As a director of Adventure Works, Ben is dedicated towards seeing bush adventure therapy become widely available for people from all walks of life who face difficulty or hardship. Ben has experienced and witnessed the self-affirming and life-changing joy of a time spent in the bush and the breadth of healing that can accompany this. As a child and young man Ben spent a great deal of time exploring his local bush in the Adelaide hills, and the mountains and the forests of the central and Western Victoria. He grew up living in a country pub, on small farms and in small communities. These early experiences laid a foundation that would become a strong therapeutic practice grounded in the lived and unfolding experience of people, culture and place. With over 15 years of experience, Ben decided it was time to make good on a long held plan to begin what is now Adventure Works.
Ben began work in the outdoor education field in 1997. His education includes: a Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work (University of Melbourne), a Graduate Diploma in Narrative Therapy and Community Work (Dulwich Centre), a Graduate Diploma in Experiential Learning (Victoria University), and a Bachelor of Education majoring in Outdoor Education and Environmental Studies (Victoria University). Ben has also undertaken training in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT), Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), the Blue Knot’s Phased Approach to working with complex trauma. Ben is a member of the Australian Associaiton for Bush Adventure Therapy as well as holding level 4 membership with the Australian Counselling Association – College of Clinical Counsellors.
Over his adult working life Ben has found himself traversing the fields of outdoor education, teaching, training, bush adventure therapy and clinical therapy. As a freelance instructor, trainer and program manager in the outdoor education field, Ben gained valuable insight into big programs, logistics, risk management, resourcing and managing relationships with large client schools. In the teaching field Ben has worked with a number of aboriginal communities around central Australia, most significantly in Ti Tree where he was able to co-create an innovative curriculum with the secondary students there. Ben also worked as a sessional lecturer at Victoria University, lecturing in theories of outdoor education and leadership in the outdoors. In the field of bush adventure therapy, Ben has worked with people across the sectors of mental health, drug and alcohol and disadvantaged youth. Significant among these was Out Doors Inc; The Outdoor Experience; and, Evolve (formerly Typo Station) where he worked as the coordinator of the Evolve Young Men’s Program carrying on the work of many predecessors. Alongside Adventure Works, Ben practices as a senior clinician with Berry Street’s Take Two program working with young people who have experienced significant trauma or neglect.
Since 2007 Ben has been significantly involved in the establishment of the Australian Association for Bush Adventure Therapy Inc. Over this time he has been responsible for holding a number of roles including a four-year term as Chairperson of the association (2010 – 2014).