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  • Writer's pictureSam Wilks

Creating a Cult...ure

I was recently contacted by a past colleague to reminisce about the days of working for the MGM Grand International hotel and Casino in Darwin. After several minutes we got to talking about a Hospitality and customer service program I wrote and co-presented from 1999 with Jeff Carter.

The main thing they wanted me to know was that when working with me, my colleague always felt like they belonged, like they were part of the team or as we called it, The Cast. MGM Grand is a movie and entertainment company and it was this background that was the main inspiration for me developing the program.

I have worked for many different National and multinational companies since, but as my past colleague alluded to, I have never found that type of cult cultural following since, with another employer.

But I have observed it in another local company here in Darwin. H&K Fitness with Hector Del Nido and his wife Karlene Dagg-Del Nido has created one of those elusive cultures both with their clients and employees alike.

When I described what I was trying to create to our USO (US Office) in 1999, I said I wanted to create trekkies, followers like the show Star Trek created. Uniforms, training, actions and language that let you know you were part of something bigger, better, you belonged.

Peter, Hector, Sammy, the late George, Erik the Viking and myself and some others created this type of group back at Timeout Gym 13 years ago. We trained hard, trained big and the goal was constant and never-ending improvement.

Loves, Life and children have created many distraction and we eventually all went our separate ways but we are still close. The remainder of us in Darwin have all succeeded, albeit in different ways. I still hold The Red Three amigo’s shirt in my cupboard, for the 20year reunion.

Hector and Karlene have taken the lessons learnt from our friendships and expanded upon it, creating a legion of devotees who will walk around town proudly displaying their HK Gym singlets. Hector and Karlene have created H&K Trekkies.

It was in my long discussion with my former colleague, discussing my weight loss and fitness, that I started thinking about this great culture that Hector and Karlene were creating. I know I am biased as Hector is one of my closest friends, but if you want to join a cult, not just a gym, in a good way, and you are looking to get results, then H&K Fitness is what you have been waiting for.

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