Our Team

The Wollangarra team is made up of Directors, a Program Manager and a number of Outdoor Leaders. The role of Directors and Program manager can be combined to suit the applicant(s). Directors are appointed every three years, where as the Program Manager and Outdoor Leaders are chosen yearly. The Outdoor Leaders, possess a diverse range of skills and experience, from outdoor and environmental education, youth work, conservation, and environmental science. Wollangarra staff hit the ground running from when they arrive in January, completing several months of extensive training, which includes Wilderness First Aid, Bronze Medallion (swimming supervision), four wheel driving, safe food handling, chainsaw operations, hiking, camping, and navigation, defensive driving, how to live remotely and in a small community, and so much more. Leaders volunteer their time for a year in the mountains, working hard and demonstrating simple living. They provide quality leadership and education to the hundreds of young people who attend Wollangarra programs each year. They are the backbone of Wollangarra.

Wollangarra leaders are normally recruited between September and December each year. If you think you might be interested in applying for this once in a lifetime opportunity, then we recommend visiting for a week as a volunteer on a program, or coming to one of our regular work party weekends. Feel free to call us at the Homestead to have a chat about what it’s all about or visit our Outdoor Leader page for more info. 

2021 Co-Directors

Kay, Toby and Meri

Toby first came to Wollangarra with school in 1999, after school Toby went exploring the world and found his way to outdoor education.  After training and gaining his qualifications at Ardory O.E.C. in Scotland, Toby spent his 20’s rock-climbing and funding it by avoiding working too much as a  rock-climbing instructor in the Wimmera. He is passionate about bushcraft and working with young people to explore Earths wild places. Toby has earned a crust as a freelance outdoor educator, building walking tracks, working on wooden boats and as a foundryman in the family business. He also  holds a Bachelors Degree in Exercise and Sports Science and is slowly working his way through a Masters of Education: Social Ecology.

Kay is a Marine Biologist born in South Africa to European parents. She first came to Australia to complete her Doctorate in Marine Science with the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in Tasmania. As a kid if Kay and her twin brother were not chasing waves her Austrian mother would have them climbing mountains. Her Danish father taught her the guitar and she has made a few bob busking to fund the cruising kitty whilst sailing. She is a soul surfer, artist, mountain lover and is passionate about sharing her knowledge of the natural environment with the next generation.

After meeting Toby in Tasmania, together they have sought out much adventure rock-climbing, travelling in Africa, sailing and living on Meridee, a traditionally built timber ketch, and embarking on the journey of parenthood. Together with their one year old Meri they are excited to be a part of the Wollangarra community and provide a space for young people to connect to nature.

Issy

Isabel (also Iz, or Izzy) is originally from Voorburg, a town of about 30.000 people in the Netherlands, she arrived in Australia two years ago and is very excited for the year ahead. After finishing her masters in Biomedical science through Utrecht (NL) and Kyoto (Japan) Universities, she was a researcher in the field of neurobiology for a few years, but four years ago decided to exchange the life of microscopes and pipettes for that of the great outdoors. Travelling solo through Canada, Iceland, Northern Europe, Asia and New Zealand, she did 2.5 years of volunteer work through WWOOF and HelpX programs, mostly on small non-commercial farms, a bit of hospitality work, and plenty of travel. Wandering through beautiful landscapes, meeting inspiring and wonderful people, she finally set foot in the Land Down Under two years ago. She spent most of her time in Tasmania and Gippsland, to hike, camp, work, and enjoy the Aussie slang and wonderful wildlife, nature, and people. Following her interest in everything biology and outdoors, a host family connected her to the fabulous world of Woll! After visiting the flat for the first time, the decision was easily made to go for the position of outdoor leader, and now here we are, yay! Isabel will be spending a lot of time in the garden, with the chooks and ducks and exploring this wonderful part of the world. She is looking forward to the exciting year on the flat and in the high country with her fellow staff team and getting to know everyone involved in this beautiful community on the Macalister.

Fergus

Fergus spent a lot of time in his teen years doing programs as a young person at Wollangarra on stage 2’s and 3’s, after finishing school he moved away from Phillip Island to Newry and started work as a farm hand and milker on a dairy farm. In his free time he likes to read a lot, go on adventures and ride his motorbike. Fergus is really excited to do lots of hard work and try to give something back to the community that’s done so much for him.

Sarah

Sarah is our newest Wollie, having moved up from Tassie at the beginning of February to join the team she is looking forward to life here on the flats and in the alpine. She has a background in outdoor education, marine science, and hospitality, and a passion for introducing young people to the outdoor environment. Sarah is happy to try her hand at anything and thrives on hard work. She was fortunate enough to grow up in an outdoorsy family, and develop her love for riding, hiking, skiing, kayaking, and most all other outdoor pursuits from a young age. Above all she is energised by the prospect of being able to share that love and opportunity with the young people that come through Wollangarra and our broader community.
Sarah seems to live by her mantra that “energy begets energy; Smile and the world smiles back” and will seldom be seen without a smile on her face or a positive attitude.