Victorian Child and Nature Connection Newsletter -
December 2012
Victorian Child and Nature Connection
Kids do better outside, change agents do better together

In this newsletter

1) Tim Gill Forum
2) An exhibition of memory flags…you are invited!
3) Upcoming events and professional development
4) Job advertisement - CEO Outdoors Victoria

Hi everyone

Thanks for a great year, in which the seeds of several collaborations have been planted across the network. We are really looking forward to seeing these come to fruition in 2013 and beyond! We'll keep you posted!

Please contact us if you are interested in discussing ideas for new collaborations :-)

1) Tim Gill Forum

Thanks to everyone who attended the recent seminar with Tim Gill we organised in cooperation with Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne. ‘Children and Nature, Why They Need Each Other’ was a full house (120 attendees) and the feedback has been enthusiastic, thank you!

UK Childhood expert Tim Gill added to the lively international debate on the changing nature of childhood. He encouraged us to see the outdoor child as an índicator species to the health of our environments and he left us with the powerful mental image of children forever able to explore their environs with freedom.

There was again plenty of opportunity for networking. On this hot day, we took off our shoes and headed for the cool creek.

All participants were invited to create their own memory flag of their favourite childhood memories on one side and what they enjoy doing as an adult. They make for compelling reading! In the afternoon there were wonderful guided tours in the Australian Garden. The Garden truly is a masterpiece, showcasing the amazing tapestry of landscapes and native plants present on this extraordinary continent. Highly recommended!

We look forward to further collaborations with Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, in addition to our ongoing events at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne in the city.

Our next mini seminar networking event ‘ Connecting to Country - Sharing the Story’ is a special one. It will be held on Wednesday morning 13 March 2012 at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne (see details below).

2) Childhood Memory Flags Exhibition

December 2012 - January 2013

The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden invites you to drop by and enjoy a special exhibition...

Our strongest links to nature are created in childhood when we spend free time playing in rich outdoor spaces. These experiences can become the driving force behind our career choices, our drive to live sustainable lives and our willingness to allow our children their own time to play in nature.

We hope you enjoy reading these flags and that you will add your own - one side recording the childhood memory and the other, reflecting the connection to adult life, illustrating that each part of our lives remains entwined with the other.

We hope these flags blow their message out to the world just as Tibetan Prayer flags do. We wish for free time for all children, to play in and to connect to nature.

The original flags were created by participants of a recent seminar, ‘Children and Nature: Why They Need Each Other’, held in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Cranbourne and Victorian Child and Nature Connection. Visitors are encouraged to add their own flag.

3) Upcoming events and professional development
Next VCNC Seminar, 13 March 2012 – ‘Connecting to Country, Sharing the Stories’ (Melbourne CBD)

When: Wednesday 13th March 2013 9am-2pm
Where: Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

On some level we all feel a connection to country, whether it be the place of our roots or a favourite holiday destination...but our children may be missing out!! Come celebrate the meeting of cultures and share ideas about how to connect our kids to country.

Professional Development - Semester 1 Royal Botanic Gardens (Melbourne CBD)
Free Twilight Walks at RBG
RBG Melbourne, 26th and 27th March
RBG Cranbourne, tbc
Bookings: 9252 2358
For more information visit

Gardens for Learning and Play
RBG Melbourne, Tuesday 23rd April

Gain skills in developing landscapes to support creative learning and thinking including: plant selection, the role of the child's imagination, understanding nature play, sustainable horticultural practice and attracting biodiversity. Bookings: 9252 2358

Interpretive Design and the Dance of Experience with Steve Van Matre
Brought to you by Earth Education Australia - April 10th and 11th at RBG Melbourne

Matre has lead sessions for nature educators, interpreters and teachers for over 40 years on six continents. This is his first Australian workshop based on his new book Interpretive Design and the Dance of Experience. Bookings:

Nature Play Training - Term 1 2013 (Frankston area)

Narelle from 'Natured Kids' invites you to attend a Nature Play training program during Term 1, 2013. Cost $540 pp.

These training sessions are held in the Frankston area and are suitable for playgroup facilitators, parent groups, staff, owners and operators of child care services, education professionals, park/play rangers and other key providers, working with children in early years services, health, environment and the community from both public and private sectors.

For more details visit or text 0431 791 379

4) Job ad: Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Outdoors Victoria

Unique opportunity to utilise your senior executive experience to create a sustainable peak body for the outdoors sector.
• Change the Victorian outdoors sector landscape
• Drive sustainability for the outdoors sector
• Turn your passion into your profession

Outdoors Victoria (OV) is a newly created peak body servicing the outdoors sector by building on its strength and existing capacity to further develop a sustainable outdoors sector in Victoria. Reporting directly to an experienced Board, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has responsibility for the overall development and management of the operation of OV. Leading the operations of OV to provide services to members and key stakeholders in accordance with the strategic intent, statutory requirements and membership agreements.

For a confidential discussion or to receive a copy of the Position Description, please contact Justine Murphy on 0434 621 629. Or apply by emailing a cover letter, outlining your ability to meet the Key Selection Criteria and your resume to Applications close 5pm Saturday 8th December 2012.

We wish you a great festive season and look forward to reconnecting with you in 2013!

Cecile, Chris, Dimity and Jess
Victorian Child and Nature Connection
0421 188 975

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