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'Camel man' checks in, says 'I'll be back'

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The owner of a WA brokerage who hit the headlines after falling into a steep ravine while trekking through Australia with five camels and a dog says he’s fine, and he’ll return to insurance one day.

John Elliott resigned as CEO of Perth-based Elliott Insurance Brokers in 2018 to launch his expedition and “find a different way to happiness”.

He has covered more than 3000km in a year and says he has another 18 months and 5000km to go. But as reported by insuranceNEWS.com.au last week, he ran into difficulty last weekend near Jamieson, not far from Mount Buller in eastern Victoria.

Heavy rainfall had led to treacherous conditions and one of the camels, named Arthur, fell 40 metres down a steep cliff. Mr Elliott also fell some distance after trying to hold on to Arthur’s rope.

Mr Elliott returned calls from insuranceNEWS.com.au once he came back into mobile range, with assurances that all was well and that neither he nor Arthur had been seriously hurt.

He says he retains a mentoring role at the brokerage and a strong connection with the insurance industry.

“I still own 100% of the company and there is no doubt that I’ll be back in some capacity,” he said.

Staff at the Steadfast brokerage, which lists Mr Elliott on its website as founder and director, told insuranceNEWS.com.au they are following Mr Elliott's progress with keen interest.

“The clients ask all the time how the ‘camel man’ is,” CFO and Business Manager Rachael Burnell said. “Everyone is so interested in what he is doing,”

Mr Elliott, who was helped by the Jamieson Fire Brigade following the fall, says he is well prepared for all eventualities.

While he admits “it’s hard to get specific insurance for walking around with camels”, he has a search and rescue policy attached to his sat-nav equipment and a separate travel policy for all his gear.