Twelve months ago, we announced a partnership with The Four Wheel Drive Association Queensland (4WD QLD), and joined the Association on one of their biggest events - the K’Gari / Fraser Island Clean Up.
In the time since our first event with the Association, they’ve gone on to run several other key events in their annual calendar including their highly-anticipated 2022 Corroboree event, and with the 2023 Corroboree just around the corner, we pinned some 4WD QLD representatives down to remind us of the important work the Association does outside of social activations like the Clean Up and Corroboree, and how they’ve been able to expand their efforts around driver education and training in to some of Queensland’s more remote regions.
“We’ve been able to increase our regional training tours in to areas like Hervey Bay, Mackay, Charters Towers, and Townsville. Our focus in these regions isn’t just teaching club members, but rather setting up representatives in these regions as trainers who can continue to pass on 4WD QLD training,” explains 4WD QLD CEO, Michael Elliott.
The Association provides an array of courses for members including off-road vehicle operation for first time 4WDers, through to more advanced courses that cover proper recovery techniques, safe winching practices, chainsaw operation and maintenance, as well as First Aid.
“On Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service or HQ Plantations land, the use of chainsaws is forbidden. With our training, our members can safely use chainsaws on this land - to clear a fire trail for example - then document what they’ve done for the land holder,” continues Mike of the many practical ways the Association focuses on positively impacting the community.
Education and engagement continues outside the scope of their formal courses, with the Association always looking to engage 4WD owners to educate them about pertinent topics like safe towing practices and, importantly for the Sunshine State, how to safely drive on the beach.
“We’re always looking to work more closely with local councils and the State Government,” explains Michael.
The Association enjoys great links to the State Government, working closely with Ministers in the Tourism, Environmental and Transport sectors. “Through our Conservation Access Recreation Environment (CARE) program we managed to secure a government grant for one of our affiliated clubs to assist with removing Lantana from the Nerang State Forest” adds Michael of the ways the Association manages relationships between the Government and the Clubs.
On top of the important work in the environment, the Association is also involved in some faster-paced activities, like supporting the Goondiwindi 500. “We assist the organisers with support vehicles to provide everything from First Aid to recovery for vehicles that have broken down. It’s still very much in line with how we want to represent the Association - safe, and family friendly,” says Michael, who adds that it’s common for children who’ve grown up with parents in the Association to return as adults with their own families.
The Association will be ramping up its visibility at 4WD-related shows in Queensland, with the Association’s PR Manager Michelle Borsody-Nagy explaining that the events are an integral way the Association and its Clubs engage with the public.
“We’ll be at The National 4x4 Show, and the Let’s Go Caravanning Queensland events in the Gold Coast and Brisbane,” she adds.
To stay up to date with the Association’s efforts, or to enquire about an affiliated club in your part of the state visit their website, www.4wdqld.com.au.