Bush Adventure Therapy Research Symposium - Where research and evidence meets practice and policy

Session type: Pre forum workshop
Session day: Wednesday 7th August
Session duration: 1 Day

Key words: Research, Bush Adventure Therapy

Registration fee: $45.00


This one-day symposium presents an opportunity for researchers, practitioners and policy-makers to come together and discuss advancements in Bush Adventure Therapy (BAT). The symposium is designed to present cutting edge knowledge, facilitate critical discussion, and locate BAT as an increasingly important intervention option across sectors and service settings.

This symposium is a pre-AABAT Forum 2019 optional event. The AABAT Forum is approximately a one hour drive from the Griffith University Gold Coast campus.

Symposium Structure

Leading researchers and practitioners will present their work, and whole-group discussions will shed light on areas for future action.

To enable the building of collective knowledge, nine presenters will share their knowledge across the following three themes:

Theme One: What contexts are BAT interventions operating within, and what are some leading evidence-informed BAT practices and approaches being used?

Three presenters. Bio’s will be available soon.

Theme Two: What does the latest BAT research say about ‘mechanisms of change’, research and outcomes with different client populations using BAT?

Three presenters. Bio’s will be available soon.

Theme Three: How can we use advancements in BAT research to support quality, effectiveness, advocacy and training? How can we use new BAT knowledge to engage with government, policy, funding and educational bodies?

Three presenters. Bio’s will be available soon.

Symposium Details

When: Wednesday 7th August 9.30am – 3pm | Canapes and drinks will be offered from 3pm for an informal celebration and networking opportunities

Location: Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus

Location and transport information can be located here: https://www.griffith.edu.au/about-griffith/campuses-facilities/gold-coast

Cost: This event will be sponsored by Griffith University with a cost of $45 (morning tea, lunch and nibbles included)

Symposium presenters

This symposium will complement the 2019 AABAT Forum (https://forum-2019.aabat.org.au/). To ensure there is diversity of representation at the Symposium, we welcome self-nominations for presenters. Additionally, organisers will approach leading researchers and practitioners to invite them to present their work. Please complete you nomination form and email your nomination to Amanda Smith by Monday June 3rd.

Nomination form


Who is the symposium for?

  • Academics from any discipline (social work, public health, environmental science, counselling, outdoor education, and more)
  • Government policy makers and funders from any sector
  • Community and not-for-profit sectors
  • Organisational decision makers
  • Counsellors, therapists and practitioners from any discipline
  • BAT practitioners from any setting (both new and experienced practitioners)
  • Students
  • Others with an interest in BAT research and practice.

What is Bush Adventure Therapy?

BAT services typically integrate therapeutic and ethical frameworks with a combination of elements that include: ‘contact with nature’, ‘small groups’ and ‘healthy adventure’. BAT services, programs and interventions are intentionally connected to or integrated within the landscape of people’s lives. At their best, BAT interventions are tailored to meet the specific needs of individuals and groups. BAT and related interventions can play an important role in responding to the health needs of Australians.

What is AABAT?

The Australian Association for Bush Adventure Therapy Inc. is a professional body for practitioners and people who have an interest in supporting, developing and promoting the field of Bush Adventure Therapy (BAT) in Australia. As a field of practice, BAT is becoming referred to as a form of integrative outdoor healthcare, encompassing many forms of nature-based interventions intended to support human and ecological wellbeing.

Note: This symposium will include a celebration of how far the field has come since its emergence in the 1990s, and acknowledge the work undertaken by Griffith University with Adventure Works Pty Ltd. (https://adventureworks.org.au/) to establish a professional training pathway for BAT within its School of Human Services and Social Work. Drinks and canapes will be provided by Griffith University from 3pm.