become a vital asset to the ongoing operations of Emu Gully. Suzanne has a heart to serve with her gifts in finance and we are immeasurably grateful for her skill and diligence in this regard.
With multiple roles in the office, including Workplace Health and Safety Officer, Nick is an invaluable member of our office team. We appreciate his wealth of knowledge and experience.
Rod is a valued member of our Emu Gully team. Joining us in the second half of 2008, Rod has raised the standard in his very detailed and systematic approach to cleaning. He has enabled the Helidon campus to be maintained to the highest possible standard. His role also includes pest control and general maintenance of our facilities. His diligence and flexibility define his consistent attitude that no job is too difficult.