The team at Nature Play WA welcomes our new CEO

The team at Nature Play WA are delighted to announce the appointment of our new CEO, Dr Kelsie Prabawa-Sear, who comes to us after an incredibly competitive recruitment process, that saw a large field of strong candidates vying for the role.  In this blog, Kelsie shares her thoughts on her new role, her plans for Nature Play WA and her wish for the children, families and communities we serve. 

Nature Play WA’s new CEO Dr Kelsie Prabawa-Sear

I am delighted to be entrusted with the leadership of the fantastic organisation and thank Griffin Longley for his vision and stewardship of this important organisation and movement over the past 12 years. Griff created a valuable legacy for us all.  

I joined Nature Play WA at the beginning of August and am delighted with the work the team is doing with kids, parents, and other organisations, all with the aim to support the mental and physical health of WA kids by growing their connection to nature and community though outdoor play.  What a wonderful mission! 

My role, as I see it, is to enable Nature Play WA to continue with its valuable work, whilst expanding to support a greater proportion of WA kids – kids in the regions, kids from different backgrounds, and kids of all abilities. I plan to couple this with a growing focus on participating in research across all aspects of our work.  

I have 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 I have entwined my work with post graduate research degrees, completing a Master’s in Environmental Education for Sustainability and a PhD on The Impact of Culture in Environmental Education in Java, Indonesia. When I reflect on this work, my focus and passion has always been for nature, kids, and communities. It’s therefore no surprise that I am drawn to the work of Nature Play WA.  

As a parent of three wonderful growing humans, I also understand the challenges of parenthood and the important role that we have as advocates for our kids’ childhoods. I personally add “advocate for nature” to my list of responsibilities, as it is my 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.  

I recently stumbled across an excerpt from The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (1860), that I’d like to share. I think it’s also worth noting that George Eliot was the pen name for Mary Ann Evens. 

We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it, if it were not the earth where the same flowers came up every spring that we used to gather with our tiny fingers… What novelty is worth that sweet monotony where everything is known and loved because it is known? 

I look forward to working with the Nature Play Community and getting to see more muddy hands, adventurous play, wonder-time in nature, and of course, the good health and well-being of WA’s kids.  

Thank you for having me.

Kelsie