Sign up for our Newsletter

The Church Logo

Our Story

The Church Owners

 

In 2014, Garry, Nicole & Jack Graham came to Tasmania for a holiday, as a separate trip before their planned caravanning lap around Australia where they were to have a year off before 5-year-old Jack started school. However, they never got to do “the big lap” of Australia; instead, they flew to Tasmania, and on their 2nd last day they drove through the rural town of Campbell Town in “The Heart of Tasmania”.  They saw the St Andrews Church and Hall for sale.  They stopped their car and called the agent.  It was “love at first sight” so they put in an offer the next day, prior to flying home. The offer was accepted, and the purchasing process was underway and the trip around Australia was put off.

They headed back to NSW where they sold their home and successful Mechanical Repair Business.  A new phase of their life had begun…

 

However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing.  Nicole was diagnosed with Breast Cancer soon after moving to Tasmania, so their development plans were ceased for 5 years whilst she received treatment.

 

They then opened “The Hall” as a meetings and small events venue whilst they lived off-site on a lovely nearby farm.  Although the Hall business was very successful and frequently booked out (meetings and High Teas in particular were a huge hit), they missed their property.  They moved back into the Hall and did a complete renovation to convert it into a comfortable home.  They decided if the small Hall could be so successful it was time to open up the larger building and grounds of The Church.

 

With the home renovations complete, a quintessential white picket fence built and the grounds and gardens greatly improved by planting over 850 plants and trees, it became time for the next phase. It is a large and ongoing project. Gardens are especially something that can’t be rushed as they await plants and trees maturing. It is now time to prepare The Church for its opening, so all can enjoy.

There has also been a huge amount of “behind the scenes” planning conducted. Including a very detailed Business & Financial Plan (taking months to complete) under the guidance of an outstanding Business Consultant, which gained them the backing of the Tasmanian Department of State Growth.

Garry & Nicole each have over 35 years of experience in public service, volunteering and most importantly in business and people management.  

The opening night will be a prestigious event and will be the first time in over 25 years that The Church will be open to the public.  Without developers like Garry and Nicole many historic Churches & buildings would fall into disrepair or remain inaccessible to the public.

Both Garry and Nicole are recipients of Australian Medals, numerous Service awards, plus MANY independently judged reputable Business Awards. 

Just a few of their awards are shown below and further down this page:

  • Garry Graham – Australian National Medal for Service: “The National Medal recognises long and diligent service, by members of recognised government and voluntary organisations, that risk their lives or safety to protect or assist the community in enforcement of the law or in times of emergency or natural disaster”.
  • Garry Graham – Fire & Rescue NSW Medal for Long Service & Good Conduct: “The Fire and Rescue NSW Long Service and Good Conduct Medal recognises diligent long service and good conduct by members of Fire and Rescue NSW”.
  • Nicole Graham – NSW Police Force Medal for Diligent & Ethical Service: Awarded to sworn members of the New South Wales Police Force who have completed ten years of diligent and ethical service. The Medal is awarded after a detailed review of the nominee’s service history”.
  • Nicole Graham – Commendation for Excellent Police Work in Devotion & Dedication to Duty in the arrest of a known violent & active criminal whilst off duty.
  • Nicole Graham – Recognised by NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner of Special Operations for Outstanding Integrity.

 

About Garry

Garry is from a strong Scottish background of farmers and his heritage is celebrated as decedents of the Gordon and Campbell Clans.

He grew up in country NSW and enjoyed staying on his Grandparent’s dairy farm and later helping on his father’s cattle property.

Garry left school to take up an apprenticeship as a Motor Mechanic and worked at the local car dealership. After several years he purchased his own mechanical repair business, which was to go on to be independently judged by the Motor Traders Association as the “Mechanical Repair Business of The Year”, which was a great achievement as he was competing against major dealerships and workshops statewide throughout NSW.

Garry is also a qualified NSW TAFE Teacher where he taught for several years. 

In his own business, he won several other business awards, including Customer Care Service Excellence. He sold this successful business to move to Tasmania. It still operates under new ownership and a new name.

Garry was also in the Fire & Rescue NSW for 17 years, where he obtained the rank of Deputy Captain. He has extensive experience in dealing with fires, rescues, motor vehicle accidents, roping, emergency management and the operation of a large range of fire & rescue equipment.

Due to his service in the Fire & Rescue NSW, Garry is the holder of the National Medal. The National Medal recognises long and diligent service, by members of recognised government and voluntary organisations, that risk their lives or safety to protect or assist the community in the enforcement of the law or in times of emergency or natural disaster.

Since moving to Campbell Town, Garry obtained several jobs including driving the local school bus, lifeguard at the Campbell Town pool and having his own property maintenance business.   He then took up a position as a Field Service Technician with a large Tasmanian construction company and was then promoted to Quarry Supervisor.

Garry has also volunteered locally on the ANZAC committee, Pool committee, including cleaning the pool daily (during the swimming seasons) and maintaining the pool grounds for several years, and is a Life Member and previous Executive Committee Member for the Midlands Agricultural Association – Campbell Town Show.

Gary
Gary
Garry Graham – Australian National Medal for Service
Garry Graham – Fire & Rescue NSW Medal for Long Service & Good Conduct
Gary
Gary
Gary
Gary
Nicole and Gary
The Church Our Story
The Church Our Story
Champions 2023 Finalist

About Nicole

Nicole grew up in Sydney, also from a strong Scottish background. Her grandmother came to Sydney from Greenock, Scotland with her family. Nicole grew up around the strong Scottish accent of her Great Grandmother, so much so, that her Dad had to “translate” when her Great Grandmother spoke. Her family have always been very proud of their Scottish heritage and are from the Campbell and McGreggor/Gregor clans.

Due to her family’s regular and renound parties, it wasn’t until Nicole was an adult that she realised it wasn’t “normal” in Australia for everyone to sing soon after arriving at a party and continue singing until the wee hours of the morning.

When Nicole left school, she worked as a Travel Consultant, giving her the opportunity to travel extensively and give her a lifelong love of travel and to experience other lifestyles and cultures.

She then joined the NSW Police Force and remained in the Police Force for 13 years where she achieved positions of:

  • Supervising Sergeant (in both rural country areas & busy, diverse Sydney stations),
  • Team Leader (of shifts, operations, crime scenes etc)
  • Peer Support Officer (supporting other Police & colleagues with any issues in a confidential manner)
  • Field Training Officer (on-the-job training of less experienced Police Officers to performing their duties to a high standard),
  • Regional Training Coordinator (being responsible for all ongoing Police training within 1 of 4 regions in NSW at the time) &
  • Child abuse and sexual assaults investigations specialist (specialising in building rapport with victims, supporting them and taking statements from victims of sexual assault and child abuse for prosecution briefs & giving evidence in court).

Nicole left the Police Force suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This had a huge impact on her life.

She is now a mental health advocate and Speaker for Beyond Blue for the past 10 years. She speaks at major events, fundraisers, workplaces or anywhere Beyond Blue request her to attend.

When Nicole left the Police Force she opened a Cafe in the NSW Police Academy in Sydney and owned and managed that for 3 years.  This was a great success and gave Nicole her first taste in business ownership & management.

She then commenced another business of Emergency ID Australia. An online business providing medical jewellery, medical alerts and emergency identification products. This business was located in Campbell Town and had the largest and most diverse range worldwide.  It is also the most highly rated in its field worldwide. Nicole sold this business in September 2023, so she could concentrate on The Church development. The story behind that business can be read here

Nicole has won numerous business awards, including NSW Awards of Business Woman of The Year, Excellence in Innovation,

Excellence in Business Ethics &

Customer Service Excellence.

Nicole was also the President of the Board of AUSBUY (Australian Companies Institute) a National organisation that supported a huge range of small and large Australian Owned businesses.  This was a great privilege and experience for Nicole, as although she was elected by her peers as President, her fellow board members were extremely experienced and reputable businessmen from around Australia and fantastic mentors in their support of her.

Nicole has also volunteered locally as Deputy Chairperson of the Northern Midlands Tourism Region and President of the local Campbell Town Pool Committee.  Nicole is also a Tasmanian Tourism Ambassador. 

Nicole and Gary
The Church Campbell Town
The Church Campbell Town

Nicole’s Awards

NSW POLICE FORCE:

    • Police Medal for Diligent & Ethical Service
    • Commended for Excellent Police Work in Devotion & Dedication to Duty in the arrest of a known violent & active criminal whilst off duty.
    • Recognised by Deputy Commissioner of Special Operations for Oustanding Integrity.
    • Recognised with a Local Area Command Award.
    • Certificate from Assistant Commissioner for Ethical Standards
    • Selected to make a presentation to the Police Commissioner & Assistant Commissioners & Regional Commanders
    • Selected to make a presentation on behalf of the NSW Police to the International Police Conference in Darwin NT.
    • Director of NSW Blue Light Committee
    • President of Blue Light Program

BUSINESS AWARDS:

  • FINALIST: Australian Small Business Champion Awards 2023
  • SEMI-FINALIST: Community Achievement Awards Australia 2022
    • Small Business Award
  • FINALIST: Australian Small Business Champion Awards 2022
    • Online Business Award
    • Business Growth Award &
    • Nicole Graham – Small Business Champion Entrepreneur
  • FINALIST: Australian Small Business Champion Awards 2021
  • FINALIST: Tasplan Business Excellence Awards 2021
    • Excellence In Customer Service &
    • Retail Excellence
  • FINALIST: Greater Port Macquarie Business Awards 2015
    • Medical, Healthcare & Fitness
  • FINALIST: NSW Business Chamber State Awards
    • Excellence In Innovation 2014.
  • WINNER: NSW Business Chamber Regional Awards
    • Excellence In Innovation 2014.
  • FINALIST: NSW Business Chamber Regional Awards 2014
    • Excellence In Business Ethics 2014
    • Business Leader 2014
  • WINNER: Greater Port Macquarie Business Awards 2014
    • Excellent In Innovation 2014
  • FINALIST: Greater Port Macquarie Business Awards 2014
    • Medical, Healthcare & Fitness
    • Excellence In Innovation
    • Excellence In Business Ethics
    • Woman In Business
    • FINALIST: NSW Business Chamber Regional Awards 2013
      • Business Leader–
    • WINNER: Greater Port Macquarie Business Awards 2013
      • Medical, Healthcare & Fitness
    • WINNER: Greater Port Macquarie Business Awards 2013
      • Woman In Business
    • WINNER: HBWN Business Owner of The Year Award 2012
    • WINNER: Commonwealth Bank Greater Port Macquarie Business Awards 2012
    • Judges Commendation: Hastings Businesswomen’s Network Woman In Business Award 2012
    • FINALIST:  Wauchope Chamber of Commerce Awards 2012
      • Excellence in Service
    • WINNER: Customer Care Service Excellence Awards 2011
    • Finalist: Commonwealth Bank Greater Port Macquarie Business Awards 2011

    About Jack

    They also have a 14-year-old son Jack. Jack has been involved in The Church project from day one.  Presenting his ideas and always being included as part of the team in the decision-making.

    You may see Jack riding his bike around town or working around the property, learning all the ropes as the “Apprentice Jack of All Trades”.

    Jack is an entrepreneur in his own right, as he has his own registered business, “Krank It Up MTB” which is all about Mountain Biking.  His business will grow as he does.  His business can be found on Facebook & Instagram, with more coming soon…

    Jack has recently been recognised as a Semi-Finalist in the Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards“. A fine young man.

     

    Jack
    Product has been added

    No products in the cart.

    Explore Food Items