A University of Queensland camp learns about Indigenous culture at the Mimburi bush campus of NDSHS.
A University of Queensland camp learns about Indigenous culture at the Mimburi bush campus of NDSHS.

Learning to be bush smart in Belli Creek

As Australia and most of the world went into a COVID-19 lockdown, the enterprising brains trust behind one of Noosa’s most intriguing educational hubs put the down time to good use.

Now Noosa District High School’s Mimburi Campus outdoor centre has seen an extension to its “flexible learning zone” thanks to $30,000 three-year commitment from the Cooroy and Pomona Bendigo Bank branches.

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Head of campus Michael Small said the initial injection of sponsorship to Mimburi has seen the construction of “Bendigo Bluff Community Deck”.

“With the COVID-19 restrictions coming into place towards the end of Term 1 this year our Mimburi staff shifted focus from working directly with visiting students and groups towards these major facilities projects such as the new deck,” Mr Small said.

“The construction of this beautiful and large timber deck behind our top shed substantially increases the flexible learning zones available at Mimburi and provides an expansive view toward the western side of the property and beyond to Kenilworth Bluff.

The new deck has opened up new opportunities for Mimburi.
The new deck has opened up new opportunities for Mimburi.

“Their funding and generous support allowed us to continue with the theme of best practice that Mimburi has and source material from local mills to match the existing timbers and raw poles of the existing structure and keep with the rustic aesthetic of Mimburi,” he said.

Bendigo board members Toby Bicknell, David Green and Tony Freemen alongside Pomona branch manager Sam Atholwood christened the new deck with billy tea and damper around a campfire with teacher Andrew Mahony and caretaker Stan Chandler.

Already the education centre has carved out a rich history since 2016 the school acquired the property as a result of the failed Traveston Crossing Dam project.

Located in Belli Park, this working cattle station is about 120 hectares of rolling hills bordered on the south by Belli Creek, and to the west by the Mary River.

A map of the NDSHS property that is opening new education adventures for students.
A map of the NDSHS property that is opening new education adventures for students.

Mimburi is an extension of the NDSHS’s agricultural program which promotes environmentally sustainable practices and is home to an Indigenous bora ring and scarred trees.

The campus offers learning programs for outside groups as well as others schools with a capacity for up to 60 people for overnight camping on tent platforms.

Camp stays have included students corporate clients and university teams who can engage on a range of activities from mountain biking, archery on the local range, survival skills and raft building for try outs on the Mary River.

“This project would not have been possible without the financial support of our local Bendigo Bank Branches at Cooroy and Pomona,” Mr Small said.

School guidance officer Josh Fuller told these guests the campus has hosted NDSHS’s Young Adults Becoming Better Australians with Mimburi helping to achieve some “great outcomes for our young men” in recent years.