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 was founded in 1995 and is a non-profit group. 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. Established in 1995, our Helidon Campus caters for approximately 15,000 participants each in our Standard and Adventure Camping programs. All programs focus on the character values of Courage, Mateship, Perseverance and Sacrifice.
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 250 guests. All groups are fully catered for out of our large modern kitchen and use one of our 4 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.
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 this program.
the Emu Gully team
At Emu Gully, we offer a unique character based program delivered by professional staff and produce outstanding, long lasting results.
Our team 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.
All Facilitators are also required to have a current Senior First Aid & CPR Certificate, Bronze Medallion (life saving) and Blue card. A number of our Facilitators also have their truck license and weapons license to comply with requirements for activities.
With respect to Indoor Rock Climbing, 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 100th 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 copland - ceo
Darren is a qualified Secondary Physical Education teacher with over 20 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 hawkins - operations manager
Guy joined our team in 2017 and is a great addition with a wealth of experience and great people skills. He has quickly become an invaluable member of our team with his qualifications and experience in psycholoy, Outdoor Education and school chaplaincy. Guy oversees all aspects of operations here at Emu Gully, and we are incredibly grateful for his expertise in this regard.
adam grant - facilitator manager
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. Adam oversees our facilitators to ensure consistency in our approach and delivery of our programs.
ian jolly - facilities manager
Ian has joined our team in 2018. He brings a wealth of experience and passion to help young people. Ian has been a military police officer, a skilled builder running his own business, he has managed significant government housing projects and more recently has been involved with training disadvantaged youth in construction skills and qualifications. Ian's proven leadership capacity and ability to connect with people will be a great asset to Emu Gully both now and into the future.
nick crowther - support officer
Nick is a retired Lietennant Colenel with the ADF, with a background in aviation and risk management. Nick has served Emu Gully in both a voluntary and paid capacity since the late 1990's and continues to be committed to Emu Gully's ongoing growth and development. Nick's primary roles focus on accrediation, administration and Workplace Health and Safety. Nick is an invaluable member of our team. We appreciate his wealth of knowledge and experience.
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 (Bachelor of Education - Primary) 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.
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.
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 has completed her Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation. She continues to exceed all expectations and is a wonderful addition to the Emu Gully team.
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 has completed her 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. Jake is our "American" and is passionate about positively influencing the lives of young people. Prior to joining Emu Gully, Jake worked with YWAM in both Toowoomba and New Zealand and continues to make connecting with people his priority. Jake has completed his Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation.
Cole began his employment at Emu Gully in Facilities, but has evolved into a well-rounded and talented individual who now facilitates our camps. We are lucky to have him. Cole is incredibly enthusiastic and loves connecting with and making a positive difference in the lives of young people. Cole has completed his Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation.
Jaimee- Lee is fresh out of school and has joined our team as a trainee facilitator in 2018. Jaimee-Lee has a love for people and a desire to see people grow and be all they can be. We are excited to have her on board and look forward to her development over the coming months. She is currently studying a Certificate III in Outdoor Rec
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 catering 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 Catering. 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 began casually in the catering team and has now moved to fulltime. She plays a vital role in our food preparation and delivery. She has a sweet and fun personality and is a blessing to us all.
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 facilities needs of Emu Gully.
Zac has a wealth of experience ranging from telecommunications, to maintenance to home renovations. Married with 6 children, Zac is a committed father and loves creating the opportunity for young people to grow. We are excited to have him on board in facilities this year.
Tom has joined our team in 2018, finishing year 12 last year. He is an enhtusiastic young man with an abilty to turn his hand to almost anything, as well as connecting with participants and his colleagues. We look forward to all that is in store for Tom this year.
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.
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.