Mittagundi Book Project

We need your Mittagundi photos and stories now!

Help Celebrate Mittagundi’s 40th Anniversary

Mittagundi will be publishing a book in 2019 as part of the 40-year anniversary celebrations. We want to bring together a pictorial history to help celebrate the fantastic contribution that has been made both by, and to, Mittagundi.

Our aim is to weave together some of the amazing history and stories with your great photos. We want to create a book that captures the spirit and culture of Mittagundi and highlights why it remains more relevant than ever. We don’t have the resources to produce a formal structured history but what we hope to do is create a book that will bring memories flooding back as well as encourage the next generation of young people to Mittagundi carry it forward.

So please, check your albums, storage boxes, diaries, hard drives, phones, digital albums and memories. And if it makes you think of the amazing impact that Mittagundi has had then send it in.  

How to get your memories to us?

As we are aiming for a high quality professionally published book the quality of photos will be important, so we will set up a drop-box or google-photo account for those with digital snaps. (Please ensure you send the highest resolution photo files that you have as it is critical for the publishers.)

  • Originals and documents can be sent in for scanning and return however we would prefer for you to email SCANNED (not photocopied) copies so that we don't have your precious originals.
  • General text and documents can be emailed or mailed.  
  • Your comments, descriptions, names and dates will be very important for ensuring context.



We will need your contributions by September 15 to allow us to meet our deadlines.

While it won’t be possible to include everything we receive in the book, everything will be digitised to form part of a permanent Mittagundi archive. 

Many of you already provided photos and stories to the 40th bash at Mittagundi last January.  However, in true Mittagundi fashion we didn’t capture them as the book project had not been organised at that stage. So please dig them out again.

Towards the latter part of this year we when the structure of the book and costs are finalised we will let you know how to order.  However, note that the book will only be available for purchase directly from Mittagundi and will not for sale through book shops.  

We are very lucky that a friend of Mittagundi, Annie Chapman, is doing her Masters of Writing and Publishing and has agreed to help us.  As a result, we have the opportunity to get professional management and significant savings on this project.  It will be produced in collaboration with Bowen Street Press, the student-led publishing house of RMIT’s Master of Writing and Publishing.  This not only ensures a great product but also maximises the money that will go directly to supporting the future of Mittagundi.

And, please note that by sending your photos, stories and memorabilia too us you will be agreeing to the terms and conditions below and that the items you share with us may be used in either this book project, the Mittagundi website or a future publication.  

Please join Ian, Bloggs, Gibbsy, the Mittagundi Council and many others in supporting this project.

Terms and Conditions

Copyright: By submitting materials you are granting Mittagundi the right to publish these materials in both printed (book) and digital (website) formats and under the following conditions: 

  • The author and/or photographer retain their copyright but licence these rights to Mittagundi for the life of the book including reprints and other formats and for the duration of their presence online.
  • These rights are not exclusive and the copyright owner is free to use these materials at any time and in any form.
  • As the copyright owner of a photograph, you must ensure that you have the permission of any other people who appear in the photograph for it to be used.

Acknowledgement: You will be acknowledged as the copyright holder of these images and as such an attribution will appear in both the book and on the website.


We have a new Director!

The Mittagundi Council is excited to announce that after an extensive search involving some very high calibre applicants, that Phil O’Donnell is our new Director. Phil, along with his wife and family, will take up residence at Mittagundi early in 2018.

Phil comes to Mittagundi with a wealth of management and leadership experience and has a broad, if a little unusual, background compared to some of our past Directors. Phil spent much of his youth rambling around the High Country and rock climbing in the hills around Canberra and Wagga where he grew up and went to university.

Outdoor pursuits took a bit of a back seat for a few years, when life took him to the NT, WA and overseas for work. Recently, wanting to reconnect with the high country and wanting to be a part of an organisation working with Young People, Phil begun volunteering at Mittagundi. This experience had a profound effect on Phil and it planted a seed and highlighted the fact that Phil really wanted to have a deeper connection to Mittagundi. Fortunately for us, Phil applied for the role of Director and was successful in his application after a competitive selection process.

Phil O'Donnell.JPG

Phil looks forward to reinforcing the outstanding work that has been done by Liz Leyshan over the last 4 years. The Council is excited about this new phase for Mittagundi and working Phil to further develop Mittagundi’s Vision of ‘excelling at helping young people finding their purpose and achieve their potential’.


Staff Positions for 2018

Now that Phil has been appointed, the annual task of finding staff that want to be a part of the team at Mittagundi for 2018 has begun in earnest. We need to fill the Program Manager role and five Program Leader roles for 2018 and applications are sought for these roles. A summary of the positions are below, but for more detailed information with respect to the roles and the application process, please go to the Mittagundi website (

Program Manager

We're looking for a skilled outdoor educator with program management skills to join our team in an exciting leadership role. This position is designed for a person with solid outdoor and group leading experience to be a valued part of a professional team delivering unique opportunities for young people and leaders on our classic outdoor programs. The key responsibilities are to support the Director in all program related responsibilities and team management.

We are looking for applicants that have a passion for working with young people in an outdoor education and working farm environment. The position requires a Manager to lead and manage the Program Leader team to assist the learning for our young people. Outdoor adventure activities (bushwalking, xc skiing, rafting and abseiling) and farm based projects (such as feeding animals and gardening) are a pivotal framework of the MG experience. 

Program Leaders

It is a rare chance to be a valued part of a professional team delivering unique opportunities for young people on our classic outdoor programs. Leaders are at the heart of Mittagundi’s large community, they share a purposeful life and experience a year of professional development and personal learning through nationally accredited and in house training, skills and group work.

Like the Program Manager role, we are looking for applicants that have a passion for working with young people in an outdoor education and working farm environment. The position requires staff to lead young people on outdoor adventure activities (bushwalking, xc skiing, rafting and abseiling) and farm based projects (such as feeding animals and gardening).

If you, or someone you know, wants to be a part of an awesome team, working collaboratively towards ensuring that young People have a unique experience in one of the most beautiful parts of Australia, head to the website and get an application in.

Pozible Fundraiser

This year we have a focus on improving our staff accommodation heating facilities. We have set up a Pozible Crowdfunding campaign to try and reach our target of $15 000.  

Up until now the staff have coped with 40 year old heaters that are not efficient and don't keep the staff warm for long. This makes winter an interesting time as the woollen garments are always on and at some point it would be nice to enter our rooms and take off a layer. 

Each year we have a group of young people come back and help us restock our wood shed for the following winter. This program is very appealing to the young people because they know they are helping the future staff have wood for their winter.  Wouldn't it be great for the young people to know the fire wood will go a long way with more efficient heaters? 

You can help us out by donating (and receiving a great Mittagundi reward) via this link

Mittagundi Heating Fundraiser

Jimmy Findlay - Outback Mag Feature Article!

Crafted by hand - Story by Genevieve Barlow, Photo by Matt Miegel

In time-honoured traditions, a small and dedicated crop of craftsmen and women are still creating practical and beautiful objects by hand. Some of these artisans may be the last exponents of their bushcrafts.

In a clearing high on his home block in Victoria’s High Country, Jimmy Findlay approaches a 13-metre, plumb-straight peppermint log with a chainsaw. All around is birdsong, towering trees, grass and the sweet fragrance of spring’s flush. Soon the timber is in five bits. Jimmy swings a pickaroon. It digs into a cut end and sticks there – an instant handle. 

Click here to continue reading . . . . 

2017 Director Announced!!

Liz Leyshan has decided to stay a 4th year as Mittagundi Director!

The future is looking bright at Mittagundi as long staying Director, Liz Leyshan, has taken on the commitment of staying a 4th year as Director at Mittagundi! 

The role is usually a 2 year and occasionally a 3 year term, so Liz's commitment is extra ordinary! Liz said she still had some goals to achieve at Mittagundi before she departed and her passion for improving the place is obvious in everything she does.

Over her term, Liz has overseen a marked improvement in numbers of young people on programs, overseen the restoration of a Winter Hut. Managed to secure new partnerships and funding and successfully maintained existing ones. The future of Mittagundi is in good hands for another year!

Thanks Liz for your commitment!

Beechworth Bush Dance

Check out the article written in the Ovens & Murray Advertiser, June 1st 2016.

YEE-HA: Mike Giblin, Terie and Michael Quealy, Lanie Donaldson and Mareike Borchard were keen to launch into a toe-tapping dance routine at the Mittagundi bush dance.    

YEE-HA: Mike Giblin, Terie and Michael Quealy, Lanie Donaldson and Mareike Borchard were keen to launch into a toe-tapping dance routine at the Mittagundi bush dance.


Mittagundi hoe-down in town hall

BEECHWORTH Memorial Hall was alive on Saturday with bush dancing, a barbecue and auction to raise more than $4500 for Mittagundi alpine youth education camp.

About 150 people attended the dance with toe tapping music supplied by The Remnants, a bush band made up of local musicians.

Mittagundi business manager Claire Peck said the Glen Valley camp off Omeo Highway depended on donations and volunteers to enable it to continue to offer up to 200 North East students opportunities to build bush and self-reliance skills.

“The money will help more people attend the camp and assist with the running costs,” Ms Peck said.

The dance was organised by local volunteers, many of whom have spent time at the camp when young.

Mittagundi offers three programs including a 10-day trek that takes 22 young people accompanied by two Clydesdale horses walking in the high country away from electricity and modern comforts.

There is a winter program teaching snow survival skills, cross country skiing, snow camping, cooking and eating in pioneer huts.

There is also a follow-up program for camp alumni.

AdventurePro Video Film Festival Winners Announced!

AdventurePro Video Film Festival 2016 Winners and the Future?


By AdventurePro
May 4, 2016

 The AdventurePro Video Film Festival 2016 presented by the Australian Camps Association had two premiere screenings on April 30 and May 1 at the Mansfield Armchair Cinemas and it was generally agreed that 2016 is the best so far.

"We had consistently positive feedback from the audience, including sponsors and film makers, and the quality of the entries was better than ever," said Tony Barnett, AdventurePro's Project Manager.

"Thoroughly enjoyed it," said one audience member. "A well deserved overall winner. Great job!"

"I'm super stoked that Australia finally has its own adventure film fest," said one film maker.

"I think it’s a great thing that you are doing for adventure film makers and really appreciate it. It’s got me really excited for next year’s entry," said another.

Although the weekend was a success, audience numbers were down on last year.

"We seem to have been unlucky with the timing of this year's premiere being on the weekend between Anzac Day and Mother's Day," said Mr Barnett.

"A lot of people indicated that they would have liked to come along but needed a weekend at home or had existing commitments."

"That is one of the issues we face by holding the event in Mansfield. Most people feel they need to take a weekend away to attend."

"We will be exploring the option of holding the premiere, or follow up screenings, in Melbourne and possibly other state and territory capitals for future festivals," continued Mr Barnett.

The team at AdventurePro feel that the festival's concept has proven itself over the last three years and that it's now time to re-assess every aspect of how the festival will operate into the future.

"The last three years have seen the birth and first steps of Australia's only family friendly adventure film festival," said Mr Barnett.

"Everyone loves the AdventurePro Video Film Festival and it keeps getting better every year."

"But, as several of this year's audience members noted, it needs to be seen by more people to grow and develop further."

"Not only to spread the positive messages and good feelings being showcased by the short films on offer, but also to secure the event's viability. We need to increase the scale of the festival to further benefit everyone involved."

"But, AdventurePro will need support and assistance from other organisations to make this a reality."

"Which is why we would like to invite anyone with an interest in being involved into the future to contact us. Exciting times and big opportunities lie ahead!" concluded Mr Barnett.

Thanks to the presenter, the Australian Camps Association, along with all the film-makers, adventurers, sponsors, supporters, prize-givers, judges and the audience from everyone at AdventurePro for making the event possible!

And, without further ado, the winners are...

'The Fly Program' by Michael Fardell (
Open Category Winner
* $1,000 CASH prize from AdventurePro!
* gift voucher of $300 value towards a World Expeditions trip!

'Cradle Circuit 2015' by Todd Blackhall
Schools Category Winner
* accommodation to the value of $3,000 from AUSCAMP!
* gift voucher of $300 value towards a World Expeditions trip!

'Agent of Cool' by Simon Madden
The Tin Shed Cider 'Wickedly Enjoyable' Prize --- one dozen 750ml bottles of mixed variety traditionally crafted apple cider OR $150 CASH!

'Re-Establishment' by Lachlan Humphreys
Family Weekend at Howmans Gap Alpine Centre courtesy of YMCA Camping.

'My Snowy Mountains' by Ben Coope
The Mittagundi Prize --- The prize includes a 4 night stay at Mittagundi.

'Skiing South West Tasmania' by Mark Oates
The Cradle Mountain Canyons Prize --- Cradle Mountain Canyons is offering an action packed canyoning tour for two in Dove Canyon with complementary photographs.

'Twenty Fifteen' by David Lennon
Schools Category Runner-Up
CAMPLIST Prize --- CAMPLIST is providing $200 of Outdoor Equipment as well as a tour of the One Planet Factory!

Wild is also providing a 12 month Wild magazine subscription to all finalists, including...

'This Is Queensland' by Matt Raimondo

'Behind the Seen' by Matthew Rott

'SLACK' by Jono Blake

'The Book of Laughter and Forgetting' by Simon Madden

'A Life Beyond the Breakers' by Rodney Pacitti

'Light Therapy' by Riley Blakeway

'Gaula River - bigger than on Google Earth' by Adrian Kiernan

'Grand Canyoneering & Packrafting' by Mark Oates

'XPD' by Paul Gruber

We hope you're already thinking about next year's entry, sponsoring or getting involved with the event and coming along to a screening.

Please keep an eye on the festival website at for festival news and information, including announcements for the event's future coming soon.