Rick Petersen has led what most would consider an interesting and varied life, born the eldest son of a lighthouse keeper, living on Tasman Island, off the rugged South East Coast of Tasmania, for the early years of his life.
At the age of six, after the wheels fell off the proverbial family cart, Rick and his five siblings became wards of the State, through parental separation. They were separated from each other, living in foster homes in different location s around Tasmania.
After a disrupted schooling regime, Rick found employment and a passion for native plants, working for several years in a local nursery.
At the age of 17, Rick joined the Military (ARMY) in the early ’80s completing his basic training at Kapooka NSW, and his Initial employment training at the School of infantry.
He was then posted to Townsville North Queensland, to serve with the 1st Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment. His first deployment overseas serving, with the Rifle Company Butterworth, Malaysia Rick went on to be selected to serve with the elite Australian Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) in 1986.
Spending much of his time in Air Operations, honing his skills in military demolitions, communications, climbing, Survival and other specialists skills, Rick had a rotation into much converted Operational Counter Terrorism Squadron in both overt and covert roles. In Ricks’ later years with the SAS Regiment, he played a large role in the training of SAS operators in specialists skills in Tactical Surveillance photography, After discharging from full-time service with the SAS Regiment in 1994.
Rick and his wife Neryl, moved to the Top End of Australia, spending much of his time in remote parts of the NT leading international guests on 4×4 Treks and expeditions into Kakadu and Arnhem Land.
Rick had, by this stage, developed a deeper interest of indigenous culture, creating a passion for traditional hunting techniques, tool making and fire lighting techniques along with university studies in Parks and Wildlife and receiving distinctions in Ethnobotany, (The study of native plants and their traditional uses by the indigenous people of the local area).
As those that have served would know, the Military is always in your blood. Rick reenlisted back into the Military in a reserve capacity, serving an additional eight years with two of Australia’s Regional Force Surveillance Units (RFSU) Known as “Norforce” and “The Pilbara Regiment”, conducting operational surveillance patrols within his allocated area of operations. As many of his patrol members were indigenous soldiers from remote areas of the Northern Territory, building a strong bond and deep respect for both country and Culture was second nature. Rick finally left the Military behind. To focused on life after the Army.
Utilising many of the Soft and Hard skills that the Military had equipped him with, as a self-defence instructor, advanced combat first Aider (ACFA) and Survival instructor qualifications. Rick has lead Kokoda treks over the rugged Owen Stanley Ranges in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and taken Fathers and Sons into the Jungles of Sumatra Indonesia. He has worked with both high profile sporting teams and corporate organisations in the field of team dynamics and leadership.
Having recently returned from 2.5 years in Central Australia with his Wife, both working alongside Pitjantjatjara speaking “Anangu People” at the iconic Australian landmark Uluru, both gaining much knowledge and respect from the desert mob and cherish the privilege to work on their country.
Rick is now committed to his Rock solid vision of helping other Fathers and Sons rediscover their connection, character and capability under the banner of “Men of Change Australia” along with running Bush immersions weekends and workshops on Survival, Bushcraft, and Adventure Treks under the Banner of “Southern Exposure Survival”.
Rick enjoys conducting talks and seminars on “Raising Boys into good men” and “Survival related subjects”.
Rick now resides on the Sunshine Coast with his Wife and Two Sons “Arnhem” and “Tasman”.