| From the flag of David McCairney (Flagger since 2004) |
No person I have ever met in my many years of watching and following cricket has been as passionate, patriotic, fair minded, energetic and devoted as Luke Gillian. His enthusiasm for cricket in general and in particular the Australian cricket team is nothing short of amazing. The fact that he has spent a great proportion of his life devoted to supporting the Australian team is more than commendable. He has been entirely selfless in his support of the team and on his own has attracted a great deal of fans to the joys of supporting Australian cricket both in Australia and overseas. The pride and feeling of achievement he has instilled in fans such as myself and the many others that have travelled with him, is something that should never be underestimated nor forgotten. Luke not only embraces Australian cricket, but world cricket, in all its forms and intricacies. He truly is the biggest supporter of Australian cricket the country has ever seen and I hope he continues to lead the Australian supporters long into the future.
His group Waving the Flag is a credit to the beliefs Luke holds dear and to Australian cricket in general. In his capacity as a tour leader, Luke has distinguished himself as someone reliable and trustworthy. He is professional, personable, patient and always willing to make sure the fans that travel with him are always getting the most out of their experience. As a fervent traveller to follow the Australian team myself, I have encountered other groups supporting the team and although their efforts are to be commended, I feel they lack the respect and focus the Waving the Flag group has. This focus is in a something Luke instils in all his Flaggers and while he encourages his group to enjoy themselves, he is ever vigilant to remind them that cricket is the reason they are there and watching and supporting the team should always be the main priority.
Luke and Waving the Flag offers the whole experience, it is by no means just about the cricket. The cricket is of course the most important facet of the trip, but he is always mindful that other experiences outside of cricket are available. His knowledge of the areas visited is informed and thorough due to his pre-tour reconnaissance missions and he is always gathering experience and information on the road. In addition to that, Luke is knowledgeable and respectful of the cultures and customs of the country he and his group visit and he goes out of his way to make sure everyone travelling with him is aware of these nuances.
The accommodation options are frequently better than satisfactory and are always value for money, whatever your budget. The fact that he offers different accommodation choices depending on people’s budgets, is also well appreciated by the supporters who travel with him. As well as the tickets and accommodation, Luke offers both culture and entertainment. His sightseeing add-ons are always well organised, researched and informed and are an excellent way to get to know more about the region. While being respectful that people may want to do their own thing, Luke also organises nights out and festivities for members of the group keen to get to know more of their fellow Flaggers and have a good time.
Luke’s easy-going and informal attitude to touring allows flexibility and Luke is more than happy to sit down and discuss the tour that perfectly fits the individual. He is always approachable and frequently goes out of his way to cater for the needs of any of his group.
I know from experience that it is qualities like these that have brought supporters back to Waving the Flag tour after tour and has also brought in new Flaggers through his reputation and recommendations from Flaggers who thoroughly enjoyed their Flag experience.
I will always be indebted to Luke for offering me the opportunity to travel the world to support my team, to meet some marvellous people and to experience so many amazing things that I probably wouldn’t have ever experienced had I been forced to travel by myself. I certainly know I am not the only one that feels this way. I have enjoyed every minute of my Flagging experiences in the past and look forward to many more adventures and series wins in the future.