About the Founder
In the Australia Day Honour List of 2017, Urban Descent’s CEO and Founder Terry Hewett was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his service to adventure tourism, and through fundraising roles for charitable organisations – Urban Descent!
Terry has had continuous industry roping experience since his introduction to the vertical roping world in 1977 whilst serving in the Australian Army. He has since served in a number of roles as lead trainer, designing rope training packages, special events and advising industry bodies, i.e. Outdoors WA, Industry Standards Panel over 3 years, shaping future recreation roping standards within Australia.
His experience spans 4 decades across a broad spectrum of working environments, technical challenges and on a number of occasions, under extreme duress and high personal risk whilst serving with the military.
Terry served 12 years in the Australian Army (1974-86), his rope base instructor/trainer experience commenced in 1977 with the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR), spanning a period of 10 years. His military experience and exposure was across a very board range of roping-based activities from airborne rappelling (abseiling involving helicopters; both general military operational roles and counter terrorism operations), on natural cliff environments up to 300 meters, to snow and ice mountaineering, numerous high-rise buildings (both internal and external), and other man-made structures such as towers and ocean oil rig platforms. In addition, during his recreational spare time, sport rock climbing in Australia and overseas was his passion.
Whilst serving in SASR, Terry’s skills competency and professional approach to his work had him identified early to support a specialised niche in technical areas for operational missions and training of personnel, which included rope-based activities. Whilst serving as a patrol commander in the Special Air Service Regiment in 1982 he was recognised with a Bravery Commendation from the Chief of the Defence Force Staff for his quick thinking and reactions, saving the lives of 4 men.
Having founded outdoor adventure based company, Adventure Out Australia in 1984, his role includes regularly instructing in rock climbing, abseiling, caving and rope rescue training courses and expedition trekking programs. He is also the founding co-owner/director of Australian Mine Rescue Consultants (AMRC); 2007 – 2012 delivering recognised national based training package – Certificate III in Public Safety (Fire Fighting and Emergency Operations) PUA30601 for Emergency Response Teams on both mine and industrial sites.
Terry is a registered instructor/assessor with the National Outdoor Leader Registration Scheme (NOLRS) and holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40110). Apart from developing one of Western Australia’s leading outdoor companies, he has been actively supporting community and industry bodies in volunteering his time, such as:
- Served as President of the Climbers’ Association of WA for 2 years in the early 1990’s and more than 8 years on the association’s committee.
- Founding President of Outdoors WA with an initial term of 4 years from 1999, then again for a further 3 years from 2005. He served on Outdoors WA committee for a total of 11 years until 2010
- Created an event for the Royal Flying Doctor Service in 1988, called “Drop for the Doc”. The event involved fundraising participants parachuting into water; over a 3 year period this event raised $450,000.00
- In 2002 Terry created a high-rise building abseil event, off one of Perth’s prominent CBD buildings, which in the first 5 years saw 100% of all funds raised go to charity, as all services were donated. Over $1,000,000.00 was raised for the Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital Foundation (PMH) in Western Australia. In 2006 the then CEO of PMH Foundation insisted that there should be a more sustainable model of operation away from voluntary support only, to a business model that would ensure this excellent event continued.
- The abseil event has continued to build on its initial successes with Terry’s hands on involvement helping charities to raise a further $8.28 million in 3 States by late 2016