Nature Play WA Breakfast

Revolutionising paediatric care - taking therapeutic approaches into nature

Join Nature Play WA and our event partners Perth Children's Hospital Foundation and Rio Tinto, as we bring together three internationally-renowned experts in child health, to discuss the impact of nature on mental and physical health for children and young people.

Dr Maren Østvold Lindheim, Professor Helen Milroy and Professor Desiree Silva will share their research and insights into the benefits of incorporating nature into therapeutic practice through an 'in conversation' style panel discussion, facilitated by Dr Kelsie Prabawa-Sear.

Dr Lindheim will also share her experiences in setting up the Outdoor Retreat at Oslo University Hospital.

Event Details 

Time: 7:30am to 9:30am 
When: Friday 30 June 2023
Fraser's Function Centre
60 Fraser Avenue, Kings Park

Speaker Information

Keynote Speaker and 'In Conversation' Panelist

Dr Maren Østvold Lindheim
Clinical Psychologist, Oslo University Hospital

Maren Østvold Lindheim is considered an international expert in utilising nature for positive therapeutic outcomes.

Maren is a clinical psychologist who works at the Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health in Hospitals at Oslo University Hospital in Norway with seriously somatically ill children and adolescents. In her clinical work she uses storytelling, clinical hypnosis, positive imagery, nature experiences and narrative approaches to help children, adolescents and their families cope with hospitalisation, treatment and chronical illness.

Her aim is to help the children help themselves by discovering their own resources and by facilitating the development of life stories of empowerment and health. Lindheim is head of the One year Education Course in Clinical Hypnosis at the Regional Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Eastern and Southern Norway, is at the Board of Institute for Active Psychotherapy, Education Program for specialisation in Clinical Children’s and Youth` s Psychology and is leading the research group: Friluftssykehuset/ The Out Door Care Retreat at Oslo University Hospital: The Outdoor Care Retreat | Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening (

'In Conversation' Panelist

Professor Helen Milroy
Stan Perron Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Perth Children's Hospital and University of Western Australia
Co-Director, Embrace at the Telethon Kids Institute

personHelen Milroy is a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia but was born and educated in Perth. She is Australia’s first Indigenous doctor and child psychiatrist.

Currently Helen is the Stan Perron Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Perth Children’s Hospital and University of Western Australia and Honorary Research at the Telethon Kids Institute. Helen is the Chair of the Gayaa Dhuwi Proud Spirit Australia organisation and a board member of Beyond Blue.

Helen has been on state and national mental health and research advisory committees and boards with a particular focus on Indigenous mental health as well as the wellbeing of children. From 2013-2017 Helen was a Commissioner for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and from 2017-2021 was a Commissioner with the National Mental Health Commission.

In 2020, Helen was the joint winner of the Australian Mental Health Prize and named the WA Australian of the Year for 2021. Helen is also an artist and published author and illustrator of children’s books. She has been shortlisted for several children’s literature awards and received the 2021 Whitley Award for best early childhood reader for Backyard Birds.

'In Conversation' Panelist

Professor Desiree Silva
Co-Director, The ORIGINS Project, Telethon Kids Institute
Professor of Paediatrics, University of Western Australia

Professor Desiree Silva is Co-Director of The ORIGINS Project at Telethon Kids Institute and Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Western Australia. She is the inaugural Director of Research at Joondalup Health Campus and also provides a rural paediatric service.

Professor Silva has been involved in a number of strategic reviews including the impact of swimming pools in Aboriginal communities and paediatric planning for Western Australia.  She worked with the WA Health Department on a Needs Analysis which has enabled her to be part of translational research with the Paediatric Implementation Plan which provides state-wide service level recommendations, strategies and actions for Western Australia.

She has a strong interest in neurodevelopmental disorders with over 25 years experience in managing children diagnosed with ADHD, autism, anxiety and developmental disorders.

Professor Silva is on the board of Nature Play WA, is a strong advocate of having a healthy lifestyle, good work life balance and a sense of adventure.

MC and 'In Conversation' Facilitator

Dr Kelsie Prabawa-Sear
Chief Executive Officer, Nature Play WA

a person standing on a rockKelsie has had the joy of a varied and rich working and academic experience in both Australia and Indonesia prior to joining Nature Play WA, having worked in State government, consulting roles and conservation work with not-for-profit organisations. Along the way she has entwined her work with post graduate research degrees, completed a Master’s in Environmental Education for Sustainability and a PhD on The Impact of Culture in Environmental Education in Java, Indonesia. When reflecting on this work, Kelsie's focus and passion has always been for nature, kids, and communities. It’s therefore no surprise that she was drawn to the work of Nature Play WA.  

As a parent of three wonderful growing humans, Kelsie also understands the challenges of parenthood and the important role that we have as advocates for our kids’ childhoods. She personally adds “advocate for nature” to her list of responsibilities, as it is her view that we all have a responsibility to ensure that our kids not only get time in nature as little ones, but also get a future with nature. The health of the environment cannot be separated from our own health. 


Any enquiries to: Katherine Healy
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