Australian Group

To connect Australians and people living in Australia. To share ideas and encourage C&NN ideas to develop in Australia

Members: 24
Latest Activity: Oct 10, 2017

Discussion Forum

NurtureNature Education

Hi I just joined your group as I am starting a business in Melbourne (I live in Southeastern suburbs) to connect children to nature. I do garden design and planting (with families and schools working…Continue

Started by Pascale Miller Nov 17, 2016.

Lets get outdoors in Australia 1 Reply

What is happening to the people in parks in Melbourne? I would love to network with Natural Teachers and Parents in Australia.   Recently I discovered that my local Steiner Kindy is having to apply …Continue

Started by Yeshi. Last reply by Sybil Juzwiak Doyle May 20, 2015.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Australian Group to add comments!

Comment by Yeshi on May 11, 2011 at 4:04am
Hi Charley, I'm going sailing next weekend in Sydney.  I agree about getting something happening. Yeshi
Comment by Charley Jones on April 8, 2011 at 5:37am
I've just joined Cn&N Connect. I live in a  Southern suburb of Sydney and spend a great deal of time in and around the Royal National Park with my family. I write a blog about "inspiring you and your family to get in, on and around the water". Sydney, and indeed the East coast of Australia have so many beautiful waterways to explore and when we visit them we hardly see a soul some days. This is a good thing and a bad thing! I'm keen to hear about ways to connect face to face with other members of this group from Sydney, and indeed around Australia.
Comment by Sonya Aylmore on February 15, 2011 at 6:08pm
Hi if anyone is interested in completing nature education courses with Claire Warden's mindstretcher team visit and check out our online training
Comment by Yeshi on February 15, 2011 at 1:59pm

Narelle while we live in a very sunny climate in Australia, known fr outdoor characters such as Steve Irwin and Croc Dundee, as elsewhere children here are deficient in Vit D. The Research is  out as a Naturopath friend who distributes for Metagenics says Vit D supplements have become a major product for children in Australia. Lets get going down under, we can do it, taking inspiration from CNN ...Yeshi

Comment by Narelle Debenham on January 13, 2011 at 5:24pm

Do Australian children get their daily dose of outdoor 'Greens'? what do you think???  See article below....

Comment by Narelle Debenham on October 17, 2010 at 9:29pm
Date: 15/10/10 9:13 AM
From: C&NN Connect Add to address book
To: Narelle Debenham Add to address book
Subject: Natured Kids: Australian Group
View message details

A message from Narelle Debenham to all members of Australian Group on C&NN Connect!

Hello to all you lovely like minded people, fellow Australians, who wish to form our own Aussie Children and Nature Network.
Just wanting to introduce myself.
My name is Narelle Debenham, I am Primary teacher trained, and based in Melbourne. Over the last 20 years, I have worked in schools/pre-schools helping to create dynamic outdoor areas for children to engage in creative forms of free and unstructured play. During 07’, 08’, 09’ and 2010, I have planned and coordinated weekly opportunities for local families and their pre-schoolers, on the Mornington Peninsula, to play in nature together. In March 09’ I was delighted to attend attended the “Get Outside! It’s in
our Nature” forum, , as an Australian representative at the Royal Roads University of Victoria in Canada, where I met with founders of the Children and Nature Network and with Richard Louv. It was very exciting to be part of the Canadian launch of their child/Nature Alliance. Through my work, I constantly advocate the need for an "Aussie" C&NN.
I continue to encourage, via my free lance work, lots of free play, healthy
participation, education and life long learning in natures cultural and environmental classroom!

I am happy to share an article I wrote with you, titled:

‘Out’ is back in for Play
by Narelle Debenham
Many of today’s kids in Australia spend too much of their childhood in a virtual world gained mainly from television, DVD’s and computer games. Children are well versed with space, exotic animals and dinosaurs. They have developed concepts of times long ago and faraway places in nature, but how intimately do they know nature in their own local environment? Have they shared the wonder and joy of observing their amazing night sky right on their doorstep? As they play in their backyard have they really listened to the birds? Do they react with joy when they spot a ladybird or see a butterfly landing on a flower? Has there been an opportunity to indulge their senses by growing, harvesting and eating food?
Nature never intended for people to spend countless hours of life inside. For most of 120,000 years humans have lived intimately with nature in rainforests, bushland, grasslands, deserts, coastal areas and other waterways. Up until several decades ago when children were free – for many readers this will be your childhood of fond memories - children couldn’t wait to be told “Go outside and play”. They’d head for a tree to climb, puddles to splash in, a pond to look for tadpoles, a wild place to explore, to pick wildflowers or to build a cubby. There was plenty of fresh air and exercise, creating a healthy appetite and a good night’s sleep.
Fortunately some families and educational facilitators have the balance right. Awareness is spreading throughout the globe with astute governments playing a part in turning the tide to ‘Out is Back In For Play’, connecting children to nature in their daily lives and at the same time reconnecting adults to nature by encouraging them to share their children’s experiences.
In parts of the USA, a bill has been passed declaring children must have at least one hour outside every day. In Scandinavian countries in most types of weather, children have daily outdoor play and learning experiences in nature for their health and well being.
Early 2009 an International Conference ‘Get Outside-It’s In Our Nature’, was held at Vancouver Island in Canada. World leaders expressed concern for a generation of children who don’t often go outside and who appear to be divorced from their natural world. Ideas were shared for ways to reconnect children with nature.
Over the last few decades a ‘culture of fear’ has developed for the safety of children. In many cases parents, carers and educators are reluctant to allow children the freedom to explore outdoors further than the confines of the balcony, backyard or playground.
This retreat indoors has been fuelled by fear of strangers, accidents, litigation, being alone, going to unknown places, natural disasters and sunburn.
Our ‘sun shunning’ society has became so paranoid about skin cancer that many now are avoiding sun exposure altogether. Cases of Rickets are on the rise in Australia from babies through to the elderly due to Vitamin D deficiency. The main source of Vitamin D is the sun. Immune systems may also suffer with lack of sun. We must all continue to be ‘Sun Safe’ but understand that our bodies need a daily dose of sunshine, at least 10 -15 minutes of exposure without sunscreen.
‘Natured Kids’, an outdoor program designed to explore nature in the local area, is especially for children 0 -5 years and their families to connect with nature and each other. Belonging to a group helps them feel more confident and secure as they visit nearby nature venues. Some of the young children’s direct learning experiences and playing activities include:
* butterfly and vegetable gardens at a community garden.
* planting indigenous plants from their local council nursery beside
* investigating and playing in natural bushland reserves
* leisure activities at the beach and ponding in wetlands.
‘Natured Kids’ recognises that bonds are strengthened, communication flows and memories are made when they share the same experiences in nature. Time spent by children and adults together in nature forms the foundation for eco-literacy and influences attitudes and lifelong respect for and care of their natural environment.
‘Sienna and I love our adventures together in Nature. Although we do many outdoor activities as a family it is wonderful to do things during the week in safety with other adults.’ Justine (Mother)

The International ‘Healthy Parks –Healthy People Congress’ was held in Melbourne April 11-16 this year. At this congress Narelle Debenham presented a workshop ‘Nature Nurtures – How to Map Your Local Area for Happy Healthy Outdoor Fun’.
Narelle Debenham ‘Natured Kids’ Phone: 03 9783 5746 Mobile: 0431791379
Comment by Charles Hayne on October 14, 2010 at 4:24pm
Just a quick update. Nature Play WA held its first of two Founding Partners meetings this week. These meetings have been held to come to agreement on the constritution of a new not for profit called Nature Play WA. This should happen in November. Following this will be a visit from two CNN luminaries - Brother Yusuf and Martin Le Blanc - who will speak at our conference in Perth on Nov 25 and 26 (go and click on Active 10 for more information).

Our founding partners are an impressive list of organsations that will help us get the nature play message to parents. It includes
1. The Royal College of Physicians
2. Play Group WA (has over 500 play groups)
3. The Primary Principals Assocation (over 1000 principals)
4. WACCSO - the peak body for all parents and frends associations in WA
5. The conservation Council - has over 100 member organisation
6. The Department of Environment and Conservation
7. Us - The Dept of Sport and Rec
8. and the list goes on.
Once incorporated we hope to take on two full time staff for the organisation. It's key role will be coordinating communication paths for the nature play message getting to parents + providing information on how to do it.
Comment by Cathy Levett on October 8, 2010 at 5:06pm
I am a primary school teacher and I am lucky to be at a school that has a bushland (somewhat degraded) right next door. Now that spring is here and the bush is in bloom I am really looking forward to exploring with my year 3 class.
Comment by Jennifer Kable on September 20, 2010 at 7:50pm
Hello fellow country-people :) I'm a preschool teacher in Sydney with a big interest in outdoor and nature play. Our preschool borders the bush and we use it daily as a part of our learning environment. We have a free flow indoor / outdoor program so that kids can spend all day outside if they feel so inclined - and many do. I'm learning more and more about the importance of connecting kids to nature, and we are currently (slowly) adding to our playspace with the goal of having a natural outdoor play area that stimulates, engages and challenges preschoolers. I blog about preschool bits and pieces over at www.
Comment by Charles Hayne on August 29, 2010 at 4:57pm
Hello Caro - feel free to call me at the Department Sport and Recreation Western Australia on 08 94929833 to talk about Nature Play WA, the website and your website/magazine.
Charles Hayne

Members (24)


© 2021   Created by amy pertschuk.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service