Partner: Kaat Devriendt
IT Infrastructure Engineer
“If I haven’t been there it’s on the list”
Michael, what is your position at Halls Gap Lakeside?
How did you get a job at Halls Gap Lakeside?
I passed through as a backpacker about a month after Josephina and Rohan purchased the business, after having lived in St Kilda for 5 months working as a pushbike delivery boy I finally had some money to come back to the Grampians to do some more hiking. After a talk to Josephina and then Rohan I got offered a casual position in green keeping/maintenance and cleaning. A couple of months later I was asked if I wanted to come back on my second year visa and run the business for a while. Since 2013 I got the official title of being the Manager.
What was your first impression?
Heaps of wildlife and beautiful mountains + super friendly staff (back then it was just Josephina and Rohan)
How long have you been working at Halls Gap Lakeside?
On and off as a backpacker from September 2012 till end 2013, full time since 2013.
Where were you born?
I was born in Ypres, Belgium. A beautiful little town in the western corner of Belgium very close to the French border, well known for its daily last post in honour of those who fell in defence of the town in the First World War.
What does the Grampians mean to you?
Mountains, adventure, exploration, hiking, rock climbing, serenity, amazement, home
Your absolute favourite place in the Grampians
So many to choose from! Joeys rock, mount Stapylton, a reststop that I don’t know the name of just before the Major Mitchell Plateau starting south, paddies castle, Zummsteins to Mackenzie Falls walk,…
What makes you smile?
The smile of my partner, sunrises and sunsets, good stories, family and friends
What is your favourite treat?
Anything with sugar/chocolate in it! Preferably the Belgian kind!
What is your favourite quote?
“I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list”
“Travel is the only thing you buy which makes you richer”
“We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us”
When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
Pilot then archaeologist and then I became an IT guy to end up working in hospitality.
What will you be when you grow up?
Who knows? Hopefully I’ll be happy and without to much worries for starters
How do your colleagues describe you?
I let them fill this in, this is what I got (not too bad if you ask me 🙂 ) :
Funny, caring, vague, friendly, geekish, indecisive, no sense of fashion yet great and loyal mate!
What languages do you speak?
Flemish/Dutch and English, French in some form and I do understand German in some situations.
If you were to get some time off, what would you like to do?
Travelling, exploring, hiking, catch up on a movie or series or just have a good time with friends, I also recently discovered a lost love for board games!
The old cliché, what is your favourite dinner?
Hard one again, I just like good food! Steak and french fries with mushroom sauce would be my most preferred one, mums cooking in general, off course my partners cooking 😉
I recently visited my home country again and I must say for the diversity Australian cuisine has there’s nothing better than the food you grew up with(says the scales after I got back). I must say though that Australia has thought me to try new things.
As a local what is your little thing that you don’t really want to tell people about, but you are anyway!
Sunset at reeds Lookout is just stunning, also Joeys rock just next to the park for the people that want to explore!