Home of Mette's Institute

High Spirits Retreat

About Mette, her institute, teaching model, vision and passion

All Courses at Mette’s Institute follow many of the principles of the Danish Folkehøjskole (Danish folk high schools). The Danish Folkehøjskole reflects Mette’s own danish cultural origins and family upbringing.

The Folkehøjskole is the single most original contribution Denmark has made to international thinking about popular education. The most important thing about a Folkehøjskole is not its appearance but the atmosphere. The task is to create “a climate where culture is a reality”.

At the Folkehøjskole you are not awarded marks or grades, or provided specific vocational training. The principal task is to educate students for life – in other words to shed light on some of the basic questions surrounding life for people in Denmark today, both as individuals and as members of society.

All the Folkehøjskoler are residential. You sleep, eat, study and spend your spare time at the school. Life at the school becomes daily life. The students and teachers live together for such long periods of time that one is forced to become visible as a person; one cannot hide behind an assumed role.

Mette was born in Denmark in 1965, and knew she ‘loved touching people’ when she began massaging people’s feet. At the young age of only 14, Mette obtained a certificate as a gymnastics instructor and began teaching ‘creative dance gymnastics’.

Mette’s grandparents played a significant role in her spiritual life. Hulda, her paternal grandmother, passed on songs and prayers. Karen, her maternal grandmother, passed on a sense of unconditional love and support. Healing with natural remedies was a natural part of life and a close community spirit was always present in Mette’s learning environment.

As an au pair in 1983, she began teaching movement through games to people of all ages in a little village in Switzerland. Back in Denmark, she knew she was good at teaching and got tremendous energy from seeing people gain confidence and clarity about their lives, and her passion for movement, music, communication, drama and alternative remedies saw her in 1987 get a job teaching unemployed adults, many of whom soon got jobs.

Mette obtained a teaching degree in 1989, based on the traditions and philosophy of the Danish Folkehøjskole. Grundtvig’ the father of the folk school concept, is one of Denmark’s most influential thinkers, whose fundamental educational idea, says Mette, ‘is that love generates understanding and insight’. He found a way to remind us, with brilliant simplicity, of something we all know – something that we will all be able to accept if only we let our heart speak.

Mette’s teaching is based on Grundtvig’s model, which encourages the individual to blossom positively in community and supports the growth of the human being in body, mind and spirit.

In 1994, at 29, she and her husband Jorgen, ‘with a suitcase, a massage table and a dream’ migrated to Australia to found Mette’s Institute in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland in Queensland at her “High Spirits” retreat. She travelled Australia and the world teaching KaHuna massage and bodywork.

Already in 1994 Mette started facilitating live-in courses, and Mette’s Institute now offers a range of live in programs at High Spirits Retreat including KaHuna Bodywork, Leadership and Facilitation Training and Spirit of Woman Retreats. In 2016 Mette’s Institute opened the doors to “Tivoli Retreat” which offers rejuvenation and detox retreats and in 2017 the Institute opened the KaHunaHub massage clinic in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

Her passion is helping people be better versions of themselves at work, home and in their communities. Her joy is connecting with people from all walks of life and being part of community. Mette believes that community spirit is built by being together in unity where everyone has the opportunity and is invited to participate in a positive way, adding their own individual flavour and contributing so that everyone’s sense of well-being and belonging is enhanced.

As a result of Mette’s teachings, thousands of people are shining the light of Aloha (love) into the hearts of their families, friends, colleagues and communities. Many of Mette’s students are using the games, activities and processes that form part of her programs to create positive change in their surroundings. Some students have opened bodywork and healing clinics and all are spreading the positive teachings of Aloha/ love.

Mette’s loves laughing, moving, music, being in nature, touching people’s bodies, hearts and souls, and being part of a global tribe with the same vision and mission for world peace.

An impression of High Spirits Retreat

High Spirits Retreat, the home of Mette’s Institute, is set in the lush rolling hills of the subtropical Noosa hinterland and offers uninterrupted views to the beautiful rolling green hills. It has been designed for absolute privacy in mind. With endless views, it is the perfect location for your personal journey.

With its modern training hall, heated salt-water pool, spa, sauna and comfortable inviting accommodation it offers a very private and nurturing environment in which each individual is allowed to safely travel on their personal journey.

We acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of all the lands in which we work and pay respect to all Elders past, present and future, and their people, culture, and history. In Australia, we honour that this is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land and thank them for the care they have given this land for thousands of years.