Brian Nettleton Lecture: ‘Through the unknown, unremembered gate’

Friday 27th May
Brian Nettleton Lecture 
9.30am – 10:30pm
Room: Auditorium
Education & Outdoor Learning

In this lecture I want to take time to consider the circumstances facing today’s youth and what, if anything, is needed by outdoor experiences to make their lives feel safe, rich, meaningful and sustainable.

Brian Nettleton thought and wrote about these themes over 20 years ago. He developed terms like ‘nature as friend’, ‘new adventures’ and ‘transformational moments’ to articulate the positive contribution that nature can play in peoples’ lives. Yet, the last two decades have seen an ever-accelerating digital revolution impact on almost every aspect of human experience to the point that it is omnipresent. Life is now mediated through the screen. Youth are hyper-vigilant, anxious, experience climate trauma, and have decreasing access to, and time spent in, the outdoors (nature deficit disorder). And, to cap it off, now have two years of life interrupted by the pandemic. What now for Outdoors Victoria and outdoor education?

happy person in the Outdoors with tree and mountain landscape in the background

Brian Wattchow

Brian is a retired Senior Lecturer in Outdoor Education. He has over 30 years of experience teaching, guiding and researching in outdoor education. His research interests include sense of place, landscape and storytelling. In 2010, he completed a 2500 km canoe descent of River Murray and published his first collection of poetry titled The Song of the Wounded River (Ginninderra Press, 2010). He co-authored A Pedagogy of place: Outdoor education for a changing world (Monash University Publishing, 2011) and was lead editor and author of The socio-ecological educator: A 21st Century renewal of sport, physical, health, environment and outdoor education (Springer, 2014).