Gordon Dedman – Senior Instructor
Gordon has always had a varied and widely contrasting mix of skills and interests.
Growing up in the small NSW country town of Moree he spent lots of time camping, fishing, building shelters, making fires and going for long walks in the bush, fostering an early passion for nature and bushcraft.
After finishing high school in Moree, Gordon moved to Newcastle then Sydney to attend University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music and an Associate Diploma in Jazz Studies. He then worked in Sydney for a number of years as a professional trumpet player and music teacher.
During this time Gordon also enlisted in the Australian Army Reserve, successfully completed Commando selection and training and paraded with 1 Company 1st Commando Regiment for a number of years.
In 2006 he transferred to Australian Army Band Sydney based on his civilian qualifications as a trained musician.
Gordon is now currently a survival instructor in NORFORCE, an army reserve Regional Force Surveillance Unit (RFSU) that conducts long range patrols and border protection operations in the wilderness areas of remote northern Australia.
Norforce works closely with Aboriginal communities to provide Army with information through reconnaissance, surveillance and community engagement. The nature of Norforce activities is that patrols may be in the field unsupplied for considerable lengths of time so there is a strong emphasis placed on survival skills.
Over the last ten years, Gordon has travelled extensively, working overseas for Princess Cruises and Cunard Line as a musician on board their ships. This travel has enabled him to hike, camp and practise bushcraft/survival skills in many different countries such as Canada, Norway, Sweden, South America, Mexico, Caribbean, UK, Mediterranean, USA (Alaska) and the Pacific Islands.
Through this travel Gordon has had the opportunity to train at and complete numerous bushcraft survival courses at some of the leading schools in the world, such as Paul Kirtley’s Frontier Bushcraft School (UK), Ray Mears Woodlore Bushcraft School (UK), Dave Canterbury’s Pathfinder School (USA), Lofty Wiseman’s Trueways Survival School (UK), Bushlore Australia Wilderness School (QLD) and Bob Cooper’s Outback Survival School (WA).
This training has given Gordon a unique perspective and insight into the teaching styles and methods of other leading instructors and schools, which he brings to the BSA table.
Gordon is presently an associate instructor at Dave Canterbury’s Pathfinder School in the USA where he has done several accredited courses and certifications.
He is a lecturer for Princess Cruises Scholarships at Sea program and has delivered his 5 part series of lectures titled “Bushcraft Survival Basics” on many of their ships.
Gordon also works seasonally as a tour guide for Territory Expeditions in Darwin, taking tour groups on camping expeditions into Kakadu National Park. He is also a keen martial artist who has cross trained in jujutsu, kickboxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) for many years.
Gordon’s varied training and experience, both military and civilian, coupled with his training and experience as a school teacher, ensure that he is able to deliver a varied and comprehensive course package with an emphasis on teaching rather than merely instruction, thereby giving students an enriching learning experience and introduction into the world of bushcraft.
For me the pursuit of bushcraft brings us closer to the natural world and opens our eyes to see that we are part of the earth and not separate from it. We have so much to learn from indigenous cultures around the world who have known this connection to the land for thousands of years. Sadly we live in a superficial, materialistic world where the skills and knowledge of our indigenous cultures are being lost and swallowed up by modern society. The pursuit of bushcraft and all its different areas allows us to limit our reliance on equipment and re-connect with nature and gain knowledge of the natural world around us