Maureen Pickstone nee Maureen Mangos (Greek pronunciation Manyos) Great grandfather known as ‘Peter the Greek’ pioneered the Lyell a Gold mining town in New Zealand on the Buller River at Murchison near Nelson after jumping ship from Greece in 1860 The setting in the mountains very similar to our property at the foothills of Mt Samson in Queensland Australia why we called it ‘the Lyell’ Qld.

I am a believer in destiny and that your entire life is mapped out for you from the day you are born. You have to travel through all the milestones of your journey to become the person you are. I am a very private person and have not told my Story publicly before, now I feel the time is right and you need to know my Vision and why I am doing what I need to do.

My life began in a little town on the South Island of New Zealand 87 years ago, my Mother died when I was 13 years old and I had to leave school to housekeep and care for my 4 siblings the youngest 18 months old. I taught myself to cook from my mother’s cookbook and spent my days washing, housecleaning and feeding 2 babies my younger brother was only 12 months older.

I left home at 16 when my Father remarried and I hitchhiked through New Zealand working in the hospitality industry. 1956 at the age of 20 with a girlfriend we decided to venture further to see the world. I was very adventurous and enjoying my freedom. We crossed the Tasman, a very rough journey on the ‘Wanganella’, her last voyage.

We arrived in Sydney where I worked for 7 years- my friend returned to New Zealand. In 1963 I travelled by train on an ‘old rattler’ (as the trains were called in those days.) to Queensland and made the ‘biggest mistake of my life’ married and lived in a domestic violence relationship for 13 years. 60’s/ 70’s society was very different, there was no help, nobody believed you and it just did not happen!!

I divorced my husband – a nervous wreck- living on anti-depressants and worked 2 jobs to provide for my children who I used to tell “ There is no such word as ‘can’t’. If you cannot do something find a way to do it” which they have never forgotten. We survived and soon after a chain of events that happened all in one week led me to meet a kind, caring man I did not know at the time but who was to become my husband in 1981. He and I pooled our resources. We went looking for land in a quiet area for Peace and Quiet. We found 40 acres of Virgin bush at Samsonvale with no power or water and pioneered this land. The Land healed me, I physically worked the land for 2 years – it was a ‘New Beginning’ for my Family. The Land was so beautiful we wanted to do something with it – I knew there were deer in New Zealand but did not know how to bring them into Australia through quarantine. I researched and found there were deer in Queensland and in 1980 we started deer farming with 20 wild red deer trapped from the bush at Toogoolawah and built up to 120 deer our market was breeding stock for new farmers coming into the Industry which began in 1979. I was Secretary of the Queensland Deer Breeders Association for 10 years and pioneered the Deer Leather business starting by purchasing a couple of hides from one of the commercial farmers and ending up buying all the hides in Qld and interstate except for Victoria and Tasmania that had their own markets. It was a very busy time. Des my husband developed the land and we worked very hard.

Maureen feeding a joey. 2009

In 2004 We decided to subdivide the land and open it to the public. I hand-reared a lot of the deer which was very time-consuming. Other residents further away started bringing me the little ‘joeys’ who survived their mothers (kangaroos) being killed on the bush roads. It was a pleasure to nurture them and then release them into our bushland when old enough. (Feeding was initially required 3 hourly, day and night.)
The entrance to 10 acres of this land was down off the road and it felt ‘very special’ as if you were walking into another world cutting our way through the Lantana etc. I knew I had to keep this land ‘no matter what’. ”That is another Story.” In 2008 I formed a ‘not for profit’ Inc. Cultural Organization (KCAI) and with a dedicated committee have fundraised over the years to develop what we have today. Our Cultural Centre was commenced in 2011 and still has work to be done. Problems arose among the Committee –I had no option but to wind it down in 2016.

My Family, in 2018 established a Private ‘not for profit’ Perpetual Foundation. ‘Kupidabin Wilderness Foundation’ and my Vision is to leave this land as a Legacy for future generations for all people to come who need help to restore their quality of life, connect with the land and enjoy the Native Wildlife.

Now I am in my twilight years and we need to complete our facilities to be more people-friendly and have suitable requirements to cater to the needs of disabled children and adults so they are not being disadvantaged by not being able to share the healing energy provided here and I can ‘Rest easy’

A turn in another direction guided by my heart in 2021 I made an application to the ACNC AUSTRALIAN CHARITIES ‘NOT FOR PROFIT’ COMMISSION to Register as a Charitable Perpetual Trust Des and I have donated the land to the Trust so it can never be sold.

We are sponsoring a Program for High School Students with Autism A holistic learning and support centre. Since the Program started 2 years ago in 2020 the Students have shown wonderful improvement in such a safe and quiet environment. It is very rewarding to see these happy smiling faces – they have Mountain Bikes donated and have great fun riding in the bushland. The students were all bullied at Primary school and suicidal -Boys and Girls. They are being taught trade skills to be able to survive in the Adult world after school age.
At weekends and School holidays, we have Men’s Groups and Women’s Wellness – Holistic and Spiritual Groups etc. soaking up the energy of the land and restoring their lives back to Peace and Harmony.
We are setting up a Trust Fund to help promising students further their studies in the future.
Unfortunately, the Government have slashed the funding for these students and after 3 years at Kupidabin have had to go back to school or be mentored at home. KWCT will still support these students as their main Charity as advised to the parents at their Christmas breakup in December 2022.

At this time funds are required to complete our infrastructure before we can build up our Trust Account to help those in need. Your Donation is very much appreciated.
Maureen Pickstone
Kupidabin Wilderness Charitable Trust
0402 092 741

I am currently writing my memoirs for my family filling in all the gaps over my 87 years. Will take a while!!! The struggle I had to survive and support my family. Every turn we made over the years since I was guided to this land – there was always someone coming to help when the going was tough –you just have to be strong and not give up. The Ancestors of the land are watching over us and the Land healed me. But that is another story too.!! I am happy the Land will always be here for others to find their way back to a happy sustainable life.

Maureen’s Story “The Gathering” at Inspireflix

Maureen’s Profile

BORN IN TIMARU – South Island of New Zealand.
Educated at the Sacred Heart Covent in Timaru
Travelled extensively North and South Islands of N.Z.
For 4 years in The Hospitality Industry.
Left N.Z. for Sydney Australia 1956 on the last voyage of the Wanganella.
Moved to Queensland 1965
First woman in Queensland to successfully invade the male dominated Profession of Real Estate.
Founding Committee Member of Pine Rivers Tourism active for 17 years until amalgamation of the Shires with Moreton Bay Regional Council.
Founding Committee Member Dayboro Tourism Association.
Charter Member Zonta Club of Pine Rivers.
President Zonta Club of Pine Rivers. 1998 – 2001
Pioneer of the Deer Leather Industry in Queensland 1992.
Secretary Queensland Deer Breeders Association 10 years.
Secretary Queensland Deer Breeders Cooperative 3 years.
Founder Kupidabin Cultural Association Inc.2007.
Secretary Kupidabin Cultural Association Inc from 2007 – -2016
Foundation Member Australian Council of Thirteen Grandmothers 2012.
Co-Founder with her husband Des Kupidabin Wilderness Charitable Trust 2021.
My Skills would be in Administration and Organization.
My Aim – To raise sufficient funds to complete the Building of ‘The Four Winds
Cultural Centre and surrounds and establish a strong Foundation Committee to put in place the format to continue the goals of Kupidabin Wilderness Charitable Trust for the Future Generations.

Contact Details: Mobile. 04020 92741

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