A deep and meaningful connection to nature as a child has so many benefits – and is a key underlying philosophy in all my work. It is also one of the reasons I am the patron of Bold Park Community School in Perth. If you are interested as a teacher or a parent how to deepen children’s connection to nature – please check out the new Educated By Nature website or Facebook page Educated by Nature! They run programs and activities to give children an opportunity to connect and flourish in the outside world. Well done Daniel and Trudi – brilliant work!
Education Consultant & Nature Educator
Nature Connection Mentor
Trudi grew up finding both solace and adventure in her backyard and local bushland. She studied both Sustainable Development and Education and has worked with a variety of organisations in education, science communication, community development and the arts. Trudi was a foundational primary school and kitchen garden teacher at Bold Park Community School in Western Australia. Throughout her 13 years working with Bold Park Community School and Remida Creative Resuse Centre, she implemented programs inspired by Reggio Emilia, the Forest School movement and internationally renowned research. Trudi is skilled at observing and listening to children to identify their needs and establishing long-term, project-based learning in outdoor classrooms. Trudi is now co-director of Educated by Nature with a mission to inspire and assist both adults and children to discover deep nature connection routines which supports healthy inner-wellbeing and community.Find out more about Trudi’s Professional Experience HERE
Education Consultant & Nature Educator
Nature Connection Mentor
Daniel is a qualified primary school teacher, education consultant and passionate nature connection mentor. He considers himself an advocate for connecting children with the natural world, following children’s inbuilt sense of wonder and curiosity as the vehicle to inspire the process of inquiry based learning. Having worked at Bold Park Community School for 10 years he has had experience developing, managing and coordinating outdoor classrooms and Wild Spaces with various age groups. He is passionate about empowering children and providing authentic opportunities for them to grow mentally, physically, socially and emotionally.
Daniel has had the privilege of participating in conferences focused on nature-based education and 21st century teaching philosophies both locally and internationally. Most recently, Daniel participated in a self-directed, five week, study tour of the United States of America, visiting some of the world leaders in Nature Based education, Connection Mentoring and play based experiences. In 2016, he presented a workshop at the Inaugural Nature Play WA – Children & Nature Conference and was a keynote speaker alongside Maggie Dent at the Bringing Nature back to Play Conference. Daniel is the co-director of Educated by Nature which aims to provide Western Australian children, families and teachers opportunities to learn within nature.
Find out more about Daniel’s Professional Experience HERE
Nature Playworker – Mud Pies Nature Playgroup
Hi, my name is Jess, wife to a wonderful husband Jonathan and mum two beautiful kids, Gracie and Oliver. I love singing and music, gardening, going on adventures and being with my family. I completed a Bachelor of Arts (psychology and children and family studies) at university and have worked with children on and off for more than 10 years. I am passionate about building resilience in children and I love how nature provides so many opportunities for this. I enjoy writing my own songs and sharing them with friends, family and the Educated by Nature community. It has been a joy to see how music can connect people to nature and each other. I love to take time for myself out in nature, especially to meditate or do yoga. For me, being in nature is a crucial part of my well being and finding some peace and calm in a busy world. Being a part of the Educated by Nature team is incredibly rewarding and I appreciate being a part of a passionate and supportive team of people who care deeply about nature, children and the community. I look forward to meeting you at one of our sessions soon.
Nature Playworker – Mud Pies Grove & Roving KIN Village
Andrew Haskell Salazar
Nature Educator – KIN Village Senior
Claire van der Merwe
Nature Playworker and Paediatric Nurse Consultant
First and fore-mostly I am a wife and mother to our beautiful three year old boy. I’m a Registered Nurse, specialised in paediatric emergency, and I am passionate about the health and safety of every aspect of children and families. I hold a certificate IV in training and assessing and also work as a paediatric and corporate First Aid Trainer.
As a family we like to take time for camping, bush walks or bike rides, fishing, and exploring the river and beaches for natural ‘treasures’. Being surrounded by tall trees or bodies of water seems to calm all of our minds. My Son has always liked being outdoors, the one thing that settles him. No outdoor based mothers-groups or playgroups were available for us to escape the noise of flashing, brightly coloured toys, and crowded rooms. We wanted to be able to meet with other families and children out in nature, where we could sing, explore, build, make and eat together, just like any other playgroup…but outdoors, and ExN gave us that. And I want to give that to other families. I came on board to help my sister Trudi Bennet and friend Daniel Burton in the initial stages of their business and am now here for relief and support such as research consulting. It is wonderful to be involved in such a skilled and inspirational team who are here to promote the undoubtable need for reconnection with nature
Nature Playworker – Mud Pies Nature Playgroup & KIN Village Senior
A nature lover from day one, I am currently study Environmental Biology and Veterinary Nursing. My spare time is filled with volunteer work in the two fields I love (environment and youth). As a registered wildlife rehabilitator I care for orphaned, sick and injured wildlife. In the other time I mentor young indigenous youth in Perth and remote communities. I love having the opportunity to learn from the children I work with, growing alongside them. And yes ironically I love CAMPing!!! Along with everything else outdoors. It is such a privilege to be part of the Educated by Nature Team with all the unique, caring and talented members of this family. It has also given me the most amazing opportunity to share my love and knowledge of nature with the children at the programs, mentor them, empower them and help guide them using elements of nature and the odd creature that I am rehabilitating. These programs are something I wish I had the opportunity to go to, to learn to be resilient, to take risks, make things from nature and enjoy the process just as much as the product, to create and grow as part of a wonderful community of families out in nature. I hope to welcome you to our community soon!
I am a wife to a (usually) wonderful husband and a mother to two (most of the time) great children. Truth be told, they are really very gracious and patient with me.
Having completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Curtin University, I went on to complete an Advanced Diploma in Superannuation Management and work in superannuation for almost 10 years. However as children have a wonderful way of doing, their arrival resulted in a shifting of priorities, focus and interests. I commenced employment with ECU in 2009 and continue to work a couple of days there in an administration role. When our children were young, they were fortunate to be nurtured by the wonderful educators at Joondalup Early Learning Centre. Their learning environment led to many conversations and lots of reading about education, wellbeing, belonging, resilience and child development. For the past year, I have had the privilege of serving on the JELC Board.
Educated by Nature provides programs I am thrilled our children are able to experience – actually, I hadn’t realised the profound impact they would also have on me.
It is a joy have the opportunity to use my skills and knowledge to support Educated by Nature administratively.
Isaac has just finished year nine at Aranmore catholic college. He has been attending Educated by Nature sessions both as a participant and a volunteer since they started in 2015. Isaac is a keen camper and loves spending his weekends out hiking on the Bibbulmun track with people from his Scout Troop and Venturer Unit. Isaac has recently achieved his Australian Scout Medallion which is the highest award in scouts. Isaac loves seeing the different ways that participants interact with the space especially over school holidays where there are different people and people who have been before.
Hey, I’m Jacob, I love working outdoors in nature and helping kids connect to the Earth in a way which most people don’t get to nowadays.
I’ve always been someone who enjoys getting muddy and dirty, and if there’s ever a tree available for me to climb, I’ll climb it.
I’ve done casual work with Educated By Nature for a bit over a year, and have enjoyed every second of it. As I not only get the chance to teach, but to also learn about the great outdoors.
The way in which both my children have developed skills and embraced learning is a direct result of the time spent working with Daniel Burton and Trudi Bennett. I cannot endorse their teaching methods more highly. The way in which children are engaged through nature and student led projects has laid a strong foundation in both my children. My children actively negotiate and collaborate with peers and have a toolbox of skills from which they direct and motivate their own learning. By cultivating a child’s intrinsic curiosity about their world, children are taught how to seek and understand their environment and world. They are given the ability to apply understanding to a multiplicity of contexts and this is wonderful to observe. I cannot recommend this team more highly.
Daniel and Trudi have been part of my boys educational experience on and off for the past 7 years. They are enthusiastic and passionate about passing on their knowledge to young people and encouraging them on learning journeys of their own. Their ‘outdoor classroom’ provided a wonderful opportunity for children to learn in a relaxed and calm environment using nature to enhance all manner of learning experiences. Both Daniel and Trudi are special people in our lives and the care they have taken to help my boys reach their potential in so many areas over this time will stay with us always.
Daniel and Trudi have taught my son for the past two years. In this time they have introduced him to many nature based activities and experiences and have lead many collaborative projects with their class. Probably the most significant learning has taken place outside, where my son has realised that he can focus and assimilate what is being taught more readily in nature. Trudi and Daniel have a knack for teaching students to take inspiration from nature and use it as a “springboard” for deeper learning and self-understanding.
I have had the pleasure of working with Trudi and Daniel for several years at Bold Park Community School in Perth, WA. I have found them to be passionate about nature education and the value it can bring to our children’s lives. They have collaborated with others to establish and maintain a kitchen garden and a wonderful and exciting outdoor adventure play and research area; the children truly love their time with Daniel and Trudi in the outdoors and I have seen the many and varied benefits these experiences have brought to their physical, social and emotional health.