Adventures land Lathlain’s Terry Hewett Medal of the Order of Australia

Adventure Out Australia and Urban Descent Events owner Terry Hewitt. Picture: Marie Nirme
Adventure Out Australia and Urban Descent Events owner Terry Hewitt. Picture: Marie Nirme

TERRY Hewett has done the types of things you see on movie screens but he remains humble.

The Lathlain resident and Welshpool-based Adventure Out owner was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia on April 7 for his 30 years of service to adventure tourism and his charity work.

After 12 years in the military, including 10 years in the Special Air Service Regiment he decided to get into adventure tourism.

“It’s the pinnacle of the military, when I applied there were 600 people who applied and that was cut down to 85 after a series of tests,” he said.

“We all did a six-week course and nine of us were eventually chosen but in that time I went from 82kg to 65kg.

“In my time we did strategic work, it’s all highly classified but it’s the stuff they make movies about.

“That period formed my perspective on life and who I was as a man; I decided to leave because it was highly destructive.”

Mr Hewett said the last two years in the military he moonlighted as a rock-climbing teacher before leaving the military in 1986.

“I wanted to engage people in outdoor activities while challenging and empowering them,” he said.

“The activities included recreational-based rock climbing, canoeing and rafting but over the years we have moved into education supporting schools and the corporate world.”

Mr Hewett has also founded Urban Descent, which runs the annual abseil off QV1 building event each year.

In his time, he has raised more than $8 million for various charities over the years.

“It all started off with parachuting into Flinders Bay in Augusta in the late 1980s and we raised about $450, 000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service,” he said.

“I’d been looking for a building in the CBD to hold a fundraising during the 1990s and we had our first event in 2002 with the funds going to the Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital Foundation.”

Mr Hewett said the award was a surprise and he was not seeking recognition.

“I’ve always tried to avoid attention and to me that was a form of attention that I wasn’t seeking,” he said.

“I’ve often said to people when they spoke about things like that, that I wouldn’t accept it but I got a letter in September that I had been nominated and should I be awarded it, would I accept it.

“I had to sit down, it’s a pretty hard thing because you can’t talk to anyone about it, so for about four days I thought that I could only have gotten this through the hundreds of people that have supported me.”

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