Past Young Person Finalist in Music Award

After uploading her original song to the competition Sarah May is up for a $30000 prize pack to kickstart her musical career!

Sarah May is now in the TOP 12 in the Bank of Melbourne Music Competition, selected down from 500 applicants!

Sarah May came has been to Mittagundi 4 times and her song "Trapped" emerged after growing and developing here at Mittagundi.

Check out her song Trapped here

Voting has begun for the top 4 finalists! You can show Sarah your support  by registering your vote below . . . 

Good luck, Sarah May 

Mittagundi Country Bush Dance a jigging success!

A BEECHWORTH bush dance has raised $20,000 for a youth education camp.

Mittagundi, in the Glen Valley area on the Omeo Highway, assists about 200 North East students a year.

About 350 people attended the first Mittagundi dance at Beechworth Memorial Hall.

Mittagundi spokesman Matt Grogan said people came from as far away as Melbourne for the dance.

“Mittagundi runs on donations and volunteers,” Mr Grogan said.

“That amount of money exceeded all our expectations. It will help more people attend the camp and help with the running costs.”

He said the event, organised by Denis Ginnivan, “went off” with a bush barbecue dinner, much dancing and music, an auction and “some wonderful speeches of appreciation”.

Read full article here and see photos

Mittagundi mountain experience opened Olivia's eyes

Border Mail Article - May 23rd, 2015

WITH each swing of her axe, Olivia Worrell hacked further into the wood that would be used to fuel the fire for warmth on her first night isolated from society.

It was hard work for the 15-year-old from Wodonga who helped stack the pieces into an old wheelbarrow.

She remembers it began to snow that night; she stood there with her head tilted back and stared at the sky in amazement.

Olivia, now 18, had no phone, no power and no running water at the time, but she was happy being in a world away from the technology and Facebook which consume today’s youth.

“I wish so many times that I could go back,” she said.

Summer Newsletter

View complete version of newsletter here


9th & 10th January 2015

Friday Jan 9th kickstarts the events with a Bush Dance followed by our Open Day with demonstrators showcasing pioneering skills.

Come play traditional games with us and buy something from our auction. 


Director's Report

Spring is done and summer is here! – as the saying goes “another one bites the dust”. Can ya sing it? Louder! But we “can’t stop the music” and Mittagundi has a lot of it as the Noisy Camp attracts young people to the banks of the mighty Mitta Mitta! So we keep rolling out our sleeping bags and socialising with a great bunch of kids. 

I just love watching the staff work with these young people – growing confidence, skills and patience. So in my sadness to let the staff team of 2014 go, I would like to say “Thank you Sandon, Aly, Jesse, Claire, Toby and Michael,” your contribution to Mittagundi has been extraordinary. Not only has the team devoured the year with learning and fun, they have also followed my visions and values all the way through. They have continued to clean up the property from winter storms, look after the animals, build toilets and fences, revamp the garden, make stuff, while providing quality programs. I wish the team the best of happiness and recommend a holiday before working or studying hard. (The staff’s reflections have been added to this newsletter). I do get to keep two other staff we employed during Spring - Claire Peck (Business Manager ) and Sal Kimber (Communications Officer). Together we have been Spring cleaning our marketing materials and developing action plans. SO! Watch out 2015 here we come with renewed energy and purpose. Our vision is to accelerate our bookings and get out there talking about Mittagundi. If you are involved with groups, education institutions, service clubs, schools and youth groups, we would love to talk to your group about what we do. Another interesting opportunity for all you lot out there wanting to help fundraise or support Mittagundi . . . we are creating Mates of Mittagundi. Yep MOM! Because Mom’s support what we do right? You will need to register with Sal Kimber when we have our systems ready to run. 

Click here to keep reading

Mittagundi featured in Weekly Times!

(click here to see article by Sarah Hudson, or read below)

THERE’S no power, no technology, no mirrors and no watches allowed, yet teenagers willingly apply to stay.

Welcome to Mittagundi, a 160ha not-for-profit farm and outdoor education centre at Glen Valley, in Victoria’s remote High Country.


And according to director Liz Leyshan, the centre is all about changing young people’s lives.

“There are plenty of kids who don’t want to come here when they find out there’s no electricity,” Liz says. “But those who do come do so because they want to challenge themselves.

“When they come here they are given an experience that connects them with a simpler way of living and with a group of peers.”

Mittagundi was established in 1978 by Ian Stapleton, who is now retired in Harrietville, but at the time worked for adventure organisation Outward Bound and later Geelong Grammar’s Timbertop.

He later added another property in 1989, Wollangarra, at Glenfalloch near Licola, which is today run along similar lines to its sister centre, Mittagundi.

“Ian realised a lot of rich kids had experiences of being in the outdoors and he wanted to create a place for those who came from a low socio-economic status,” Liz says.

So today Mittagundi — like Wollangarra — is run for kids aged 14 to 17, some of whom pay the $425 fee to stay in the rustic quarters, manage the farm animals and take part in outdoor activities.

Throughout the year the centre runs ten 10-day programs, starting out with a two-day hike from Falls Creek to the 160ha property.

What follows is a combination of activities, including milking the cows, feeding the pigs, chooks and horses, working in the blacksmith forge and in the woodworking joinery, as well as abseiling, rafting on the Mitta Mitta River and hiking around the foothills of the Bogong high plains.

“Because we don’t have watches, we use the sun for our activities, getting up at dawn, eating at dusk,” the 40-year-old says.

“And with no mirrors here, it’s OK for them to get dirty. It’s all about fostering self-confidence and independence.”

Mittagundi runs largely on donations and sponsorship and is managed by a staff of seven, who are paid an honoraria of $6000 a year.

Spring Newsletter

Wow what a Winter! Snow down to 500m’s at times, multiple severe frosts, cold days, some warm days, clear days and windy days. Yep! Its Winter in the Valley and the wood is burning fast. Since our last newsletter in April we have had an Alpine Walk lead by Foss and Casey with 10 students from Wollangarra and Mittagundi. We would like to thank them for completing this epic walk and the fundraising is much appreciated. After finishing a couple of programs over the Easter holidays we helped Tess and Graeme Payne host the first ever ‘DO Lectures’ in Australia. Much is to be said about this event. It was an inspiring event and we made some new friends and opportunities for Mittagundi. In May we had a mix of programs, planning for winter jobs and cleaning up around the property.

David Gibbs has been very keen to have a Mittagundi Dinner in Melbourne and this year in May we launched the new Mittagundi promotional video at this dinner, it was attended by about 40 supporters. It was such as success, the plan is to have a Melbourne dinner each year. David has announced his resignation to the MG Council. David has been on the Council for over 30years and has made a valuable contribution to Mittagundi – thank you David! Fortunately, David will still be in his role this year.  With such a long history of supporting MG, I think Gibbsy will continue to keep an eye on what is happening and support us as needed.... Read more


The City Bushdance

An evening of bush dancing in the city, at the special location of Fitzroy Town Hall.

Put on your best boots and learn to dance the drongo, strip the willow and the old heel and toe.

A Bush band will lead two 1 hour bush dance sets and Friends With Lights Djs will round the evening off with an hour of disco.

A fundraising event with all profits being passed on to the two sister Outdoor Education organisations Mittagundi and Wollangarra.

Buy tickets here

Autumn Newsletter 2014

Meet the Team

From L to R: Jesse, Ally, Liz, Claire, Toby, Sandon and Michael

From L to R: Jesse, Ally, Liz, Claire, Toby, Sandon and Michael

With fresh, energy and enthusiasm they are whipping the place into a land of Fun and Adventures, ready to welcome the talented teens Nationwide. Come up and meet them and enjoy a 'tea with a view'. 

Read more about them here. 

Photo courtesy of Kev McGennan

Photo courtesy of Kev McGennan

Mittagundi Dinner

On the evening of Wednesday 14th May, we're hosting what we are fondly calling a "Gala Dinner." Really, it is just an opportunity to gather all those that have shown support for Mittagundi over the many years as well as an opportunity to launch the short film that we have been working on. It will be a delicious 3 course meal with beverages @$75 per person, located at the West Brighton Club, Melbourne. Please get in touch and come along with your friends or loved ones. 678 818

Have you been to Mittagundi? 

If you have, then you know what it is all about. Mittagundi was "built by young people for young people," that means to keep it going it takes those willing young people who feel like they have gained something from their time there to spread the love and get others involved. We're not a big organisation in size, but we are big in the experiences we want to share and we need you to help us do just that.

Do you remember the game 'Stuck in the Mud' - it's kind of like that, with less mud and instead an incredible place in the mountains that needs young people to keep it young. If you have other ideas or just want to get involved - We really want to hear from you -

Haven't finished reading yet and want to know all the news Download the full pdf version of the newsletter here.