Well, we are fast approaching the end of 2020 and what a year it has been! A year of devastation, particularly for lovers of events both big and small, we have seen them one by one cancelled or postponed as the country dealt with COVID-19. While Queensland still has restrictions in place for holding events due to State Government guidelines, we are being optimistic that these restrictions might continue to ease and we can once again enjoy catching up socially with registered events.
On Sunday the committee met and reaffirmed that we should press on with our planning, surely packing a stadium with 49,000 people will mean that we can soon have outdoor gatherings with 100 people!
While we promised the shop opening in October we had understandable concerns about whether we would be able to go ahead with our event as we watched a second wave hit the country. The uncertainty of it all is crushing, but here we are and we need to press on from limbo land. So that all being said …
We are pleased to announce the new Shop opening date of 15th December.
You may have noticed we missed October’s event news, so did we. Whoops! We were just a little sidetracked with some other event projects.
This month our highlight takes you to the Outback region of Queensland and we thank RoddyC for putting in a lot of work this month to share his thoughts and promote the Queensland Outback Geo Muster.
Caching the Queensland Outback with QOGM.
Outback Queensland is vast. From Mount Isa, through Longreach to Barcaldine south to the Queensland border, it covers more than half the State’s landmass.
QOGM Country covers the five LGA Areas of Longreach, Barcaldine, Blackall-Tambo. Murweh (Charleville) and Paroo (Cunnamulla), with the major Highways passing through all these areas being the Mitchell and Landsborough highways.
So, what is QOGM?
QOGM is the acronym for the Queensland Outback Geocaching Muster. QOGM commenced in 2018 in Barcaldine, followed by the Blackall-Tambo event in 2019. Due to Covid-19 in 2020, QOGM was held over.
A QOGM group is formed for each location, and consists of local cachers from each area under the leadership of RoddyC, Youngoldfella and hatzofff. Hatzofff with Ridgeedidge from Barcaldine were responsible for hatching the original concept of an outback geocaching event.
Geocachers have come from all over Australia – just about every state has been represented, and international geocachers, too!
The aim is to have geocaches placed throughout the event area which allow attendees to experience the Outback and its unique geography, flora and fauna, and its geology, too.
But more importantly, it introduces geocachers to the outback locals.
Through an extended stay, geocachers contribute financially to outback recovery. For example, in Barcaldine, we estimate from contributed expenditure records that our wonderful QOGM attendees spent close to $45,000 in the Barcaldine Region in 2018 and close to $50,000 in the Blackall-Tambo Region in 2019.
QOGM Quotes: Jane Searle It is fantastic to hear such a great report of cachers helping the economy and doing the right thing. Well done
From the Mayor of the Blackall-Tambo Council, the following response was received: Thank you Rod. I am glad you all had fun, the towns certainly enjoyed hosting an event that was way outside their normal understanding of “things” !! I am sure your group will go from strength to strength. Cheers and merry xmas to you and yours. Andrew.
This money is spent with the local businesses in the towns – a fact which is greatly appreciated by the local Councils and Business Groups, as they mostly miss out on the government subsidies which normally go directly to farmers.
What does attending the QOGM entail?
QOGM is four or more days of organized Events and Geocaching trails, challenges and socializing.
QOGM usually commences with a ‘pre-event’ gathering as an ice-breaker, followed next day by the main “Welcome to Country” Geocaching QOGM Event – accompanied by a Council sponsored Meal together. In subsequent days and locations spread geographically through the event region, there is a Flash Mob Event, a CITO Event, a Welcome to QOGM next-year Event, and an official Closing Event and Dinner. At the Flash Mob event, we bring out the Kazoos: Waltzing Matilda under the Tree of Knowledge and Click go the Shears at Ram Park. In Cunnamulla, it has to be Slim Dusty’s The Cunnamulla Fella, doesn’t it?
QOGM Quote: Bobby Smith The Phoenix ferals really enjoyed their first QOGM and have already been discussing plans for next year. One of the boys told me
” i like it and we actually learn and experience more doing this than we do in a week of school!”
Thanks so much to everyone who was involved in organising and running QOGM 2019 and to all the other Geocache peoples we met and were able to assist or them assist us. Thanks everyone, see you in 2020!.
In between the events are geocaching activities through the release of new geocaches, and of course, the mandatory Muster, which is a full-day event, car-pooling for FTFs, competitions and many fun geocaches of different types.
The Muster Day In Barcaldine 2018, the Muster travelled from Aramac up to Lake Dunn, then down to Jericho for and evening event and dinner at the local Pub. The highlight of that muster was the fabulous Art Trail of Mylinda Rogers.
QOGM Quote: Sheridan Davis I loved doing this trail while at the event. The art is just fabulous a real highlight of the trip
In 2019, it was the ‘Turd’ Trail where the caches pages were fun-filled word plays, followed by chicken races and Dinner in Tambo.
QOGM Quote: Bazzanne Gilmour And on the turd stroke we won’t really give a cowpat.
QOGM 2021 is in Paroo Shire, based in Cunnamulla. The three local cachers there are keen to get caches out and go from an area that had but three up into the hundreds for our geocaching enjoyment. And give us all a time to remember.
Future dates: QOGM is set for the next three years
QOGM 2021 Paroo (Cunnamulla) 21 to 25 September 2021 QOGM 2022 Longreach 20 to 24 September 2022 QOGM 2023 Murweh (Charleville) 19 to 23 September 2023
Charmaine Atkinson Looking forward to attending all of these. A big thank you to Rod Collins, Pauline Collins and John Marshmann for putting this together every year. It’s always great to attend and as always, catch up with old and new faces
Once again we send our thanks to RoddyC and the QOGM team for this months highlight. Next month we comes back towards the coast and have a look at Gold Coast