Australia’s history and cultures have always been infused with the symbols and experiences of nature, but even in that great country, concern is growing about the disconnect between children — which means people — and the natural world. So is the amount of good Australian research on the issue as well as the number of organizations taking action.
This will be my third trip to the continent, and I’ve written about the movement there to connect children to nature. The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) is bringing me to several cities there, Feb. 22 to Feb. 26. Other organizations I’ll be cheering on include, OPAL (Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle), the child obesity prevention program of South Australia.
Here’s a list of some (not all) of the great groups in Australia. This list was assembled and generously shared by Antje Dun, ACF librarian. I’ve edited the list and added a few organizations.
Please let me know if you’re not on this list belong on it, and please register your organization’s contact information on the Children & Nature Network’s Movement Directory. I’m hoping to meet folks from many of these organizations during my upcoming visit to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Brisbane.
ACF stands for ecological sustainability, bringing people together to champion the true value of our environment and its critical role in sustaining all other systems and in achieving human wellbeing.
3000 Acres aims to unlock underutilised land across the city to grow food and build strong communities.
Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network
A national gathering nestled in Hobart with some of Australia’s greatest food garden innovators coming together to teach connect, share, inspire and mobilize.
Conservation Volunteers, Naturewise Conservation Holidays
Connect with nature and explore the great outdoors.
Earthwatch – Volunteer Vacations
Earthwatch combines volunteer opportunities for individuals from all walks of life … This was a great opportunity to really get to know Australia’s flora, fauna.
One Wave is a non-profit surf community that is raising awareness for being in a funk, anything from depression, anxiety and bipolar. We have found that the best way to beat a funk, is getting in the ocean and enjoying the waves and saltwater goodness.
Out Doors Inc.
Out Doors Inc. (Out Doors) is a non-profit statewide community managed mental health organisation that uses the outdoor environment as the means of delivering a range of adventure, recreation and respite programs to people living with a mental illness.
The 202020 Vision is a national campaign to increase urban green space in Australia by 20% by 2020.
National Tree Day – Planet Ark
Planet Arkand Toyota is calling on all Australians to Get Outside and Grow, and help make nature a part of our everyday lives where we live, learn, work and play.
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen GardenFoundation
A not-for-profit organisation assisting Australian schools to implement and deliver theStephanie Alexander Kitchen GardenProgram.
Kids Teaching Kids
Kids teaching kids is an education program, delivered through schools which encourages kids to work together to identify and offer solutions.
One Tree Per Child
The aim of ‘One Tree Per Child’ is to have every child under ten plant at least one tree as part of an official school activity.
Greening Australia – Greening Australia and your school
Have you considered a revegetation project in your school?
Junior Landcare is about encouraging young people to play an active role in ensuring the safe future of their environment.
My Green Wall
School vertical gardening program
Nature Play Playgrounds, Nature Play WA
Western Australia’s statewide effort nurtures nature play spaces.
School Holiday programs
Coastal Connections, Summer Holidays Activities Program, South Australia
Junior Rangers Summer Holiday Program, Victoria,
Nearer to Nature Summer Holiday Program, Western Australia
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NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
Find great places to visit, memorable experiences and beautiful nature stays in national parks across NSW.
Wilderquest, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
During the school holidays NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service run a great WilderQuest Discovery program of events for kids.
COSS Family Nature Club— Gosford City Council
A Family Nature Club is a group of adults and children who enjoy nature together on a regular basis.
Fun in the Bush Parks and Wildlife Commission NT
Need Ideas for having Fun in the Bush? Want to learn more? The following ideas and information give young people the chance for discovery.
Junior Rangers – Parks and Wildlife Commission NT
The Junior Ranger Program provides an opportunity for Northern Territory children to discover their natural and cultural environment.
Walking with Spirits
The Walking with Spirits festivals held each year at the end of July or early August at Malkgulumbu, a waterfall and sacred site on the land of the Jawoyn people.
Connect with Nature – Department of National Parks, Recreation …
Information about the Connect with Nature activities, events and school programs which replace the Go Bush program.
The Natureweavers Place
A forest school program that has been operating on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland since 2010.
OPAL (Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle)
OPAL is the most significant child obesity prevention program ever conducted in South Australia. Its 2014 theme is “Life Looks Brighter on the Outside.”
NRM Education in Adelaide
Works on a range of initiatives including the Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative SA (AuSSI-SA), nature play and reconnecting people with the natural world — through its Engaging with Nature program and a range of Youth Voice initiatives.
SA Urban Forests Million Trees Program
Read about SAUrban Forests Million TreesProject endeavors, learn about local plants and animals.
This website is a gateway to more than 400 trail experiences across the wonderful state of South Australia.
Parks Victoria – Healthy Parks Healthy People
Our parks are everywhere – from the most remote locations to right in the heart of the city.
Victorian Child &Nature Connection
The Victorian Child and Nature Connection aims to reconnect Victorian children to nature.
Mud Monsters Gardening Group
Mud Monsters gardening group offers a beginner gardening booklet and workshops for children.
Kids in Nature
A website and book about getting out and about in nature around Melbourne with young kids.
Bendigo Family Nature Club: The unofficial guide to Bendigo
Start your own nature club such as this one in Bendigo.
Ranger Roo, Victorian National Parks
As Parks Victoria’s mascot, Ranger Roo inspires toddlers and young children to enjoy and appreciate nature and the outdoors.
Parks Victoria’s Junior Rangersare born to explore. If you have an interest in nature, animals and the outdoors then Junior Rangers is for you.
Active in Parks Program, Geelong
Active in Parks supports targeted groups to undertake activities in parks and open spaces to achieve social, physical and mental health outcomes.
Nature Play WA
List of useful websites from Nature Play WA of organisations, where to go…
The West Australian Family Bushwalking Club
The West Australian Family Bushwalking Club Inc. provides opportunities for family activities that encourage appreciation and enjoyment of the bush.
Goolarabooloo – LurujarriHeritage Trail
You will spend 9 days with the Goolarbooloo people of Broome W.A. walking the Lurujarri dreaming trail.
The Walkatjurra Walkabout
The Walkatjurra Walkabout is an annual one month pilgrimage across Wangkatja country in Western Australia.
Learn about the Children & Nature Network Worldwide