Life of ad­ven­ture cul­mi­nates in OAM

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

TERRY Hewett has done the types of things you see on movie screens but he remains hum­ble.

The Lath­lain res­i­dent and Welsh­pool­based Ad­ven­ture Out owner was awarded a Medal of the Or­der of Aus­tralia on April 7 for his 30 years of ser­vice to ad­ven­ture tourism and his char­ity work.

Af­ter 12 years in the mil­i­tary, in­clud­ing 10 years in the Spe­cial Air Ser­vice Reg­i­ment, he de­cided to get into ad­ven­ture tourism.

“It’s the pin­na­cle of the mil­i­tary, when I ap­plied there were 600 peo­ple who ap­plied and that was cut down to 85 af­ter a se­ries of tests,” he said.

“We all did a sixweek course and nine of us were even­tu­ally cho­sen, but in that time I went from 82kg to 65kg.

“In my time, we did strate­gic work, it’s all highly clas­si­fied but it’s the stuff they make movies about.

“That pe­riod formed my per­spec­tive on life and who I was as a man; I de­cided to leave be­cause it was highly de­struc­tive.”

Mr Hewett said the last two years in the mil­i­tary he moon­lighted as a rock­climb­ing teacher be­fore leav­ing the mil­i­tary in 1986.

“I wanted to en­gage peo­ple in out­door ac­tiv­i­ties while chal­leng­ing and em­pow­er­ing them,” he said.

“The ac­tiv­i­ties in­cluded recre­ation­al­based rock climbing, ca­noe­ing and raft­ing, but over the years we have moved into ed­u­ca­tion supporting schools and the cor­po­rate world.”

Mr Hewett has also founded Ur­ban De­scent, which runs the an­nual ab­seil off QV1 building event each year.

In his time, he has raised more than $8 mil­lion for var­i­ous char­i­ties.

“It all started off with parachut­ing into Flin­ders Bay in Augusta in the late 1980s and we raised about $450, 000 for the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice,” he said.

“I’d been look­ing for a building in the CBD to hold a fundrais­ing dur­ing the 1990s and we had our first event in 2002 with the funds go­ing to the Princess Mar­garet Chil­dren’s Hospital Foun­da­tion.”

Mr Hewett said the award was a sur­prise and he was not seek­ing recog­ni­tion.

“I’ve al­ways tried d468074 to avoid at­ten­tion and to me that was a form of at­ten­tion that I wasn’t seek­ing,” he said.

“I’ve of­ten said to peo­ple when they spoke about things like that, that I wouldn’t ac­cept it, but I got a let­ter in Septem­ber that I had been nom­i­nated and should I be awarded it, would I ac­cept it.

“I had to sit down, it’s a pretty hard thing be­cause you can’t talk to any­one about it, so for about four days I thought that I could only have got this through the hun­dreds of peo­ple who have sup­ported me.

Pic­ture: Marie Nirme

Ad­ven­ture Out owner Terry Hewett.

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