OBOD Southern Hemisphere Assemblies

The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids

19th OBOD Southern Hemisphere Assembly

Friday 24th April - Tuesday 28th April 2020

For further information join the Friends of the Melbourne Grove facebook page.

60 places only, so be quick!

There are only 2 spaces left of the 60 available at the 19th OBOD Southern Hemisphere Assembly
Bookings close on the Saturday 29th February 2020 or when we reach 60 people.
Saturday 29th February 2020 is also the final date for requesting an initiation.
Payment in Full must also be received by Tuesday 24th March 2020 (i.e. one month prior to the assembly).

Hosted By - The Melbourne Grove

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Essential Requirements

Important Note: You must be a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids (OBOD) to attend the Assembly, or be a partner of an attending member, be sympathetic to the OBOD principles and over 18 (or accompanied by a parent/guardian). Visit http://druidry.org/ for more information on OBOD.

The Venue

Gilwell Park, Scout Adventure Centre

Gilwell Park is located near Gembrook in the east of the Dandenong Ranges, about 90 minutes from Melbourne CBD It can also be easily reached from the south and east (23km from Pakenham), or from the north (20km from Launching Place). Gilwell Park has been the venue for many hundreds of events ranging from Scout camps, Outdoor Education programs for schools, getaways for corporate groups and conferences.

Gilwell Park is over 160 hectares in area, Its picturesque forested setting making it an ideal place for relaxing or adventure.

Some of us have had several years of experience with running assemblies and found that no matter how well we budget, incidentals arise.  So that we are not left out-of-pocket, we are asking for $20 per person toward incidentals. If there is any money left over it will be deposited into the assembly fund that Cherry has set up for us.

How To Get There

Getting to Gilwell Park:

Please see attached map. Google Maps accepts both Gilwell Park Scout Camp and 2555 Gembrook-Launching Place Road as destinations.

Please NOTE: mobile phone coverage is poor/non-existent at Gilwell Park. If you are running late or are lost, or plans have changed, please advise us as early as possible.

Via Tullamarine Airport:

We recommend arrival between 10am and 12 noon, to avoid peak hour traffic and aid car-pooling. Please advise us of your flight details. New Zealanders, please note that the direct flight from Wellington arrives early evening and departs early morning. Please consider arriving on Thursday evening, and departing the following Wednesday; billeting within central Melbourne for Tuesday night can be arranged.

Travelling by car through Melbourne (including from airport):

Enter GPS/Google Maps destination as above. Melbourne has a number of toll-roads. If you do not have an e-tag on your vehicle, a ‘Melbourne Pass’ is available from: linkt.com.au This pass covers all toll roads over a 30 day period, but only debits for those tolls used. You will need a credit card, travel dates, and licence plate of vehicle to obtain one from their website.

If you wish to avoid all toll roads, please contact us.

Travelling by car from the North:

Enter GPS/Google Maps destination as above.

Leave the Hume Highway at Benalla, taking the Midland Highway (B300).

Between Yarck and Cathkin, turn towards Alexandra, then after Alexandra, continue on the Maroondah Highway to Healesville, then turn to Launching Place via Don Road (C506). At the T intersection, turn right, then left into Gembrook-Launching Place Road (C424) and continue for 20km to arrive.

At Gilwell Park:

Please see attached map. Swallowfield Road (unmade track) is opposite Gate 6, approx. 200 metres north on the main road from the Gilwell Park office. Drive along Swallowfield into the Assembly grounds/lodging area and park.

Public Transport:

Aim to arrive at Tullamarine Airport by noon. Catch a Skybus to Southern Cross Railway Station (about $18). Obtain a return train ticket to Belgrave from the Myki booth.

Go to platform 10 and catch the train to Belgrave (end of the line).

If you catch the 1:45pm train from Southern Cross, you will arrive in Belgrave at 2:56pm. Catch the 3:07 bus from Belgrave Station to Gembrook (bus number 695), arriving Gembrook main street 3:44pm. Gilwell Park is 6km beyond Gembrook, with no direct public transport; we will arrange collection if advised prior.

If you have any questions about transport, please contact us!

Gilwell Park Map

Swallowfield Rd - turn off to Gilwell Park


There are two options:

  1. Dormitories
  2. Camping


Most people need only to share a room with one other person. Each person will have a full bunk (upper and lower beds).

There are four ‘family rooms’, comprising four bunk beds.

There are four ‘rough huts’ for people who would like to be alone, and don’t mind using an outside toilet/shower block.

There are facilities for those with a physical disability; please advise on the booking form and discuss your needs with us.

Cost: $45 per person, per day.
Linen pack (optional) $20, see below.


Block D (see map) is for our exclusive use. It has its own toilet and shower block.

Vans may be accepted, depending on size (environmental concern). Advise us if you wish to bring a van, and how big it is; we will negotiate with Gilwell Park management.

Cost: $20 per person, per day.
Linen pack (optional) $20, see below.


In the dormitories and rough huts, only mattresses are supplied. We each have to provide pillow/s, bed linen and towels. Linen packs are available ($20) and comprise one pillow, one pillow-case, one fitted sheet, one top sheet, two blankets, and one towel.

Please note, Gembrook at the end of April is likely cold at night; you may want more bed coverings. Please advise on the booking form if you would like a second pillow, extra blankets, doona, sleeping bag, or a second towel; we will do our best to source these. Don’t be shy; we want you to be comfortable!

Gilwell Park Map



  • AV ready meeting spaces and halls
  • BBQ areas
  • Fully Equipped Commercial Kitchen
  • Johnson Campfire Circle and amphitheater.
  • Two Large Meeting Halls
  • Gilwell Park adjoins Kurth Kiln S Park for bushwalking


Cooking our own food is a feature of this assembly. It keeps the cost down and can be a lot of fun.

There will be rostered cooking teams for each meal. The meals roster begins Friday lunch and ends Tuesday breakfast. If you will be absent for any meals, please let us know in advance, so that we can adjust the roster.

Meal costs:   Breakfast $10 (includes morning tea)
Lunch      $15 (includes afternoon tea)
Dinner      $15 (includes supper)

Tea and coffee freely available.

If you require food/meals before or after the planned Assembly meals (eg Thursday evening) please discuss with us well in advance.

Please advise on the BOOKING FORM of any food allergies or sensitivities, or dietary preferences; please discuss further with us if any concern.


Thursday April 23 is not an official assembly day but people can start arriving from 1 pm.
You absolutely must let us know if you intend to come early.

This is an outline of how the assembly will progress. It will be fine-tuned once we have all of the bookings in & know what people want to offer by way of workshops, talks etc.


  • Arriving and settling in; lunch available from 12
  • 5 p.m.: Introducing ourselves on the Assembly Talking Stick
    • Housekeeping and Roster
    • Setting up stalls; talking about our creativity and passions
  • 6 p.m.: Dinner
  • After dinner: Lighting the Assembly Fire (Welcoming Ritual and Opening)


  • 7 a.m.: Breakfast
  • 8 a.m.: Circle
  • Workshops and Talks that relate to being a bard
  • 12 noon: Lunch
  • Bardic Grove for all OBOD members: Initiations followed by a Bardic Circle
  • 6 p.m.: Dinner
  • After dinner: Eisteddfod


  • 7 a.m.: Breakfast
  • 8 a.m.: Circle
  • Workshops that relate to being an ovate
  • 12 noon: Lunch
  • Ovate Grove followed by an Ovate Circle
  • Bards: Jordana will introduce the play and then masks and props can be made
  • 6 p.m.: Dinner
  • After dinner: The Play and related songs


  • 7 a.m.: Breakfast
  • 8 a.m.: Circle
  • Men’s and Women’s Circles with each person free to choose which they would like to attend
  • 12 noon: Lunch
  • Druid Grove

Bards and Ovates: preparation for Samhuin Ritual

  • 6 p.m.: Dinner
  • After dinner: Samhuin Ritual


  • 7 a.m.: Breakfast
  • 8 a.m.: Circle
  • 9 a.m. Closing Ceremony and Releasing the Fire
    Handing over to Macadamia Grove
  • Farewells


Early Arrival

Thursday April 23 is not an official assembly day but people can start arriving from 1 pm.
You absolutely must let us know if you intend to come early.

What To Bring

If you are coming from overseas: passport, tickets, and travel insurance

If you are arriving by car and not from overseas: bedding and towels

If you have requested an Initiation there may be special items you need to bring for this


  • Warm clothes (it is likely to be cold but bring a few different layers)
  • Raincoat/umbrella (but hopefully you won’t need them)
  • Shoes for bushwalking and something comfortable for indoors
  • Toiletries
  • Medical items that are vital to you such as Epipen or Ventolin
  • Torch
  • Mobile phone, charger and leads
  • Diary/notebook and stationary/creative stuff
  • Ritual gear
  • Musical instruments (optional but good fun)
  • Gift for Spirit of Place (optional and must be environmentally friendly)
  • Things for sale (home-made) and money to purchase such lovely things

The Fine Print

Fine print: rules/regulations specified by the venue


Gilwell Park is divided by the main road making it extremely important that you are aware of the dangers in crossing.


Car Parking is in designated areas only and you are asked to observe speed restrictions.

Park at a 90-degree angle so that all of our cars fit.


Gilwell is a wildlife conservation park.
Common wildlife & insects in the area include:

  • Goannas, Lizards, Skinks and Snakes
  • Koalas, Possums
  • Kangaroos and Wallabies
  • Echidnas, Wombats
  • Several native bird species

When spotting any of these animals/insects/birds it is important that they stay undisturbed. Animals are not to be fed.


All taps are from Mains water and suitable for drinking.


  • Identify and locate bins – rubbish and recycling – and keep the lids on
  • Camp clean up on the last day is mandatory
  • There is no composting facility at Gilwell Park but TMG members can take compost home with them.


All injuries, accidents, or illnesses, minor or major, must be reported to Gilwell Park staff and an incident report completed.  Gilwell Park is fully insured but this is a necessary requirement.


CFA, Police, Ambulance Triple Zero 000
State Emergency Service (STORM) 132 500
Casey Hospital (Berwick) Distance 32 Minutes 8768 1200
Dandenong Hospital Distance 43 Minutes 9554 1000
Angliss Hospital- (Ferntree Gully) Distance 42 Minutes 1300 342 255
Helicopter Landing Site Car Park No 1 (gate 4)
2555 Gembrook-Launching Place Road
5967 7007


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Booking Form

To Attend the 19th OBOD Southern Hemisphere Assembly please fill out the form below.
Or please download, fill in and return the Booking Forms here.

Bookings are open until Saturday 29th February 2020. Payment in Full must also be received by this date.
You must be a member of OBOD to attend, if you are, please tick the box below to begin.
If you are already a Member of Druidry Australia, please Log In first.

I am a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids and would like to attend the 19th OBOD Southern Hemisphere Assembly