Take a tour of the garden; walk the labyrinth; play cricket; sit under one of the cedar trees on the croquet lawn and listen to wandering minstrels; play tennis on the newly renovated lawn-court; do some Qigong on the lower front lawn. Or come inside the house itself and practice writing Sanskrit or life-drawing or handwork; attend a short talk, listen to poetry or simply rest your feet.

These are just a few of the things happening in the house and gardens from 2.00pm until 5.30pm.

A delicious afternoon tea will be served between 4pm – 5pm.


Entry $15 per adult, $5 per child


For activities marked ‘Registration is Essential‘ simply complete the questions at the end of the Bookings page. Your ticket will have the details of your registration for as many of these activities as you choose.

Tennis - registration is essential

Anyone for Tennis?

We are encouraging all who are interested in playing some tennis while to sign up here by October 15th. And we, The Tennis Committee, will organise games based upon how many sign up. Arrangements are not formalised quite yet, so stay tuned, but we are hoping for a junior tournament and a senior tournament on the day with trophies awarded in both categories. Juniors are 16 years and under and Seniors are 17 years and older. Because of the time constraints we do not expect to play sets but a modified points system. Don’t worry about your standard of play. All are welcome to have a go.


Cricket ~ Croquet Lawn 

Join a game of family cricket, everyone welcome.

Session Times

2.00 – 2.45

4.10 – 4.55

Maypole Dance

Maypole Dance ~ Front Lawn – 2.10

A form of traditional English and European folk dancing, which has mystical undertones. It was originally danced with ribbons on 1st May around a tree to celebrate the intertwining of the forces of Nature and the patterns of Life with produce the abundance of the coming Summer. The John Colet Maypole Dancers will offer three simple Maypole Dances.

Wandering Minstrels

Wandering Minstrels

Listen for the sound of our wandering minstrels, moving through the gardens and house throughout the afternoon. The choir which comes from the Central Coast is called The Companions.

Bush Poetry

Bush Balladeer

Keep a lookout for your bush balladeer as he roams from time to time through outback Mahratta. He’ll be the one with the old Drizabone and Akubra. Gather round and be regaled with your favourite tall tales from the bush.

A culture’s poetry is its soul. The Australian bush ballad represents a side of Australia which city folk all too often miss: the rhythm, humour and tragedy of life in the bush.

Qigong - registration is essential

Qigong ~ East front lawn

Similar to Tai Chi, but less complex and easier to perform, Shibashi  movements are based on the refined essence and basic principles of Tai Chi. Using the same mindful attention on the movements of the body, they increase the circulation of energy (chi) throughout all the physical systems of the body as well as brightening the mind in a gentle and enjoyable way.

Enjoy a relaxing realignment of body and mind during the Gala Garden Party. There are two sessions on offer, both conducted by Tana Proft. Book the time that suits you best.

Session Times




The Labyrinth - registration is essential

Walking the Labyrinth ~ Croquet lawn

The Labyrinth on the Croquet Lawn will be available for a meditative walk. Come and enjoy this opportunity to walk this ancient pattern of paths. There is a worldwide interest in walking labyrinths as a way of quieting the mind. Many people have experienced stress reduction, increased creativity and healing.

Session Times



Treasure Hunt - registration is essential

Treasure Hunt ~ meet at the 50th Anniversary Plaque 

Would you like to try a little orienteering?  We have 3 different courses available for you to try here in the grounds of Mahrata .  Ranging from the quite simple and suitable for beginners and younger children to the more complex for older children. You may wish to try all the courses and see how quickly you can solve them.  So come along, take your map and set off to find the clues and solve the puzzle.

Session Time

2.55 – 3.15

John Colet Choir

John Colet Choir ~ On stage 3.35 – 3.45

The John Colet Choir is a selected group of 30 children aged 9-12 years, under the leadership of Michaela Miles, Choir Mistress. They will sing two Handel pieces: one from the Oratorio “Solomon” and one from “Judas Maccabeus”. They will also sing a composition by Purcell and a traditional Irish Blessing.

School Leader's Address

School Leader’s Address ~ On stage 3.45 – 4.00

Cake Cutting

Cake Cutting ~ On stage 4.00


Love’s Labour’s Won ~ On Stage
Fifty years ago we opened our doors to lovers of Philosophy. Four hundred years earlier Shakespeare shone his light on a band of misguided philosophers pursuing fame. Presenting an adaptation of his spirited early work, Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Can any philosopher in the world teach such beauty as a woman’s eye?

Session Times



Flower Arranging - registration is essential

Flower Arranging

A practical demonstration of flower arranging using Mahratta house as inspiration for various centrepieces, arrangements and simple floral displays.

Session Times



John Colet Recorder Consort

John Colet Recorder Consort ~ In the House

A small recorder consort will play in three parts with descant, treble and tenor recorders. They will perform several Baroque pieces.

Session Times

2.40 – Main Foyer

4.30 – Stage

Garden Tour

Garden Tour ~ Meet at the 5th Anniversary Plaque

Join our Garden Guru, David Hogan, on a brief tour of the magnificent 1.6 hectares garden designed by Paul Sorenson.

Session Times

2.10 – 2.40

4.10 4.40

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea ~ 4.00 – 5.00

A delicious afternoon tea will be served after the Leader’s address and cake cutting. It will be served for one hour between 4pm & 5pm.


Information Stand - School of Practical Philosophy and John Colet School

Information Stand 

On arrival, everyone will be given a map of the property showing the site of all activities and their times. Members of the Boards of both the School of Practical Philosophy and of John Colet School will be there to welcome all guests to the event and to answer any questions about either school. This will also be the place for any first aid assistance.

Sanskrit Display

Celebration of Sanskrit ~ Breakfast Room

Experience something of the beauty of Sanskrit, meet students dedicated to the study of Sanskrit. Listen to the chanting of Sanskrit prayers and experience the rhythm and precision of it’s sound. Or be shown how to write a letter, word or mantra in Devanāgarī (Divine City Writing) Script. Be introduced to the ancient language of the Upanisads and Bhagavad Gītā and learn everyday expressions and yoga terminology.

Handwork Display

Handwork Display ~ Assembly Room

Selected pieces of weaving, tapestry, needlework, crochet and lacework together with exquisite examples of gold work, bobbin lace and embroidery in the Assisi style will be on display.

These beautiful pieces, interspersed with excerpts from interviews with their makers, highlight the refined attention, endeavour and dedication necessary to produce such work. The display also includes handwork in progress and demonstrations of techniques used.

This is the first time this fine collection has been on show to the public and represents a unique opportunity to view these timeless pieces of art.

Calligraphy Display

Calligraphy Display ~ Dining Room

The Art of Calligraphy offers an effective practice to come to stillness. It only takes some attention and a little mindful practice to write beautifully.

Photographic History Display

Photographic History of the School ~ Oval Room

A continuous loop of photos showing examples of the application of Practical Philosophy over the years from the building of Mount Wilson to stitching a sampler – a treasure trove of history.

Oral History - Interviews with Students

Interviews, Stories in Practical Philosophy ~ Library

As part of recognising many years of devotion and study in practical philosophy, a number of students have been interviewed to share their stories and journeys of self development. These ongoing interviews are not only providing an archival record of events and activities but giving an insight and example that may inspire future generations of students seeking a philosophical path.

John Colet School Display

John Colet School Display ~ Music Room

John Colet School is a multi-faith co-educational infants and primary school which was founded in 1985, in a terrace house in North Sydney, by men and women studying together at the School of Practical Philosophy in Sydney.

The school motto is Testare De Illa Luce – latin for Bear Witness of That Light. It is the aim of the school to nurture the light of intelligence, love and truth which is the birthright of every child. We therefore seek not only to provide a thorough and sound education, but also to build character, and to give the children a strong philosophy of life and an understanding that service, truthfulness and consideration for others lead to a happy, fulfilled and effective life.


Artwork Display ~ Sun Room

Watch art in the making or you could join us and engage in the creative process yourself. Enjoy the simple act of drawing.


Publications ~ Loggia

A range of books published by students of the Australian schools of Practical Philosophy will be available for purchase.  The latest publication “Reflection on Brahman” will be officially launched at 5.30. Everyone is invited.


Click on the image below to be taken to the registration page where you can choose your activities, add your details and register for the event.