Wooglemai Environmental Education Centre is located on the eastern edge of Nattai National Park which is a part of the World Heritage Listed Greater Blue Mountains National Park. Wooglemai is located on Sheehys Creek Road (just off Barkers Lodge Road), approximately 7 kilometres south of the township of Oakdale.
The centre is a NSW Department of Education Public School and one of 25 Environmental and Zoo Education Centres in NSW. It is the only residential Environmental Education Centre in the South West Sydney Region.
The site is owned by Guntawang Catholic Youth Centres Inc and is leased by the NSW Department of Education.
The traditional custodians of this site and surrounding areas were the Gundungurra and the Dharawal people. The centre takes its name from a Gundungurra man, Wooglemai, who appears in the 1802 diaries of the explorer Francis Barrallier.
Staffing and Operations
Our staff are:
- Principal – Luke Willcocks 0429567793
- Teacher – Karen Sitkowski
- School Administrative Manager – Karen Dalli
All staff are First Aid, CPR and Anaphylaxis trained.
Wooglemai Environmental Education Centre is dedicated to providing meaningful environmental education experiences to school age children. The centre's programs aim to involve students in as much "hands on" activity in a natural setting as possible, allowing them to gain a real appreciation of and concern for the environment. We aim to improve the sustainability of schools and assist students to become active environmental citizens.
Flyers and electronic promotional materials are sent regularly to schools through "SchoolBiz" and via school email accounts to advertise our services and give schools the opportunity to book the centre. Schools may contact the Centre at any time during school hours with enquiries regarding our programs or our operations. Our phone number is (02) 46809483. In an emergency call Luke Willcocks on 0429567793.
Bookings will be taken at any time throughout the year. See our "Book" tab.
Wooglemai Staff Role
Wooglemai staff will develop a program of study/ activity based on school requests. When schools arrive at the EEC the Wooglemai staff will run a short orientation session, settle students into the EEC facilities and run all teaching programs.
Visiting Teacher’s Role While at Wooglemai
Teachers visiting Wooglemai EEC enjoy their stay immensely because it provides a time for relaxing interaction with their students away from the classroom. Wooglemai staff work cooperatively with visiting teachers to provide the best experiences possible. Visiting teachers are required to take on a supervisory role, assisting EEC teachers at all activity sessions.
Evening Activities at Camp
Visiting school staff are responsible for activities after Wooglemai Staff leave the site (usually around 5pm). These could take the form of a talent quest, trivia contest torch light treasure hunt or singing around the campfire (winter). We have some powerful spotlights available on request for a night bushwalk.
Risk Assessments for all activities at Wooglemai are available in the “Resources” section on our home page.
Wet or extreme Weather
At Wooglemai most of the activity takes place outdoors. Extreme weather might sometimes mean it is necessary to postpone or in some cases cancel. We like to negotiate this in advance rather than at the last minute. If the weather is looking threatening for your allocated camp time you are advised to check with us by calling the Wooglemai office at least a day before your excursion. We reserve the right to cancel excursions during storms, bushfire or other extreme weather conditions based on student and staff welfare concerns.
A camp marches on its stomach. Enthusiasm, cooperation and enjoyment of a camping experience in young campers are often directly related to their energy levels. It is recommended that students bring their own morning tea and lunch for the first day of a camp and for day-only visits. This lowers costs greatly. Schools must organise their own menu and meals (using parent helpers) or you may wish to appoint a caterer. Wooglemai takes no part in the organisation of food for camps. A few local organisations we think are worth contacting are:
- Lana Sokolsky 0409 909 381 or at firstname.lastname@example.org Lana is new to our organisation but is quickly becoming a favourite because the quality of food provided and value are both excellent. She will take all the hasssle out of feeding your students by preparing delicious food and serving it for you. Lana provides a full range of catering options.
- Royal Char-grilled Chickens at The Oaks has long been a favourite of our camping schools. They provide quality chicken, seafood, a wide variety of quality salads, chips, etc at very reasonable prices (but they do not deliver). They can be contacted on phone 4657 2300
- Reggies Pizza (at The Oaks) will deliver quality pizzas at a reasonable cost. Phone: 4657 2208
Alternately you might have reliable parent helpers shop and cook for students.
Wooglemai EEC is dedicated to protecting the integrity of our environment. We would ask that when purchasing food items and organising the students morning tea and lunch items (day 1) that packaging be minimised. PLEASE DO NOT bring disposable cups, plates, cutlery, etc. Choose alternatives to lollipops, poppas and other heavily packaged goods and treats. These are unsustainably packaged and also a great threat to our local native wildlife.
Parent Helpers on Camp
Parents are great helpers to have on camp. They assist with organisation, supervision, cooking and organised activities at the centre. We recommend 2 – 4 well chosen parents accompany a group of 40 students. More than this number can be counter-productive.
A medication/allergy form (provided by your school) should be filled in for each child. Any medication a child requires must be labelled and preferably self-administered. (e.g. Ventolin). Anaphylactic students must bring their Anaphylaxis action plan and epipen in a personal carry bag. Medical emergencies can spoil the best camp.
Great variation in bus pricing exists from company to company – so shop around! It is a good idea to ask the company that you decide on to e-mail you a written quote including times of arrival and departure. This is important as it allows camp organisation / timing to run more smoothly. It is also a good idea to make sure the company you choose knows how to get to the Wooglemai site.
We recommend the following companies as they are reliable, know how to get to Wooglemai and are willing to work around your timing.
AL TOURS – Contact Andy or Margaret on 0247 734 150 or 0415 268 447
ASF TOURS – Contact Ali or Shirley on 9618 0786 or 0411 152 534