Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Ivory Rock Opens Its Arms to Reveal Peace and Harmony; Volunteers Help Build $50Million Infrastructure

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Ivory Rock Opens Its Arms to Reveal Peace and Harmony; Volunteers Help Build $50Million Infrastructure

Article excerpt

HELEN

SPELITIS

helen.spelitis@qt.com.au

FOR more than 20 years it has been the Ipswich region's best kept secret; now the management team at Ivory's Rock is throwing the doors open and inviting the public inside this multi-million facility that volunteers lovingly built.

Ivory's Rock is a 2000 acre property at the foothill of the mountains at Peak Crossing.

The area used to be home to cattle and pig farmers, but over time the evidence of land clearing for grazing pasture has slowly faded.

Today, the sounds of a working farm have been replaced by the gentle calls of birds and rustling of leaves as wallabies pass by the many out buildings.

It's hard to believe that in September more than 4000 people from 60 different countries descended on the property for a peace festival.

The grounds have vast areas for camping, but there is also one facility that is more reminiscent of a five star luxury resort rather than an independent 'convention centre' in the middle of the bush.

French doors open into a beautiful bar area with a black stone bar top, opposite is a sitting room with a fire place and behind a fine dining restaurant surrounding a rectangular courtyard.

New general manager David Ritchie is working on adding a swimming pool on the property -- that too will be built by volunteers.

Before taking the job at Ivory's Rock David was a construction boss in Melbourne.

Each day he spent two hours in the car heading to and from work, spending little time with his wife and child and wondering why he was living a life of stress to make money he didn't have time to spend on the people he loved the most.

David began reflecting, wrote a book of poetry and began researching online.

One night he stumbled across the words of Prem Rawat; a man determined to bring peace to the world by asking each person to look for peace within themselves first. …

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