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.
Kay,Toby, Meri and South
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 2 year old Meri and their 3month old South, they are excited to be a part of the Wollangarra community and provide a space for young people to connect to nature.
Zoe is a Wollie from way back, the sort keener to clean out the sludge pit than a kookaburra is for an arvo shower. Open, honest and absolutely likeable, this year is bound to be a bumper as she brings a drive to pull together young and old to keep Woll doing what it’s really all about. You’d be equally as likely to find her sowing or moving, spinning a well-earnt yarn or just plain pondering what a wombat really tastes like. With all her past experiences at Woll, Zoe can pretty much put her hand to anything, this years team is lucky to have an energetic allrounder to keep the flat firing!
A furr and feather fanatic you will find in our friend Laurence Farr. Hailing from Castlemaine, he looks upon the Bogong High plains as a favourite place for hiking. When not upon a Mountain he can be found submerging in the underwater world, both scuba and free diving, writing (so feel free to write him a letter and he will relish in writing one back!) And Fly fishing, watch out trout of the Macalister! We have wonderful Sarah to thank for bringing him to this wonderful place. For his last meal on earth he would tuck into a Roo Stew. Laurence is excited for a year of learning and to do some good for a place so dear to our hearts.
Shaya has arrived at Wollangarra with a bounding enthusiasm for the year ahead. Hailing from a tiny town called Forrest. The past few years has seen her studying Environmental and Social studies in Geelong. This led her to be working in community engagement citizen science. You’ll likely find her practising handstands, out hiking, and creating conversations with people about the world. Her last meal would be a mango coconut sago pudding, eaten whilst reading the dictionary (a self-proclaimed word nerd amidst us!) and watching waterfalls. When in the kitchen Shaya creates rainbow feasts and enjoys a cup of tea.