Flying fox Holiday program
October 2021 update
by Kay Weltz, Director Wollangarra
The year 2021 for Wollangarra so far has been an up-and-down year, as we are sure it has been for most Australians. Following on from the last report in April, we have been fortunate enough to be able to run some of our programs throughout the Autumn, Winter and Spring. Given we experienced a major flood in June which left our Phoneline down for over three months and dealing with sudden changes in COVID restrictions related to outdoor recreation and accommodation, we have had to be flexible and adaptive in the way we have run these programs. Unfortunately, many of our programs have recently been cancelled due to COVD restrictions in Victoria. Nonetheless, we feel blessed to have been able to run a total of 10 programs this year, including schools and some holiday programs, thereby offering ~240 young people the opportunity to step away from their online-learning screens and reconnect with nature and basic living. Given the difficult and uncertain times Wollangarra has faced over 2020 and 2021, maintaining day to day operations and running of programs has been made possible by the kind and generous support of our local community, Fox Flyers Members donations and the Airbnb community Fund grant. We were very grateful to be selected by the Airbnb community Fund through GlobalGiving to receive a fantastic grant this year, which has directly supported our ability to continue to operate through all the lockdowns.
The Airbnb community Fund grant will enable much needed funds to be invested back into the property as well as updating and maintaining essential equipment required for running our programs.For example, our extensive gear store requires some old well-loved items to be replaced (tarps, hiking gear, food bags etc). Being able to provide young people with the appropriate equipment for bushwalking in the mountains means more young people get to experience of this environment in a safe and comfortable way, without having to purchase this equipment themselves. To provide the highest level of safety on our programs, we ensure our Staff are appropriately trained. We will be using some of the grant money to cover costs of upskilling and training our next Staff members for 2022. Another part of the grant will be used to continue much needed infrastructure updates including two new composting toilets and fire maintenance on the property. Another part of our program is to show young people a sustainable way of living, including a Fruitbottling event and a Passata making event in which volunteers help bottle and preserve fruit to make preserved fruit, jams, tomato paste/sauce used when out on hike. We would like to put some of the Airbnb Comunity Fund grant towards purchasing new garden and orchard equipment (such as netting for fruit trees, garden tools) to ensure we can show young people that we can produce and harvest as much as possible off the property instead of purchasing produce from other sources. Lastly, Wollangarra offers financial sponsorship for young people who need it, covering either 50% or 100% of our program costs. We will use some of the grant money to be top-up our Sponsorship funds to assure we can provide all young people equal opportunities in a time when they need it most.
Wollangarra hopes to be able to have young people and community back on the property as soon as possible. In the meantime, we as the Woll 2021 team will do our best to better the property, facilities, safety equipment and programs for future young people visiting Wollangarra. This would not be possible without the generous emotional and financial support Wollangarra has received this year. We are deeply grateful to be able to continue doing something we are passionate about - providing young people the opportunity to step into a world of nature, basic living and community connection! Thank you.
Stage 3 Induction July
Mcalister river on program
Cooking out on pogram
Woll program 2021