Geoff Toomby in Profile - EmmTech in the Outback
Geoff and his wife Vicki run a small herd of stud Sahiwal cattle along with a commercial herd at a station 40kms west of Townsville North Queensland and are accredited Certificate IV Rural Trainers. Together they travel across northern Australia fulfilling Ross's dream of taking his 'first aid tool box' Emm-Tech, to the people of the outback.
Geoff was nominated for Australian of the year in 2006 for all the work he has done with rural youth including teaching horsemanship skills to help them develop new career pathways.
We spoke to Geoff when he was in town, in an attempt to get a snap-shot of the man who became renowned through-out the western communities for his livestock handling and horsemanship skills.
Here is Geoff's story in his own words...
"I have always been a rural person and have lived in the bush all my life. I joined the rodeo circuit in the north for many years as a rider and judge. I worked on many cattle properties and built up a very successful livestock transport business. For 16 years I ran a large operation which employed 6 men and together we carted cattle to and from the farthest reaches of Australia.
I suppose you could say I grew out of this type of living. Due to the type of work I had been doing I found myself with a chronic back problem. This problem became serious when in a rodeo a horse bucked backwards and I was trampled by the horse.
Unfortunately, I was seriously ill for 6 years - I had 3 blocks of surgery on my spinal cord. I spent a very long time in traction and underwent the painful process of having my spine completely rebuilt. I have 2 stainless steel plates surgically implanted into my back, a piece of my hip bone implanted into my spine. I spent over 2 years convalescing. A great deal of this time flat on my back ... and that's when I met Ross.
I came for treatment and was overwhelmed at the reduction in pain and my recovery. I became very interested in what Ross was doing and completed a Bowen therapy course' with him. That was the beginning of a total change in direction for me and the start of an amazing journey.
First Bowen therapy, and then an invitation to do Ross's own technique, the Emmett technique. On the completion of Ross's training I knew where I was needed - out west. So many good horsemen have use for a self help program for themselves and others without any major training. So to tutor Emm-Tech (a first kit for general public) looked like the way to go. I began tutoring Emm-Tech courses and was blown away by how much those who attended enjoyed it. I knew this was what we wanted to do and that is how Vicki and I have got where we are now.
I still do the same miles in the car, only now I travel extensively teaching and passing on skills including Emm-Tech training to those located in inland and regional Australian communities.
On this current trip I have been away for 19 days with a quarter of those days spent behind the wheel of the car. The distances are vast and include some of the remotest regions of the Australian outback ...
Townsville - Roma - Attica (a cattle station west of Carnarvon) - Augathella - Charleville- Quilpie - Cunnamulla ... travelling some 3720 kms.
I have treated 64 people and 9 horses - taught 11 people horsemanship and 8 people Emm-Tech.
Next trip Vicki and I will be travelling to :-
- Georgetown where we will be teaching Horsemanship and Emm-Tech on Sat, Sun and Mon to the 'School of the Air' kids and adults.
- Cairns to treat some sick horses.
- Alice Springs to fill a contract with the Northern Territory Cattle Association to provide career pathways to indigenous ringers from settlements. We will be training them in horsemanship which will include Emm-Tech training.
- We will then be heading onto Katherine in the Northern Territory to continue teaching Emm-Tech.
Life is very busy, very exciting, and we are constantly on the go. I wouldn't have it any other way."
For more information see Geoff and Vicki's website - http://www.geoffandvickitoomby.com.au/emmtech.html