Experiential Education Without the Backpack at Back Creek Farm

Friday 27th May
Session 7
1.40pm – 2.30pm
Room: TBA
Education & Outdoor Learning  Health & Wellbeing 

Christian College Geelong has been running the Back Creek Farm Program transformational learning journey for nearly 25 years. Based at Scotsburn, near the base of Mount Buninyong near Ballarat, our Year 9 Students undertake the experience of a school-lifetime.

A 5 week overnight, immersive, authentic and rigorous program for Year 9 students at Christian College, that develop character through Social, Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Spiritual opportunities. Experiencing a life living and working in a residential, rural setting on a working dairy farm. Students become Café staff, Dairy workers, Farmers, Bacon and Eggers (the carers of the chooks and pigs of course), Homesteading life-stylers and Chefs to care for their community.

Encompassing a range of exposures in the Australian Curriculum cross curricular priorities with First Nations Histories and Cultures, and Local, National and Global Sustainability. Underpinned by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that enables students to develop an authentic call to action through Social and Environmental Sciences. Such as Food Futures, life on the land, climate action and good health and wellbeing.

Our guiding principles for foundational learning relate to Community, Service and Character. We challenge the students daily (and ourselves as staff) to build and practice resilience, independent learning and interdependent connections, having grateful hearts, enjoying full bellies from homecooked goodness and care for animals and the Earth which sustain us. We pick our vegies, make our jam and pasteurize our milk, and occasionally assist as the midwives to our dairy or beef herd.

Come and join the conversation about getting back to basics, amongst the mud and dirt to remind ourselves how important it is to teach and share the journey of slow living in the outdoors and the value of living in community.

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

Kim Ali

Kim Ali studied a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Nature Tourism at LA Trobe University, Bendigo from 2000 until 2002 and has been in the Outdoor and Environmental Education field ever since.
Professionally the majority of Kim’s work has been in residential outdoor education centres and in the Outdoor and Environmental teaching space.
Kim has been working within Christian College Geelong’s Rural Studies Campus at Scotsburn for nearly a decade, and as Director since 2016.
On a personal front, Kim’s main passions include exploring and adventuring both locally and overseas (With time spent living in both New Zealand and Canada), creating a beautiful family, bike-riding, camping, bee-keeping and gardening.

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

Antony Benson

Antony Benson has a background in Industrial Design and is currently the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning at Christian College Geelong. This will be Antony’s 11th year at Christian College, in a role which fulfills his professional interests in Critical and Creative thinking with a focus on creating Sustainable practices.
In his spare moments, Antony loves to spend time outside, beside a campfire with his mates or his family. Ant, along with his children build, design and create their own projects and have a special fondness for blacksmithing and other hands-on trade exploration. Ant has also dedicated many years as an enthusiastic Cub Scout leader.