Borneo trek challenges the Wood & Grieve Board of Directors

The leadership group at Wood & Grieve Engineers are proud to be involved in a strong company culture which extends across all levels of the organisation and manifests itself in many and varied forms. This is epitomised by the latest adventure involving the Board of Directors (8 people), who recently embarked on a ten day trekking adventure through the jungles of North Borneo, culminating in a night-time ascent of South East Asia’s largest monolith – Mt Kinabalu.

Several of the travelling party voluntarily took part in a crossing of the Kokoda track in 2006 and the strong and abiding bonds forged during the experience have translated readily into the business environment. The motivation for this latest adventure was twofold : i) respecting the legacy of the ANZACs who were brutalised by the Japanese during their WWII imprisonment, which culminated in the infamous Sandakan death marches and ii) learning about each other’s core personalities and putting teamwork to the test in a physical and emotionally trying environment.

The group started in Sandakan at the site of the former prisoner of war camp and make their way west through remote villages until they reach Mt Kinabalu base camp. The group faced all forms of physical challenge together from the dank, humid jungle tracks of the lowlands to the cold, alpine tracks of Mt Kinabalu in a crossing which covered some 80km. The group all self-funded their individual trips and embraced the idea from its inception, clearly living and breathing Wood & Grieve’s company slogan “it’s more than just work”.

Not only did all the elements of selflessness, respect and mateship come out during the physically and mentally challenging trek, but the group was left humbled after learning about the history of the ANZACS in the area. The experience also led to some serious introspection about the definition of “happiness” after experiencing the welcoming and generous nature of the Borneo village locals. The Directors returned from the tour as a stronger and committed group with experiences that will benefit themselves and ultimately the organisation. Tour operator, Wayne Wetherall, says he’s “never experienced a group so bonded and emotionally connected with the spirit of the trip. Overall, an incredibly memorable and moving journey.