Education Outdoors Conference 2018

Your Future in the Outdoors

Pre-conference Workshops- Thursday May 24

You are invited to attend either of our two new pre-conference workshops

SERIOUS FUN’s Building Connections Before Content

or AABAT’s Bush Adventure Therapy 101

on Thursday the 24th May from 9.00 am to 4.00pm.

Victoria University, Footscray Campus

Tickets are available for both on our Registration page

*PLEASE NOTE: No catering will be provided on this day for either workshop & Conference package tickets DO NOT include either of these workshops



Building Connections Before Content

Ideal for all experiential & outdoor education leaders

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
– Aristotle, philosopher

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Research clearly shows that programs which intentionally develop trusting & healthy relationships out-perform all other programs on so many levels- greater participation, stronger communities & extremely happy participants.

If this is what you’re looking for, this workshop is for you.

Anyone can lead a series of fun, outdoor activities. What matters most is how you leave people feeling at the end of your program.

Fun group games & activities are one of the most powerful (and attractive) ways to help people connect, and strong relationships amplify the results of whatever you’re trying to get done (no matter your content.)

This NEW, highly interactive workshop will guide you through sequence of incredibly fun group activities & presentations in which you will learn:

  • The three universal truths of programming & the impact these have on the success of your program;
  • Dozens of new, innovative & highly enjoyable activities which you can immediately integrate into your setting to connect people to one another & build strong communities;
  • Simple, yet powerful, four-step sequential framework that is proven to create remarkably fun programs; and
  • Critical program leadership skills to help you inspire, equip & empower your group to be the best it can be.

BONUS #1: FREE one-month’s subscription to playmeo’s activity database (featuring 350+ group activities;) and
BONUS #2: FREE copy of Mark’s latest book Serious Fun.

  • Individual: Early Bird $97 – Regular $147 – Last Minute $197
  • Three People: Early Bird $197 – Regular $247 – Last Minute $297 Hurry – limited spaces!
Mark Collard

Mark Collard


Mark Collard is an experiential trainer, speaker & author. He is the founder & director of playmeo, a small professional development company which hosts the largest online database of group games & activities in the world. He is best known for his innovative workshops, playful keynote addresses & his best-selling books including No Props, Count Me In & Serious Fun. Mark is a Board member of Outdoors Victoria and presents frequently at many state, national & international conferences.

Bush Adventure Therapy 101

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This 1-day workshop will provide an introduction to bush adventure therapy history, definitions, research evidence, theories, principles and practices. An overview of Australian BAT programs will be provided, including the range of target groups, models and practice frameworks that exist, and a closer look at some key program examples. Commonalities and diversities will be discussed, along with an introduction to ethics, safety and use of therapeutic frames. A resource folder of readings and contacts will be provided. No prior experience is necessary, just a sense of adventure and some comfortable clothing.

Through this workshop, you will develop an understanding about the breadth of Bush Adventure Therapy practices in Australia, gain some knowledge of the history and culture that informs current practices and build some ideas about how your work can be strengthened by this field of practice.

This workshop is well suited to people who are new to the field or people with more experience who are looking to take on more of an advocacy role in their work.

Ben Knowles

Ben Knowles


Over his working life Ben has found himself traversing the fields of outdoor education, teaching, training, bush adventure therapy and clinical therapy. Now, Ben is a director of Adventure Works, offering a suit of BAT services in Australia ( He also works as a clinician with Berry Street’s Take Two program (

Since 2007, Ben has been significantly involved in the establishment of the Australian Association for Bush Adventure Therapy Inc. He has held a number of roles including four years as Chairperson (2010 – 2014) and currently holds the position of Secretary.

Find out more about Ben’s professional background here.

Rachael Millsom

Rachael Millsom

Bush Adventure Therapy Counsellor

Adventure Works – Regenerate Family Violence Recovery Program

Rachael is passionate about the healing power of nature and positive connections with others.  She comes from a diverse background and has worked in corporate and community sectors, she has worked as an outdoor educator, family therapist and counsellor. Now days Rachael works mostly with women in the Bush Adventure Therapy field, Rachael believes in the strength and resilience of women and their children and how positive connections with others and nature can build and support this.

It was these experiences, following a life of outdoor adventures, that cemented in Rachael that she loved working with people in the outdoors, this is where she also saw its therapeutic power.

Rachael completed training in outdoor recreation and worked as an outdoor educator for groups of young people in the early 2000’s. Since then, Rachael has worked as an environmental scientist, enjoying many hours working in the outdoors with a variety of people, she has trained as a counsellor and worked in a number of roles including as a youth and family counsellor and social worker.  During this time Rachael also had two children and grew passionate about supporting mothers, which saw her volunteer with parentline and the Australian Breastfeeding Association. In 2013 Rachael began a private practice offering counselling and meditation. She later extended this practice to include running retreats and women’s circles.  It was also at this time that Rachael got involved with the Australian Association of Bush Adventure Therapy where she is currently the Victorian Regional Representative on the AABAT committee.

Nature and the outdoors continues to be an important part of Rachael’s personal life, she enjoys walking, hiking, camping, mountain biking and spending time in her garden. It is to nature she retreats when she needs to step out of the ordinary.