What it is
Out Bush On Country is a home-grown model of on-country care for Tasmanian children, young people and families, including for those with highest levels of need.
Out Bush uses bush adventure therapy practices to tap into the known benefits of physical activity, social relationships and time in nature for health, healing and participation. Through challenging and enjoyable experiences in outdoor environments and exploration of ancient cultural landscapes, children, young people and family members are encouraged to connect with self, others and nature in new ways. Designed by a team of specialists, Out Bush is trauma-informed, evidence-informed, culturally appropriate and therapeutic.
Out Bush practitioners are clinically supervised and supported to integrate the latest neuro-developmental and trauma informed research into their practice. Out Bush use NMT (Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics) principles and assessments to inform therapeutic planning, decition making and practice. Our broader practice framework is congruent with Blue Knot clinical guidelines for working with people who have experienced complex trauma.
While all Out Bush practitioners come with a range of qualifications, skills and experiences, not all our practitioners are clinically trained. Out Bush practitioners vetted for their exceptional capacity to work with other people, they are caring ‘people people’ who are trained in bush adventure therapy practices and able to maintain nurturing, strength based, participant centred, professional relationships with people in challenging situations. They are able to provide a calm physical- and psychological state, and form secure safe relational bonds, through which they offer co-regulation opportunities for children, young people and families who may be struggling to regulate due to complex early life adversities and severe ongoing challenges.
Research evidence demonstrates that:
- physical adventures help people feel fitter and stronger in their bodies
- psychological support and intentional conversations help people feel stronger in their minds and emotions
- safe social relationships build social skills and confidence to relate with others in healthy ways
- time on country gives people the healing benefits of wild nature…
With support from Aboriginal knowledge holders, and with all of this on our doorstep in Tasmania, why wouldn’t we go bush with those who need it most?
The Out Bush Program
The Out Bush program provides a range of entry points and tailored bush adventures to meet the needs and interests of individuals.
If individuals are ready to be in a group, we will match participants of similar age, needs and goals into a safe and effective group.
- Invitation to meet one of us. During this first session, the participant will meet an Out Bush practitioner, and begin to explore options and choices.
- Invitation to Introductory adventures. During a series of ‘taster’ sessions, participants will experience different kinds of adventures in a range of natural environments, and start to picture some personal goals.
- Invitation to the Grounding Adventure Program. The Grounding program provides a series of individual- or group-based sessions to build confidence, skills and determination.
- Invitation to the Expanding Adventure Program. The Expanding program provides a series of individual- or group-based whole-day sessions leading up to a remote expedition. Going on an expedition takes the benefits of adventure to a whole other level.
- Successful completion of the Expanding Adventure Program opens entry into the Out Bush Pivot Program, a residential bush adventure therapy program for young people with complex needs. The Pivot Program is under development and not yet funded.
The Out Bush Pivot Program
The Pivot Program is designed to provide an incredible, intense, targeted, developmental series of experiences to help young people build health, healing and participation.
If you’re serious about stopping what you’re doing and putting your life on a different path, the Pivot Program might be for you. Pivot kicks off with lead-in preparation for a 30-day remote expedition. Yep, 30 days.
Successful completion of the Pivot Program opens entry into the Out Bush Leadership and Employment Program – a way to give back, have fun and contribute to the economic life of the Tasmanian community.
Children, Young people and Families
While Out Bush focuses on providing therapeutic care for young people aged 10 to 18 years, if deemed appropriate, Out Bush can support children younger than 10 and up to age 20.
If of interest, Out Bush can also provide family-, kin-, foster- or sibling bush adventure experiences, and can cater for the inclusion of infants or young children in family experiences.
In addition to providing the above adventure options, Out Bush will facilitate bi-monthly ‘Reunion lunches’ to support the continuation of friendships and connections made through the program. These events are open to all current and past participants of Out Bush, and are an opportunity to celebrate achievements together.
Who we are
Out Bush On Country is currently delivered by Adventure Works Australia Ltd. Designed with input from Dooloomai Youth Project Inc., Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre mentors and 45 specialists through the ‘Out Bush On Country Technical Advisory Group’, the Out Bush model of care is surrounded by a caring and committed community of professionals.
Adventure Works practitioners have a long history of providing nature-based experiences to help build health and facilitate healing with a range of target groups. This program is informed by research and practice experience, and is designed to activate the known benefits of social connection, nature contact, physical activity and intentional conversations for survivors of severe early life adversities.
With input and guidance from Aboriginal community members, Out Bush On Country adventures are facilitated by multi-disciplinary teams that may include outdoor educators, outdoor guides, outdoor instructors, counsellors, family therapists, psychologists or youth workers. With input and wisdom generously provided by Aboriginal collaborators, strong practitioner teams, time on country, bush adventure therapy methods, and tailored sequencing of therapeutic sessions, Out Bush participants are supported towards the healthy changes they want to make.