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Building health, healing and participation for Tasmanian children, young people and families through active social experiences in nature.

What it is

Out Bush On Country is a home-grown model of care for Tasmanian children, young people and families who’ve experienced severe early life adversities, and who as a result live with high risks and complex needs.

The Out Bush service model taps into the known benefits of physical activity, social relationships and time in nature for health, healing and participation. Through enjoyable experiences in outdoor environments, children, young people and family members can 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. Through physical adventures people feel fitter and stronger in their bodies. Through psychological support and intentional conversations, people feel stronger in their minds and emotions. Through safe relationships, people feel more able to relate with others in healthy ways. Through time on country, people experience the healing benefits of wild nature…

With research telling us that nature is good for physical and mental health, and with so much nature on our doorstep, why wouldn’t we make good use of it?

The program

Out Bush provides a range of entry points, and tailors 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 one to one, and begin to explore options and choices.
  • Invitation to 3 Introductory adventures. During these first 3 sessions, participants will have a taste of different kinds of adventures in a range of natural environments, and start to set some personal goals.
  • Invitation to the Grounding Adventure Program. The Grounding program provides a series of 10 x weekly individual- or group-based whole-day sessions to build confidence, skills and determination.
  • Invitation to the Expanding Adventure Program. The Expanding program provides a series of 8 x weekly individual- or group-based whole-day sessions leading up to a 6-day remote expedition. Going on an expedition takes the benefits of adventure to a whole other level.
  • Invitation to the 30-day Wild Adventure Program. Yes, this program involves participation in a 30-day remote expedition. It includes lead-in preparation days and follow-up integration designed to maximise the benefits of the incredible journey. If you’re serious about putting your life on a different path, this one might be for you.

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.

Reunion days

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 a partnership between Adventure Works Australia Ltd. and Dooloomai Youth Project Inc. Designed with input from 45 people through the ‘Out Bush On Country Technical Advisory Group’, the Out Bush model of care is surrounded by a passionate and committed community of caring specialists.

Adventure Works directors and Dooloomai 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. It is the wisdom from Aboriginal collaborators, the strength of the practitioner teams, the benefits of bush adventure therapy and time on country, and the tailored sequencing of therapeutic events that support healthy change within Out Bush experiences.

Picture of Rachael and Niki
NatureConnect staff members Rachael and Niki

NatureConnect is supported by:

Collingwood Children’s Farm

From their site…

“Collingwood Children’s Farm respectfully acknowledges the Wurundjeri-Woiwurrung people as the traditional owners of the Abbotsford Precinct Heritage Farmlands, the lands we respect, care for and farm on behalf of all Victorians. The Farm thanks all Wurundjeri Elders past, present and emerging for their guardianship of these lands.

Nestled on the banks of Birrarung and only four kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD, Collingwood Children’s Farm was founded in 1979 to support and engage local children experiencing adversity.  A much loved non-profit organisation, the Farm’s reason for being remains true to its roots: Community Engagement, Education and Connection with Nature, Green Space and Animals.

Collingwood Children’s Farm is a haven for children and adults alike, with daily activities and acres of paddocks and gardens to explore. Cuddle a goat, enjoy workshops with a Farmer or sit back with a coffee and observe the goings on of a thriving community farm – there’s something for everyone!”