Lucy Vardy works at Wollangarra, an independent, non-profit, outdoor education project established with the belief that young people and mountains are natural partners – with a great deal to offer each other. The pioneer-style homestead, which serves as the base camp, is situated on a small, remote river flat of the Macalister River, half way between the towns of Heyfield and Licola.

Wollangarra is a unique and simple place. It has no electricity, is accessed by flying fox and has been built by hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers using second hand and recycled materials. Nearly 2,000 old railway sleepers were used in the construction. It allows young people the opportunity to discover the heart of Victoria’s high country in small, well-organised and supervised hiking groups, and shows them practical and important ways in which they can help the environment.

Through outdoor education, Wollangarra aims to provide a small but vital step towards a healthier environment, a stronger community and happier young people. They believe that by ‘doing’ rather than ‘talking’, and ‘fixing’ rather than ‘complaining’, they can help young people to see environmental issues as exciting and demanding challenges to the way we live, rather than as endlessly depressing and negative threats to our future.

Wollangarra is run by a voluntary council of 15 people as a non-profit association independent of any school, religion or government funding.

A recent communication from Lucy (July 2008):

Dear Wilderness Wear

What a delight it was to receive the huge parcel you sent to us. How can I even begin to thank Wilderness Wear’s generosity? It is so wonderful to have all those thermals and socks donated. They will keep our young participants warm in the mountains for many years to come. Wollongarra is incredibly lucky to be supported by many great people like yourselves. Without your support it wouldn’t exist. So, thank you so much from all of the Wollongarra Crew and the many young people who will visit us in the future.

Best regards

Lucy Vardy