A private retreat for our Emergency Service and ADF family.
Banks Creek Retreat (BCR) is a private parcel of land owned by Nicole and Grant.
Nicole has served in the Queensland Police Service since 2006 and Grant is a former Queensland Police Officer who now works in Corrective Services.
Their vision is to provide a place of relaxation and recovery for emergency services and ADF personal (current and former). The facility will be restricted to police, fire service, ambulance, paramedic, corrections, SES and defence families. Other groups can be considered on a case-by-case assessment.
In June 2017, Grant and Nicole purchased 100 Acres of bushland located 12 km from Fernvale, Queensland that borders the D’Aguilar State Forest and is situated at the base of Mount Nebo.
Since the purchase of the property Grant and Nicole have spent significant time cleaning up the property with their own funds and connecting with other Emergency Services and ADF brothers and sisters through their Facebook page – Banks Creek Retreat – Emergency Services and ADF ONLY. There are currently around 3000 members (July 2018) and the population continues to grow through word-of-mouth.
If you are a former or current serving member of the Emergency Services (Police, Fire Rural Fire, Ambulance, Paramedic, Corrective Services, SES) or the Australian Defence Force please feel free to request membership to their Facebook page.
To become a member of the Facebook site, you MUST be retired from or currently working in the Emergency Services or ADF (including family). You will not be allowed to join the Facebook page unless you are service related. Exceptions can be made for membership, if it assists the community.
Currently the property has a 1.5 Acre fenced region Grant and Nicole fondly label “The Compound” which they have been using as a caretakers office to coordinate executive meetings and networking activities. When purchased this section was a dumping ground for machinery and abandoned vehicles. This area has been the location of numerous working bees and is now predominantly cleared of rubbish.
An area of approximate 2.5 Acres outside “The Compound” has also been reclaimed from invasive Lantana and is the planned future site for day trips and camping. This will be offered to all Emergency Service and ADF brothers and sisters as a private retreat away from the general public.
Future development for this area is planned over the coming years. It is hoped, with the support of the Emergency Service and ADF community we can raise funds to build:
- 2018-19: A communal outdoor kitchen, showers and toilet facilities and fire-pit. This is the number one priority for 2018/19.
- 2018-19: BBQ facilities and small shelters for campsites.
- Long-term: A hall for external organisations to run programs of benefit to members (Mindfulness, resilience, yoga, meetings, etc.)
- Long-term: Private villas for longer term stays.
The purpose is to provide a community of support and assistance to emergency services and ADF personnel (current and former) who have experienced Acute Stress Injury (ASI), Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI), depression, stress and burn out, utilising evidence based approaches with innovate elements.
In the short term, eligible people will be able to utilise the property for private camping, day-trips and gatherings. The property can only support small numbers at present.
At present there is no cost associated with this, however donations to the Incorporation will always be welcome. Please be aware that you will need to contact Nicole or Grant directly if you wish to use their property. Grant and Nicole take time to meet everyone that visits the property.
Banks Creek Retreat is intended to be a location to assist in the prevention of PTSI and associated mental health trauma (stress, burnout, etc) as well as a location to assist in the recovery from the same. It is not intended to be a location to treat those requiring professional assistance. However, if you are struggling you are always welcome for a cuppa and a chat.
Their long-term goal is to provide residential stays where members can be referred to psychologists and complimentary therapies if needed. Grant and Nicole are not medical professionals, but have a strong desire to help their ES and ADF family to build a supportive community away from the general public.
In late 2017, Grant and Nicole met with, and developed a strong connection with Stand Tall 4 PTS, and organisation dedicated to raising awareness about Post Traumatic Stress. This was a big step forward and provided much welcomed guidance and advice.
Banks Creek Retreat Incorporated (IA57594)
In February 2018, Banks Creek Retreat became a not-for-profit Incorporation and our executive was born.
- President: Karen Harmon AM
- Treasurer: Grant Neilson
- Secretary: Nicole Seden
- Executive Member: Tony Dell (Stand Tall for PTS)
- Further executive members to be advised
Banks Creek Retreat Incorporated are currently seeking further expertise in financial management, corporate law and project development.
The objects of the incorporation are:
To provide benevolent relief and assistance to current and former Emergency Services, Defence Force and Correction personnel who suffer from mental and social difficulties by:
- Advancing recovery and support by providing a supportive environment;
- Co-ordinating and providing tailored assistance to support such persons and their families; and
- Engaging and developing support networks
The incorporation will be seeking to become a registered charity.
There are loads of relationships being built in the background and Nicole and Grant have met with and received support from many different organisations.
Grant and Nicole have the land, the good will, and the passion to drive this project, but it will cost money, labour and time. They are hoping to get much of the work done through assistance from you – through working bees, donated materials, shared labour and connections with people who can influence the powers that be.
We know that working in Emergency Services and ADF jobs affect our lives significantly. The job stays with us for life.
We know the Black Dog and PTSI are part of our lives and our ultimate vision is to create a supportive space for us to help our brothers and sisters fighting against this internal struggle. Help us to help our own!
Your Emergency Service and ADF Family,
Grant and Nicole