Conference Speakers 2017

Nature Play WA’s second annual Children and Nature Conference returns to Fremantle for 2017. Join some of the world’s pre-eminent speakers on the positive impact of nature on children’s health, wellbeing and education during this packed-program event, MCed by Christina Morrissy.  

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Keynote Speakers
Case Study Presenters

Keynote Speakers

Dr Amanda Lloyd, Outdoor Connections

Precis: Outdoor learning in primary schools is an innovative way to engage children with the curriculum. In this presentation, a class of primary school children provide the example for the impressive benefits of academic attainment, wellbeing and connection to place that can happen when a class completes outdoor learning. The class completed an integrated curriculum each week of the school year, with a few impressive cubby houses along the way.  Their powerful story of outdoor learning is presented as a stimulus for developing your own outdoor learning curriculum or supporting the development of one in your community. 

Bio: Dr Amanda Lloyd is passionate outdoor enthusiast, and a teacher with 16 years’ classroom experience and in leadership roles. Her PhD focused on the advantages of place-based outdoor learning within the primary school curriculum. Find out more...

Emma Crawley, Lead ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) (Sweden)

Precis: Discover how to create varied and stimulating outdoor classrooms and play spaces for education and sustainable development. Emma will discuss examples of Swedish schoolyard greening, the participation of the children and the research that was conducted on the children’s activity before and after one of the projects. Dialogue is key for schoolyard greening and Emma will give her thoughts on obstacles to dialogue and some successful tools to create better schoolyards for children’s overall development.  

Bio: Emma Crawley is an environmental psychologist and former primary teacher. For 25 years, she has been an advocate for children's access to nature for overall development and environmental engagement. Emma been working to create educational and health-promoting schoolyards since 2008. First in the city of Malmö with a five-year schoolyard greening project. She also created a tool with the planning office to help increase the play value in the schoolyards. Find out more...

Torbjorn Wrange, Outdoor Education Consultant (Sweden)

Precis: Join Torbjörn as he delves into leadership for inclusion, good relations, maximized participation, reflection, belonging and ownership. The place is the concept and comes with a story that takes us back in time and back to the present. This session – “Classrooms without walls - Leadership keys” - dives into Swedish nature, lessons learned from easy made mistakes and successful approaches as a leader.   

Bio: Torbjörn Wrange is an outdoor environment process designer with eight years’ experience mentoring groups of all ages in the outdoors. The aim is always to meet and learn in a playful way, cultivating a mutual state of curiosity. He is an experienced mentor who has met over 30,000 children, and trained 2,000 educators in outdoor leadership. He highlights place-based leadership and describes it as a set of keys to maximize participation within a group. Find out more...

Daniel Burton & Trudi Bennett, Educated by Nature

Precis: Nature helps children come alive with motivation, curiosity and engaged learning. It takes courage and trust for teachers to break the mould and challenge current pedagogy. Daniel Burton and Trudi Bennett encourage teachers to find the balance between connected, engaging student learning opportunities and meeting mandated curriculum policies set by government bodies. Addressing four common fears in establishing an outdoor classroom culture, Daniel and Trudi highlight some possibilities and ideas for moving forward to provide rich outdoor learning experiences.   

Bio: Educated by Nature is a small team of passionate Nature Educators: teachers, mentors and playworkers who assist children, parents and teachers develop connections and learn within nature. The team is led by Daniel Burton and Trudi Bennett, qualified teachers and Nature Connection Mentors specialising in outdoor classrooms. Find out more...

Case Study Presenters

Debra Salahuddeen, Lance Holt School

Bio:  Debra Salahuddeen has worked for many years at the Lance Holt School, in the West End of Fremantle. It is a small independent school of about one hundred and twenty-five students with a focus on nurturing not only children’s academic abilities, but also their social, emotional and civic development.

Debra began the Lance Holt Bush School in 2012 after initial training as a Forest Schools practitioner. This training, and later a study tour to Scotland working with Claire Warden, gave Debra the skills, particularly with Benefit/Risk analysis, to establish the Bush School. Find out more...

Joanna Griffith, RAWA Community School

Bio: Joanna Griffith has a keen interest in Indigenous education, and Nature Pedagogy. Joanna has shared stories of children’s learning in her classrooms at conferences over the past couple of years, focusing on the steps she took as a teacher. Joanna had the privilege of living and working in Punmu - a small, remote Indigenous Martu community in the Pilbara. Join Joanna as she shares a snapshot of the ‘Nintirri Rangers’ (The Learning Rangers) program in her year 2-3 class, and explains how it opened up learning avenues that she could not have achieved inside the walls of a classroom. Find out more...

Maria Marsh, Moerlina School

Bio: Maria Marsh has been involved in the Nature Pedagogy movement since completing an AISWA-funded Forest Schools intensive workshop in 2011.  Maria travelled to the UK in 2012 as part of the AISWA Study Tour with Clare Warden, seeing first-hand how Nature Pedagogy is implemented in Early and Primary School settings in England and Scotland. She has been a passionate advocate for educating city children in nature ever since. In this presentation, Maria will share her school’s journey in the Nature Pedagogy space, particularly, the implementation of its Bush and Beach School programs. Find out more...

Nicole Hunter & Leslie Ray, Bold Park Community School

Bio: Bold Park Community School is an independent PK – 12 school that has a teaching and learning philosophy with nature-based and place-based learning principles at its core. Nicole Hunter has been a part of the Bold Park CS teaching team since 2004, and has recently assumed the role of Pedagogista. She works alongside the teaching teams to inquire, reflect and act together to build cohesion and continuity, between philosophy, theory and practice. Leslie Ray has been a part of the Bold Park CS teaching team since 2016, working in the newly developed role of “Outdoor Provocation Specialist”.  With a background as a science teacher and practical know-how, Leslie works alongside educators across the school in the outdoor environments to connect students to nature and learning. In this workshop Nicole and Leslie will discuss how Bold Park Community School uses natural environments to connect students to nature, place and curriculum. Find out more...

Josique Lynch, Joondalup Early Learning Centre

Bio: Josique Lynch is the current Director of the Joondalup Early Learning Centre, with experience as an Education & Children’s Services Lecturer and Program Manager. Her team has long held the belief that children need to play outdoors as much as possible. Join Josique as she shares the journey of ever-changing, large garden space at her centre. The space, which was originally natural bushland, is an ideal spot for children to explore, discover and learn about their world.  Find out more...

Daniel Burton & Trudi Bennett, Nature Play WA

Bio: How can schools and organisations collaborate to kick start the journey towards an Outdoor Classroom? Join Daniel Burton and Trudi Bennett, Nature Play WA’s education consultants, as they share stories of engaging outdoor learning in a primary school context. This workshop follows a school’s journey of building teacher confidence through professional learning, incursions and supportive administration..  Find out more...

Christina Morrissy - MC

Bio: While you may know her best in her public role as a talk back radio host, TV news presenter, current affairs journalist or travel show host, Christina is also a staunch supporter of the values of Nature Play WA and the benefits that flow from unstructured play outdoors. As the mum to four energetic children she continually experiences first-hand the benefits to her brood of nature play and champions the rights of children to natural learning and exploring their innate behaviour. She also has a very large industrial washing machine!

Prof. Len Collard - Welcome to Country

 Professor Len Collard is an Australian Research Council, Chief Investigator with the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia. Len has a background in literature and communications and his research interests are in the area of Aboriginal Studies, including Nyungar interpretive histories and Nyungar theoretical and practical research models. Len has conducted research funded by the Australian Research Council, the National Trust of Western Australia, the Western Australian Catholic Schools, the Swan River Trust and many, many other organisations.

Len's research has allowed the broadening of the understanding of the many unique characteristics of Australia's Aboriginal people and has contributed enormously to improving the appreciation of Aboriginal culture and heritage of the Southwest of Australia. Len’s groundbreaking theoretical work has put Nyungar cultural research on the local, national and international stage.
Finally Len is a Whadjuk Nyungar and who is a Traditional Owner of the Perth Metropolitan area and surrounding lands, rivers, swamps ocean and its culture.

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