Introducing our General Manager, Josh Langerak

Most of you will be very familiar with Josh, our newly appointed General Manager who has been in the Gaia family since 2018.

This month we take a deep dive into ‘The Day in the Life’ of our General Manager and get to know more about Josh and his very important role here at Gaia.

I’m sure that most guests would agree that they would love to be you, spending each of their working days at this deeply restorative sanctuary. Can you describe what your typical day as General Manager of Australia’s most awarded wellness retreat involves?

Each day as I come through the rustic gates of Gaia, I ensure I take time to reflect and give thanks to the opportunity that I have to share this special piece of the paradise with our valued guests.

I always start with a quick stop at the maintenance shed, as the team go through their morning briefing. This always gives me confidence that the engine room is running smoothly and that our team are ready for the day.

From there, I follow one of our walking tracks, through the orchard and around the boundary of the property until I reach our Yoga room, aiming to time with the first class of the day coming to a close. This gives me the opportunity to meet some guests and walk with them over to Kukura House, in time for their delicious breakfast. It is always rewarding to honour these informal occasions as an opportunity to connect with and learn about each guests experience with us. Our morning breakfast service is a special time of day for myself and the team to enable the coming together of people, and is also an opportunity for me to farewell our departing guests and thank them for choosing to stay with us.

Once our guests are settled in for breakfast, I get to share these insightful moments with our food and beverage, housekeeping and front office teams. From here it is a continuation down to the Day Spa as they prepare to open their doors in time to welcome our first guests for the day.

Mid morning is when I will make it to my desk and start the administration tasks for my day. Around lunchtime, I am back up in Kukura House as we start to welcome our new arrivals for the day and to catch up with our loyal and repeat guests personally.

My afternoons are mostly spent working with our extended team, across finance, marketing, creative and sales to nourish and support their growth. As we plan and prepare for the months ahead, we all share department updates and current tasks at hand, ensuring we are all aligned and informed.

My day usually rounds off as I check in with our evening service team, whilst they prepare to deliver our three course dining experience and then farewell our guests as they turn in for some rest.

As someone who is passionate about the health and wellness space, how do you like to spend your downtime when you are not working or spending time with your family?

I am very lucky to have a large family with 4 kids under eight years! They are full of energy and have a great ability to distract and demand all my focus and attention when I’m not at Gaia. I take advantage of an early start to the day, taking an hour each morning prior to the household waking by going for a walk, gym or enjoying a quiet uninterrupted moment with a coffee and a book.

As someone who knows the retreat inside out, are there any secrets you could share with us about spaces, treatments or rituals that are a must do?

For me, Gaia provides the opportunity for guests to get lost in the moment of staying still and holding space for how they are feeling and what they are thinking. For me, the Labyrinth is the perfect quiet spot to support this. Often, when I’m stuck with a decision, or seeking clarity, I find that heading up to this peak (the highest in the Ballina Shire) and looking out across the landscape, I get clear on the direction I need to take in that moment.

What is the most rewarding part of your role as General Manager?

Providing growth and opportunity for staff and guests alike. Being able to play a nurturing part in any individuals personal growth journey has always been a strong motivator for me. Going back to my original career as a Teacher, through to today as the General Manager of Gaia, my role allows me to form relationships, provide experience, share insights and challenge individuals to grow. The natural environment and healing energy of Gaia promotes the opportunity to witness genuine change in a guest from their arrival to departure. This is certainly the most rewarding part of my role.

What are your top three tips for the ultimate health and wellbeing?

  • Regular exercise
  • Food – The greatest and easiest way to nourish your body and look after your health
  • Quiet time for self-reflection and switching off