Take 5 With Pinnacle – Eamon

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events facilitator tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each of our facilitators about their lives both inside and outside of work.

What I love about being a Pinnacle Facilitator:
It truly is a fun Environment, the clients have fun, the staff are fun, it’s all positive and not overly serious or stressful. Everyone’s a winner … except team 7😦. 

How long I have been working for Pinnacle:
My first assignment was … Spring of 2014. 

My favourite Pinnacle team event to facilitate:
Trivia Night

Most embarrassing moment as a Pinnacle facilitator:
So running a “checkpoint activity” for 2hrs+ in the heart of Kings Cross can be ….interesting. I gave away a few eggs to my new friends 😬

My favourite hobbies are:
Well anything in the sea, then a good book , and I enjoy cooking..sometimes. 

Band I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
My son keeps me current on the latest music, so a bit of “Vance Joy”. I love so many podcasts, my go-to is ABC conversations with Fiedler. Amazing stories.

What was the last book you read?:
I’m reading up on Antarctica now, I’m heading there in Feb 2020. 

Favourite holiday?:
I travel a lot overseas, So anywhere in nature with the family now.

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Not really, Eamon is weird enough. One mate called me Lama, or was it Llama?

I am frightened by _____ :
Enormous waves when I’m in the wrong spot. They look like they will swallow you. 

Favourite movie of all time:
Too many options. “O’ Brother where art though” gets a mention, as does “Fantastic Mr Fox” and other wacky Wes Anderson films.

First concert I went to:
Hoodoo Gurus , 1989 maybe ? 

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
I love where I live… Sth Coast NSW.  Dream location though has, running rapid rivers into jagged coastline, with awesome surfing in spots. Also backed by great climbing cliff lines and canyons and topped by snowy mountains just asking to be climbed and skied. Oh and a quiet but culturally active town with loads of multicultural influences and good people, that’s all. 

What makes you angry:
Nnot much, ..aggressive drivers maybe? My computer. 

What makes you laugh the most:
Busy humans mostly. 

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
Maybe the Spanish National Anthem… ( no words) or “La Bamba”. 

Conference Venue Spotlight – Pullman Magenta Shores

Located just 90 minutes from Sydney and only 20 minutes north of Terrigal, Pullman Magenta Shores Resort is an exceptional conference & event, golf, and spa resort offering a stunning beachfront setting.

Pullman Magenta Shores Resort

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and Tuggerah Lake, this magnificent resort is set on 52 acres and offers beautifully appointed studio accommodation and one-, two- and three-bedroom villas.

Set amongst landscaped gardens and just a short stroll from all resort facilities and the beach, all villas include open plan living areas, fully equipped kitchens with European appliances, laundry facilities and private furnished courtyards or balconies. Every room enjoys views of the golf course , lagoon, rock  pools or landscaped gardens.

Pullman Magenta Shores Resort features six modern conference and event venues along with customised planning and catering services to ensure a successful event for you and your guests.

The Resort has excellent leisure facilities including the private Ross Watson designed 18 hole championship Golf Course, 3 swimming areas, including a 20 metre indoor heated lap pool, Rock Pools or the Lagoon Pool with seasonal pool bar.

Vie Spa consists of luxuriously treatment rooms, including a tranquil spa garden designed to deliver the ultimate relaxation.   
Dining facilities include Barrett’s Restaurant offering fine food and the stunning vistas of Magenta lake, and Shallows bar, with an extensive cocktail menu, Tapestry menu designed by the Famous chef Justin North as well as Wood Fired Pizza oven and Al Fresco Dining and wood fire option.

Conference Capacity: Up to 300 guests

Accommodation: Studios, 1,2 & 3 bedroom villas – 55 in total + beach houses and golf villas

Unique features: Beachfront location with extensive grounds perfect for team building and outdoor dinners, cocktail parties and events.

Specials: Click here to view their 2019 Early Bird Booking Offer


T: (02) 4352 8106

E: [email protected]


Creating a happier workplace

The average person will spend just under 80 years on this earth. From those years, 26 of them will be spent sleeping and just over 13 of them will be spent working. Given the time and dedication we give to work each year, is it unreasonable to expect the majority of this time to be a positive, happy experience?

A 2017 report on how satisfied are Australians at work by Curtin University & MWAH found that although salary matters, there are many other factors that contribute to an employee’s overall happiness that are equally (if not more) important.

“It’s what you do, how you are able to go about your work and who is alongside you that matters the most when it comes to job satisfaction.”

The authors of the report recommend that both employers and employees should dedicate resources into creating ways to make work a better place for everyone. To make sure everyone fits and that above all else, put people and their wellbeing first.

What are the benefits of happy workers?

It is well known that happy employees equal engaged employees. And engaged employees have a significant positive affect on your organisation’s bottom line. Employees that feel greater satisfaction and happiness at work tend to be more productive and have lower levels of sick leave and staff turnover.

In the words of Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group renowned for his “employees first” mantra:

“By putting the employee first, the customer effectively comes first by default, and in the end, the shareholder comes first by default as well.”

Likewise, Harvey Norman’s Gerry Harvey and Katie Page dedicate a lot of their time to mentoring staff as, “happy workers mean happy customer. People spend so much time at work … it’s crazy if they aren’t feeling happy.”

Put simply, happy people are better workers.

In her article, “Being Happy at Work Matters”, through her research Annie McKee suggests that people essentially want three things:

  • A meaningful vision of the future: People want to be able to see the future and know how they fit in.
  • A sense of purpose: People want to feel as if their work matters, and that their contributions help to achieve something really important. They want to know that they — and their organizations — are doing something big that matters to other people.
  • Great relationships: Leaders, managers, and employees have all told us that close, trusting and supportive relationships are hugely important to their state of mind — and their willingness contribute to a team.

So how might you encourage your team members to have great relationships with one another? Most the time this doesn’t just happen naturally, which means employers need to create opportunities for their team to interact, bond and get to know each other better. By engaging Pinnacle Team Events we can facilitate this for you and tailor a team building program to suit the specific needs and characteristics of your team. Contact us to find out more.

Top Team Building Ideas for the Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s oldest & best-known wine regions with over 120 wineries, award-winning restaurants and an abundance of distinguished hotels & resorts. Located only 2 hours from Sydney and 45 mins from Newcastle airport, the Hunter Valley is the ideal location for your next conference getaway.

Grapes in the sunlight

A trip to the Hunter Valley will naturally conjure the desire to immerse yourself in a little tasting of the local delicacies (including wine, cheese & chocolate) as well as simply wanting to be outside in the beautiful lush, green surroundings. It is sacrilegious to go to the Hunter Valley for your conference offsite & spend the whole time indoors going through PowerPoint presentations. That is why Pinnacle Team Events have designed a series of bespoke, Hunter Valley themed team building experiences that can be easily incorporated into your conference agenda AND can be justified to management for their team building benefits. See below for our list of the top team building ideas for the Hunter Valley:

Wine Olympics

Grape stomping in a wooden barrell

For teams wanting to get outside & have some fun together whilst competing in a series of novelty, wine-themed events.

Rather than running, jumping and swimming your way to victory, teams will tackle a very different series of events – an array of winery related activities that will guarantee a good time.

Grape Stomping – Teams race against each other to stomp enough grapes to fill a wine bottle.

Waiter Relay – Teams race against each other whilst carrying a tray of wine glasses

Cork Toss – Each team receives a box of corks which they must throw into a barrel with the aim of outscoring opponents.

Wine Spitting – Delegates are taught the art of spitting wine and compete against the other teams to see how much they can land in their spittoon.

Grape Catapults – Teams fire bunches of grapes via replicated catapults towards a landing zone where strategically positioned team members await ready to catch

Stole it from the Grape Vine – Once teams have built their own grape vine the competition begins! Players steal bunches of grapes from another teams grape vine and attach to their own. The team with the most bunches of grapes at the end wins!

Location: Outdoors
Duration: 1 Hour
Outcomes: Fun, Team Bonding, Friendly Competition

Grape to Glass

Red and green grapes next to a glass of red and white wine

Discover the sommelier within! Pinnacle can provide you with your very own Hunter Valley Winemaker who is willing to divulge the secret ingredients and methods required to get the perfect wine from “Grape to Glass”. This unique and hands on activity will have you smelling, swirling and spitting as teams learn to create their very own winning blend. However, the taste alone won’t make you a winner…how often have you bought a bottle of wine based on the sexy label? Teams will also compete to create the greatest label that best reflects their fabulous drop.

Design and flavour are of paramount importance if you want to be the days “Grape to Glass” winning team… But of course, the competition wouldn’t be complete without the perfect sales pitch to your thirsty audience. A bottle of the winning blend complete with winning label design will be distributed to every member of the group to drink as they wish.

Location: Indoors, 1 x table per team
Duration: 2 Hours
Outcomes: Creativity, Experiential, Sales

Ask us about combining the Wine Olympics & Grape to Glass activities & receive a special ‘combo’ price!

Hunter Valley Explorer

map with camera, glasses, hat

For the group wanting to get a taste of all the Hunter Valley has to offer whilst achieving some team bonding at the same time.

The Hunter Valley Explorer is an Amazing Race / Treasure Hunt style of program based around the Pokolbin area. The event is an action packed 3 – 4 hour adventure where each team is driven around the area in a mini bus undertaking team challenges – speed is not always the deciding factor with a strong emphasis on route selection, problem solving skills and team effectiveness at each of the activities.

Teams of delegates will aim to find various ‘road blocks’ hidden around the Pokolbin area. Each team has a mini bus and driver who follow clues to find the road block activity sites. Awaiting the groups at each station are team based activities that range from Laser Clay Shooting to landing the Aqua Golf to Archery to Cheese Tasting Quiz to Blind Wine Tasting. Upon completing each station, teams receive a clue to their next destination.

Location: Both Indoors & Outdoors
Duration: 2 – 4 Hours
Outcomes: Fun, Experiential, Collaboration, Friendly Competition, Problem Solving

Wine Events

Corkscrew and corks with year stamp as pyramid

Wanting to treat your team after a hard day conferencing & only have a short amount of time between your conference & dinner? Check out our Wine Events below:

Wine Tasting:

Treat your team to a wine tasting to cap off a hard days conferencing. Hosted by Tulloch Wines from the Hunter Valley the Wine Tasting session allows your team to relax, unwind, connect with each other and learn a little about some of the region’s best wine. We can either host the wine tasting onsite at your conference venue or offsite at Tulloch Wines.

Location: Indoors or outdoors
Duration: 45 – 60 mins

Wine & Chocolate Tasting:

Experience the decadence of Australian made chocolate as you partner each one with the mouth-watering flavours of Tulloch Wines. This guided tasting session will take your taste buds on an amazing journey as you discover how pairing wine with chocolate can enhance two of life’s great indulgences. This sit down event will see participants experience 5 different wines that have been specifically paired with 5 delicious chocolates. Participants will take home knowledge of the rules of pairing so they can complement their favourite wines at home with the most appropriate chocolate.

Location: Indoors set with tables & chairs
Duration: 1 hour

Wine Options Game:

The Wine Options Game is a fun, entertaining and competitive way to share a wine with the team. This event is hosted by Tulloch Wines during pre-dinner drinks inside your private dining room. The “game” sees each delegate receive a “mystery” glass of wine. The host from Tulloch will ask questions, general at first, about the wine in everyone’s glass.

• ‘Is this wine from the northern or southern hemisphere’?

• ‘Does this wine taste oaked or unoaked’?

• ‘Is the alcohol content in this wine low or high’?

Those giving the wrong answer in each round must sit down and are eliminated from the game until the year and grape variety has been correctly discovered. The winner will receive a bottle of that wine and the game moves onto the next wine. There are 3 wines in total with each game taking approximately 10 minutes so allow 30 minutes overall.

Location: Indoors in a private dining room before dinner
Duration: 30 – 40 mins


This ancient form of medieval weaponry is a great event to get your team on target! In this engaging activity a structured lesson involving technique and safety are outlined and enforced. The delegates are then divided into teams that compete aiming to outscore their opponents. All delegates will have plenty of firing time and be kept entertained as teams are involved in various competitions and games that all involve shooting arrows at the target. The event can finish with a sharpest individual shooter if you like.

As this event involves delegates firing real arrows the space available to host this activity must allow for a large firing range. We are permitted to hold the event on private land such as conference venues however most councils do not allow this event on public land.

Location: Outdoors
Duration: 1 – 2 Hours
Outcomes: Fun, Team Bonding, Friendly Competition

Amazing Race

Amazing Race teams running

The majority of Hunter Valley hotels & resorts have an abundance of space perfect for our Amazing Race program!

The Amazing Race On Site is an action-packed adventure where teams navigate their way around the conference resort undertaking team-based challenges. Speed is not always the deciding factor with an emphasis on teamwork, planning, problem-solving and of course having fun.

Teams will be issued with a map of the resort and cryptic clues to various locations hidden around the grounds. Awaiting the groups at each location are team-based activities known as “roadblocks” that will be tailored to suit your outcomes and the venue. All teams converge at the finale location at the same time for a final all-in team challenge before prizes are awarded to the victors! Some example challenges include:

Number Triangle – Nine numbered tiles are laid out in a triangle shape. The team moves the tiles so that the addition of the numbers is equal on each side.

Catapults – Teams fire tennis balls via replicated catapults towards a landing zone where strategically positioned team members await ready to catch.

Shape Shifter
– Using memory and instinct teams must recreate a series of original shapes

Wonder Word
– Using 9 letters teams must make as many words as possible with bonus points of the 9 letter word.

– Teams are racing to rebuild a pyramid that can only be structured from bottom to top.

– Participants have the opportunity to channel Robin Hood in this mediaeval form of weaponry.

Laser Clay Shooting
– Experience the thrill and excitement of shooting clay pigeons as they fly through the air! 

Location: Outdoors
Duration: 1.5 – 3.5 Hours
Outcomes: Fun, Collaboration, Problem Solving, Team Work, Friendly Competition