Check out the photos of the progress we've made on the kitchen and other projects around Wollangarra since the last update.
All of the external walls are up in the store room section of the kitchen, the roof is on and the old washup area and skillion roof have been demolished.
In other projects, we have installed a beautiful new set of gates between the paddocks, courtesy of the Stratford Men's Shed.
The Stage 3 program ran a work party at the nearby Burgoyne's Hut where a new rainwater tank was installed, fruit trees planted and general maintenance on the hut carried out.
A great deal of work has been done since the bushfires on our network of local walking tracks, clearing fallen trees and cutting back scrub. These tracks are vital to Wollangarra during winter when the high country is largely inaccessible due to snow.
If you've never been to Wollangarra before, Open Weekend on October 5-6 is a great opportunity to come and check the place out.
The following community weekends are also coming up and we'd love to see you there:
Garden Party: September 14-15 - Preparing the garden for spring and working on the kitchen.
Spring Work Party: November 16-17 - Working on the kitchen, preparing for bushfire season and jobs around the flat.
Things have been busy at Wollangarra since the fires earlier in the year.
We held a rescheduled Fruit Bottling weekend, attracting a great crowd of supporters to fill the larder with preserved fruit, jams and chutneys for another year.
In early May we held a Bush Skills workshop in Cheshunt, where Wollangarra staff and Stage III program participants learnt traditional bush crafts including splitting slabs, splitting roof shingles, squaring a log with the broad axe and using the shave horse and draw knife. Several items of bush furniture were produced on the weekend to auction off at events during the year.
Stage III Trivia night on 11th May was a great success with $1,800 raised and an entertaining night had by all.
Autumn Work Party was also held last month, with some more progress made on the sleeper walls of the new kitchen store room. We hope to make the Autumn and Spring work parties an annual fixture to help us keep on top of jobs around the flat.
Next weekend is our annual Wood Chop and we are expecting over 100 people to be in attendance to help us split all of the wood we'll need for the year ahead.
The Hop inner city bush dance is coming up on Saturday 29th June at the Fitzroy Town Hall. This year we are pre-selling tickets online at mittagundiwollangarra.eventbrite.com.au/
Wollangarra is now recruiting a Stage III Program Facilitator to begin in July. This is a wonderful opportunity for someone who is passionate about empowering young people in areas of leadership, conservation and sustainability. For more information head to wollangarra.org.au/employment
Thanks for your ongoing support and we hope to see you at one of the upcoming events.
As we write this project update, Fruit Bottling Mark II is happening at Wollangarra. This community weekend is dedicated to preserving fruit and preparing jams and chutneys the old fashioned way to keep us going for another year.
Our new Directors and Staff began in early January, and soon after a bushfire started at Aberfeldy, 25 km to the west. The fire threatened Wollangarra on and off for weeks, and has only recently been contained. Most of the bush around Wollangarra is now burnt but thankfully the fire did not impact any of our infrastructure.
Last year Madden's Rise winery, managed by ex-Director Simon McLachlan, donated some Shiraz to be used for fundraising. We spent a day at the winery doing the bottling and are now pleased to have Wollangarra Shiraz available for $130/dozen. Purchasing some wine is a great way to support us, and boxes are available for pickup from Wollangarra, North Balwyn, West Brunswick, Carrum Downs, Thornbury and Beechworth. There is an order form on the website.
The next project update will no doubt have more to report on our progress with the kitchen, unfortunately the fires temporarily derailed our work schedule!
Thanks for your support and we hope to see you up at Wollangarra some time this year.
As you can see from the photos below, we've made some great progress on our outdoor kitchen facility since the last report. At a recent work party, we completed the roof frame and installed some very solid sleeper walls.
We have an incredible team of volunteers who regularly give up their weekends to make this project a reality. We'd like to thank them for their time, dedication and enthusiasm. Our next opportunity to get some more work done on the outdoor kitchen will be at the annual Fruit Bottling weekend on January 19-20. We invite everyone to come along and get involved in either the bottling or the building!
Young people who come to Wollangarra get to experience a simple way of life where the effects of their actions are obvious. They leave behind their mobile phones, watches and timetables. They get to bake bread, split wood, tend the veggie garden, collect the eggs and light the fire. They get the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way and feel like a valued member of the community.
Here's what one of our program participants had to say about Wollangarra:
'I never really realised what this whole 'nature' thing was about. Bird watching? Bushwalking? Camp food? It just isn't me! I was your typical no-nature gal! I didn't have anything to do with it and it didn't have anything to do with me. Until now. This week I realised that in actual fact I have no choice in the connection between us. My actions affect my environment whether I want them to or not. I cannot be detached from the things around me any longer. After what I saw I don't want to be either. I won't claim that I'm going home and will never use electricity or flushing loos again but I can honestly say that I will go home a little more aware of what I do. I've heard all this talk about the 'environmental crisis' and all the 'disasters' and 'catastrophes' that occur and I just thought it was someone else's problem. It was all a bit much for a teenage city gal like me. Wollangarra has given me the belief that I can do something. Beyond that in fact. I understand that I do do something - for better or for worse. So I may as well make that thing positive.'
Thanks for your support and we hope to see you up at Wollangarra some time soon.
Thanks to your support, Wollangarra has raised $4,475 this month and earned a permanent spot on GlobalGiving.
Here are a few photos showing the progress we've made on our outdoor kitchen facility throughout the year.
Things take time at Wollangarra. We don't have any electricity or generators, so we use mainly hand tools. Most of the materials we use are second hand, having been donated, purchased or salvaged from old houses that are being demolished in the area. The only new materials we use are things like cement, paint and nails, but often we straighten out old bent nails and use them again.
We also use timber from the property, cut straight out of the bush. This in itself is a great lesson in cause and effect. Often young people don't even think about how much wood goes into building a house, but at Wollangarra, it's obvious.
All of the materials we bring in have to be carted up a little track and then sent across the river on our famous flying fox. It's pretty hard yakka, especially when it comes to lugging railway sleepers around. Helping with a project like this gives young people a real appreciation of just how rewarding a hard day's work can be.
Everyone who works on the project is a volunteer. We don't employ professional tradesmen or labourers, so when you donate to Wollangarra you know that your hard earned dollars are going straight towards purchasing stuff that we really need, and keeping our course fees affordable in the process.
A big thank you to the following donors for their support: Ivan Mort, Lucy Labram, Andrew McLeod, Sarah Carter, Sandie McKoy, Yvonne Thompson, Julie Wilson, Stuart Thompson, Geordie McCallum, Anna Moscovitch, Kurt Neville, Tess Macrae, Eliza Barlow, Paul Nichol, Shinead McLaurin, Rob Cowan, Matt Davidson, Carmel O'Brien, Jess McMahon, Dan Abikhair, Clare Bennetts, Hannah Ford, Matt Gray, Lucy Hunt, Catherine Allison, Russell Gladigau, Josie McLachlan, Chris Balmford, Andrew Parsons, Al Macrae, Emma Dean, Bonnie McWilliam, Russell Smith, Ross Davis, John Brydon, Eliza Zanuso, Jim Phillipson, Suz Christison, Helen Collins, George Georgiou, Ross Richards, Kev McGennan, Kathleen Collins, Brad Woods, Hedge Thompson, Bill Bainger, David Collins, Riss Robbins, Elizabeth and our three anonymous donors (you know who you are!).
The Wollangarra Team
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