Exploring the mental health benefits of working and playing in the outdoors and solutions to create better outcomes for all Victorians.

DATE AND TIME: 28th of October 10:30 am FREE EVENT


Mental health is an extremely prevalent topic at the moment during these unprecedented times. As part of Mental Health Month in October, the team at Outdoors Victoria have curated this first of our DIGITAL SERIES where we will be introducing you to three different representatives who are experts active in different areas of the outdoor sectors in Victoria such as kids & play, educational outcomes, and mental health and wellness.

We will explore how this has impacted the outdoor sectors over the past few years, what strategies and solutions the outdoors sectors and wider community are employing to overcome the impacts and create better outcomes for all Victorians, and how the outdoors sectors could be at the forefront in encouraging more outdoor play as a solution to improving the mental health and wellbeing of people’s lives.



Richelle Olsen

Professionally Richelle has worked as an online business analyst for over 20 years, in Australia, the UK and the Middle East. In 2015, she cycled the Great Divide MTB Route off-road from Canada to Mexico, almost 5,000kms over 5 months. Richelle is the Community Engagement Officer for the Australian Association of Bush Adventure Therapy (AABAT) and the founder of Escaping Your Comfort Zone, body-positive adventures for women, with the approach “The outdoors don’t care about your size, your pace or your fitness, and neither do we”.

Adriana Pinder

Adriana is an experienced Health and Physical Educator with 10 years’ experience teaching and leading F-12 programs. She has worked with the peak body for HPE and Outdoor Education, ACHPER Victoria, for the last 4 years, as a Professional Learning Coordinator. Her work in this space has focused on F-10 HPE professional development and resources for teachers across Victoria, with a keen interest in VCE. Adriana has recently taken on a new role within the organisation as Technical Lead of the Active Schools Expert Support Service, leading a team of 12 HPE and extracurricular experts to support Victorian government schools and teachers to develop sustainable physical activity initiatives for students in the school and local community.

Anne Houghton

Anne Houghton has worked in early childhood education for over 45 years promoting the importance of play, led her to have opportunities as a presenter both nationally and internationally.
Anne began as a Kindergarten Teacher, then roles as Kindergarten Cluster Management Coordinator, Consultant in Resources and Advice, Professional Development Presenter and Trainer, and finally lecturing for Early Childhood undergraduate and postgraduate courses at University. She has also written early childhood resources; one highlight was sharing her teaching experiences in a 2013 publication called ‘Intentional Teaching: Promoting Purposeful Practice in Early Childhood Settings’ published by Teaching Solutions. Anne is currently a sessional lecturer at RMIT University and also presents for Play Australia.


DATE AND TIME: 28th of October 10:30 am FREE EVENT