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Get to know us

We're an innovative, award winning registered health promotion charity that wraps mental and physical health and wellbeing initiatives into an off-road touring format. We work with individuals, groups, and communities to foster a more connected, inclusive, and caring society. Established in late 2019, we're quite small but growing. We currently have a full time and two part-time casual staff and 12 volunteers. Our board consists of volunteers and we rely on volunteers to assist us in the delivery of our multi-day camps. About a third of our funding comes from donations, a third from grants, and a third from the NDIS.

We need your support

We're a registered health promotion charity with Deductible Gift Recipient Status. For us, this means that all revenue we generate is spent on our purpose. We do not aim to make a profit and surpluses cannot be used to profit board or staff members. For you, this means that we offer our initiatives at the lowest cost possible. And when you donate, you can offset your donation from your taxable income.

We try to obtain grants and donations so that we can offer participation at no cost wherever possible. Because the operation of a charity like ours comes with significant obligations, training requirements, and overheads (including insurance, shed storage, equipment purchases and maintenance, administration, etc.), we quickly discovered that we cannot operate the charity sustainably on a purely voluntary basis. We currently employ five skilled staff (two full-time, three casual), supported by 8 volunteers. We do not currently receive any core funding from government or other entities, so all of our operating costs are covered by donations, grants, and other government funds (e.g. NDIS).  

How to donate

The easiest way to donate is by credit card using the Donate Now button below. Once we have received your donation, we will send you a receipt that you can use to offset your donation at tax time. If you'd rather not use your credit card, you can also complete the donation form by clicking the button below. Once we receive the completed form, we'll send you an email with our account details for electronic transfer as well as an invoice. 

Become a sponsor

All donations help but you can make an immediate impact by sponsoring a whole adventure or a specific piece of equipment we need. Sponsorships also give us leverage because they allow us to apply for grants with a higher chance of success. Find out what we currently need help with by checking out the sponsorship prospectus.

Become a volunteer

Volunteers make a huge difference. With more people involved, we can create more understanding and learning through shared experiences, and we can reduce the cost of camps and so deliver more bang for buck. What we need most are local volunteers who love working with young people and are willing to bring their own four-wheel drive along.

Core Staff

Sönke Tremper [aka "Zonk", he/him]  is one of the founders of Giz A Break. At the moment, he leads all camps and also provides 1:1 support for individual participants. He does all the background work (bookkeeping, admin, website, socials, etc) and is the go-to person for organisations thinking about partnering with us.

Zonk lives in Dookie in north-central Victoria. When he's not doing Giz A Break work, he enjoys participating in not-for-profit boards and supporting other organisations in their strategic work. If you want to get his actual name right, try saying [Zernca] with a good Aussie accent. Yep, that sounds about right.

Jasmin Mortelman [aka Jas, they/them]  started out as a volunteer with us and decided that Giz A Break brings together the best of the outdoor ed and youth work principles, and just like that, they became an employee! Jas is a young person, a qualified Outdoor Educator, and a seriously good human. Apart from coming along on an ever increasing number of camps, Jas also takes care of our risk management.

Dallas Piggott [she/her] is our Chief of Happiness. Seriously. She first came along as one of our volunteers and decided that Zonk needed help (he does), and came on board in early 2021. Dallas holds qualifications in youth work and currently studies a bachelor of social work at Latrobe University (Shepparton Campus). She is experienced in providing support to people living with a disability and holds certificates in four-wheel driving and remote first aid. She really likes working with young people in particular.

Brendan Chessum [he/him] has extensive outdoor education experience. He holds a Cert IV in Outdoor Rec and a Bachelor in Applied Science (Eco Tourism). Brendan is never happier than when he hangs off the end of a rope somewhere in the mountains, looks after cattle on his farm in Stanhope, or goes hunting with his partner and their dogs. Brendan runs camps with the team and is available for our 1:1 Mentoring Series.

Our Board

Charles Oguntade

Charles Oguntade is a Forensic Specialist with over 20 years of professional practice as a credentialed mental health nurse. He currently works for Goulburn Valley Health, Australia. Charles has passion for community development, volunteering and youth mentoring.

Andrea Tolley

Andrea combines critical thinking with community engagement and fundraising expertise. She is the head of nutritional sales at Bega Cheese and has a longstanding commitment to supporting community initiatives and fundraisers in the Goulburn Valley. 

Daniel Thomson

Dan the Man - mad fisho and co-founder of Giz A Break. Dan is an accredited practising dietitian and runs a dietetics service across northern Victoria and southern New South Wales. He's never happier than when he lands a Murray cod!

Kirsten Green

Kirsten is a master-qualified social worker with experience in managing health initiatives, deep community connections, and a strong commitment to inclusive practice. Kirsten also holds a master of population health. Their qualifications and experience help us with clinical governance and careful considerations of community needs. Kirsten lives in Mooroopna on the banks of the Kaiela (Goulburn River).

Rebecca Lovell (chair)

An accountant with plenty of experience running organisations as an executive and non-executive (board) director, Rebecca contributes strong strategic thinking, community connections, and financial nouse to Giz A Break.

Andrew Prentice

An accomplished business developer and former orchardist, Andrew has been a driving force in the Goulburn Valley for decades. He contributes an excellent understanding of philanthropy, business nouse, and governance expertise.

Environmental sustainability

We completely accept that climate change is real and that the warming of our planet is unprecedented and caused by human activity. Our four-wheel drives contribute to this and we are committed to limiting our ecological footprint in multiple ways:

  • We offset our annual fuel use by donating to Carbon Positive Australia, using its calculator to estimate the required offset based on the distance our vehicles travelled and our average fuel consumption.
  • We do not drive cross-country, we take out what we bring in, we leave campsites cleaner than we found them, and we do not cut down trees for firewood.
  • Wherever practical, we use ecologically sustainable products, for example environmentally friendly detergents and either reusable or recyclable materials.
  • When electric 4x4 vehicles become available, affordable, and useable for our purposes, we will seek to switch our fleet at the earliest possibility. Our dream is to run a fleet of Tesla Cyber Trucks!

Contact Details

Giz A Break Limited

56 Dookie Street, Dookie VIC 3646
Phone: 0401 833 110

ABN: 16 635 277 637