Small Business Owners Retreat

Murray River, May 8-11

Business. Lifestyle. Growth

May 8-11, 2020

“I don’t see work as work, and life as life…It’s all just living” – Richard Branson

Step out of your day-to-day environment and routines, and look at the big picture of your business and your lifestyle, as we cruise down the Murray River on a luxury houseboat!

The Coworkation formula is simple – by going to a stunning Place, together with other small business owners and like-minded People, with a Program designed to inspire can help us grow our business, as well as grow on a personal level.  



Time & space to reflect

As small business owners our To Do lists are endless, we are constantly doing – sometimes we need to give ourselves the time and space to put more think in the think/do balance.  

Work ON your business, not just IN it

Away from our normal environment we are freed up to look at the bigger picture issues of our business such as our vision, strategy and planning.

Work/Life balance

With the increasing fusion between work and life we need to look at our lifestyles with a more holistic approach. 

New Perspectives & Insight

Placing yourself in a natural environment can lead to increased creativity. We are more conducive to out-of-the-box thinking that can give rise to new ideas, fresh perspectives and result in epiphanies. 

Change your Mindset

Sometimes we need a change of setting to jolt our mindset and put us in a more positive frame of mind.  We can then maintain that momentum when we return to our normal environments. 

Connect & Collaborate

Exchange ideas, learn from each other, swap skills and get support from other small business owners. 

Experience, Explore & Enjoy!

There are so many beautiful spots around the world to explore – and the Murray River region near Echuca is one of those!  Feel the benefits of nature lift your spirits and freshen your passion for life…


1Top deck of the Houseboat

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A ‘coworkation’ blends structured workshops and planned sessions, allocated work time, and free time to relax, chat and enjoy, whilst leaving enough time for spontaneity and impromptu ideas. Nothing is compulsory – if you prefer to skip a workshop and do your own thing to go read a book, focus on your business or slam out some emails, feel free! 


Workshops to help you grow your business and grow personally. 

  • Business growth workshops: Design thinking, Business Model Canvas, Branding, Vision, Marketing & Communications, Strategy & Planning
  • Lifestyle & Wellbeing workshops: Resilience, Mindset, Lifestyle Design, Work/Life balance

* Exact topics of workshops will be announced at a later date

Focus Sessions

Each participant defines what it is that they want to focus upon…whether that be setting goals, planning their month, writing a blog post or scheduling their social media, it is time to focus on getting shit done!

Mastermind & Discussion Sessions

One of the main benefits of a ‘coworkation’ retreat is the ideas and inspiration we can receive from other small business owners. Our masterminds and discussion sessions are designed so we can reciprocally benefit from each others experience and knowledge.

Fun & Relaxation

It’s not all about planned workshops and activities! Enjoy a glass of wine at sunset, jump in the onboard spa, laze in the deck chairs as we cruise along the river.  We will stop along the way to explore the natural surrounds and will visit a local winery. With a group of entrepreneurial creative minds who knows what other spontaneous ideas we will get up to!

More details coming soon but this is an insight of what to expect. The itinerary is subject to change. 

Friday 8 May:

11.30am: Meet at Southern Cross station, and we travel to Echuca with car sharing and on the V Line train.

3-5pm: All aboard the Houseboat and we start cruising along the Murray River. Get settled, relax on deck, do some work, chat with your fellow crew members…it’s up to you. 

5-6.30pm: Mastermind, we get to know each other’s businesses and the challenges we are confronting, with reciprocal feedback and exchanging ideas.  

7-9pm: Sunset drinks and BBQ provide a great way to relax and get to know each other.

Saturday 9 May

– 7-8am: A morning walk or jog along the banks of the Murray

– 8-9am: A healthy and nutritious breakfast 

– 9-10.30am: Workshop, “Create/Recreate your Business Plan Canvas”. Whether you are in startup mode or have an established business, it is always beneficial to slow down and think (or re-think) your business plan.

– 10.30am-12pm: Focus Session. Let’s get something done! Pick something you want to focus upon, and off you go…

12-1pm: Free time to do some emails, jump in the hot tub, or relax on deck.

1-2pm: Lunch

2-4pm: Free time

3-5pm: Workshop, 


8-10pm: Fireside Chats – roasting some marshmallows over a campfire on the river banks, a perfect setting for some stimulating discussions!

Sunday 10 May:

Workshop “From a 40 hour work week to a 168 hour life week”, a workshop incorporating topics such as lifestyle design, work/life balance, time management, goals & prioritising. 

Thought Walk

Monday 11 May:

– 8-9am: Breakfast and enjoy the last couple of hours cruising back to the base port

– 9am-3pm: Time to get the laptops back out at Smart Space coworking in the heart of Echuca.

– 3-4:30pm: Workshop, Design Thinking.

– 4:30-7.30pm: Travel back to Melbourne (car sharing or V-Line)

Our houseboat(s)* for the Murray River coworkation are both stylish and comfortable.  A large decking area and spacious living area ensure to ensure we can connect, but also get space if we want.  There are 5 bedrooms, with a 10 person capacity. The living area has a large and comfortable modular lounge suite adjacent to a bright, well appointed, kitchen. There is a 32″ LCD TV and DVD player.

On the weatherproof top deck there is a carpeted outdoor entertaining area with a 7 seater spa that is under cover. There are 3 contoured sun lounges to laze on with a book, or do some thinking with a pen and paper. There is a large under cover dining tabl. On the front deck there is a BBQ.

* Depending upon numbers we will have one or two houseboats. 

What is a “coworkation”? Is it a vacation?

No, this is not a vacation.  Although you visit beautiful places on a coworkation that are often the same places where people go on holidays, the objectives of a coworkation are very different. Although there are multiple objectives, and they differ for each individual, essentially they are designed so that you can take a back step from your day-to-day environment and look at the bigger picture, for both your business and your lifestyle.    

Is there WiFi? 

No, there is no wifi on the houseboats. However, there is decent mobile coverage and you will be able to use your phone as a hotspot. 

Do people get their laptops out during a coworkation?

Although you won’t be as focused on the screen as what you generally would be in your normal work environment, it is pretty standard for people to open up their laptops at times. Our programs incorporate enough time to slam out some emails, or to use some of the inspiration you find throughout the event to get some work done. On the Monday, after returning the houeboat in the morning, we will spend the day working from a coworking space in Echuca.

Where do the workshops occur?

Part of the Coworkation difference is that we find unique and inspiring locations that we incorporate into our program. We harness the energy of these stunning locations to maximise the effects of the workshops and different elements of the program, putting us in a state of mind that can boost our creativity, provide clarity and facilitate focus.  

Our Murray River coworkation will combine workshops on the houseboat and on the banks of the river, amidst the beautiful natural surrounds. 

What clothes should I take? Will I be cold?

As we well know, Victoria’s weather is unpredictable! So look at the forecast prior to the event.  There is heating on the houseboat, but bring some warm clothing as well. Although we won’t be going on long hikes we will go for some walks in nature so bring suitable attire for that. 

I have special dietary requirements, can you cater for me?

Yes, sure we can work something out! Just email [email protected] with your needs.


  • 3 nights twin accommodation (single room + $150)
  • All meals, water & juices (BYO alcohol)
  • Workshops, skill shares & masterminds
  • Housboat hire & petrol
  • A unique and inspiring experience  


Stuart Jones

Stuart Jones

Entrepreneur, founder of Coworkation

Avalon Van der Horst

Avalon Van der Horst

Operations Management

David Hauser

David Hauser

Founder of THNK.innovation

Denisa Mihaela

Denisa Mihaela

Traveler & Photographer

Aleksandar Zaceski

Aleksandar Zaceski

Entrepreneur, Founder of TheClue & PWB

Josephine Palermo

Josephine Palermo

Founder, Doctor of Culture & Higher Spaces co-creator


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