Program


Special Guests

Youth Ambassadors

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Our team of Youth Ambassadors are a diverse mix of young people with varying skills, interests and experiences. Most Youth Ambassadors have volunteered with Wild Mob on conservation expeditions previously and thus seeded a desire to further their engagement. New members are always welcome to join and be part of a dynamic team that works collaboratively and collectively for visible impact and change.

Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson PhD OA

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Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson PhD OA retired from formal academic work at the end of 2010. She co-researched and co-authored the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Task Force on Violence Report for the Queensland government. Her book, Trauma Trails – Recreating Songlines The transgenerational effects of Trauma in Indigenous Australia, was shortlisted for an Australian Human Rights Award.

In 2006 she won the Carrick Neville Bonner Award for her curriculum development and innovative teaching practice. In 2011 she received the Fritz Redlich Award for Human Rights and Mental Health, from the Harvard University Global Mental Health Trauma and Recovery program, of which she is a graduate.

She is presently Patron of the We Al-li Trust, as she continues to work across Australia and in Papua New Guinea on community based violence – trauma specific recovery programs. She works with the University of Wollongong in the development of specialized postgraduate programs such as the Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Trauma Care and Recovery Practice designed specifically to build an Indigenous trauma skilled workforce.

She also serves on a number of International advisory bodies: The board of Independent Academic Research Studies on Restorative Justice (IARS -RJ) based in London; a member of the international advisory group for Humanity United, an US Philanthropic Foundation supported by the Omidyar family, dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom; and a member of a group of scholars involved in a 5 year project on Historical Trauma and Memory: Postcolonial Legacies and the Meaning of Being Human, based at the Centre for Historical Trauma and Transformation Studies based at Stellenbosch University South Africa.

View Judy’s TEDx Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6wiBKClHqY

Dr. Gregory P. Smith

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Dr Gregory P. Smith is a Forgotten Australian born in Tamworth, NSW in 1955. He and four of his siblings were surrendered to an orphanage in 1966. He was considered a problem child (‘uncontrollable’), diagnosed as a ‘sociopath’ with mid-range intelligence, and was in and out of institutions until 1974. Following his release from ‘care’ Gregory searched in vain for the skills to live a fruitful and rewarding life but became increasingly disillusioned with society and lived on the fringe as a recluse in a Northern NSW rainforest where he spent his time reflecting and reading important authors such as Douglas Adams. In 2000, through catharsis and serendipity, Gregory decided to give society one more chance, walked out of the forest and began to explore life from a different perspective. His life was transformed. In 2007 he completed a degree in Social Science, obtaining an honours (1st Class). Gregory completed his PhD in 2015.

Andy Hamilton

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Andy Hamilton is a psychologist with over 18 years’ experience working in the mental health, drug and alcohol and justice fields. He has been head clinician and program manager of the Recre8 Bush Adventure Therapy Program for the past ten years, having helped pioneer the innovative program whilst he was a Youth Drug Outreach Psychologist at INTRA, The Buttery Rehabilitation’s drug and alcohol outreach service. He now runs the Recre8 Program as director of the not-four-profit organisation he founded in the Far North Coast of New South Wales: Human Nature Adventure Therapy (www.humannature.org.au).

He is passionate about facilitating transformation and healing in young people and feels that collaborative partnerships and multi-disciplinary approaches offer enormous opportunity for expanding the depth and breadth of great therapeutic work in Bush Adventure Therapy. He also has previously worked in a variety of community sector roles including in the mental health field to support people with severe psychiatric disability, those in crisis experiencing homelessness and juvenile offenders.


Pre and Post Forum Workshops

Bush Adventure Therapy 101

Pete Rae, Beccy Harth, Lani Pereira


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Session day: Thursday 8th August
Session duration: 1 Day

This 1-day pre-conference workshop will provide an introduction to bush adventure therapy history, definitions, research evidence, theories, principles and practices.

Expanding the Adventure - Enhancing your practice with the help of horses

Kylie Peters


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Session day: Thursday 8th August
Session duration: 1 Day

This is a hands on experiential one day workshop for a taste of Groundwork Therapy and working with horses. This is also a day for making connections with the horses, each other and ourselves with the help of horses.

Pre Forum Expedition - SOLD OUT! Further registrations will go on a waiting list.


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Session day: Wednesday 7th August
Session duration: 2 Days

The expedition phase will consist of an overnight hike from Bornhoffen to Binna Burra and back.


This page will be populated as the program develops. Be sure to sign up for our enewsletter or follow our facebook page for updates.

General Sessions

'Glowing in the dark' - how a father and son found connection through therapeutic caving

Doug Moczynski, Kate Neocleous, Marg Jans


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The presentation will begin with an information session indoors, which will include a session introduction, and will highlight participant selection, clinical assessment tools and outdoor activity planning. The use of a case study will provide a narr

A Gentle Approach To Adventure Therapy

Nicholas Hall


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Session duration: 30 minutes

One to one walk and talk adventure therapy in the outdoors, observations of a ascent into gentleness from five years of practice.

Adventure program that builds life skills, identity and belonging in young people with Autism and other disabilities.

Leighton Smith


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A presentation by Leighton Smith, Program Director and Founder of New Heights Youth Outreach, about his journey from youth worker to adventure therapy practitioner, and how it lead to creating an adventure therapy program for young people with autism

Animals Helping Humans

Wendy Coombe


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Session duration: 60 minutes

Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI) and Assistance Animals (AA) can help with the prevention and control of mental illness, disease, disability and suffering for people of all ages, and in many settings. AAI is a goal-directed intervention designed t

Bush Club at Birdwings- How we evolved into adventure therapy

Narell Neville


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Session duration: 30 minutes

Bush Club is one of the programs we run for children, it started as a pre-prep program and has evolved into a program for children up to 10 yrs. We had so much success that schools are now participating and children have permission as part of their I

Connecting the body, mind and spirit through our senses; the why and how.

Kaya Lyons


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Session duration: 90 minutes

This workshop will guide a deeper understanding into why, from a sensory perspective, the elements of nature support connecting the body, mind & spirit and how we as facilitators can further enhance the power of our practice.

Connection Before Content: A Pathway to Wellbeing

Mark Collard


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Session duration: 60 minutes

Cross-fertilising Bush Adventure Therapy and Contemporary Green Perspectives within Social Work Education: Describing the investigative and collaborative path taken and providing findings and recommendations to consider new settings.

Amanda Smith, Professor Donna McAuliffe, Dr Anita Pryor


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Session duration: 60 minutes

This session will provide findings and offer discussions where social work and bush adventure therapy meet and describe the process of investigation and collaboration and provide findings and recommendations that have been undertaken.

Embodying the future wanting to emerge

Penny Elsley, Kalindi Brennan


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Session duration: 60 minutes

Expanding the Adventure with Groundwork Therapy

Kylie Peters, Pheobe


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This session will be a hands-on experiential approach to equine facilitated therapy. It will provide a brief overview of the concept of equine facilitated therapy and learning (including all the safety elements and process versus content).

High Ropes as stress exposure; a trauma focused approach

Mike Coker


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A high activity is discussed and conducted to provide an example of stress exposure that is therapeutic rather than re-traumatising. Beginners class.

How nature connection experiences can re-engage upper primary aged children experiencing ongoing trauma.

Claire Mosley


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Session duration: 60 minutes

Discussion and activities with educator Claire Mosley, who works with a small cohort of students experiencing trauma to re-engage them via outdoors and nature connection experiences.

How to arrest PTSD. (By using BAT as your informant).

Mark Cartner


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Session duration: 60 minutes

This session will explore some personal strategies to deal with trauma and PTSD from a serving police officer perspective. We will also discuss potential pitfalls to avoid if you are having to assist PTSD sufferers.

I'm not strange, weird, off, nor crazy, my reality is just different from yours. Lewis Carol (Alice in Wonderland)

Belinda Stovell, Graham Pringle


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Practice reflection and Case Studies to critically look at our practice, share learnings and improve best practice to do no further harm the most vulnerable of young people on your programs.

Mentoring our young leaders – youth at the frontline of outdoor adventurous learning

Kalindi Brennan


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Session duration: 60 minutes

This workshop will document the use of Bush Adventure Therapy in youth development and youth mentoring.

Narrative Walks

Chris Darmody


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Session duration: 60 minutes

Narrative Walks is structured around a day long 20km walk where groups of participants will use narrative therapy techniques to explore the storylines that sculpt their lives and look to make positive changes.

Nature Freedom - an organisation for everybody

Mathew Townsend


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Nature Freedom is a NFP social enterprise, aimed at young people with disabilities and mental health issues to find their passions and connection with nature by employing and supporting them in an inclusive environment. Founder Mathew Townsend will s

Nature Reflections for improving Self Awareness - Kit Kline

Kit Kline


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Session duration: 60 minutes

Reflections Through Nature is an opportunity for a person to create an awareness of their inner world by reflecting on the outer world.

NDIS meets AT: Perfect Match or Irreconcilable Differences?

Melinda Everett, Sharon Camac


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Session duration: 60 minutes

Diverse new businesses and niche services are developing to meet the needs of a new market segment of customers empowered by the roll out of the NDIS. How can the services of Adventure Therapy providers fit within an NDIS environment and what needs t

Paediatric camps to support recovery and well-being of young people with burn injuries in Queensland

James Neill, Arron Sullivan, Megan Simons


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Session duration: 60 minutes

This session explores the potential of therapeutic camps for people with physical health conditions by sharing about a program for children with burns, which is a collaboration between Children’s Health Queensland and PCYC Bornhoffen, and an accompan

Professional Individualised Care and BAT

Sharleen James


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Session duration: 60 minutes

The session will discuss and explain the Professional Individualised Care (PIC) model, how it is different to the traditional Out-of-Home Care (OOHC) approach in New South Wales, the benefits to the model and ways in which BAT can provide supports to

REGENERATE - Recovering From Family Violence

Ben Knowles, Lani Periera


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Session duration: 60 minutes

Drawn from the words of women who participated, this presentation explores how BAT supports women and their children in their journey away from the effects of family viloence.

Relationships That Work: Fostering Favourable Therapeutic Alliances with Adolescents in Adventure Therapy Settings

Will Dobud


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Session duration: 60 minutes

This interactive include time spent indoors and out. Groups will explore what works in creating helping relationships in therapeutic settings. Focusing on adventure therapy, feedback provided by real participants and videos of practitioners working i

The origins and value of storytelling

Dr Gregory P. Smith


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Session duration: 60 minutes

Through The Eyes of the Participant: What Can We Learn From Adventure Therapy Experiences

Will Dobud


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This workshop will explore real participant experiences in adventure therapy, providing opportunities for attendees to reflect on their practice. This workshop will contain a balance of group discussion and experiential activities to further the lear

Two outcomes: Self in community ... I am: Working together – finding connection … We are writing about country.

Judy Atkinson


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Session duration: 90 minutes

Two outcomes: Self in community … I am: Working together – finding connection … We are writing about country.

Unplugged, but in touch: Program evaluation in the digital age

Rebecca (Becky) Harth


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Session duration: 60 minutes

Digital technology is often an obstacle to young people connecting with others and the natural world, but when used carefully it can also be a powerful tool to evaluate programs, support staff, and advocate for outdoor experiences – based on wisdom f

Whittling as Bush Adventure Therapy

Nicki Farrell, Vicci Oliver


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Session duration: 90 minutes

Teaching children the art of safe whittling

Working with At-Risk Youth through Intentional Practice in a Wilderness Therapy Context

Linda White


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Session duration: 90 minutes

Writing a grant application that gets results.

Dane Cross


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Session duration: 60 minutes

If you’ve ever sat staring at a computer screen wondering how to write a grant application to fund a program, this session will examine what works, what does not, and how to impress the judges.