Cave Think Tank
Information for Participants
This workshop will take place in an incredible cave surrounded by natural bushland west of Sydney. The Adventure Works Australia teaching team will host and co-facilitate the workshop. Aims will be co-developed with participants at the outset, and the workshop will be co-facilitated by participants in order to meet agreed aims. What better place to do this than a cave?!
This letter provides basic information for participants and invites further questions.
Start and End times:
Start: Friday 24th Aug 2018 at 10.30am
End: Sunday 26th Aug at 3pm
The cost of the Cave Think Tank is $620AUD for camping-style accommodation or $750AUD for private or shared bedroom accommodation. Both prices include $120AUD towards shared food, and a shuttle between the local train station and the Cave.
A limited number of partial or full scholarships are available to eligible foreign (non-Australian) applicants.
If you would like to apply for a Cave Scholarship please do so. If you have already registered and paid for the Cave and later receive a scholarship, the appropriate portion of your registration fee will be reimbursed to you.
To apply for a Cave Scholarship follow this link.
The central aim of this workshop is to develop shared understandings about the essential knowledges and skills needed by AT practitioners across cultures and contexts. From this broad intention, the group will co-develop a process through which we will consider what international AT training programs should include.
There will be opportunities to hear from all participants, including how AT intersects with our work and life, and our ideas on how to train safe and effective AT practitioners for international contexts.
A possible workshop outcome is development of agreement on the core content of international AT training courses. At a minimum, we expect participants will gain a better understanding of international AT practices and consolidate their personal hopes for AT training in their cultural context.
This workshop will invite participants to explore the workshop content through a mix of active, conversational and reflective learning methods. There will be opportunities to discuss each topic area and time to consider how you might take the ideas back to your particular context. Some of the sessions will provide the opportunity for participants to engage in genuine conversations and reflexive processes.
The structure and pace of the three days will be decided collaboratively at the outset based on agreed aims.
Sessions are intended to be ‘light’ in the content they explore; they are not intended to explore significant unresolved problems. We will likely take time out to reflect an active walk or exploration of local bushland surrounding the cave. Once everyone has arrived, we will plan to stay at the cave for the entire three days.
The three day workshop will take place in the spectacular Blue Mountains, 2 hours by train from Sydney. The venue is an Air BnB property called “Hatters Hideout” that includes an amazing cave set high on a sandstone escarpment with a fantastic outlook.
Address: 213 Chifley Rd BELL NSW (In the Blue Mountains near Mt Victoria)
Getting to the Cave from Sydney airport
International attendees arriving at Sydney airport can take a Taxi to the Cave or a Train from Sydney International airport to Bell Station, a short drive from the Cave.
Taxi – the cost of a taxi from Sydney to the cave is approximately $420AUD
Train – the cost of the train from Sydney to the closest cave station is around $24AUD. To catch a train, follow these steps:
- First, catch the train from the International Airport terminal to Sydney Central station via T8 Airport South Line. Trains depart every few minutes from Sydney airport to Central station
- Second, catch the train from Sydney Central Station to Bell Station via the Blue Mountain Line. Trains depart every hour in the morning and every 30 minutes in the afternoon from Central station to the Blue Mountains.
- It is just a short drive from Bell Station to the workshop venue. If you would like a pick-up from Bell station, please contact Pete via email: or phone: M.0455 219 412.
Please let us know if you would like a pick-up from Bell Station or if you are interested in carpooling from Sydney and surrounds.
What does the registration fee include?
Payments for this workshop need to be made via the 8IATC portal. Registration fees include:
- Workshop venue
- 3 days and 2 nights of accommodation in either:
- a private room (8 people) OR
- camping-style accommodation – either BYO tent or sleep in undercover spaces such as the cave!
- All food, drinks and refreshments (from your $120 contribution towards shared food)
- Workshop hosting and co-facilitation by experienced BAT practitioners
- Clothing and equipment needed for a safe training experience
- Supplementary online content to revisit workshop outcomes
- A short shuttle to and from Bell Station to the Cave if needed.
Note: Transport from further afield than Bell Station is not included, nor is transport to the 8IATC included.
What do I need to bring?
- Personal clothing* – including cold weather layers and a waterproof coat
- Personal toiletries – including medication if needed
- Walking equipment – including sturdy shoes and comfortable clothing
- Camping equipment if you choose to camp out* – sleeping mat, sleeping bag and tent
- Study materials – a notebook and pen/pencil or computer may be useful (not essential)
- Camera and recording devices – recording devices are welcomed, but you will need to ask permission before taking photos or recording fellow-participants.
- *Personal clothing and/or camp equipment may be hired for $15 per person per day.
Personal clothing and toiletries
Please bring warm comfortable clothing appropriate for sitting in a cave and for bushwalking. Ensure you have a waterproof jacket, good walking shoes, warm jumper and pants. We can provide wet weather gear and extra warm clothing if required. Please don’t forget to bring personal toiletries and medication.
Walking and camping equipment
Please bring a water bottle, sunhat, sunscreen and appropriate backpack. If you have chosen the camping-style option, please bring a sleeping mat, warm sleeping bag and tent. There are plenty of undercover spaces if you prefer to sleep out rather than in a tent, including some camping spaces in the cave.
We will be encouraging a collaborative learning environment within which we can co-create our learning experience, encounter new ideas and linger awhile. As such, it is important to come with an open mind and whatever other disposition you can bring that will help you to engage with some challenging and thought-provoking ideas. Please come prepared to sit in the sometimes uncomfortable space of ‘not knowing’, where there are unclear delineations between right and wrong, and where we may be left with more questions than answers.
While it is not the purpose of this workshop to engage participants in therapy, we acknowledge that potential exists for conversations and topic areas to trigger personal responses. It is important to come along knowing that this is possible, and understand that sometimes personal responses can come up unexpectedly. Workshop facilitators are professionals with extensive experience and can offer support if needed, however we will need to limit this support to the duration of the workshop.
We expect that if personal concerns, issues or problems come up for you over the weekend that you will seek out further professional support following the workshop. We consider it very important that practitioners are not hindered in their work by personal concerns, and as such strongly advocate for practitioners to undertake their own therapeutic work and/or participate in regular formal supervision as a means of enhancing their reflexive practice.
Medical and consent
Prior to the workshop, we require that participants complete and submit a Medical and consent form. These forms help us to provide a safe workshop experience and include questions regarding dietary requirements and special needs.
Please forward us your Medical and consent information at least three weeks prior to the workshop (by 2nd Aug).
This workshop will be hosted and co-facilitated by the Adventure Works team in collaboration with participants, which means in essence that it will also be co-facilitated by participants. For this reason we would like to include a photo and brief (100 word) bio for each Think Tank participant on the 8IATC website in the overview of this pre-conference workshop.
Please email us a photo of yourself and a brief (100 word) biography for inclusion in the 8IATC website Think Tank page.
Accommodation before and after the Cave
If you need accommodation the night before this workshop, we may be able to include you in a special deal at the Cave for Thurs 23rd Aug from approx 5pm.
Please let us know if you need accommodation and/or assistance with a short shuttle the night before the workshop.
If you are travelling from interstate or internationally and would like to share accommodation after the workshop and before the 8IATC, we would be happy to work towards booking a shared space somewhere ‘on the way’ to the 8IATC venue for Sunday night 26th Aug and Mon night 27th Aug. (We would encourage you to opt to stay at the conference venue on Tues night 28th Aug – please contact the 8IATC event manager to book a bed at the Tops).
Please let us know if you’d like to share accommodation and transport after the workshop and prior to the 8IATC.
Bush Adventure Therapy and Adventure Works
This workshop is being hosted and co-facilitated voluntarily by Adventure Works Australia, an organisation that exists to support BAT in Australia.
From our team’s perspective, BAT is a holistic approach to human health and wellbeing. Undertaking adventures in natural environments within a safe small group offers a unique therapeutic milieu. When BAT experiences are personally chosen and individually tailored, the therapeutic potential is magnified.
We believe BAT offers respectful and non-blaming practices that enable people to experience themselves in new ways and create space to better understand problems they may face in life. A common aim across our BAT services is to invite participants to reflect, act and relate in new, preferred ways.
We have found that natural environments offer a unique setting and useful space for intentional conversations and the gaining of helpful insights. Our BAT workshops mobilise these benefits, and are delivered by practitioners trained in narrative therapy, family therapy, outdoor education, leadership and a range of social services. For more information on us see: https://adventureworks.org.au/who-we-are/
The following is a checklist of considerations:
- do I need reimbursement for a portion of my registration fee as a scholarship holder?
- do I need a shuttle from or back to Bell Station?
- am I interested in car-pooling options from greater Sydney?
- do I need to hire of warm clothing or camping equipment?
- am I ready to complete the Medical and consent form?
- can I prepare a photo and brief biography for inclusion on the 8IATC website?
- do I need accommodation the night before the workshop?
- am I interested in accommodation after the workshop and before the 8IATC?
Please tell us about any of the above, and please let us know if you have any questions about anything else…