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Olaf Moon was the original Webmaster for KHA.
Later he was Vice President and Secretary for many years.

His tenure as Web Master, covered a period of nearly 10 years. Creation of the first KHA website was the subject of much debate by the committee, following an offer from a commercial company to build the site, conditional on being able to run advertisements. This was sensibly declined by the committee. A later offer to purchase the website was also declined.

All material for the first website came from paper documents, including hundreds of photographs that were individually scanned. For four months full time, the individual hut profiles were researched meticulously and the information was hand-keyed for Kosciusko and Namadgi huts. Other pages related to the Committee, membership, maps and other items were also constructed. many conversations with hut builders and their families were also initiated by members, and hundreds of old photographs were collected and added to both the KHA collection and Olaf’s personal file.

The page was a huge success, gaining tens of thousands of hits, across over 3000 files. People from more than 70 countries also viewed the site. Archivists from the National Library of Australia viewed the KHA heritage notes and formally requested that they be able to make an archival copy of the site. This was approved and completed about every two years. Later, a very valuable collection of original photographs was donated to the NLA in perpetuity.

A year later, Olaf put in a further three months building the hut profiles for Tasmania and Victoria. These were not without their critics, as a few of the Tasmanian huts were very well hidden, and publication of their actual locations on public lands was not supported by a few locals. Olaf visited Tasmania twice to met with Simon Cubit and other interested parties. He also made two long 4WD trips to Victoria but realised that reaching all Vic huts was not possible for him alone, so he encouraged six others from Bairnsdale, Albury and Melbourne to drive out and find a huts that were rumoured to exist, and check their status and locations. The reports-back were used to update the site every week.

From the initial listing of Victorian huts, the new VHCA was formed, and their members took over the records and maintenance. From this work also, the Victorian Department of Environment (DSE) commissioned a formal Heritage Consultancy by Graeme Butler, who was instructed to commence with a review of the KHA data. Rangers in many states, continued to use the site as their go-to reference on the huts.

In 1975, when Olaf was a KHA member for just one year, he and friends survived a particularly nasty storm in an emergency snow-cave near Blue Lake, after failing to find the Soil Conservation Hut at night. As a result, he had a strong need to record all the Grid references for every hut, and take up-to-date photos of each. As a result in the early 2000’s he made an attempt to reach every single standing hut in the KNP, which took four years to achieve. It also resulted in “re-finding” some previously un-recorded huts (by KHA) such as Rugman’s Hut and CSIRO Research hut. These GPS locations and the resultant map that was made, are a very popular part of the website to this day.

After the 2003 fires, which saw about 24 huts destroyed, members, including Olaf encouraged the NSW KNP Rangers to make a helicopter flight to record all burnt huts and details on film. from these, Olaf was one of the “gang of four” that lobbied the NSW minister (Minister Debus) incessantly to rebuild some of the destroyed huts. Finally an approval was given to rebuild 8 of them, which was viewed as a significant turning point for the relationship between the Department, KHA and National Parks. In a true collaborative style, the huts were rebuilt over the coming years.

Website management and updates began to take time out of every single day and in time, Olaf passed the website maintenance over to Narelle and Ian. After living in the USA for two years and extending his outdoor pursuits, Olaf continues to be a member of KHA.

While living in Tasmania, he learnt to ski at age 8, and bushwalked extensively over some of Tasmania's most demanding walks including Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair (5 crossings, one on snowshoes in winter, one in 48 hours), Mt William National Park, Maria Island NP, Hartz NP, Freycinet NP, Mt Field National Park, South West National Park, including traverses of the Western Arthurs, Scotts Peak track, South Coast Track and summit traverse to Precipitous Bluff. While in Tasmania, he also canoed the Derwent River, Lake St Clair and other areas.

On the mainland, he has undertaken many walks in the Brindabella NP and Bimberi Wilderness in ACT, Kosciusko NP, Brindabella, Budawangs and other NP's in NSW. He has also walked extensively in Queensland, including Hinchinbrook Island, Lizard Island, Lamington NP, Fraser Island, Girraween NP and others.

Olaf has skied every season (bar one) for 48 years, and as an expert alpine skier, has taught many others to ski. He is also a very competent XC and mountain skier, prefering the area from Kosciusko, through the Munyang corridor to Jagungal.

While his children were small, he took up 4 Wheel Driving, and has lead major expeditions inlcuding two extended tours in the Victorian High Country, two crossings of the Simpson Desert, including the demanding French Line from East to West, a month tour in Tasmania, and a crossing of full Gunbarrel Highway and the Canning Stock Route (6 weeks).

Olaf has traveled overseas to more than 90 countries. He completed the NZ Alpine Guides Mountaineering course in 1977, and has climbed some of the worlds best known medium height peaks including Mt Fuji in Japan, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and smaller peaks in Nepal and Kashmir (where he lived for a short time) up to 18,300 feet. Of course he has been to the summit of Kosciusko (actually not Australia's tallest peak) by foot, bicycle and ski.

Olaf also took up mountain biking, so as to take his small children on longer trips when they were young. Many of the hut photographs show his bikes.

Olaf first joined KHA in 1975 then rejoined in 1991. He has worked on Brayshaws, Slalom, Franklin, Hospital Creek, Disappointment Spur, Gavels, Hains, Witzes and other huts. In 1969, he designed and built (with four friends) the Scout Hut on Mt Wellington and assisted with the construction of the Mt Ann Memorial Hut in Tasmania. The Scout Hut was listed as a heritage building by the HCC in 1999. He has visited all huts in Namadgi, and all bar 3 in KNP.

He has other outdoor interests including SCUBA Diving (300 dives) and offshore sailing, where he holds a Diploma in Coastal Navigation. He has further interests in motorcycling, GPS, computing and radio, and is a licensed amateur radio operator, with the callsign VK1JDX.

Olaf is married to Sheryle and has three children, Brad, Alex and Sian.

Updated January 2010.