Anita is a director of Adventure Works and a keen practitioner, trainer and researcher in BAT. At a young age, Anita noticed that adventuring with friends and family in natural environments made her feel good and she wanted to share that with other people. After two decades of doing just that, Adventure Works is her way of putting all of her personal and professional experiences into one place. She wants to increase the uses of bush adventures for therapy in Australia and expand people’s opportunity to experience the healing potential of BAT. Anita’s personal approach comes from the belief that humans benefit from contact with nature and that ‘good therapy’ is not something ‘done’ to another person, but co-created.
As a director of Adventure Works, Ben is dedicated to 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 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 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.
Pete has worked professionally as an outdoor leader, educator and practitioner in BAT for over 20 years and has enjoyed his own personal adventures in the outdoors for nearly 40 years. Now as a director of Adventure Works, he brings experience in program development, administration and management to the Adventure Works team, and has helped establish the operational aspects of Adventure Works. Pete has worked across a range of outdoor activity disciplines and modes of delivery with children, young people and adults, in groups and with individuals. In his spare time Pete works on his family’s organic hobby farm and escapes for adventures in Tasmania’s fantastic outdoors with his family.
Senior Researcher/ Training Consultant
Curiosity and passion have determined Cathryn’s employment pathway. An educator in secondary and tertiary institutions as well as private and philanthropic organisations, she has meandered from Outdoor Education and Creative Arts, through to Sociology, Public Health, and Youth Work. Her explicit involvement in the development and promotion of Bush Adventure Therapy began in 1997 and, as well as working for Adventure Works, she is currently one of the conveners for the 8th IATC in 2018.
Daniel grew up on a cotton farm 20km north-west of Bourke, NSW, considered the ‘gateway to the outback’. Having spent his foundational years in the outback, he developed a longing for adventure and an appreciation of the beauty and freedom of the bush.
Laura Fernandez Gonzalez
Bush Adventure Therapy Outreach Counsellor
Laura inspired by a childhood immersed in nature developed a deep relationship with all living beings. The sense of social justice and deeply wanting to help others guided her to study Social Work and Anthropology. Laura has always been learning new things, like Permaculture, natural building, bush skills, nature connection and rites of passage. She believes in the power of nature as a reminder of the interconnectedness of all and how nature can help people to heal. Laura worked with youth groups for more than 10 years and trained in Adventure Therapy in Europe.
Reima Pryor is a registered Psychologist and a Family Therapist. She has over 20 years’ experience across a variety of sectors with high risk children, young people and families, including: state Child Protection Services; Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment; Family Services; and Child/Young Person/Family Mental Health Treatment, including in an Aboriginal community context.
Training Consultant, Bush Adventure Therapy Practitioner
Val brings an eclectic professional history to the Adventure Works Team. Originally trained as a Speech Pathologist specialising in acquired and developmental disorders of communication Val also trained and worked within the expressive arts.
The Adventure Works team recognise, acknowledge and respect the rich history of BAT practices in Australia. We appreciate the many different people, programs, places, events and efforts that have played a part in influencing and inspiring our work. Key influences include: mentors; elders (both within Australia and from other nations); training events; books, papers and research; informal gatherings; and professional networks. We are pleased that national forums and international conferences are now a regular part of the BAT landscape. For more information on the development of the field of Bush Adventure Therapy in Australia, go to www.aabat.org.au.
We also acknowledge and deeply respect the Indigenous peoples whose land we inhabit and work in, including the traditional cultural custodians of the land we access for BAT programs – people who have sustained healthy communities in these places for millennia.