Meet the board

Some of our supporters

Vlad Merzliakov

There’s nothing Vlad Merzliakov loves more than the peace and quiet of the bush and sharing it with his two children.
A dedicated four wheel driver and camper, Vlad’s past experience running businesses in the IT field
helps give ULA the technical abilities required to promote our cause and inform our members. Vlad’s responsible for helping build up the Facebook page that allows our members and other concerned individuals to keep pace with the rapid loss of our bush as well as the areas we’re making progress.

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Slav Stefaniuk

A self made and highly successful businessman with a background in banking, Slav was the man behind the TJM Mega Stores before retiring to spend time caravanning. His love of the bush and competitive motorsport has seen him travel throughout Australia and his knowledge and passion for our country are wonderful assets for ULA.

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Jamie Hazelden

Jamie Hazelden is a well known bush traveller and apart from owning Jamies Touring Solutions he’s also put out his own series of dvds – The Australian Bushman. Jamie’s passionated about the bush and was on the board of directors of Unlock Australia until his business life got too hectic.
Jamie’s like that, whatever he does it has to be boots and all! But after organising Unlock’s merchandise capabilities under the roof of his Caloundra business JTS, Jamie still maintains his support for the cause. Anybody who knows the bush as well as Jamie knows the Unlocking Australia is essential!

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Kim & Paula

When Kim first contacted Unlock Australia hello had no idea what he could help us with, he just knew that he and his partner Paula wanted to help. They are given the often un-thanked task of handling our research and quickly showed that they were masters of the art by uncovering all sorts of government and bureaucratic idiocies along with plenty of positive reports along the way too.
Information is the key to growing a cause like Unlock Australia and Kim and Paula’s total dedication has seen our ‘Unlocked’ view of the world expand ten fold. Always the first to pick up on any goings on to do with the bush, bushfires, beaches, parks and vandalism, Kim and Paula are the sort of people we need on our side!

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Brian and Donna Scott

From Mackay in northern Queensland, Brian and Donna approached Unlock Australia with ideas straight away on how they could raise awareness for the cause in their part of the world. Working with local businesses like Purcell’s True Blue Camping and Canvas, Brian and Donna have taken it upon themselves to get people together and talking about the problems we all face with the bush being locked up.
They’ve already held several successful ‘min-shows’ and BBQ’s and organised a very popular drive from Mackay to Bramwell Station up Cape York that captured plenty of attention along the way. But more than that, Brian, a mining supervisor, and Donna, who’s career was in retail, have shown the rest of regional Australia what can be done. Eventually there’ll be ULA chapters in every town and city across this country, fighting for local bush and beach access as well as bringing more people into the fold. Together we can get this job done!

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Peter & Narelle Richens

Peter ’Troopy Pete’ Richens, Narelle and their four adult children all love the outdoors experience and have been camping off road for many years. Only recently Peter finished a four year stint as President for the River City 4WD Club, He resurrected the club’s membership numbers and also got it involved in maintaining tracks in one of South East Queensland’s national parks utilising a joint agreement that 4WDQ and Parks QLD had established. This created a healthy communications bridge with parks but Pete knows that more has to be done to combat issues affecting all Australians with track closures and the ever increasing regulations for outdoors activities in this country. Peter believes Unlock Australia has the potential to improve the lives of Australians by opening up areas to the public and also freeing up restrictions on all social activities both on land and on the sea. As a united group we have the potential for success and Peter “Troopie Pete” Richens felt he had to be part of it.

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Sunland Caravans

Roy, Therese and Tarot Wys are the owners of Sunland Caravans, one of Australia’s best known off-road capable caravan construction specialists. With plenty of travel knowledge themselves and dealing with people every day who want to explore the furthest corners of this wonderful country, they know that the future of bush tourism rests upon plenty of free camping in the more out of the way places to sustain the huge numbers of grey – and not so grey – nomads travelling trhe bush these days. Sunland vans are built to be fully self sustaining and capable of travelling the second rate roads and tracks that access so much of our country so they know the importance of keeping the gates unlocked. That’s why they supplied Unlock Australia with a specially constructed events caravan to enable the team to attend shows and events across the land and continue raising awareness for the cause.

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Dave Challinor

Dave ‘Feral’ Challinor is a long time lover of the bush. He’s also an expert in the financial sector and while building his business Fortified Finance to cater to the needs of big machinery companies hello furthered his travel habits to some of the most remote destinations in the bush. That, and the website he built specialising in leisure products – leisure – means Dave is totally immersed in our bush loving lifestyle. His wife Toni Challinor is one of the ULA directors and you’ll often see Dave assisting at rallies and events.

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Signarama have come to the aid of Unlock Australia a few times already, not the least being when we needed the new Sunland stickered up before a trip down to NSW. Owner Peter Keating is a bush lover himself and with a teenage son who loves fishing and hunting too hello knows that if we don’t do something soon, the only access any of us will find will be private land.

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Ben Sexton

Ben Sexton is not only our go to guy for a whole lot of web related stuff, he’s also passionate about anything to do with heading off-road. Ben’s been working in the aftermarket motoring industry most of his career and has management skills that well suit him to helping out with Unlock Australia. His latest project is Get Good Gear, managing a team dedicated to providing professional non-biased opinions on 4WD products.
He’s also the business manager at Jamies Touring Solutions and is responsible for Unlock Australia’s merchandise mail outs as well as our special member emails.

Unlock Australia (ULA) is a not for profit company dedicated to opening up public lands and waterways for outdoor recreation.

ULA was formed to fight the extreme green mind-set of National Parks and so called ‘conservationists’ who believe the bush is best protected by locking people out. As bush lovers and users, we know this to be fundamentally wrong. Most of our public lands are suffering from a total lack of practical management as displayed by the rapid growth in feral animals (cats and pigs are destroying Australia’s delicate flora and fauna) and the influx of non-native weeds and vegetation.

We’re also very concerned with the ‘privatisation’ of public lands which consistently sees access barred to all but a few elite groups. As Australians, the bush, the beaches and the waterways belong to all of us. This is our birthright.


Originally the Green movement raised some very important issues that are important to all bush lovers however the last fifteen years have seen this movement become increasingly academic and elitist and out of touch with practical land management. The results, apart from less access to public lands than ever in the history of this country, have been almost catastrophic.

It’s ridiculous in a country as huge as Australia with such a small population to gate people out of bush lands. Unlock Australia is dedicated to reversing this trend, to suggest and promote better ways of managing public lands and to involve all bush lovers in the care and maintenance of our country.

To do this Unlock Australia will raise money to spend on raising awareness and holding rallies and protests across the nation. ULA exists to bring all lovers of our outdoors together as a united front against the current mind set of exclusion. We will do this by encouraging National Parks, State Forests and the Department of Primary Industries to open up our lands to recreational users. We will also promote and encourage love and respect for our shared national resource and educate people in sustainable bush use.


Australia, with our huge and diverse public lands, should lead the world in offering outdoor recreation activities and free camping possibilities. As other countries shrink with the burdens of population, our country has the potential to grow an exceptionally viable outdoor recreation industry as well as maintaining our Australian way of life.

We believe

  • Public land (national parks, state forests, stock routes and waterways) belongs to all Australians.
  • Sustainable and responsible land management should achieve a balance between recreation and conservation.
  • Free camping areas throughout Australia should be encouraged and increased for the benefit of all travelers.
  • More provisions and allowances should be made for people touring with caravans, motor homes and camper trailers.
  • Indigenous people’s should be helped and encouraged to open their lands to travelers in order to benefit financially as well as promoting integration.
  • Economic and health benefits of outdoor recreation are both viable and essential to a strong Australia.

Become a member: Join the fight

One of the most important groups in any organisation are the people. Without you, the general public, we wouldn’t achieve half the things we’d like to do. So if you want your kids to enjoy this wonderful country in the future, help spread the word and become a member now!

unlockaustraliaMeet the board