Rachael died after having a drink at a health retreat. The wellness centre has just responded.

More details are emerging after a woman died from consuming a drink at a retreat in regional Victoria.

The woman, now identified as 53-year-old Rachael Dixon, died at Soul Barn Creative Wellbeing Centre in the town of Clunes. Detectives from the Moorabool Crime Investigation Unit are now examining whether the drink contained magic mushrooms. 

Dixon was a personal trainer and mother from Ringwood North in Melbourne's east. Her son has since posted a tribute to her on social media, devastated about her passing.

"To the most loving, most caring person I've ever known can't thank you enough for everything you ever did for me and all the support you gave me, words can't begin to describe how much I will miss you, wish I could give you one last hug," he wrote.

"Love you infinity Mum."

Now the wellness centre has spoken publicly for the first time.

In a statement, Soul Barn Creative Wellbeing Centre said Dixon was at a private event, hired to external businesses and facilitators.

"There are no words to express the deep sorrow and shock we are feeling here at Soul following the tragic incident that occurred on April 13th. Soul Barn hires out workshop space to external businesses and facilitators. The event which took place on April 13th was a private event, and those facilitating the event do not work for or represent Soul Barn in any way," the statement read.


“None of our regular therapists, staff or facilitators were present at any point during this event. We share the shock and devastation of everyone involved and our hearts are with those families affected."

Watch: investigations continue into the death of Rachael Dixon. Post continues below.

Video via 7News.

"It's believed a woman was at a retreat on Fraser St when she became ill after ingesting a drink just after 12am," a Victoria Police spokeswoman said. "The 53-year-old Ringwood North woman died at the scene. Investigations remain ongoing and police will prepare a report for the Coroner."

Ambulance Victoria confirmed paramedics were called to the Clunes property at 11.55pm on Saturday and took two other people to Ballarat Base Hospital. 

According to the Herald Sun, Dixon and her two friends are thought to have consumed crushed up magic mushrooms in a drink at the Soul Barn Creative Wellbeing Centre late on Saturday night. The 53-year-old died at the premises in the early hours of Sunday morning, while the two others were taken to hospital. They were kept for observation until Tuesday, when a Grampians Health spokeswoman said both were discharged.


Victoria Police were called at around midnight Sunday, April 14, and believe Dixon became ill after consuming a drink.

The retreat describes itself on social media as an alternative and holistic health service. It advertises multiple services, including facials using "wild foraged plants".

On Friday night, the retreat hosted an event with a psychic medium, during which guests were given a chance to "ask questions of the spirit communicators". A planned event described as "sound healing" was cancelled on Sunday.

The owner of the retreat has been contacted for comment.

The death comes less than two weeks after the health department issued an alert that poisonous mushrooms were growing across the state of Victoria, including the infamous death cap mushrooms, and another fungi, yellow-staining mushrooms, that is almost indistinguishable from safe, store-bought mushrooms.

On April 5, acting chief health officer Dr Evelyn Wong warned that just a single death cap mushroom was enough to kill an adult, and said it was impossible to make poisonous mushrooms safe to eat. 

"Cooking, peeling or drying these mushrooms does not remove or inactivate the poison," read the statement. "Mushrooms purchased from a supermarket, greengrocer or other reputable source are safe to eat."


The advisory continued: "Unless you are an expert, do not pick and eat wild mushrooms in Victoria. There is no home test available to distinguish safe and edible mushrooms from poisonous mushrooms.

"Anyone who collects and consumes wild mushrooms of unknown species is putting themselves at risk of potential poisoning and serious illness."

Clunes, which is about 30km from Ballarat, has experienced a series of tragic events in 2024. Three local women, Samantha Murphy, Rebecca Young and Hannah McGuire, have died allegedly at the hands of men in the past two months. Miner Kurt Hourigan died in a mine collapse in March, and the area also experienced bushfires over summer.

Less than a year ago, three people died and another was hospitalised for months after allegedly consuming poisonous mushrooms in eastern Victoria. A married couple, both 70, and the wife's sister, 66, died after eating a meal at a Leongatha home in July 2023.

The 66-year-old's husband, who was also at the lunch, spent close to two months in hospital.

A mother of two has since been charged with three counts of murder and five of attempted murder.

— With AAP.

This article was originally published on April 16, 2024, and has since been updated with new information.

Feature Image: Facebook.