Monday, 9 January 2017


There is a place in the Alpine National Park, somewhere beyond Falls Creek and near Glen Valley called Mittagundi. Rachel did a placement there in the dead of winter. There is no power, rain water only, wood stoves for heating and cooking, no internet or phone reception... she loved every minute of it. It is a place where groups of teenagers come to hike and ski and learn about independence and making do and challenging themselves. It is a place where they cook and chop wood and fix fences and make things with wood and steel (old style) and in the process learn about themselves and working as part of a team. For many it is a significant and life changing experience. It is a place where young adults run the program and are entrusted with immense responsibilities and amazingly rise to the challenge. After her placement Rachel continued to be involved returning as a volunteer on a number of occasions. Mittagundi is also where Rachel met Cass.

Last weekend was the Mittagundi Festival, its annual open day and fund raising event. Colin and I re-borrowed our tent and self inflating mattresses from the kids and drove a long way to camp in a field with a heap of other people. It has been a while since we have camped and pit toilets and no shower for the weekend was a bit of a challenge, but of the good kind. We went to a bush dance, watched passionate people do amazing things with wood and steel using basic tools, swam in the creek (well Colin did, too cold for me), watched old and new staff and young people compete in the 'Mittagundi Olympics', ate, drank and listened to beautiful music surrounded by picturesque mountains and brilliant stars at night. Best of all was seeing Cass on her own turf, doing what she's good at and getting a glimpse of what this place means to her and Rach...

Rach and Cass and co

a passionate 'woodsman'

competition time, a pitchfork and bag of hay, go Cass

Mittagundi Olympic event -  Cass smashing it in the putting up and packing away of a tent 

wheelbarrow race

open mic, Cass on drums

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