Meet the Team

Here are some of the friendly faces you will meet when visiting The Crystal Caves.

Nelleke

Nelleke Boissevain was born in the Netherlands. After she graduated high school, she studied accounting and secretarial services which included learning shorthand in English, French, German and Dutch.

She met the charismatic René when she was 17. She was selling programs to an open day in ‘Berg en Bos’, a 250-hectare nature park of which her father was the director.

In an effort to impress young Nelleke, René offered to buy all her programs. She declined but did agree to give him a personal tour of the parklands at the end of the day. Later that evening, René had secured a dinner date.

Unfortunately, when it came time to pay the bill, he realised he didn’t have a wallet with him and Nelleke was stuck paying for dinner using the quarters she still had in her pocket from selling the programs earlier that day.

Since that first date, Nelleke has continued to manage René’s finances. Nelleke has accompanied René to all his Agate creek camps and on many overseas trips including Uruguay, Mexico, Brazil and Arizona.

Nelleke
René

René

René was born in the Netherlands and has a Montessori schooling.
He has always been a lover of all things ‘nature’.
He completed his military service with the Dutch Marines in Papua New Guinea which is when he vowed to return to the tropics one day.

René created The Crystal Caves in 1987 and he and his wife, Nelleke, have explored different countries in the world in search of unique and perfect crystalised mineral specimens to share with visitors.

Today, he and Nelleke live at Tinaroo in an open plan Bali hut which they share with all manner of creatures, including their beloved spoodle but also occasional snakes, bats, giant golden orbs, goannas and one very curious wallaby.

Ghis

Ghis was born in Holland and immigrated to Atherton, with her parents Rene and Nelleke, in 1977. Ghis grew up in Atherton and loves it here! A great place to raise her kids and the gateway to the outback with creeks and rivers where she loves to go camping.

In her spare time, Ghis loves to socialize, takes her dog Mila for swims at Tinaroo, spends quality time with her parents and often travels down the range to the beaches for a bit of variety. Caring for the environment has always been important to Ghis. Her husband and her live off the grid and they aim to be self-sufficient and carbon neutral. Together with local revegetation organisations, 15,000 Mabi forest trees are being planted along their creek which feeds into the Barron River.

Ghis’s favourite annual event to attend is the Wallaby Creek Festival up in Rossville. You’ll find her barefoot on the dancefloor and spending time in nature.

Ghis
Corina

Corina

Corina has called Atherton her home for her whole life. Her ancestral place includes Lake Eacham, Lake Barine and Yungaburra, with family living all over the tablelands.

Corina loves the Tablelands because this is her home and her family values are what is most important to her. She loves spending quality time with her family, fishing and camping when possible. Corina believes in staying connected and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Sammi

Sammi was born in Melbourne, raised in Cairns. After spending some time away experiencing life in London, she came home with a new appreciation of where she’s from – grateful to live in such a diverse area with the reef, rainforest and outback right on our doorstep.

Sammi loves taking long drives, chasing waterfalls and rainforest walks. Walking amongst the trees and along riverbeds, always on the lookout for any mineral specimens she may find. Meditating, yoga and a cheeky beer after a hard days work. Thankfully, Sammi’s family all live on the tablelands too. Family is her number one priority. She also loves spending time with her mum and dads Blue Healers – Veda and Luna.

Sammi has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to crystals and their healing properties. She’s intuitive and a believer in energy healing.

Sammi
Judy

Judy

Judy is originally a Townsville girl, however the tablelands drew her in with it’s luscious green fields, rainforests and beautiful waterfalls. When not at work, Judy is a social butterfly – dancing to live music, visiting friends, having fun. She’s even learning salsa!

Judy also believes in family values, spending time with family when she can, meditation, vegetating and staying grounded.

Judy has a friendly approach, loves helping customers and is knowledgeable when it comes to crystals and their healing properties.

Audrey

Audrey was born in Cairns however has lived in Atherton pretty much her whole life. She loves that the tablelands offers so many natural attractions which enables her to go on lots of adventures. Taking in all the greenery and beautiful sights, swimming at Lake Eacham (her favourite place) and skiing on Lake Tinaroo. Audrey is also a lover of crochet!

Audrey prefers to support and use local products, rather than importing. Her home is full of local organic products.

Audrey is well known for her enthusiasm while working at The Crystal Caves. This is because she believes in Rene’s passion and finds him to be inspirational. She loves crystals and loves the fact that other people get to come and enjoy the crystals and caves too.

Audrey
Zara

Zara

Zara was born in Cairns but has lived on the tablelands for most of her life. She loves the cooler temperatures, the birdlife and the speed with which everything grows in our tropical climate.

A mother of two young boys, she spends her spare time with her kids and her dog. Zara loves dogs about as much as Rene loves crystals. If you bring your dog into The Crystal Caves, we will all love your dog, but no one more than Zara.

She is passionate about supporting local businesses, including the historic pubs in the region and The Crystal Caves. In fact, it is not actually safe for Zara to work at The Crystal Caves, because she spends all her wages on rocks.

Karen

Karen was born in Ingham and has loved the tablelands for quite some time now. She fell in love with its natural beauty and rural settings. She loves the tablelands lifestyle.

In Karen’s free time, she’s a bit of a gamer and watches movies. Also spending time with her fur babies – Kaw and Benji. A couple of Karen’s favourite things to do on the tablelands is to visit the different eateries and swimming in her sisters dam on a hot day. Karen loves spending time with her family.

Karen believes in helping reduce waste and is always supporting the local farmers.
Karen loves dogs. If you bring your doggy in, expect it to receive some love from Karen.

Karen
Italo

Italo

Italo was born and bred right here on the Atherton tablelands. He done his time in the big city but much prefers the relaxed lifestyle and the natural beauty of the Tablelands.

Outside of The Crystal Caves, Italo is a cane farmer. So his spare time is filled with growing cane as well as gardening. It’s a full time job! As a farmer himself, he continually supports local farmers as well.

Italo loves spending time with friends and family when he has the chance to.

Italo was hired as ‘the muscle’ and for his really bad dad jokes. He is happy living a semi-retired life, welcoming customers to experience The Crystal Caves.

Lyla

Lyla was born in Elizabeth, South Australia. Loves it on the tablelands for it’s completely different vibe. The people are friendly and she loves that she can get up close to nature.

Lyla loves Athletics, hanging with friends and reading when she is not at school or working at The Crystal Caves. Lyla is currently learning how to drive. She looks forward to being able to drive herself to the main street for a bit of retail therapy, as she loves shopping!

Lyla likes to be conscious of other peoples feelings and situations as a mental health advocate.

She’s very approachable and always happy to have a chat.

Lyla
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