Gemille grits her teeth and hopes for the best as countdown begins for Leaders’ Leap

EVERY now and again just about every employee in the world wishes they could choke their boss – just once.

Well, Kenway and Clark Moree’s chief financial officer Gemille Hayes has 10 storeys to tell – sorry, stories – and they all relate to how she could choke her boss Peter Burey to within an inch of his life, 10 times over.

A couple of months ago Mr Burey was approached by Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service events co-ordinator Jeff Galbraith, a good mate of Gemille’s husband Paul, about participating in the Leaders’ Leap for Life from the top of the old flour mill – now B&W Rural – as part of a huge fundraiser for the vital service that Mr Galbraith is so passionate about.

But somehow, after much discussion – amongst mates, of course – the task was gifted to Gemille, who at the time was completely unaware of the plummeting plot against her.


Gemille Hayes prepares to choke her boss, Peter Burey, after being roped into the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service Leaders’ Leap at the B&W silo on Sunday, June 18 (product placement intentional).

It seems that Mr Burey just isn’t that fond of heights, but damn good at delegating, and dutifully passed the abseiling rope to Gemille.

Gemille has never been that comfortable with heights, either.

She’s been known to bare the whites of her knuckles and grit her perfectly-formed pearly-whites when perched on the top rung of a step-ladder, so peering down from the top of the B&W silo is an inconvenience well and truly out of her comfort zone – let alone abseiling down the side of said silo.

“I’m pretty much in denial about the whole thing and I’m really not sure how I came to be in this position, but I’m blaming Pete Burey, Paul Hayes and Jeff Galbraith,” Gemille smiled through gritted teeth.SoBestCoffee

When Gemille agreed to make the leap, she was under the impression that Deluxe Café Moree owner Cindy Poulos would be right by her side, inching down every step of the way with her.

Cindy, however, opted to opt out.

She will instead be on terra firma brewing her famous coffee – but she promises Gemille’s small skinny latte will be on the house, so to speak, when this whole nerve-wracking episode is over and done with.

“At least while Cindy was doing it, I was hopeful that maybe someone involved was more afraid of heights than me,” Gemille laughed.

“When I was told about it all, I assumed it was only from the barbeque deck (adjacent to the main silo and about half the distance), not the actual silo.

“I guess I can’t get out of it now, not with all the support and donations that I’ve received from a lot of people.

“I just hope I can actually do it, but I am prepared to give it a go for a wonderful cause.

“The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is something that hopefully we will never need, but it is so reassuring to know that it is there if ever we do,” she said.LeadersLeap001

Gemille joins  member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall, Barwon Local Area Commander Paul McDonald, Moree’s Biggest Loser Transformed contestant Anna Winter, McDonalds Narrabri franchisee Rob McAllister, GrainCorp Narrabri’s Rebeccah Shaw, B&W Rural proprietor Peter Birch, Namoi Sustainable Energy director Lachlan Skinner, Moree Plains Shire councillor John Tramby, NAB Moree’s Luke Bell, NSW Rugby Union development officer Garry Walsh and Tait Toyota principle David Tait as leaders who will take the leap for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service on Sunday, June 18, at the B&W Rural premises on the corner of Jones Avenue and Gosport Street.

And while these 12 brave souls descend in tandem from the top of the B&W silo, Peter Burey will have his feet firmly planted on the ground, 10 storeys below.DCMThatsWhere

“Every member of Gemille’s extended Kenway and Clark family are extremely proud of her commitment to this terrifying task as she bravely faces her fears for this very worthwhile cause,” Mr Burey said.

“We wish her the very best of luck and just hope and pray that the rope she gets is a new one,” he added, with the wryest of smiles.

The fundraising morning, which aims to raise more than $20,000, starts at 9am.

Supporters can donate to the leader of their choice by visiting

Words, Image: Bill Poulos

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