Our Fraser Island conference

Fraser Island is positioned off of Australia’s QLD Coastline and at over 123 km in length is the largest sand island in the world. With a surface area of 184,000 hectares Fraser Island is a haven for various wildlife (including a dingo population of approximately 300). In addition to a host of native flora and fauna found only on the island, in August, Fraser Island played host to a temporary migration of 33 RedBallooners.

Fraser Island, QLD

The conference was both to celebrate our achievements in the year and look to the future. In financial year 10/11, more Australians enjoyed RedBalloon experiences than ever before. In fact, on 01 April 2011,  1,000,000 RedBalloon experiences had been given cumulatively and we were and are well on the way to achieving our BHAG or ‘Big Hairy Audacious goal’ of 2,000,000 experiences by 2015. That’s a lot of smiles, and a lot of lifetime memories.

On Friday morning, we arrived at Sydney Domestic terminal both bright eyed and bushy tailed. We came prepared with cameras, swimmers, water bottles, poses, smiles and of course – our RedBalloon tshirts. We were so recognisable, a friend also travelling that day sent me an sms from the other side of the terminal enquiring as to whether the group of very enthusiastic people was linked to RedBalloon!

Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed

The flight to Fraser island was mostly uneventful with the smarter of the group catching up on some much needed Zzz’s. Sleep deficit is is a widely understood concept but I do think more credit should be given to sleep surplus. At the expense of looking a little silly on the plane trip, a few of us stockpiled energy and avoided a crash like this one on Saturday afternoon

Energy Crash disguised as Motion Sickness

Once our plane landed we took a bus to the ferry, a ferry to the island, and a trailer tour to the resort. Count them – 4 methods of transportation in one day! Not content to stop there though, one enterprising colleague later even used another RedBallooner (me!) as a transportation method down a particularly vicious section of creek. We’re nothing if not pragmatic.

Transport?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a period of serious business at the resort (during which time our theme for the new year was unveiled) we were told to go check out our rooms and had our very own Oprah moments. On each of our beds we discovered…

Ipad discovery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…an Ipad for each of us! RedBalloons leadership demonstrated to me again why RedBalloon deserves its place as an employer of choice in Australia. Not in what was given necessarily (although it definitely is a measure of how each of us are valued), but in the thought behind the giving.

A relaxed meal behind us, some of the team spent a leisurely hour or two at Fraser islands ‘Island reknowned’ Dingo Bar. Speaking for myself, I believed the Dingo bar to be some type of lookout for Dingoes. I was quite disappointed to find this was not the case but soon after realised it was equipped with pool tables, a dance floor and 90′s hits. I stayed for a little while anyway before turning in for a good nights sleep.

Day two on the island started with a hearty breakfast and a walk out to our sixth mode of transportation for the weekend.

Our driver explained the truck cost $300,00 and he felt privileged to be driving it and showing us the island as he enjoyed his job to such an extent. I have to say, by the end of the day, I felt privileged to have him as my driver as he displayed a wealth of knowledge about the island and its history, as well as some interesting stories.

On the tour we visited:

Moving Sand Dunes

Eli Creek

Coloured Sands

Maheno Shipwreck

 

Lake McKenzie

While I’ve always had an appreciation for Australia’s Indigenous heritage, the tour made me appreciate how much fascinating history we have in Australia even in the short period after colonization.

On the way back to the resort we burst into some impromptu tunes with Naomi leading a sing a long from the front seat. It probably goes without saying that with such an extroverted and energetic bunch of people, there are bound to be some kooky things happening at times!

Night two on the island was a more low key affair, with most of the group now wise to what the Dingo bar actually contained. A swim, spa and dinner later we turned in for the night and a content, but less energetic flight home.

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