MEGA News

We are just a little excited to let you know that the Whittlesea Mega is starting to get some momentum. Andrew Howard aka RoamingHowie has graciously accepted the role as Mega Lead and has recently formed a new committee to assist him. On behalf of GVI we send a big thank you to all those who have put their hand up to help and look forward to our next big event. To meet out the new Mega commitee, please follow this link.

If you have not yet registered your interest, please be sure to log it at GC8EW40

We are hoping in coming weeks, we can share information on:

  • camping options
  • lead up events
  • fundraising activities to get involved in
  • Event Program and more…

Please keep an eye on our website for regularly updates.

Thank you – Gemma

Sadly Gemma Siemensma has decided the time has come for her to step back from the GVI Committee to seek further family/ work life balance. That being said, she will continue to be the Geo-Tour and Maze Lead on behalf of GVI. We thank Gemma for all her hard work over the years, she will definitely be missed.

Don’t for get your Kudos

May is rapidly coming to an end, so dont forget to submit your Kudos to your fellow geocachers.

Remember to enter our monthly competition for the month of May, please tag a fellow geocacher below and share how they have made a difference to your geocaching experiences, provided guidance, helped you when you first started out, or where you have witnessed a generous act within our community that is worth calling out. This month its all about calling our those that make a difference within our community. Let’s celebrate them.

Cache Awards – Voting is now open

Victorian Cache Finalists have now been annouced and its over to you to start voting!

NOW… what we need you to do is….

Votes Close 30th September 2022 and will be announced at the Whittlesea Mega in Novemeber 2022

Introducing Andrew Howard aka RoamingHowie

Geocaching Victoria is very excited to announce that we have a new committee member – Andrew Howard aka RoamingHowie!! For those of you that know him, I am sure that you will agree that his smile and laughter is infectious and he will make an awesome addition to the team.

With over 7000 finds to his name, he has worked hard to tick many challenges off his list and is known to go on crazy adventures all in the name of caching. He has travelled a large part of Australia and even collected a cache in America. But it’s not his caching stat’s alone that make Andrew a great person, its his genourisity, his compassion for others and willingness to make a difference.

Recently I had a chat to Andrew to get a little more information about who this ‘RoamingHowie’ is and to understand what makes him tick. We hope you enjoy this chat.

1. Share with us when you started Geocaching and what got you into this crazy hobby we love?

I actually started Geocaching in 2011, however with only 14 finds in my first 8 years it didn’t stick. That was more about my career and other things than the game itself. Fast forward to Easter 2019 and I had turned my priorities on their head and life had changed for the better. I was away camping with a group of Friends in Mildura and one of them randomly found a Tupperware container in a tree stump we were walking past. I think that’s a geocache! I downloaded the app and started to explain the basics that I knew. We found a couple of other local caches, which happened to be quite good gadget caches. We then discovered a night cache which we tried that evening. We didn’t find it as I recall us trying to manually convert coordinate formats and coming up with all sorts of incorrect answers. (There is an app for that!) The next night we worked it out and were so excited that a group of us spent the whole next day finding caches. The bug had bitten, and bitten hard. Over the coming weeks I started looking more into it. Oh there is this thing called GeoArt, and there are puzzles, and there are challenges, and what is a MEGA, and…. the rest is history!

2. How do you like to play the game? Are you a numbers person, do you chase challenges, do you love the adventures or have your own approach to caching?

I’m all of these at the same time, and then none of them at other times. I love adventures no matter where we are. It was adventuring that had me rediscover geocaching after all. I love puzzles and challenges, sometimes to the point of obsession, planning weekends away with the sole purpose of being near a dead premier or new LGA, but still exploring while there. I prefer quality over quantity, however sometimes quantity is required to achieve a challenge (or am I just being obsessive and wanting to qualify NOW!). I struggle to just drive past a cache if I don’t have to…. How about just one more. Being an accountant (don’t hold that against me), numbers and stats are certainly my thing, but it’s more about the challenge and the goals than just adding to the tally.

3. What is the craziest thing you have done in the name of caching?

There are all sorts of crazy things I would never have thought I would be doing before caching. I never thought I would be walking through underground drains or climbing ridiculously high trees (for someone with a semi fear of heights – yep at 2m tall go figure!). I didn’t have a habit of tearing shorts before geocaching (multiple pairs and counting). One particular pair whilst sliding down a very steep hill whilst dragon hunting, only to standup when I finally managed to stop myself, and feel the cool breeze on my bare ass having just torn my shorts, jocks and half the skin off my rear end! (day1976 you have so much to answer for!).

I had never aimlessly followed a GPS arrow walking through thick bush with not a track to be seen, or wandered through thick 3m high reeds at night, only able to hear the general direction of your caching partners – marco/polo style. Not to mention the countless number of cemeteries I’ve visiting by moonlight – I mean who does that but for caching! The exciting thing is, what’s next?

4. What is currently on your Geocaching Bucket-list?

I would like to visit SA to complete a caching trip I was involved in planning that was shelved due to Covid. Who am I kidding, I want to tour all around Australia as I wasn’t caching when I visited so many of them! I’m still yet to complete my first D/T loop (D4/T4.5 I’m coming for you!!!!) and I have 4 more spots to fill on my AUSMER grid so they are definitely eating away at me. The evil Signal keeps dancing on my left shoulder reminding me all the time, while the good Signal calmly sits on my right shoulder telling me good things come to those that wait!

I’m also looking forward to diving into the world of GVI and helping the team on the amazing work they have been doing with all the exciting things ahead of us. Shhh stop talking…. You’ve said too much already. Rookie!

5. What is the most remote or unusual place you have collected a Geocache?

Whilst I managed to collect one solitary cache in New York during a work trip (oh how that has paid itself back many times over when it comes to challenge caches!), the most remote was probably Lamberts Centre at the geographical centre of Australia. It was literally in the middle of nowhere. Only a short 1km walk away from the “campsite”, I set off over the undulating dunes and found the cache. Turning around to head back to camp I soon discovered there was nothing but emptiness for miles around. Not a single vehicle, campsite, person or animal to be seen. There was barely even a plant. My own footprints had even disappeared. This is how people get lost in the desert! Lucky I had a GPS to find my way back!

Come Join The Team – We Need You!!

Are you passionate about geocaching? Do you have a flair for creativity and an eye for detail? Perhaps you have a strength in logistics and organising events or a gift in fundraising? Do you want to become part of the best geocaching team ever to deliver great experiences for our community?

If this sounds like you….. please keep reading!!

We curently have a few vacancies available, which we are keen to fill with the right people. Please note – all roles listed below are voluntary.

Committee Vacancies

We currently have two roles vacant on the Geocaching Victoria Committee which we would love to fill. We are looking for team members that are willing to jump in and help with the following;

  • GVI Event organising
  • Facilitate fundraising activities
  • Support annual megas and their planning
  • Contribute to stories, website content and online collateral
  • Happy to join our monthly meetings and brainstorm together on creative activities for our community
  • Undertake support admin tasks as needed (we share these)
  • Be a team player and support the objectives of GVI
  • Be supportive of any Covid Safe Plans that are active
  • Be a representative of our wider Geocaching Community

If you are interested in applying for a committee role, please email Jo Cox at president@geocachingvictoria.com.au and provide an overview of what strengths you can bring to the team. Please feel free to share any past experiences that may support your application. Applications close Friday 25th March 2022.

Whittesea Mega Lead Vacancy

Sadly Karen (carkisser) has had to step back from both her GVI Committee Membership, but also as Lead of Whittlesea Mega due to heath reasons. Firstly, we thank Karen for her support and hard work til now, but also wish her well in the months ahead. Secondly, this leaves us with a vacancy for a new Mega Lead and so a new position has also become available.

We are looking for someone with experience and skills in event organisation (large scale). This doesn’t necessarily have to be geocaching events, it can be in other large corporate, workplace, planning conferences or other volunteer events. Mega’s usually attract in excess of 400 geocachers across the country. Other key skills we are looking for is as follows:

  • Experience in leading a team or committee
  • Event planning, logistics or coordination experience
  • Budget and forecasting experience (not mandatory as support will be given)
  • Great communicator and stakeholder management (Sponsors and Councils play a bit part in Mega Planning)
  • A can do, fun attitude to ensure we create the best Mega ever for our community.
  • Willingness to see the Mega Event through (scheduled Nov 2022)

We certainly don’t want to scare you off, so if you are committeed and passionate to giving it a go – please do reach out. It’s okay if you haven’t run a Mega before, you will have a Mega committee to support you but also the Geocaching Victoria Committte to also provide support and advice. We are all one big team.

If you are interested in applying for a Mega Lead role, please email Jo Cox at president@geocachingvictoria.com.au and provide an overview of what strengths you can bring to the team. Please feel free to share any past experiences that may support your application. Applications close Friday 25th March 2022.

Introducing Joanna Cox aka heymissjo

Jo is relatively new to the Geocaching Victoria Committee and despite having only 1200 cache finds, she has already ticked off some pretty cool milestones including the spread the MEGA-love challenge, Centroid, Victoria’s Largest Sudoku and Karate Black Belt. She has been fortunate enough to cache in five overseas countries and four states around Australia. Its not always about the numbers.

She has 22 active hides to her name including her ‘Esoteric’ and ‘It’s all in the Story’ series. One of the things she values is a good log and so in turn works hard to write creative logs for each find she makes. Often she caches with her partner The Welder and so don’t be surprised if you find the two of them bantering and telling stories about each other (At least when The Welder remembers to publish his logs)- but that’s half the fun right?

By day she is an Agile/ Business Transformation Coach where she loves working with individuals and corporate teams to create amazing experiences that people will remember. As the newly appointed Geocaching Victoria President, she hopes that she can inject fun, inspiration and laughter in all she does and add some value along the way.

Recently we caught up with her and asked her to share a little about herself. Here is a little of what she shared.

1. Share with us when you started Geocaching and what got you into this crazy hobby we love?

I am fairly new to the Geocaching community compared to the other GVI Committee Members, and was originally introduced to the game in October 2017. Originally it was something I did with my children and my caching was focused on the caches with swag and that were in easy to find locations. Mid 2018, I broke my foot in four places and was house bound for many months, but it was during this period of respite I discovered puzzle caches. But it was when I started to cache solo that I discovered the breadth and depth of the game and I got complete sucked in!

2. How do you like to play the game? Are you a numbers person, do you chase challenges, do you love the adventures or have your own approach to caching?

What I love, is that you can play this game anyway you want. I do tend to have limited time to cache, as a Mum/ Step Mum to five kids and all that comes with family life, so I tend to be more focused on quality caches or ones that I need for a particular challenge I might be working on.

But I do love numbers and stats… and yes I have lots of spreadsheets and lists. I completely love caching with my partner Ross aka The Welder, especially when we get the chance to go on a roadtrip. We have had some fun, got lost, bogged and very dirty!

3. What is the craziest thing you have done in the name of caching?

Planned holidays and roadtrips just so I can collect a cache, even if its over 500km away. Climbed sand dunes at midnight, walked through cemetries at 4am in the morning and pretended to lose an earring on a busy subway in Bangalore, India because its too hard to cache with so many people around. Sadly I had many men helping me find the earring, I didnt have the heart to tell them I was looking for a cache. I eventually had to claim a DNF.

But in all honesty, the craziest thing I have done was meet and fall in love with another geocacher. I knew of The Welder for years before we met and became friends and I was always intrigued by this poetic writer and crazy hounding cacher. Little did I know that he would become the love of my life and we would move in together with our blended family. #geolove

4. What is currently on your Geocaching Bucket-list?

Number one is to eventually do the “Big Lap” and cache my way around Australia. I have only cached in four states to date and would like to tick them off. Secondly, when we can travel safely and freely overseas, I would love to complete my Jasmer and visit Geocaching HQ in Seattle.

But while I dream about the big things, I am currently working to complete my the Dead Premiers challenge, my LGA, and UBD map challenges. I would also love to create a Wherigo, but time is limited at the moment, so that is on the backlog.

As the newly appointed GVI President, I am excited about the year ahead and look forward to contributing and adding value to our awesome Geocaching community.

5. What is the most remote or unusual place you have collected a Geocache?

Before Covid hit, I was fortunate enough to collect overseas caches. Whilst on work trips, I managed to cache in Bangalore and Mumbai India, Singapore and Chengdu, China. Also, while on holidays I managed to collect caches in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Two of my favourite caches are in Angkor Watt, Cambodia (GC7FRQW) and Phnom Kulen National Park, Siem Reap, Cambodia (GC21N8D).

November AGM Election Results

The GVI Committee would like to advise, that on Monday, 15th November 2021, that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held and the following committee member elections were made:

President – Jo Cox (heymissjo)

Vice President – Lorraine Olgivie (the_tritonz)

Tresasurer – Bernie Hollaway (BernieH)

Secretary – Adriaan Homburg (ahomburg)

Member – Day Gowland (day1976)

Member – Gemma Siemensma (GemmaSistema)

Member – Karen Ashford (carkisser)

Member – Rod Lyon (n0w0rries)

Congratulations and thanks to all of you, for accepting your positions for the year ahead. There are lots of exciting events in the calendar scheduled, including the Wangaratta Mega, GPS Maze, GeoTours and more. We look forward to meeting and connecting with our wider geocaching community.

We would also like to take the time to thanks Karen, who previously held the President role, for her dedication over the past few years and grateful for her ongoing support as a committee member. Thanks too to Donna Moore (jaktembo) for her committement, who has decided to step down from the committee. Accepting a role on the committee is often not done lightly as the hours volunteered often are often done while juggling other family, work and personal committments, but it’s the love of the game that keep us coming back for more.

With a fresh “year ahead”, we would like to take this opportunity to hear from our wonderful geocaching community on what ideas you have for possible events, thoughts one what you would like to see more of or things for us to ponder. Please take the time to complete the survey, it should only take five minutes, but your feedback and considered thoughts would be valuable.

Survey link is here

Warm Regards

Jo Cox