We’re extremely passionate cameleers who adore camel kisses and long camel treks.
We believe that without animals, in this case camels, we are less human. Its The Camel that teaches us and we facilitate theses teachings through through our blog, videos and podcast as well as our camel adventures abroad and our camel training programs online and in-person.
We’re here to serve and mentor camel owners, lovers and or those thinking about being a camel owner.
Being with camels is one the biggest pleasures in life and we’d love for you to experience this too!
Along our camel journey we’ve learnt many things, often the hard way, which has made us determined to share all the camel information that we know with you through our Cameleer Academy online, our in person clinics / training, our blogs, videos & podcast and through books and video tutorials that you’ll find right here on this website deigned especially for the camel owner and lover!
Our family business is based on the East Coast of Victoria, Australia, a beautiful part of the world in our opinion. We travel to and fro to here and there in Australia and worldwide teaching camel training courses/clinics & speaking at events. Our family don’t like to be apart so our kids often join in our camel adventures. Our daughter (Charlotte) now has her own YouTube channel (Camel Girl Charlotte) and aspires to take of the company one day.
We specialize in helping new camel owners get comfortable with their new found wooly friend, learn how to handle, train, bond with and care for their camel(s). We also help passionate ‘camel people’ set up, start and succeed at their camel venture (like a camel expedition) or camel business idea.
Not only have there been many camel lessons along our journey so far, there have also been tragedies within our family unit that has brought on thoughts of our real purpose, here on this planet and ways we can better serve people like you!
Our hearts have been broken serval times over and we’ve found ourselves wondering if we will ever be able to ‘do life’ the same again. We knew we had to turn our adversities into something that can have a positive impact on others for years to come, so that’s what we did within our business and this is often the drive for everything that we do (more on that to come)…
We’ve got ‘can do it’ attitudes (aka stubbornness) which has made it impossible for us to sit around and wait for answers, but, on the flip side, has made it possible for us to offer fellow camel lovers and owners a few (much needed) ‘world firsts’ such as our Virtual Camel School, the Cameleer Academy and creating and facilitating of Camel Connection Trust Based Camel Training®. Not to mention our strong core values of giving back through our Compassionate Camel Journeys which is an open for humanitarian minded people who have a strong love for the camel, preserving camel cultures and helping a fellow human out.
Our company is an open source for all things camels to the new, and not so new, camel owners and lovers.
We’ve had (and continue to have) an array of experiences as ‘cameleers’ both professionally (commercial) and personally (for fun). We’ve own/owned and operated several operations such as our Beach Camel Rides, Outback Camel Treks, Teaching Camel Training courses (clinics), Professional Cameleer Programs (for new camel business), crafting Camel Equipment and Saddlery and Charity Treks. The learning is endless, we love learning and sharing what we learn with people like you.
Resilience is at the core of our company. Through our heart ache we’ve turned our grief of loosing family members (too young and too suddenly) into Giving Back which is a core value of our camel company. Giving Back remains a high priority through our Charity Camel Treks and our Compsasionate Camel Journeys. So long as we have two legs, a heart beat and our love for camels we’ll keep showing up and giving back.
We raise money for non-for-profit organisations that are close to our hearts, advocate for the organisations to increase awareness (camels are the perfect way to get a conversation started,), help preserve camel cultures developing countries and gift camels, our training and support to help support local economies. You can see more about our effort HERE.
With our determined nature and drive there’s not much that we wouldn’t try which has made our company, Camel Connection, the growing success it is today. Making our passion (camels) our full-time ‘work’ has been one of the greatest gifts we can offer this world and we’re grateful for this everyday.
But, it doesn’t stop there. We’re constantly creating new programs and other creative projects so we can share camel information and expose people to camels to make a lasting, a positive camel-pact in the lives of others.
The most common question we get is “How did you get into camels”?
Russell’s mother died suddenly and unexpectedly.
At her funeral Russell noticed that there were a lot of people there that he didn’t know, through some talking he discovered that the people where from the Royal Children’s Hospital and part of a volunteer group, which his mother was also part of. All these years and Russell didn’t know.
During a bout of depression after his mother’s death life was feeling bleak. Russell felt a deep urge inside of him to do something… Then the words just flowed out “I’m going to walk across Australia with some camels for a children’s charity” That was it!
It caught Russell by surprise as he had no clue about camels, how to train them, how to pack them for such an adventure, nor did he have any expedition skills. He was an English teacher at the time on the Gold Coast… The only thing he had was the determination to make it happen. Now, you’ll have to read his book to get all the details, but in short it took Russell 13 years to plan, collect camels, learn and train in preparation for his 6,500km walk (not ride) which was completed in 2008 and took two years.
The frustration of trying to gain good and accurate camel information was why it took so long to prepare for such a camel trek/expedition, gather camels train them and get all the ‘know how’ in order to survive crossing the deserts.
After Russell’s expedition everything was all about camels, it was now in his blood. He couldn’t just have the expedition camel’s sitting in a paddock nor could he NOT share what sort of life changing experiences he had – personally – out in the wilderness. So he decided to start a Camel Safari (Expedition Style) in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia to offer people a shorter version of his ‘big trek’. Russell remembers his first clients and could count them on one hand within the first year.
Russell knew his passion, skills and knowledge, but didn’t know how to share it in full – how to get it out into the world! Then enters Tara. Russell and Tara meet on a Station (Ranch) in the Flinders Ranges and instantly began a friendship of like-mindedness.
Tara meet Russell’s camels at that time and ‘saw’ and felt exactly why Russell had such a passion for these animals. Tara came from dairy farming background and then entered the horse world as a Natural Horsemanship trainer. What she experienced with the camels first hand, was like none other and she was hooked. As the story goes “She fell in love with the camels, then fell in love with Russell”. Almost instantly the pair began to nut out plans to expand the camel business and go above and beyond their wildest dreams with camels playing a big role and Tara knew exactly how to share this with the world.
After loosing Russell’s mum and more recently, Tara & Russell’s infant son Noah, their passion for making their Charity Camel Treks a core value in their business structure is a high priority and part of their ‘Giving Back’ values.
Our Camel Connection family consists of over 12 dromedary (one hump) camels of various ages, genders and training along with their 4 children (one in spirit), three dogs, two cats, a donkey and chickens keeps everyone occupied and busy in the day to day happenings. They reside on the East Coast of Australian in East Gippsland, Victoria.
WHICH NOW BRINGS US TO YOU!
Do you need support, advice and training in your new camel venture?
Do you need someone to look towards for consistent camel advice and How Tos?
Do you want to join us on one of our Compassionate [philanthropic] Camel Journeys?
We’re here to help!
We’re here to share all camel information on training handling, psychology & wellbeing and helping aspiring cameleers learn the ins and outs of the camel from training to welfare to simple ‘how tos’.
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International Camel Trainers | Mentors | Camel Trekkers | Camel Advocates
CEO/Owner-Operator, Inspirational Adventure Speaker & Author
A genuine transcontinental camel expeditioner, compassionate camel trainer, published author of ‘Camelman Dreaming’, entertaining inspirational speaker, honest mentor, dedicated life partner to Tara Lea and father of 4 children.
Russell has a deep compassion, understanding & knowledge of the camel and the teachings they can offer us on a personal level. Russell’s career path ranges from being a caring school teacher in isolated Aboriginal communities throughout Australia and internationally for over 15 years along with many years of tour guiding experience in Australia’s Top End.
Russell has dedicated 13 years of his life to organising a (walking) camel expedition spanning over 6,500 km from Darwin (Northern Australia) to Melbourne (Southern Australia) to raise money for the Children First Foundation (charity). Russell successfully completely this trek over a 2 year period from 2006-2008 and published his book ‘Camelman Dreaming’ explaining the inspiration for such a journey and the day to day accounts of his challenges along the way and life’s wake up calls.
Russell gives insightful and visually entertaining speaking presentations about his adventurous and inspiring ‘big walk’ from the top end of Australia to Melbourne whilst inspiring people to consider the world and its issues on a larger scale – just as he experienced ‘out there’ in Australia’s most isolated deserts.
Russell is the founder, co-owner and operator of Australian Camels with his life partner Tara Lea, where they dedicate a large part of their time to co-create meaningful and inspirational camel treks, camel training courses and clinics, educational programs and videos for fellow camel enthusiasts.
Russell has spent many years learning from and observing camels in their natural environment and also spent a lot of time with other camel handlers (cameleers) to finally co-develop develop the Camel Connection Trust Based Camel Training® method with his partner, Tara Lea, which, according to participants, is a “Life Changing” experience.
More About Camel Connection Trust Based Camel Training®
Russell’s Book & Speaking: www.CamelmanDreaming.com
Managing Director, Co-Owner/Operator & Inspirational Adventure Speaker
Give Tara a stage, microphone, video camera or soapbox and she’ll talk of some of the worlds most un-talked about subjects such as child sex slavery, baby loss, doing what you LOVE not what you SHOULD be doing… and….CAMELS!
A passionate and determined cameleer, philanthropist and company manager who loves to bring people’s awareness to the camel’s magnificence and their ability to help people heal from trauma while having contact with them.
Tara specialises in co-creating inspirational camel adventures, co-hosting camel training clinics, mentoring camel owners, camel husbandry, conducting charity campaigns using camels, camel advocating, filming and using camels as therapy.
Life Coach turned Cameleer and company owner, it’s really her 4 children (one Angel child), life partner Russell and 20 odd camels that create a deep surge of inspiration, creativity and growth that fuel her co-owned company, Camel Connection, and all Charity Camel Trek endeavours.
She stands for compassion towards humans and camels, people doing what they LOVE not what they SHOULD be doing, crunchy kale chips and down time.
The camels are really the stars of the show, they are Tara’s humble and honest friends that will always walk by her side – she’s not a big fan of riding.
Tara met her first few camels (and Camelman – Russell) in 2012, originally coming from the horse industry as a Natural Horsemanship trainer, camels were never in her life plan – ever! As the story goes, she feel in love with camels and then fell in love with Russell (in that particular order)!
As a keen animals lover she immersed herself into learning about how a camel thinks (completely different to a horse, incase you’re wondering) camel handling, training and how to bonding with them and care for their wellbeing. Tara is an ‘obsessive learner’ which means: in a short period of time (maybe one week or so) she gave up all her horses and turned camels into her life purpose.
Tara is the founder the Charity Camel Trek. To date (2014 & 2016), the Charity Camel Treks have raised over $22,000 for non-for-profit organisations close to heart.
Her ‘day Job’ consists of mothering – human and camels (first and foremost), teaching others the Camel Connection Trust Based Camel Training® method with Russell, writing about camels and personal musings, mentoring other business owners, standing in front or behind a camera and throwing out To Do Lists because it’s all too overwhelming!
Tara is the managing director, co-owner and operator of Camel Connection with her life partner Russell Osborne. They dedicate a large part of their time co-creating meaningful and inspirational camel journeys, camel training courses, camel clinics and helping spread information about The Amazing Camel through their informative blog posts, podcast and YouTube channel.
More about Charity Camel Trek: www.CharityCamelTrek.com
Tara’s website: www.taralealife.com