2nd Outdoor Series: Diversity and Inclusion in the Outdoors

Exploring how outdoor service providers and outdoor education teachers can adapt their practices to be more inclusive.

DATE AND TIME: 2nd of December 10:30 am FREE EVENT




This digital series will cover diversity and inclusion in the outdoors. We will be speaking to guest presenters and will learn why it’s so important to value inclusivity to connect with the wider community, how organisations and camps can become more inclusive and capable of hosting activities to a wider audience, and how underrepresented segments of the community can be fully represented in the future.



Mel Turnbull (they/she)

Anne Mel Turnbull (they/she) is the founder and CEO of NFP Nature Connection organisation, Firekeepers. Mel is a white settler, who grew up in a large, nature-loving and rambunctious family in Narrm on unceded Wurrundjeri, Woi Wurrung and Boon Wurrung country. They have worked with people for over 25 years as a nurse, circus trainer, gymnastics coach, social justice mentor, outdoor educator, gardening instructor, queer leader. They are neurodiverse and passionate about building community and bridging connections between humans and the more-than-human world.

Mel’s work arises from the mycelial networks of 8 Shields, Possibility Management, Wollangarra, School of Lost Borders, Queer Nature, YARN Australia, Youth Passageways (US), Human (NZ), Koanga (NZ), Art of Mentoring Australia, School of Shamanic Womancraft, Bluegum Bushcraft, Nature Philosophy, Nature’s Apprentice, Jon Young, Tom Brown, Wildraft Australia, Permaculture College Australia, Nature Academy,  White Awake (US) and Weaving Earth (US).

Mel is a queer and non-binary step-parent and aunty who has deep love for Antarctic Beech trees


Tony Bellette & Abbey Dawkins

Tony begun at Blackwood in 2002 and through his drive, passion and determination to provide inclusive outdoor experiences he has been a key driver in the 9-year process that successfully gained a Student Resource Package fully funded by the Department of Education this year. This funding allows Blackwood to further students learning and outdoor opportunities that they have generally been excluded from in ‘everyday’ living. Tony’s passion for challenging students to extend their comfort zone has continued to grow over his 20 years of working with students with an intellectual disability. He regularly finds himself inspired by the determination, persistence and enthusiasm shown by students attending Blackwood. 

Abbey begun working at Blackwood in 2016 with very little experience of working with students with an intellectual disability. After seeing the joy and enthusiasm not only of the students attending Blackwood but parents, teachers and staff as well, it was clear to her that Blackwood was an extremely important place. It offers students unique outdoor experiences that they may not have the opportunity to have due to the limited inclusion practices throughout society. 

Neil Mc Culloch

Equal parts social justice and love of nature led Neil to start First Hike Project. He has hiked many of the world’s beautiful places from the Moroccan Atlas Mountains and South Africa’s Drakensberg’s to the Scottish Highlands and the American Rockies with lots of places in between. Being an immigrant most of his life he knows the trials involved in finding ‘home’ in a different country and wants to play his part in helping others settle into their wonderful new country.


DATE AND TIME: 2nd of December 10:30 am FREE EVENT