Staff Spotlight: David Coggin

Group Leader
Leaving his small beach-side village in Devon as a 23 year old, Dave was quickly bitten by the travel bug whilst backpacking around Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and the U.S.A. So after graduating from University he wasted no time in putting on his backpack and venturing to the other side of the world to explore Australia!

Travelling solo, Dave decided to do OzIntro so he could meet some people to go travelling with. During his OzIntro week he made some great friends and spent the next 6 months travelling along the East-Coast of Oz with them, before returning back to Sydney to look for work. An opportunity arose for Dave to join OzIntro as a Group Leader and he jumped at the opportunity to meet a new group of people every week, show them some of the amazing things that Australia has to offer, and help them start their journey in a country that he has come to love.

What position do hold at OzIntro and why do you like working there?


As an OzIntro Group Leader I meet a new group of fresh faced, excited backpackers every week and show them the amazing things Sydney has to offer. We get them set up to live, work and travel in the amazing country that is Australia, which is really rewarding!

It’s such a fun job and I spend my days surfing, going jet boating, bush-walking and generally just having an amazing time with my group. I’ve made so many life-long friends and absolutely love my job!

Did you take a gap year? If so, where and what inspired you to go?

Taking a gap year was the best decision I ever made. During my gap year I visited South East Asia and traveled through Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. After that I flew to the U.S.A and spent two months immersing myself in what made America so incredible.

There were many reasons to start travelling, but the main reasons for taking a gap year had to be getting out of cold and wet England and exploring what the world had to offer. Plus I’d always wanted to have some big adventures and experience new cultures!

How does your organization differ from other ones in the industry?

Group picture

I’ve spoken to lots of people in Oz who did other programs, and I think the main reason why OzIntro is different is because all of the OzIntro crew really care and go out of their way to make sure everyone is having an amazing time. It’s more like a bunch of friends than a tour group, and from the moment you step off the plane we’re there to meet you. Throughout the week you won’t stop laughing. You will make so many life-long memories!

Even after the OzIntro week is over we stay in touch with everyone and do everything we can to make sure they are having the best experience possible in Oz!

How often do OzIntro staff communicate with students while they are abroad?

When the week is finished and people have gone their separate ways, that isn’t the end for anyone that has done OzIntro—regardless of if they are in Oz for 3 months or 3 years! OzIntro Group Leaders stay in contact with all their groups to make sure that everything is going fine. We are also here to answer any questions our groups may have about work, travel, living in Australia and even dodgy rashes. We always check in to see how everything is and make sure everyone is still having the time of their life.

By the end of the week all the groups feel like they have made friends for life and it’s the same for the Group Leaders. It feels like one big family!

What's your daily life like as a Group Leader for OzIntro?

The main part of everyday as an OzIntro Group Leader is to make sure everyone in the group is having the best week of their life! This involves anything from answering any questions big or small, having a constant smile on my face, making an idiot of myself either through song, dance or one of my endless past stories about past experiences, to capturing that “shaka” moment when they first stand up on a surfboard!

During the day we take the groups on all sorts of activities such as Jet Boating on Sydney Harbour, a day of surfing and sun, chilling out on Bondi Beach and finishing up with a farewell meal up on the Sydney Tower. In the evening we have a few drinks with the groups and take them to a couple of different bars around Sydney. On Saturday we take them on the party bus—in weird and wonderful fancy dress of course!

If you could take a gap year right at this moment--no worries about job, family, or anything--where would you go? What activities would you like to do?


If I could jump on a plane right now, I would definitely go travel around South America! Something about it has always grabbed me and made me want to travel there.

I would try and do everything: hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, climbing Corcovado to see Christ the Redeemer in Rio, getting lost in one of the only untouched rainforests in Costa Rica, soaking up the amazing Carnival atmosphere in Rio, etc. I just want to keep travelling and experience everything the world has to offer me (plus it stops me returning to the cold, wet UK!)

What keeps you excited about your job?

The main thing I love about this job is it's unique to Australia and it really makes my whole travelling experience that much better! I get to meet loads of awesome new people every week and show them my amazing dance moves, tell them my awful jokes, serenade them with some bad ‘One Direction’ songs, help them make friends for life and, most importantly, set them up for the time of their lives in Australia!

The challenges presented to me throughout the job also keep me on my toes and excited for everyday. Plus, I get to go surfing every week so it’s a dream job really!