Events, Networking & Seminars

2019

June- September 2019 - Inaugural Victorian Threatened Species Children's Art Competition. Over 600 participants aged 5-12 years old submitted their artworks. 40 Finalists were celebrated during an Award Ceremony and Exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, in September.

April 2019 - Nature Play Week 2019 - 150 events organised by over 70 participating organisations.
April 17-28, 2019 on various locations throughout Victoria.

2018

April 2018 - Nature Play Week 2018 - 150 events, over 70 participating organisations and 15,000 participants. 
April 11-22, 2018. Various locations throughout Victoria.

2017
2016

Oct 2017 - Nature Play Week is a National Finalist for Event of the Year 2017,
Parks and Leisure Australia Awards of Excellence. 

May 2017 - Nature Play Week is the Winner of Event of The Year 2017 VIC /TAS Award,
Parks and Leisure Australia Awards of Excellence.

April 2017 - Nature Play Week 2017 - 160 events, over 70 participating organisations and 15,000 participants. 
April 12-23, 2017. Various locations throughout Victoria.

22 April 2017 - Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Network Conference 2017 - hosted by the Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Network (ECOLN), at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens. Keynote by Cecile van der Burgh (Kids In Nature Network) and presentations by Angie Zerella (Bubup Wilam), Karen Anderson, Mick Robertson and Doug Fargher (ECOLN) and Sam Crosby (Centennial Parklands Sydney).

20 April 2017 - Engaging Young Children in The Outdoors: Nature Play - Conference hosted by the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria - at the Botanic Gardens Cranbourne. Presentations by Mick Robertson (RBGV), Sam Crosby (Centennial Parklands Sydney), Cecile van der Burgh (Kids In Nature Network) and Narelle Dabenham (Natured Kids). And a panel discussion facilitated by Deborah Prentice (Parks Victoria).

 

12 April 2017 - Nature Play Week 2017 Launch. Keynote speakers: Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin AO and Trace Balla. This event was hosted by Kids in Nature Network in partnership with Manningham City Council and supported by The Department of Health and Human Services and Premier's Active April. The event was followed by networking and nature play. Nature Play experiences for children were hosted by Manningham City Council, Leap into Nature, Firekeepers and many more. The launch took place at the Wombat Bend Playspace, Templestowe. 

3 April 2017 - Kids In Nature. Breakout workshop session facilitated by Kids In Nature Network and The Department of Health and Human Services as part of Nature is good Medicine forum at the 15th World Congress on Public Health 2017 held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Forum hosted by Parks Victoria in partnership with Salzburg Global Seminar and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. On this day at this event, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning also launched their Biodiversity 2037 Strategy and the Ministers for Environment and Health launched the Victorian Memorandum of Understanding for Health and Nature.

 

Nature Play Week 2016 – 173 events, over 70 participating organisations, 15,000 participants. 
6-17 April, 2016.

Nature Play Week 2016 Launch - Keynote by Jackie French AM (Author), and featuring presentations by Ben Church (Indigenous Programs Coordinator, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria), Prof. Tim Entwisle (Director and Chief Executive, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria), Cecile van der Burgh (Co-founder Kids In Nature Network), Gio Fitzpatrick (Youth Wildlife Ambassador, Port Phillip Ecocentre), Cr. Louise Berklemans (City of Casey). The event was hosted by the Kids In Nature Network in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and supported by the Department of Health and Human Services and Premier's Active April. The launch took place at the Cranbourne Botanic Gardens.

October 2016: Nature Play Week is a Finalist in the 2016 Premier's Sustainability Awards and a Winner of the 2016 People’s Choice Award in the the community category.

2015

Nature Play Week 2015 – 88 events, 44 participating organisations, 6,000 participants.

The week celebrates initiatives of all shapes and sizes that reconnect kids with nature and the outdoors. The initiative, developed by Kids in Nature Network together with Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and a range of other organisations began in April 2014 with over 40 events running across Victoria and an estimated 2,000 children outside playing throughout the week. The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria will celebrate the second year of Nature Play Week by hosting a series of workshops and activities for teachers, parents and children.

 

Nature Play Week 2015 Launch

The launch included the Ecology of the Imagination workshop at the magical Malmsbury Botanical Gardens. Keynote speaker: Alison Lester (Children's Author). Featuring presentations by Christine Joy (Education Coordinator at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and Executive Kids in Nature Network), Kylie Regester (RBG public programs), Barbara Sidey, (Macedon Ranges Shire Council) and Cecile van der Burgh (Co-founder, Kids In Nature Network) followed by workshops. This event was hosted by Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and Kids in Nature Network in partnership with Macedon Shire Council, The Department of Health and Human Services, Premier's Active April and Playgroup Victoria.

2014

October 2014 - Workshop presentation at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney.  Inspiring a new generation - Workshop "Connecting families and their children to nature worldwide".

September 2014 - Kids in Nature Roundtable 2 with UK film-maker David Bond (Project WildThing) in Melbourne, hosted by Kids In Nature Network in partnership with the Australian Camps Association and Outdoors Victoria in collaboration with Sport and Recreation Victoria.

June 2014: Meeting Dr. Jane Goodall at the Jane Goodall Institute Australia dinner and annual general meeting at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. 

April 2014 - Inaugural Nature Play Week 2014 - 44 events across Victoria, 2,000 participants.

The inaugural Nature Play Week featured nature play days at the Royal Botanic Gardens, wildlife sketching workshop for kids at Elster Creek in Elwood, a Wildlife Walk in Elwood, a ranger walk, a very special campfire Corroboree at Healesville, Keeper Kids at the Melbourne Zoo, Ranger Kids at the Werribee Zoo, a sold out Kids Adventure Festival at Mt Baw Baw, a workshop for all ages 'Seeing Nature' at Darebin Parklands, a Damper Creek Nature Day at Mount Waverley, a bush dance in the Upper Hunter Valley of NSW, backyard garden play in St Kilda, two walks by Muddy Boots and Sandy hands in Geelong, creating nature art with Skipping Stones Dance in Healesville, and much more!

April 2014 - Launch Nature Play Week 2014

Speakers: Children’s Author Graeme Base, Prof. Tim Entwisle (Director of The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne), Associate Professor Mardie Townsend (Deakin University), Charles Solomon (Indigenous Program Manager at The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne), Claudia Levey (Young Leader) Christine Joy (Education Coordinator at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and Executive, Kids In Nature Network) and Dr Dimity Williams (Medical Doctor and Strategic Health Advisor and Co-founder Kids in Nature Network).

 

Feb 2014 - Kids In Nature Network partnered with the Australian Conservation Foundation for the Melbourne leg of Richard Louv's Australian Speaking Tour. We collaborated on two major events: a Nature Connect Conference at Fitzroy Town Hall on Friday 21 February and a sold-out public forum at the Capitol Theatre in Melbourne CBD on Saturday 22 February (see below). 

2013

Child and Nature Roundtable 1

Kids In Nature Network co-hosted the first Victorian Child in Nature roundtable in partnership with Sport and Recreation Victoria. Representatives from over 20 different organisations came together around the shared goal of getting more children outside in nature. We discussed barriers and challenges we all face in getting our messages out in a culture that is both risk averse, time poor and soaked in messaging from companies wanting our kids to sit inside.

March 2013 - Forum "Children and nature, why they need each other" - Sustainable Living Festival.

Kids In Nature Network hosted and facilitated an outdoor forum at SLF near Federation Square. Speakers included Doug Fargher (Westgarth Bush Kinder), Gio Fitzpatrick and Neil Blake (Port Phillip Ecocentre), Stephen Parker and Ty Calling (Muddy Boots and Sandy Hands).    


March 2013 - Mini Seminar: Connecting to Country, Sharing Stories

Featuring William Barton (didgeridoo) and Delmae Barton (voice), Glen Romanis,  a Welcome to Country by Dean Stewart and a Tanderrum smoking ceremony performed by Trevor Gallagher from the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria with Natasha van Velzen performing dance. Facilitated by Christine Joy and Cecile van der Burgh. 


Spring Seminar 'Children and Nature, why they need each other' with Prof. Michael Ungar

Prof. Michael Ungar, renowned Canadian academic, social worker, researcher, writer and speaker discussed how best to develop resilience in children, youth and families. Given resilience is a protective factor in the face of anxiety or depression his insights were thought provoking. He encourages adults caring for children and parents to recall their own childhood and the lessons they learnt from being risk takers and responsibility seekers. He spoke of the ‘risk takers advantage’ and the ways in which time in nature can provide opportunities to take risks and learn from them. This seminar was fully booked.

 

2013 - Nature Play Week planning meetings 1+2

Co-development sessions with network members and the extended community where we developed the concept document for Nature Play Week. 

 
2012

2012 - Supported the launch of Outdoors Victoria and a networking event "Kids in the Outdoors" with with Tim Gill. 

2012 - Mini seminar 3 - Nature, cities and urban planning, how do our kids connect?

This was our third mini-seminar and was held in May 2012. We investigated how our kids connect to nature in urban places. The impetus for this topic was the understanding that in 2008, for the first time in history, there were more people living in cities than in rural or regional places. This has a profound impact on where our kids grow up and how they perceive nature.

Read more...


2012- Masterclass - The Art of Natural Collaboration   

'The Art of Natural Collaboration’ - with Jason Clarke from Minds at Work, a masterclass in finding your voice, your strength and your place as an agent of change. This was a fantastic morning where we explored synergies, complementary skills and interests and the possibilities of working together across initiatives, organisations and sectors represented in organisations and individuals involved in the Kids In Nature Network, and beyond.

 

2012 - Spring seminar - Children and Nature - Why they need each other - with Dr. Tim Gill.

Visit  Tim Gill’s blog: http://rethinkingchildhood.com/

Specific to Australia he wrote: http://rethinkingchildhood.com/2014/08/18/australia-street-play-children-nature-expand-childhood/

2011

Oct 2011 - Mini seminar 2 - Connecting with Nature, The Health Benefits.    

Melbourne Royal Botanical Gardens

Our second mini-seminar investigated the health and wellbeing benefits of spending time in a natural environment - especially for young people. We explored the growing body of evidence that time outdoors is fundamental for children’s health and wellbeing.​

June 2011 - Mini seminar 1 - Inspiring Nature Play. 3 June 2011. Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.

“Inspiring Nature Play” was a half day seminar that brought together key thought leaders to share their experience and wisdom with anyone who believes that kids do better outside. Participants heard the growing body of evidence that ‘nature play’ is fundamental for early childhood development and discovered inspiring examples of how this is done around the world. Speakers: Dr Sue Elliott, Christine Joy (Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne), Deborah Prentice (Parks Victoria) and Narelle Dabenham (Natured Kids).

 

Oct 2011 - Panel discussion at screening of the film Play Again at the Environmental Film Festival Melbourne.

2010

Network meetings 1-4  

Interviewees were invited to 4 planning meetings to collaboratively develop vision, mission, values and priorities of the Kids in Nature Network (then Victorian Child and Nature Connection).

The network was founded

by three fellows of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership. Cecile van der Burgh, Sanne de Swart and Dr Dimity Williams.

Interviews were held with over 50 individuals and organisations active in the kids and nature space.

Talks & Presentations

2019

- April 2019 - Launch Nature Play Week 2016 (Cecile van der Burgh)

- March 2019- Playgroups Victoria Conference (Sanne de Swart)

- March 2019 - Childhood Summit - Nature Play Queensland (Cecile van der Burgh)

2018
 

- May 2018 Outdoors Victoria Annual Education Outdoors Conference (Cecile van der Burgh)

2017

- December 2017 - Nature Play Action Summit, hosted by Nature Play WA (Cecile van der Burgh).

- April 2017 - Nature Play Week launch, hosted by Kids In Nature Network (Cecile van der Burgh)

- April 2017 - Kids In Nature breakout session at the Nature is good Medicine forum at the 15th World Congress on Public Health 2017 held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Hosted by Parks Victoria in partnership with Salzburg Global Seminar and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Cecile van der Burgh).

- April 2017 - Engaging Young Children in The Outdoors: Nature Play - Conference hosted by the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria  (Cecile van der Burgh)

- April 2017 - Engaging Young Children in the Outdoors: Nature Play, Conference hosted by the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Cecile van der Burgh).

- April 2017 - Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Network Conference 2017, Keynote (Cecile van der Burgh).

2016

- April 2016 - Launch Nature Play Week 2016 (Cecile van der Burgh)

- November 2016 - Play Australia, Risk Management in the Early Years Conference (Cecile van der Burgh)

2015

- April 2015 - Nature Play Week Launch 2015 (Christine Joy, Cecile van der Burgh)

- July 2015 - Strathbogie Voices seminar Environment and Climate Change (Cecile van der Burgh)

- August 2015 - Euroa Arboretum Annual Dinner (Emily Barrow)

2014

- November 2014 - IUCN World Parks Congress Sydney - Inspiring a new generation - Workshop Connecting families and their children to nature worldwide (Cecile van der Burgh)​

- June 2014 - Curriculum Connections in a Changing World Conference (Dr Dimity Williams) - Cool Australia Nature Play online Professional Development Course (Dr Dimity Williams) 

- April 2014 - Launch Nature Play Week (Chris Joy, Dr Dimity Williams)

- April 2014 - Film screening Project Wildthing, Nature Play Week Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne (Cecile van der Burgh)

- April: Nature Play Week Launch 2014 (Christine Joy, Dr Dimity Williams, Cecile van der Burgh

- March 2014: Nature Connect Conference featuring Richard Louv - Melbourne (Cecile van der Burgh)

2013

- Centre for Sustainability Leadership 2013 Fellowship Program  (Cecile van der Burgh, Dimity Williams)

- August: Dr Dimity Williams was interviewed on radio 3RRR to talk about kids and nature and why they need each other

- September: KINN's Co-founder Cecile van der Burgh speaks up for our national parks in The Age.  

2012

- Sustainable Living Festival (Cecile van der Burgh)

- Centre for Sustainability Leadership 2012 Fellowship Program (Cecile van der Burgh, Dr Dimity Williams)

2011

- Opening addresses of KINN workshops 2011

- Environmental Film Festival Melbourne 2011 - Panel discussion (Cecile van der Burgh)

- Centre for Sustainability Leadership 2011 Fellowship Program (Cecile van der Burgh, Dr Dimity Williams, Sanne de Swart)

- Film screening "Play Again" at CERES 2011 (Cecile van der Burgh)

2010

- Centre for Sustainability Leadership 2010 fellowship program (Cecile van der Burgh, Dimity Williams, Sanne de Swart)

- Graduation dinner, Centre For Sustainability Leadership 2010 (Cecile van der Burgh, Sanne de Swart, Dr Dimity Williams)

Nature Connect Conference

Australia’s Nature Connect Conference - featuring Richard Louv, February 21, 2014

 

Kids In Nature Network was delighted to partner with the Australian Conservation Foundation for the Melbourne leg of Richard Louv's Australian Speaking Tour. We collaborated on two major events: a Nature Connect Conference at Fitzroy Town Hall on Friday 21 February and a sold-out public forum at the Capitol Theatre in Melbourne CBD on Saturday 22 February.

 

Presented by the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Kids In Nature Network, The Nature Connect Conference was a gathering of inspiring and inspired leaders and practitioners from community, health, industry, education, sport, recreation, infrastructure, planning, and conservation sectors. We came together to share passion and ideas; to connect, collaborate, celebrate and start conversations on how we can reconnect our nation – and our world – to nature.

Of course, the highlight of the Conference was keynote speaker Richard Louv (Author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principal, and Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Children & Nature Network). With David Seignior as MC (Melbourne Fellowship Program Director at the Centre for Sustainable Leadership and Director, PlayThinkInc), a keynote by Richard Louv and speakers Dr Robert Grenfell (National Heart Foundation), Cecile van der Burgh (Kids In Nature Network), Jonathon La Nauze and Tabatha Fulker (Australian Conservation Foundation), Dr Barbara Chancellor (RMIT University) and Ian Shears (Melbourne City Council).

 

We shared stories of targeted nature-based interventions, programs, practices and research that have led to real, positive and lasting impact not just for children, but on families and people of all ages and from all backgrounds – and on our environment.

​​

Feedback of participants

“All speakers were fabulous. Excellent variety of expertise.”

“Good balance of academic and personal experience knowledge.”

“Confirmation of my own experience."

“Great speakers and topic. Relevant to a wide range of people/professions.¨

“Very inspiring, but also reinforced a belief in healing power of nature! Interesting to hear the different perspectives."

Join us!

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we work, learn and play.

We thank them for sharing their culture and knowledge through stories, language, art and song.

We recognise the important role they have played for thousands of years and continue to play in caring for the land and waterways.  We pay our respects to the Elders past, present and future.

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