Daniel Burton and Trudi Bennett lead the team. They are Nature Connection Mentors and qualified teachers specialising in outdoor classrooms. Trudi and Daniel's knowledge base has formed over many years through additional professional development, study tours and participation and presentation at various conferences within Australia and internationally. Emphasis is placed on engagement with current research, networks and mentoring relationships.
At Educated by Nature, staff participate fully in play by modelling sensory risk taking, wondering, adventuring, building and encouraging nature awareness. Programs combine freedom for children to live by their instinctive behaviour, with empathy and understanding for nature and each other. We believe this combination assists children to grow resilience through nature connection. See our Principles for Learning within Nature and Art of Mentoring pages for more information.
Trudi and Daniel are Education Consultants to Nature Play WA, providing professional learning services and consultation to educators. They have also partnered with Boshack Outback to further develop and deliver all programs and activities offered to schools.
Interested in joining the Educated by Nature team? Check out this link to view our current employment opportunities here.
Daniel is the co-founder of Educated by Nature (established 2014), a qualified primary school teacher, an 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. Daniel has trained in Art of Mentoring nature connection philosophy, Rites of Passage facilitation, and dramatic, music and body movement work. Through his 10 years of project-based teaching at Bold Park Community School, he has had experience developing, managing and coordinating outdoor classrooms and Wild Spaces with various age groups encouraging learning through play. He is passionate about empowering children and providing authentic opportunities for them to grow mentally, physically, socially and emotionally. Daniel builds this connection through Educated by Nature programs, facilitating camps at Boshack Outback and as a Rites of Passage facilitator.
Daniel has had the privilege of participating in and presenting at conferences focused on nature-based education and 21st century teaching philosophies, both locally and internationally. He is now mentoring other educators to develop programs which follow children’s passion for play and the outdoors as an Education Consultant for Nature Play WA and a Creative Practitioner with FORM: building a state of creativity.
Bachelor of Education (Primary), Murdoch University
Art of Mentoring, 8 Shields Institute, California
Rites of Passage Facilitator Training Level 1 & 2, Rites of Passage Institute
Accredited Bluearth Teacher, Bluearth Foundation
Rock and Water Training, Gaduka Institute, Netherlands
Ukulele in the Classroom Training - Level 1, James Hill Institute
James Hill Ukulele Intensive Training, Destination Arts, Oaxaca Mexico
Primary Connections Facilitator (Science), Australian Academy of Science/AISWA
Occupational Health & Safety Representative Course, Edith Cowan University
Apply First Aid
Working with Children Check
Find out more about Daniel’s professional experience and connect with him on LinkedIn.
Trudi is the co-founder of Educated by Nature (established 2014), studied both Sustainable Development and Education and has worked with a variety of organisations in education, science communication, community development and the arts. Trudi has trained in the Art of Mentoring nature connection philosophy and uses her own experience in deep nature connection and grief work to assist children to discover deep nature connection routines which support healthy inner-wellbeing and community. Trudi is passionate about empowering children to achieve their goals, especially in play-based outdoor classrooms, and has practiced this in her role as a Director and Nature Playworker at Educated by Nature as well as in her 13 years teaching at Bold Park Community School and Remida Creative Reuse Centre. Trudi has implemented and modified programs inspired by Reggio Emilia, the Forest School movement and internationally renowned research and has been involved in developing and facilitating camps at Boshack Outback.
Trudi has had the privilege of participating in and presenting at conferences focused on nature-based education and 21st century teaching philosophies, both locally and internationally. She is now mentoring other educators to develop programs which follow children’s passion for play and the outdoors as an Education Consultant for Nature Play WA and as a Creative Practitioner with FORM: building a state of creativity.
Bachelor of Science (Population, Resources and Technology), Murdoch University
Diploma of Education (Primary), Murdoch University
Reggio Emilia Study Tour, Italy
Nature Pedagogy Course, Federation University Australia
Art of Mentoring, 8 Shields Institute, California
Nature Kindergarten Study Tour, Scotland
Holistic Tracking, Art of Mentoring Australia
Bronze Medallion, Royal Lifesaving WA
Provide First Aid
Working with Children Check
Find out more about Trudi’s professional experience and connect with her on LinkedIn.
Educated by Nature is made up of a team of passionate, dedicated and energy-filled individuals with vast backgrounds and wonderfully rich experiences to support families and educators of Western Australia. Teachers, Psychologists, Wildlife Carers, Ecologists and Parents are just some of the qualifications of the adults working in the programs we offer.
Aimee’s work history and experience have predominantly been in administrative roles since completing a Bachelor of Commerce and an Advanced Diploma of Superannuation Management.
Having been with Educated by Nature since 2015 and now having both of her children in full-time schooling, Aimee returned to university in 2019 to study Occupational Therapy. She has a keen interest in childhood development, education and how early intervention and investment can affect a life course. She is passionate about supporting organisations and programs that foster childhood wellbeing, belonging, resilience and quality education.
Fay completed a Bachelor of education (primary) at Murdoch University and has been teaching children in various roles for over 20 years. She is passionate about the environment and helping children understand and appreciate their role in it. Fay is a devoted wife and mother of four. She loves Disney karaoke, gardening, self sufficiency and a good book. A perfect day involves packing the kids into the car, attaching the camper trailer and disappearing into the bush. Fay believes nature is the best teacher and her most important lessons have come from experience and not textbooks.
Katie is currently studying Outdoor Recreation at Notre Dame and has high hopes of one day combining adventure therapy and education. There's nothing she loves more than a quiet moment in the bush... followed closely by a loud moment when a group of kids come through! Nature for Katie is a place of solace and comfort, and a great teacher. She hopes to work with many kids through their learning journeys.
Alex is a passionate nature lover always seeking adventure and travel! She completed a Bachelor of Education (Kindergarten through Primary) at ECU and has been in and out of the classroom, from Fitzroy Crossing to Ravensthorpe, alongside traveling abroad, over the past 9 years. Alex’s passion for the outdoors was truly sparked while she lived in the mountains in Canada - some of her favourite hobbies are camping and hiking. Her appreciation and love of nature has lead her to a mentoring role as a youth camp facilitator and now here with Educated by Nature. Alex hopes to spark curiosity and a love of nature amongst the children she gets to work alongside.
Rosie is currently studying a Master of Child Play Therapy at Deakin University having completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Community Development. She enjoys working with children and enjoys guiding children as they lean to explore and connect with the world around them, the therapeutic powers of play play a huge role in how she guides children to explore their environment. She is hoping that the experience she gains from working with children in the outdoor environment with will provide her with an opportunity to one day travel overseas where she can work with children through play therapy and outdoor education.
Tamara Johnston is a primary school teacher from Canada. In Toronto, she was one of the founding teachers of Equinox Holistic Alternative School. Equinox is known for developing Canada's first Full Day Outdoor Kindergarten classroom and Tamara was one of the first teachers of that program. While Tamara was at Equinox she began her training in The Art of Mentoring and it profoundly changed the way she approaches education and building community. Tamara is excited to learn along side her daughter about all of the amazing trees, plants, terrain, animals, beings and stories that make up our beautiful land in Western Australia. Tamara loves to sing, dance, tell stories, travel, spend time by the ocean and play in the mud.
Clive began his child group facilitation journey as an Austswim Qualified instructor what seems like a long time ago! Since then he has spent several years as a summer camp counselor in Colorado, USA leading camp aquatics programs and taking groups of kids out on multi-day expeditions. After years living in the mountains in the French Alps, bike touring around Europe, leading adventure tours on Rottnest Island, and working at outdoor recreation camps around Perth, Clive has both experienced and observed the positive impact that connecting with nature has on both big and little people. He can't wait to share some of his stories and listen to some new ones on his latest adventure with the ExN team!
Nadia often jokes that she is the least 'nature-y' of the team - admitting that it doesn't come naturally for her to get messy and dirty (or to allow her kids to) and is often freaked out by bugs and reptiles. As a single mum to two boys and has found that spending time with her children outdoors allows her to connect with each in a unique way. She believes that nature provides spaces where we can learn about others and ourselves and that nature speaks to us in our own language and provides the things we don't know we need - for some, that will be sunshine, for others adventure, challenge or quiet moments of wonder.
Nadia's encouragement to those who feel a little hesitant is to, 'Be brave! You never know, you might start to enjoy it.'
Fiona is a qualified accountant and a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). She has worked in finance for over 25 years in both tax and management accounting. Her experience has been garnered from a variety of industries, including Corporate, Not for profit and Accounting practices. She has a honours degree in Business, Sport and Recreation and enjoys athletics, walking/hiking, the beach, boating and camping.
We have a growing team of Junior Playworkers; teenagers and young adults who bring energy and vitality to the programs we offer. We are strong believers that children need a range of mentors in their lives, of varying ages and levels of life experience. We see that younger members of our team have unique ways of communicating and connecting with the children at our programs.
Isaac loves adventures in the great outdoors! Anything from bushwalking to abseiling. Isaac is currently studying Geographical Sciences at the University of Western Australia and is heavily involved in Scouting and the many opportunities that it provides. Isaac loves his time at Educated by Nature, encouraging kids to connect with nature the way he did as a child and passing on his passion for adventure.
Tui started working and volunteering at Educated by Nature in her early teens with not a great deal of knowledge or confidence, but large respect for natural environments. Over the years, she has developed into a confident communicator, tool user, tree climber and cubby builder. As a passionate believer in nature education, Tui’s favourite aspect of her job is helping children take the same journey she did, building confidence and finding empowerment in their own capabilities playing in nature. She is a strong advocate for every child’s right to their power, and to explore this strength in the space that Educated by Nature creates. Outside of her work with Educated by Nature, Tui is studying a Bachelor of Philosophy at the University of Western Australia and working towards her Gold Duke of Edinburgh award. She has previously received accolades for her work within the community, including being awarded the Defence Force Long Tan Leadership Award.
A childhood immersed in nature through building cubbies, collecting bugs, paddling in the river and enjoying camping trips, ignited Emma’s passion for the outdoors. Her love for the adventure has lead to qualifications as a Pool Lifeguard, Bronze Medallion, Certificate in Advanced Resuscitation, Recreational Skippers Ticket and she also volunteers at Fremantle Surf Lifesaving Club. Emma is currently studying a Bachelor of Primary Education at Notre Dame and strongly believes in teaching through play while being immersed in nature.
Abby has grown up camping, hiking, swimming and canoeing and she loves the outdoors more than ever. She graduated high school in 2020 and started studying Psychology as a double major at UWA in 2021. She loves the opportunity Educated by Nature gives her to be in nature and mentor others while exploring and connecting with the environment.
Jack is currently a year 12 at Bold Park Community School, completing a certificate II in aircraft mechanics. He is a fun loving guy who has always enjoyed outdoors activities, such as camping, swimming, kayaking and climbing. He goes camping at the Fairbridge Festival, a folk music festival, every year, and jumps at any other time in the year to camp. He loves Educated by Nature because he is able to work with kids and mentor them while being outdoors, which is much better than indoors!
Spencer is currently a student at Christ Church Grammar School. He likes to think of himself as a fun as well as a hard working person. Over the years he has built a strong connection to nature, whether it’s having fun on the river, camping, or participating in sports which take advantage of our natural surroundings. He has just completed his Bronze Medallion assessment at NCSLC as well as obtaining his Recreational Skippers Ticket. He is excited to share this same passion and knowledge of the outdoors with those just beginning to touch on what nature has to offer as well as building some of his own skills.
Rohan is currently in year 11 studying at John Curtin Collage of the Arts in the hopes of pursuing a Bachelor of Computer Science. Rohan enjoys camping and swimming. He can also be found singing and dancing in community and school musicals. Rohan is very well rounded in his education and believes that anyone can be anything.
Seth is currently a year 10 student attending 10 Scotch College. He has an older sister and two younger brothers. He and his brothers have been long time participants in both KIN Village and Bush Inventors' Club and now joins the team as a faciliator, bringing his vast experience of being at programs to the children he is helping. He enjoys being outside and being involved in most sports, camping and fishing. When he leaves school he hopes to study medicine and eventually practice remote area medicine.
Tom is currently a student attending Guildford Grammar School. Over the last few years he has had a strong experience and connection to nature such as camping, hiking, mountain biking and his sport. He has recently completed his Bronze Medallion of the Duke of Edinburgh Award which he enjoyed completing. He believes others should also be allowed the same opportunity that he has had with nature and other people can develop a strong connection to nature as well.
Whether it's scaling cliff faces or searching for shells, Tom is always up for an adventure. The connections that he had made with Educated by Nature and his love for the outdoors has sparked his passion for teaching and exploration. Tom is a 2020 graduate of Bold Park Community school, where he obtained a Certificate II in Permaculture. He believes that creating meaningful relationships with the people around you and getting out in nature are important for everyone.
We meet so many incredible humans at our programs, our KIN Villagers and Bush Inventors who jump head first into all of the opportunities on offer. Some of these incredible humans have exceeded the age limit of our programs, are super keen to still be a part of our community, but are not quite old enough to apply to become Junior Nature Playworkers (our 15-19 year old staff members).
So, we’ve created a new position - introducing the Junior Mentor program. These 13-15 year olds have been long time participants who have shown specific skills in mentoring, community connection, peer support, nature connection, tinkering and generally being super helpful. Individuals who have been invited to join us throughout the holidays to support the team of Nature Playworkers in helping facilitate the program.
The Junior Mentor program is another way we are working on creating a vibrant and diverse community of mentors for the kids who attend our programs whilst providing the opportunity to mentor the mentors in facilitation, leadership, initiative, helpfulness and community connection.
Our current Junior Mentors are Jack, Sophia, Louis, Tristan, John and Xanthe!