Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, NSW

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is an ultra-luxury conservation-based resort located 2.5 hours’ drive from Sydney and situated within the World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains region. Set on a private 7,000 acre carbon-neutral conservation and wildlife reserve, the secluded resort intertwines ultra-luxury and comfort with a quintessentially Australian rugged bush experience.

Much awarded, the resort has built its success upon operating at the highest level of environmental credibility and integrity. The philosophy centres on creating a delicate balance between growth and preservation and this is achieved across all aspects of operations, including sourcing food regionally, supporting local crafts people and is proudly certified as carbon neutral each year since opening in 2009. Protecting the natural environment and conservation of native wildlife is also central to the resort’s vision.

The former grazing property is now being actively managed for biodiversity conservation outcomes. Historically, the property experienced heavy grazing of livestock, widespread clearing of vegetation and significant erosion damage to waterways. Routine conservation work includes revegetation of wildlife habitat and stream banks as well as an on-going program aimed at controlling feral predators and invasive noxious plant species.

The resort is deeply committed to the protection of native wildlife and a major focus for 2015 and 2016 is directed towards the eradication of Sarcoptic mange, a condition with potential to threaten the survival of Australia’s native wombats. Guests are actively involved in the conservation work conducted and the resort works closely with numerous government, community and educational organisations to achieve our conservation objectives.

Allen Riseley, VIC

Landcare Coordinator, Sport Coordinator and Community Break-out team member, teacher Allen Riseley is a busy man fostering the growth of Mirboo North Secondary College’s students and trees!

Allen Riseley set out with a vision to supply cost price trees to those who couldn’t afford to plant trees on their land. His goal was to teach students how to take a tree from seed to forest- propagate, grow, then plant on the farm and run the operation as a business.

Allen partnered with Mirboo/Mardan Landcare Group to provide 10,000 trees to a koala habitat project. This was the catalyst for the growth of MNSC Enviro Team and Landcare Cadets program. Through mass tubing out sessions led by Allen, students were able to hone their skills and efficiency over time and Allen secured further contracts with South Gippsland Water and private land holders.

All money raised from the sale of the trees is being spent on student driven initiatives within the Mirboo North Secondary College. The environment, students involved, and landholders all receive great benefits from the project and they are the main stakeholders involved in the project.