More information about research and evaluation

Research

Our credentials

All members of the Adventure Works team have been involved in a range of research projects, including program-based quantitative research, exploratory qualitative research and mixed method approaches to research.

Adventure Works director Anita Pryor completed an Honours thesis in 1996 entitled “Outdoor Education and Attitudes Towards The Environment” and a PhD in 2009 entitled “Wild Adventures in Wellbeing: Foundations, Features and Wellbeing Impacts of Australian Outoor Adventure Interventions”. In her roles of manager of The Outdoor Experience program and assistant manager of Gateway (Jesuit Social Services), Anita supported the development of in-house research projects. Her involvement in professional networks has provided additional opportunities for research partnerships. Since completeing her PhD Anita has consulted to numerous community agencies and organisations wishing to examine and articulate their work in a more formal way. The following professional afilliations have supported her previous research projects:

  • Associate Member of NiCHE Research Group (Nature in Community Health and Environment) Deakin University (2005+)
  • Honorary Research Associate of Deakin University School of Psychology (2010+)
  • University Associate of the University of Tasmania School of Education (2013-2014).

Research examples

Pryor, A. (2014). Reducing youth homelessness: Advice from young people on how to reduce youth homelessness in Tasmania. Anglicare Tasmania, Hobart, Australia.

Pryor, A. (2011). Well and at home, ‘it’s like a big mental sigh’: Pathways out of mental ill health and homelessness. Anglicare Tasmania, Hobart, Australia.

Pryor, A. (2009). Bushmob: A socio-cultural approach to youth service delivery in Central Australia. Bushmob Inc., Alice Springs, Australia.

Pryor, A. (2009). Wild adventures in wellbeing: Foundations, features and wellbeing impacts of Australian outdoor adventure interventions (OAI). Unpublished doctoral thesis, Deakin University School of Health and Social Development. Melbourne, Australia.

Maller, C., Townsend, M., St Leger, L., Henderson-Wilson, C., Pryor, A., Prosser, L. & Moore, M. (2008). Healthy parks, healthy people: The health benefits of contact with nature in a park context. A review of relevant literature. 2nd Edition. School of Health & Social Development, Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing & Behavioural Science, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.

Maller, C., Townsend, M., Pryor, A., Brown, B. & St Leger, L. (2005). ‘Healthy nature, healthy people: Contact with nature as an upstream health promotion intervention for populations’. Health Promotion International. 2005: 21 (1): 45-54.

Pryor, A. & Carpenter, C. (2003). Shared conversations: Proceedings of the First South Pacific Wilderness Adventure Therapy Forum. Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. Limited Publication.

Pryor, A. (2003). ‘The Outdoor Experience Program: Wilderness journeys for improved relationships with self, others and healthy adventure’. In Richards, K. & Smith, K. (Eds.) Therapy Within Adventure: Proceedings of the Second International Adventure Therapy Conference, Augsburg, Germany.

Program Evaluation

Our credentials

From our work as both practitioners and managers, the Adventure Works team values the potential impacts that healthy research can have on improving program practice (evidence-based practice) and we value the input of participants and staff in research processes (practice-based evidence).

In the process of undertaking her PhD, Adventure Works director Anita Pryor examined 20 Australian Outdoor Adventure Interventions by interviewing some 40 program managers. The results demonstrated wide-ranging program aims, philosophies, theoretical bases, target groups, stakeholders, models and outcomes. This project produced a wide range of spectrums, matrices and maps upon which to chart various forms of program practices and models, including programs seeking wellbeing aims with specific target groups. Since completing her PhD Anita has worked with several community agencies and organisations to evaluate the processes and impacts of their programs for various stakeholders. The following professional affiliations have supported previous evaluations:

  • Research Associate of CFRE (Centre for Family Research and Evaluation) Drummond Street Relationship Centre (2010+)
  • Honorary Research Associate of Deakin University School of Psychology (2010+)
  • Associate Evaluators of Susan J. Garner & Associates (2012+).

Program evaluation examples

Pryor, A., Pryor, R. & Bowen, D. (August 2016). Bridging the Gap Program Evaluation Comprehensive Report: Taking off in a good way. Adventure Works Pty Ltd, Australia.

Pryor, A., Pryor, R. & Bowen, D. (August 2016). Bridging the Gap Program Evaluation Summary Report: Taking off in a good way. Adventure Works Pty Ltd, Australia.

Pryor, A. & Garner, S. (Dec 2012; June 2013; Dec 2013). A formative evaluation of the MoneyMob Talkabout services delivered by Matrix on Board in Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (2012-2014). Susan J Garner & Associates, Canberra, Australia.

Pryor, A. (2009). Outcome Evaluation – Mind Discovery Trips: Small group outback adventures for young people in recovery. Mind Australia, Melbourne, Australia.

Pryor, A. (2009). Outcome Evaluation – Backyard Blitz: An active parenting program for Dads and their kids. Drummond Street Relationship Centre and Centre for Family Research and Evaluation, Melbourne, Australia.

Pryor, A. (2008). Process Evaluation – Backyard Blitz: An active parenting program for Dads and their kids. Drummond Street Relationship Centre and Centre for Family Research and Evaluation, Melbourne, Australia.

Pryor, A. (2008). Australian outdoor adventure interventions: Summary report. Deakin University School of Health and Social Development, Melbourne, Australia. Limited publication.

Pryor, A., Maller, C., Townsend M. & Field, K. (2006). ‘Health and wellbeing naturally: Contact with nature in health promotion for targeted individuals, communities and populations’. Health Promotion Journal of Australia. 2006: 17 (2): 114-123.