top of page



KINGLAKE VIC, February 27 - March 1, 2020

'Becoming Wise'

Merelyn Carter is excited to announce the 2020
Discover - Activate - Soar retreat and workshop
 to be held in Kinglake, Victoria
February 27 - March 1, 2020
Places are strictly limited to 12 residential twin share . 

Join Merelyn Carter on a transformational journey for a happier, healthier, more positive life. Explore understanding perspective and expanding gratitude through workshops and other learning experiences while relaxing and rejuvenating at the stunning Cheeky Fox Retreat.  2020 DAS retreat is about understanding wisdom and how we can become wiser.  As we experience life we can choose to learn, to gain knowledge and wisdom; as we become wiser we cannot help but become more loving and giving and this is what our world needs.  Merelyn would love for you to join her on exploring what wisdom means to us as individuals and collectively, how we can gain more and how we can give more back.



Living a happy, healthy life is about perspective.  Our journey is going to throw all sorts of things at us.  How we deal with those situations is the difference between turmoil and peace.  When we understand that we are all connected and that we can co-create our journey, we can learn and grow; in knowledge, wisdom and peace.

This retreat/workshop is for you if you are:


  • Actively pursuing a healthier, happier, more positive life

  • Willing to commit to a transformational journey discovering what you need to know for your life now and willing to activate change so that you can soar

  • Willing to consciously expand your gratitude to experience more peace and joy

  • Willing to explore and grow wisdom together.

This retreat is a gathering of like minded women joining together to encourage each other to be the best they can be - coming from a centre of love and a knowing that we are all connected.


'What can I say? It was lovely to connect with a group of women who were there to share the experience and who were all a little unsure like me. It wasn't long before were were all chatting, connecting, smiling and laughing as we were walked through the most wonderful moments created by Merelyn Carter and her team. If you need a break from your busy lives like I did and would like to spend some time with a group of wonderful women in beautiful surroundings, I would thoroughly recommend attending the next Discover Activate Soar Retreat. The activities were great, the food was delicious, the accommodation was superb and Merelyn Carter and her team made everyone feel welcome and comfortable for the entire weekend.'  Mary H

'I was so excited to be coming to my first ever retreat in beautiful Kinglake, to relax in a gorgeous holiday home with incredible views, to meet ladies from all over Australia and hear their amazing stories. To hear Merelyn, Vanessa & Sandi so openly and honestly share their life

journey which then helped all of us to share so comfortably and really bond together in empathy, love and encouragement. The

workshops were so informative - Merelyn's way of sharing just helped us drink it all in and take on board what we learnt for our own life journey.' Margie S

'I had an amazing time, still can’t believe the wonderful connection that happened right from the start......I can’t think of one thing that I could suggest you add or change it was perfect!!!!'  Narelle W



Cheeky Fox Retreat offers a private, inspiring country location situated on 50 private acres with spectacular views over the Kinglake Ranges. The Retreat itself is a luxurious six-bedroom home with fabulous features including large communal spaces and cosy wood fire, award winning kitchen, library, 'break-out' spaces for inspiration and a private cinema. 

Outside, guests have exclusive access to a solar heated swimming pool with stunning views and over 2 kilometres of private bush tracks to explore. Cheeky Fox Retreat is also home to some local farm animals, with nightly visits from wombats and of course the occasional Cheeky Fox!


Cheeky Fox Retreat is the perfect place to host our transformational journey.



Merelyn Carter.jpg

Meet Merelyn Carter:  Merelyn describes herself as a student of life, wife, mother, grandmother, storyteller, singer, songwriter, author, poet.


As well as being half of the multi-award winning musical act Carter & Carter, Merelyn also writes books for adults and children, runs Merelyn Carter Blog & Podcast which includes her 'Ordinary Angels' interviews, and sees that her purpose in life is to empower people to 'be the best version of themselves'.  Her focus is on perspective and how a change in outlook can allow people to find their higher path and discover true peace, love and inspiration.

Merelyn has fought and survived both Ash Wednesday and Black Saturday bush fires, negotiated divorce and single motherhood into now 23 years of happy marriage to David, and is currently healing from blood cancer.  She will inspire you to soar even amidst adversity and always live every day to the fullest.


Merelyn is your facilitator and host for the Discover, Activate, Soar weekend retreat and workshop as well as one of the weekend's keynote speakers.  


Meet Vanessa Byrnes: 

Vanessa joins us this year to share more of her journey and how rediscovering the ancient wisdom of our aboriginal people has changed her life.  Vanessa was 'born white, but will die black' as she reclaimed her aboriginal heritage later in life.

Vanessa is the Aboriginal Education Leader, Performing Arts Leader and Agricultural leader at St. Mary of the Angels Secondary College. Vanessa grew up travelling Australia with her shearing contracting father which led her to become a Wool-Classer for 15 years. 

After having two children and buying a farm with her partner (of now 22 years), Vanessa set her sights on a new career and went to University to complete a Bachelor of Education with a Major in Aboriginal Studies and Sport and Recreation, both areas of passion for Vanessa.


Vanessa's other passion is music which has always been in her life including musical theatre, singing and playing the guitar.  Vanessa describes herself as a facilitator, providing opportunities for others to immerse themselves in a variety of experiences and believes it’s never too late to try something new. 


Meet Sandi Pearce: 

Sandi is an educator, public speaker, choir facilitator, music teacher and media advocate who speaks to communities in relation to crimes against women and children. She is mother of three remarkable, creative boys and has survived the death of her middle son. 


Sandi is a singer who has used her skills to make a difference in the lives of grieving parents and women escaping family violence.  She says a large piece of her story encompasses how to continue being with 'what is' and exploring how to be a better version of herself and what that means to herself and those around her. 


She affirms that she strives to continue having the important, uncomfortable conversations, even though she confesses she stumbles often, and that she hopes to leave people she interacts with feeling better for their shared time together.

Currently studying  an Education Training  and Assessment course, Sandi is now taking her advocacy role into corporate spaces to increase the education and facilitate discussions around the often hidden but devastating effects of domestic violence in the workplace as well as the wider community.

She believes that wisdom gained through life experiences should be shared in a positive, life affirming way for the benefit of all.


Ordinary Angel Live Podcast



Introducing Sarah McDonald:  

This remarkable young woman has an amazing story and it is my privilege to interview her live for my Ordinary Angels Podcast.

Sarah was raised in a cult in Thailand before being brought to Australia at age 6.  She was then kidnapped by her father and taken back to the cult.  After 4 years of 'being on the run' with her father, Sarah was finally rescued at age 10 under extraordinary circumstances. .  


It's a dramatic, challenging and very inspiring story. Sarah now has two children of her own, and leads a 'normal' life, but that result might not have come about as you would expect.


You will be inspired and motivated. Despite some of the conditions she was under during her time in the cult and afterwards - this is a story about love and finding yourself - all the while expanding gratitude and gaining wisdom for life.                               

head and shoulders 4.jpg

Meet Jayde Moffatt: 

Jayde combines her multiple hospitality qualifications and experiences, her Batchelor of Science in Microbiology and her passion for delicious, healthy foods to create delectable, unusual super food ice creams and smoothies.  

Cheekily titled 'Molecular Gastronomy' Jayde will delight us with recipes and knowledge sharing on how ice cream is not only fun, but can also incorporate some of the much sought after super food benefits into our dessert diets.  She likes to call herself an 'Ice cream Scientist'!

We will get to sample many varieties and learn how to make them.

This will be a fun session where you can

'Have your Ice Cream and Eat it Too!'

Jayde also creates our High Tea experience - which will delight your senses and leave you feeling pampered.


Meet Karen Ostenried:

Facilitator, singer, operations officer, fitness instructor, medical researcher and holistic change maker. With these many lived experiences usually combining two at a time, Karen has settled into developing people to be the best they can be using horses as the teachers. Horses are the most intuitive instant feedback system you can find. They have survived over millions of years as a prey animal and yet they allow us to interact with them. They can read your heartbeat and see through the stories we tell ourselves.

The magic is in how working with our amazing horses develops your awareness of self and others, often unveiling your hidden knowledge. By taking on some of their full body sensory perception, we can regulate ourselves better allowing our minds, souls and hearts to remain calm and clear.


You will discover how your words, actions and beliefs creates either a beneficial or detrimental outcome; and then understanding the chain reaction, we can create better, stronger and wiser selves. They help you develop presence, listening, mindfulness, empathy, strength and authenticity.


Karen says that she is still learning from horses, each time unearthing another grain of gold. It is not only their sheer body size and power that makes them majestic, it is how they can control every cell 100% of the time.


Meet Angelika Smedley: 

Angelika will demonstrate and share with us her 'Crystal Bowl Family' which come originally from Crystal tones Alchemy singing bowls in Utah, USA. They are all unique and are made of fine quality crystals, metals and minerals.


Relax and be enchanted by the soulful healing tones of the bowls and learn about some of their journey through time.  Followed by a healing meditation session.

Angelika takes her music and meditations to festivals and events around Australia and works with people of all walks of life including the elderly and those who are suffering debilitating illnesses like cancer.

Angelika also combines the creative art of poetry with her bowls and loves to share her passion for peace and healing.




horse 21.jpg

Equine Assisted Learning Program (2020 will be a different program to 2019 - so those returning will have something new too)

EAL is an effective approach to human development that encourages individual and community growth.  EAL has been scientifically proven to be effective, powerful, positive, educational and creative.  No horse skills required, no riding.

Horses don't judge and their feedback is honest and instant.  Every time participants interact, horses will:

* respond to stimulus

* react and demand leadership

* respect rules of the herd

* live in the moment

Balance and Boundaries

Our exciting and innovative workshop will be tailored specifically for the Discover, Activate, Soar participants.  The focus will be on 'Communication' - expanding the awareness of yourself, and your effect on those around you, through the feedback you are getting from your horse - thinking, feeling, doing, which tunes us into mindfulness and purpose.

Don't panic if direct contact with the horse is not for you - this workshop can be enjoyed and experienced from the side of the arena as well as from inside and all participant needs will be considered with kindness and love.

You can find out more about  EAL here.

Have your questions ready or pre send them if you are organised and want to take fullest advantage of our time.  We will give you as many hours as you need of concentrated and practical career and industry information. 

You can call us on a phone or we can chat over the internet, at a mutually agreed time, and you get our full attention for the agreed session and usually a little extra.

Rate per hour is $80 plus GST.

Deposit on booking 50%.  Balance 2 days before appointment or earlier.

The gorgeous Cheeky Fox Retreat Accommodation is twin-share, with a queen-sized bed and a single bed in each of the six bedrooms, serviced by three shared bathrooms.   All sumptuous and healthy meals are provided, including morning and afternoon teas, supper, light lunches and Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening meals.  Please note meals can be tailored to accommodate special dietary needs.  All linen, towels etc. provided.  All you need to do is bring yourself!

Here are the important details:

Date:  Friday 27th February through to Sunday 1st March, 2020.  Plan to arrive Thursday after 4.30pm for evening meal from 6pm.

Travel: You are responsible to get yourselves here.  If you are driving we will of course provide good instructions and if you intend to fly in, please see below.

Transfers:  For those flying in from interstate we will co-ordinate your arrival times on Thursday and collect you in the mini bus to bring you to Kinglake (approx. 70 mins from the airport depending on the time of day) and return you on Sunday evening. 


Payment Plan: 

Cost is $950 inc. GST - Two payments plans are available as shown below

  1.   $550 deposit upon booking.  Then $400 balance two weeks before the retreat starts. 

  2.   $330 deposit upon booking. $330 payment in January. The final $290 payment two weeks before the retreat starts.


Payment can be made via direct deposit (preferred option) to Crestway Music BSB 733044  A/c 500638.  Credit card will be accepted with a small extra fee to cover Pay Pal costs (approx $20 on total amount).  Or you can go old school and send us a cheque! 

Refund Policy:  As you will appreciate to secure the tutors and accommodation, catering etc, we need to be assured of numbers.  For this reason, course fees are not refundable, but if for some extreme reason you cannot attend at the last minute, please let us know and we will discuss options to book you in for a future retreat.  The first $330 of the deposit is not negotiable as we have made a commitment to tutors, accommodation and catering.  Thanks for your understanding.

Need to know more or want to secure your spot?  Call us on 0416 075 638 or 0458 001 961


Contact Us

Register your interest or make an equiry and we will get back to you as soon as possible

Thanks! Message sent. We will be back to you shortly

bottom of page