If you ask Brian what his best day at work has ever been, his answer is pretty simple – “I don’t think I have had it yet to be honest – I get a bit uncomfortable sometimes at the path my life has led me down having been able to work in some of the most amazing places, with some incredibly talented and generous people, and then of course there are the locals, who are your ultimate teachers of a place. I’ve been able to live the luckiest of lives working in without a doubt, the luckiest and most stunning of countries so, I look forward to experiencing what each day brings, because on balance it can only be good. And then of course I get to share it with our guests!”.
Brian first began his guiding career in High School when his Outdoor Education teacher convinced the owner of a local walking company that he should give the then 16-year-old a summer job walking the Overland Track in the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair World Heritage Area as a gear porter.
“I’m sure I only got the gig because I was a particularly strong lad for my age – I had no real practical experience to speak of. Adventure tourism wasn’t the product we know today, so trips in the early days of guided walking or wilderness rafting trips in Tasmania meant everything was carried – there were no standing camps, everyone was in tent-based accommodation for the 10-12 days and so it really did feel, to me anyway at the time, like a Everest type expedition – including Everest expedition pack weights – because you needed a small army to carry all of the food and equipment.”
“That summer though set the trajectory of the rest of my life and I was extremely fortunate to meet some very encouraging and skilful outdoor instructors who made up the lead guiding team. There was a great generosity of spirit and knowledge base to be accessed from within that small army of people” says Brian. “Many became both my mentor and friend, some right through to the present day”.
Since that time Brian has worked as a commercial rafting, scuba instructor, bush walking and sea kayaking guide, Operations Manager, and Outdoor Education teacher across Australia and the Pacific. “I love the mountains and rivers – it’s hard not to in Tasmania, it is home after all, but I am most at home at sea, or more specifically, under it” he says.
Having dived for more years than he’ll admit to – he gets a bit aloof when asked about where his most memorable diving destinations have been.
“Komodo National Park, Alor Pantar, the Similans in the East Indian Ocean, Kawe and the Togean and Banda Islands have to be on the list, plus a few other small islands off mainland Tasmania, but its bigger than just having a bucket list of must do dive sites” Brian offers.
“Anywhere that people care enough to dive ethically should be on that list. Every marine ecosystem worldwide is under immense strain from a variety of human-induced factors, and our visiting of them shouldn’t increase that strain, in fact, visiting should generate a strong sense of empathy to want to proactively respond, to do something individually to protect these places and ensure their sustainability, both economically for local communities and ecologically for the global family”.
“I love to travel and explore, and I am passionate about our cultural and natural heritage, so for me to be in a job where I am able to combine those two loves with my livelihood and to then be able to share that journey with other like-minded people, well it’s just astonishing to me; so yes, I do look forward to tomorrow because it could very well be the best day at work I’ve ever had!”