A NEW name, a NEW website and a NEW MEGA!

So the Alexandra MEGA is over and what a fantastic time we have all had.  That now completes the third successful MEGA event held by Geocaching Melbourne in as many years.  So what to do next?  That’s right, let’s jump back in a do it all over again!  But this time, we’re taking the road-show to the city!

First thing’s first though.

We felt it was about time for a change of name as we have kind of outgrown the term “Geocaching Melbourne”, so we asked the community for their input and after a reasonably lengthy discussion and survey polling the people who geocache in Victoria, we have arrived at our new name and that will be “Geocaching Victoria”.

So what does that mean?  Well it means a brand new and completely redesigned website which has just been launched.  You can find that at this address → http://geocachingvictoria.com.au.  This will be the last blog post to come from this website, so if you haven’t done so already then make sure you subscribe to our new blog post on our new website.

It also means a name change for our Facebook group and our GC account, but don’t worry, it still the same team behind the scenes working tirelessly to enhance the geocaching experience of people in Victoria and those visiting Victoria.  The committee behind the new Geocaching Victoria Inc is…

  • Day Gowland (day1976) – President
  • Louise Sullivan (LouiseAnn) – Vice President
  • Bernie Hollaway (BernieH) – Treasurer
  • Adriaan Homburg (ahomburg) – Secretary
  • Karen Ashford (carkisser) – Committee Member
  • Lorraine Sleep-Ogilvie (The Tritonz) – Committee Member
  • Peter Taurins (caught at work) – Committee Member

The committee looks forward to working on many different geocaching projects over the next year and in the years to come.

But wait, did I mention before something about the next MEGA moving to the city?

That’s right!  We would like to introduce you to the next MEGA event in the state of Victoria, The Parkville Event 2018.  You can follow this link and log your Will Attend now → https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC75D90

Located smack bang in the middle of the city of Melbourne, the Parkville event will be a two day event held over the weekend of the 17th and 18th of November 2018.  There is limited accommodation available which you can purchase right now.  The event t-shirts are being done through geostuff again and should be available for pre-purchase very soon.  The geocoins and pathtags are designed and are also available for pre purchase now.  There is even a rough event schedule and site map and a FAQ section completed on our brand new website.  There are plenty of exciting things planned for this event so to keep on top of it all, you need to stay tuned.  All further notifications regarding The Parkville Event, 2018 will be made through our new website, so make sure you subscribe to our blog and everything else at the new website → http://geocachingvictoria.com.au

Like all our events, The Parkville Event will be absolutely FREE to attend.  No registration fees

The Parkville Event committee consists of the following individuals who will be responsible for overseeing this MEGA event…

  • Louise Sullivan (LouiseAnn)
  • Karen Ashford (carkisser)
  • Day Gowland (day 1976)
  • David Fowler (Earthbound Chief)
  • Adriaan Homburg (ahomburg)

The Parkville Committee look forward to working on this exciting new project and delivering a MEGA that will take the next step in BIG geocaching events in Australia.

Its time for a name change, have your say.

Hi folks,

So a few weeks ago we notified everyone that a name change was imminent and that, going forward, we were looking for a name that better reflected what we do in the geocaching community. We took a poll and were given some suggestions on different names that we could consider. The current committee went through all the names and came up with a short list of 5 names that we would like to get your opinion on.

So we are having a survey!

It’s a pretty simple survey. We have a list of 5 possible names that we could change to. Enter the numbers 1-5 in order of your preference for the name. As in number 1 is your most preferred, number 5 is your least preferred. You do not need to number all the boxes, just the ones you prefer in order of your preference.

To be eligible to vote you must have found at least one cache in the state of Victoria, have had a profile on geocaching.com for at least 3 months and have found a cache in the last 6 months. You can only submit one vote per profile and we encourage people who do have sock puppet not to use them to vote multiple times.

Voting will remain open from now until 8pm on Sunday the 5th of November. The announcement of the new name will happen sometime after that. You can follow this link to the survey.

Exciting times ahead folks!

The Last of the 2017 Lead Up Events is complete!

The last of the x month to MEGA lead up events for this year was held at Wangaratta on the weekend.  That concludes the lead up events for this year and so with just on a month to go until the MEGA, we would like to look back at what was an incredible year of lead up events.

From the heat that was Wedderburn in February, through to negative temperatures at Canberra in July.  Sunshine in Swan Hill, rain in Echuca, we braved all sorts of weather to bring you some pretty special events.  And the results from all those attended logs are in!

There were 8 teams who actually made it to all 10 events.  That is an amazing achievement! A Massive Thank You must also go the the 3 hosts of the extra special Interstate lead up events. So Thanks must go to hevwalker, OzGlory and GhostGums who all did an awesome job helping to promote our event.

All up there were 211 teams that attended at least 1 of the events, with a total of 438 attended logs across all 10 official events.  That’s a pretty serious turn out.

A estimated 1000 sausages were provided, cooked and consumed, not to mention all the bread, onions and sauce.  Running these events is not easy and can sometimes provide a logistical nightmare, but when you see the pictures of everyone thoroughly enjoying themselves, it makes it so worthwhile.

Thanks for all the fun memories and we look forward to catching up with you all in Alexandra next month!

Geocaching Melbourne Inc is changing its name.

That’s right, Geocaching Melbourne is changing its name.  It has long been thought that the Geocaching Melbourne Incorporation has outgrown its name and that we need a better one that more closely aligns us with what we do in the community of not just Melbourne, but also all of Victoria and further afield.  So we need your suggestions!

Along with this, we have created a new Facebook group.  Now we can already hear a collective sigh because the Geocaching Community of Victoria obviously needs a new Geocaching Facebook Group like a hole in the head, but the committee that is currently called Geocaching Melbourne Inc (the one that is changing its name), felt that we needed a Facebook group that the actual committee was in control of, rather than the current one that we have no control over.

So the new group, which is administered by the committee, has been set up and a set of guidelines is being produced.  This new Facebook group will be the centre for discussion for all things relating to geocaching in the state of Victoria, including obviously the annual MEGA event.  It will be administered by the committee members who are real people and whose names you can see.

Come over to the new Facebook group and be part of the discussion and have your input into what you think Geocaching Melbourne should change its name to.  Follow this link to the new group….   https://www.facebook.com/groups/1968265890117240/

A new GMI committee member…

Geocaching Melbourne Inc would like to announce that the new member of the Geocaching Melbourne committee is Lorraine Sleep Oglivie. Lorraine has been geocaching since 2013 and has cached over most of Australia. Lorraine has a strong connection to both the Geelong and Ballarat geocaching communities and together with her partner Chris form the formidable geocaching team, The Tritonz who were the top finders of Victorian caches in both 2015 and 2016.

Lorraine was an integral part of the organizing committee set up by GMI for the Surf Coast Event MEGA in 2016 where she helped tirelessly in the background, not just during the MEGA, but in the whole year leading up to the MEGA. GMI welcomes Lorraine into the committee and we all look forward to working with her.

We would also like to thank Jane Searle (Benjay21) and Peter Taurins (caughtatwork) for their nominations. We had 92 votes come in from around Victoria which were all individually checked and passed for their eligibility, so the interest in GMI continues to grow and we hope that we can work with these two individuals in some capacity in the future

The Geocaching Melbourne Inc committee now looks like this….

Day Gowland (day1976) – President

Louise Sullivan (LouiseAnn) – Vice President

Adriaan Homburg (ahomburg) – Secretary

Bernie Hollaway (BernieH) – Treasurer

Karen Ashford (carkisser) – Committee Member

Bert Mosterd (Pinkpiggy7) – Committee Member

Lorraine Sleep-Oglivie(The Tritonz) – Committee Member

Voting has Opened!

Voting has opened for the vacant position on the Geocaching Melbourne Inc committee. We have three wonderful candidates who have nominated for the position and you can follow this link to the voting form.

This position is for the GMI committee, not the Alexandra MEGA Organizing committee. The GMI committee not only oversees the MEGAs, but also gets involved in many other facets of geocaching throughout the state of Victoria.

There is a little blurb about each individual on the voting form, in case you aren’t sure who they are. You are required to enter your geocaching handle on the voting form and to be eligible to vote you must have at least found a geocache in the state of Victoria, have had a geocaching.com profile that is at least 3 months old and have found at least one geocache in the last 6 months.  You can submit one vote per profile

Once you have entered your geocaching handle simply place the numbers 1 to 3 against the candidates, ranging from number 1 for your first selection through to number 3 for your last selection. Voting will be open until 8pm on Sunday the 8th of October.  You must submit only one vote per profile and to keep it fair, we would encourage people who do run sock-puppet accounts to not use them to vote with.

Nominations for GMI Committee position are open!

Geocaching Melbourne Inc is a registered, not-for-profit incorporation that is run by a dedicated core committee of volunteers that not only oversee the running of the annual MEGA, but also try and develop varied and different ways to help the geocaching community of Victoria. Recently, one of our committee, Sarah Cameron resigned from this committee.

Firstly we would like to thank Sarah for all the hard work that she has put in over many years. Sarah is an original member of the GMI committee, having been there from its creation back in 2014. She has worked hard in the background to help with all the areas that Geocaching Melbourne has been involved with and has provided some strong ties between Geocaching Melbourne and the various other geocaching communities around the country.

This obviously leaves another vacant position on the GMI committee and so we are once again calling for nominations for people who feel like they can help GMI to make a difference in the geocaching community of Victoria. It must be noted here, that this position is NOT for the organizing committee of the Alexandra MEGA, that event is already well catered for. If you would like to join us in helping further the cause of Geocaching in Melbourne and Victoria (if not the world!) then feel free to nominate yourself or someone else (with their permission) by sending us an email.

Please note though that whilst we would love to encourage people from country Victoria, it should be understood that taking on the role as a committee member means attending regular meetings in Melbourne roughly every two to three months. Nominations will remain open from now until midnight on Friday the 29th of September. Voting will then begin on Monday the 2nd of October for all of those who have been nominated. Voting will close at midnight on Sunday the 8th of October and the results will be announced shortly afterwards.

The results are in…..

Geocaching Melbourne Inc would like to welcome the two newest members into the Geocaching Melbourne Committee. Karen Ashford (carkisser) and Bert Mosterd (Pinkpiggy7) have been voted in and join the rest of the committee in their endeavours to help promote geocaching throughout Victoria.  We would sincerely like to thank the other candidates, Elizabeth Shaw (surefoot24) and Peter Taurins (caughtatwork) for their nominations and hope we can work with both of them in some capacity in the near future.  The Geocaching Melbourne Inc committee now looks like this…

Day Gowland (day1976) – President

Louise Sullivan (LouiseAnn) – Vice President

Adriaan Homburg (ahomburg) – Secretary

Bernie Hollaway (BernieH) – Treasurer

Sarah Cameron (sharkiefan) – Committee Member

Karen Ashford (carkisser) – Committee Member

Bert Mosterd (Pinkpiggy7) – Committee Member

The turnout for people voting was quite amazing and we would like to thank everyone for their interest.

We want you to have your say!

Voting has now opened for the two vacant positions on the Geocaching Melbourne Inc committee. There have been four individuals nominated and you can follow this link to the voting form…

There is a little blurb about each person who has nominated in case you aren’t sure who they are. You are required to enter your geocaching handle and to be eligible to vote you must have found at least one cache in Victoria.  You also must have found at least one cache in the last 6 months and have an active account on the Geocaching Website for at least 3 months.

Once you have entered your geocaching handle simply place the numbers 1 to 4 against the candidates, ranging from number 1 for your first selection through to number 4 for your last selection. Voting will be open until 8pm on Sunday the 18th of June.  You must submit only one vote per profile and we would encourage people who do run sock-puppet accounts to not use them to vote with.



Geocaching Melbourne and Oxfam Trailwalker

Over the last couple of days, 16 members of the Geocaching Melbourne community have formed 4 teams to each tackle the grueling 100 kilometer Oxfam Trailwalker to raise some much needed funds for the Oxfam charity. The Oxfam Trailwalker requires each walker to walk 100 kilometers, starting at Jells Park in suburban Melbourne, through the parklands, over Churchill National park, into Lysterfield Lake Park, then across through Bird Lands Reserve, up into the town of Upwey then into the Dandenong Ranges National Park, popping out at Mt Evelyn where it joins the Warburton Rail Trail for 26 kilometers before climbing up and along the aqueduct at the foot of Mt Donna Buang, it then wanders down to Warburton before tackling the nemesis that is Mount Little Joe, finally reaching the finish line in Wesburn.  To say it is a grueling track is an understatement.

Team 1 consisted of Colin (unclecocopops), Michelle (part of Team Smokey Bear), Robin (robinyang) and Darren (Burge). Team 2 consisted of Paul (waferthin), Darragh (Annoying Tarbit), Lauren (Loz6032) and Nicky (Lost_and_found_79).  Team 3 consisted of Karen (carkisser), Shaz (Ruverbug Jam), Donna (Jaktembo) and Tash (arielisme).  Team 4 consisted of Day (day1976), Jenny (Jentrek1), Marc (BendSinister) and Ross (The Welder).

The Friday morning began brilliantly with perfect weather at the start as each team headed out on to the trail. The official support crews as well as many other extremely supportive members of the Geocaching Melbourne community met everyone at various different points along the way to help, encourage and cheer everybody on.  Each team had set themselves a target goal time to complete the course ranging from 20 hours to 38 hours, so the four teams began to spread out through the day.  They enjoyed the walk through the Dandenong Ranges National Park, but the final stint out to Mt Evelyn as the day began to turn to night began to test the teams and unfortunately Team 1, decimated by injuries had to pull out at around 4am on the Saturday morning at Mount Evelyn.

The crack of sunrise at 5:30am on the Saturday morning saw Team 4, exhausted from conquering Mount Little Joe, stumble down the final hill to cross the finish line in just over 23 hours with all members still walking. Later in the day at around 1:30pm, the incredible team 2 also conquered the daunting last mountain to come down the hill and finish the entire course in just over 30 hours, also with all four members still upright.

At around 4:30pm on the Saturday, the only remaining Geocaching Melbourne Team on the trail, team 3, walked into Woori Yallock, half way along the Warburton Trail. At this point they had done 70 of the 100 kilometers, but suddenly, the weather turned against them and a huge storm passed over which stopped all further movement for the next few hours.  The team had to wait, huddled at Woori Yallock for the storm to pass before continuing on.  At around 9pm, Geocaching Melbourne’s Team 3 lost its first member, Donna, who retired from the team.  But the other three girls pushed on, boosted by an ever increasing support crew as they made their way to Millgrove where again they had to wait out another storm front.

Finally they made it to Dolly Grey Park, which is the last official rest stop before the finish line.  The rain was pouring down, the wind was up and thunder and lightning was surrounding the area.  Team 3 was now the last of over 600 starting teams left on the trail and unfortunately Karen had to make the heart-breaking decision to call it a day at the 93 kilometer mark.  The other two surviving members, Shaz and Tash needed to leave in the storm so as to make the finish line before it is closed for good.  They headed off, up backstairs track in the mud during the dead of the night to knock off the final section and arrived at the finish line at around 9am on Sunday morning, completing the entire course in less than 41 hours.

The achievements that all 16 of these wonderful geocachers have done can only be fully realized when you look beyond just this weekend. There were months and months of training out on the tracks.  There were personal hardships that needed to be overcome.  All just to even get to the starting line, let alone then to walk the 100 kilometers.  Lifelong friendships were born during this process and people who before this had never even met, come to rely on each other for support through a very strenuous ordeal.

And then there were the support crews. At each stop along the trail, each team got to meet up with their wonderful support crews who lugged all the supplies that could ever be imagined to each location.  Without a strong support crew, none of the previously mentioned achievements are even closely possible.  All four teams were blessed with some amazing people who volunteered their time as support crews and the fact that many members of these support crews also helped out many other support crews along the way speaks volumes about what kind of people these guys are.

And finally of course there are those who donated. Geocaching Melbourne was proud to be a supporter of these four teams.  Specially minted Geocoins for the upcoming Alexandra Event were sold with images of our mascot, Fern carrying hiking poles.  All proceeds from the sale of these coins were donated to these teams as well as the huge amounts of moneys that all four teams raised by themselves both inside and outside of the local geocaching community.  All up the teams managed to raise over eleven thousand dollars for the Oxfam charity.

The whole experience is a fantastic example of how strong and also kind the Geocaching Melbourne community is. That we have so many members who so willingly donate their time not just to train and walk this grueling course, but also to provide support or help raise money for such an awesome cause is a testament to the kind of people we are.  Geocaching Melbourne would like to thank each and every one of you for making this Oxfam Trailwalker such a success.  You guys rock!