Our Staff

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 Burton

Chief Executive Officer
Co-Founder
Education Consultant & Nature Educator, Nature Connection Mentor

Daniel is the CEO and co-founder of Educated by Nature, a world leader in play-based nature education since its establishment in 2014. With a background as a qualified primary school teacher, education consultant, rites of passage facilitator, musical theatre artist and passionate nature connection mentor, Daniel plays a pivotal role in shaping the organisation's vision and initiatives.

Drawing from over ten years of experience working with thousands of Australian children, Educated by Nature has developed a suite of research-based pedagogies aimed at bringing education outdoors and has gained international acclaim for its innovative approach to outdoor learning. Daniel aims to be a thought leader, sharing expertise through workshops, speaking engagements, and consultation sessions in Australia and further afield.

Daniel's passion for nature and commitment to holistic education shines through in his work. He combines current research with practical examples, drawing on a lifetime of learning and experience to provide comprehensive programs and transformative experiences for educators, parents, and children alike. Through Educated by Nature, Daniel continues to advocate for the importance of play and outdoor learning, empowering individuals to explore, discover, and thrive in nature's classroom.

  • 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

Daniel is proud to be an Academic Sessional Teacher with Victoria Unversity, a commitee member for the Play Matters Collective, The Australian Forest School Association and the Chairperson of Mind the Change Inc. 

Find out more about Daniel’s professional experience and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Trudi Bennett

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
CO-FOUNDER
EDUCATION CONSULTANT & NATURE EDUCATOR, NATURE CONNECTION MENTOR

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.

Qualifications and Training

  • 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.

Trudi Bennett - Educated by Nature Co-Director

Staff

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.

Fay Baudains

NATURE CONNECTION MENTOR AND EDUCATION CONSULTANT
Nature Playworker - Incursions & Roving Programs, KIN Family Programs

Fay is a Nature Connection Consultant at Educated by Nature, mentoring educators to follow children’s passion for play and the outdoors.

Her training as a primary school teacher and her extensive experience teaching music, creating curriculum and designing programs provides a solid foundation for consultancy with schools and early childhood centres. 

Fay has been part of the Educated by Nature team since 2017, working across all programs and areas of the organisation throughout these years. 

Fay’s passions lie in working alongside children and adults to teach ways of identifying and connecting with the natural world. Studying permaculture has deepened her understanding of the interconnection of all natural systems and further revealed the human impacts upon those connections. 

Most recently Fay has been exploring local bush spaces with classes of students as part of Educated by Nature’s Nature Connection program. This program sees her working over an extended period of time with educators to create and embed nature connection and nature leaning pedagogy into the curriculum in a place-based context. 

Fay has had the privilege of participating in and presenting at conferences focused on nature-based education. She was invited to be a Creative Practitioner with FORM: building a state of creativity.

Qualifications and Training

  • Diploma of Children’s Services, South Metropolitan TAFE

  • Bachelor of Education (Primary), Murdoch University

  • Certificate Geoscience Field Practices, Central Institute of Technology

  • Permaculture Design Certificate

  • Empowered Storytelling, Jon Young

  • Working with Children Check

  • Provide First Aid

Find out more about Fay's professional experience and connect with her on LinkedIn.

Fay Baudains - Educated by Nature

Isaac Wetherley

FAMILY PROGRAMS OFFICER
Nature Playworker - Incursions & Roving Programs, KIN Family Programs

Isaac loves adventures in the great outdoors! Anything from bushwalking to abseiling. Isaac has recently graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Geographical Sciences and Human Geography and Planning. 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. He is excited to be taking on the Family Programs officer role to help support more West Australian children to connect with nature. Outside of work, Isaac is involved in the volunteer leadership team of Scouts WA, supporting youth members to be empowered to aim high and make the most of all opportunities.

 

Isaac Wetherley - Educated by Nature

Stephanie Rayner

INCURSIONS OFFICER
Nature Playworker - Incursions & Roving Programs, KIN Family Programs

Stephanie has worked in a variety of roles over the past 15 years as a primary school teacher, both in the classroom as well as music teaching. She is a mother of four boys and is very passionate about nature based education and providing children with opportunities to connect and interact with nature. 

Stephanie has three chickens and a backyard full of fruit trees and veggie gardens which is where she loves to spend most of her free time. She also enjoys photography, going camping with her family, hiking in the hills and sitting around a fire carving spoons.

Stephanie Rayner - Educated by Nature

Fe Waters

INCURSIONS OFFICER
Nature Playworker - Incursions & Roving Programs, KIN Family Programs

Fe has been an educator of one kind or another, for more than 30 years. During her time in school classrooms, she taught in every learning area (except LOTE), and every year level from pre-primary to year 12, although she mostly taught woodwork—and drama!  Having spent most of her life in Guiding or Scouting, she has a long history of spending time with children in the outdoors. Most weekends she can be found in and on the river, or singing around a fire. 

When not outside, she can be found spending time with her family, reading, crafting, or trying out something new!

Fe Waters - Educated by Nature

Tamara Johnston

Nature Playworker - Incursions & Roving Programs, KIN Family Programs

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.

Fay Baudains - Educated by Nature

Nadia Robinson

Nature Playworker - Incursions & Roving Programs, KIN Family Programs

Nadia often jokes that she is the least 'nature-y' of the team. Despite her hesitancy (especially around our feathered friends) she believes that nature provides rich opportunities for connection and learning, 'meeting us where we need to be met'.

Nadia is the proud mum of 3 boys and is passionate about supporting caregivers to connect with their 'little people' and emphasises that this is unique for everyone. She uses stories, humour and a lot of research to support individuals as they connect to self, others and the community.

Nadia has completed a Bachelor of Psychology and Family and Children Work, a Master of Teaching and is a Circle of Security and Rites of Passage facilitator.

Nadia Carruthers - Educated by Nature

Sarah Weaving

Nature Playworker - Incursions & Roving Programs, KIN Family Programs

Sarah originally studied zoology (botany) in Wales and later primary education. This was nourished by a lifelong love of natural history and ecology that has infused her teaching ever since. Sarah was a teacher at Bold Park Community School where her four children also attended and now works at Kerry Street Community School. She has a passion for stories and children’s literature and loves to find new stories to share. She believes in the power of relationship and connection to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children to access resilience, creativity, and empowerment to explore their world. She understands that children are capable and that supporting children to connect with their natural world through play and imagination is an effective way to find calm and restoration. Listening, observing and coregulating with children in an authentic relationship of positive regard is a wonderful recipe for nurturing growth, wellbeing and wonder. Sarah is a life-long learner!

Sarah has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Zoology, PGCE Education (Junior) and Graduate Certificate in Counselling as well as having completed the Mehrit Centre Self Reg TM: Foundations; Facilitator and Reframed Training and Interplay Training. 

Elissa Strumpher

Nature Playworker - INCURSIONS & ROVING PROGRAMS, KIN Family Programs

After moving to Australia at age 13, and feeling disconnected from the unknown birds and plants of a new country, Elissa understands the value of knowledge of and connection to the natural world. She believes that the outdoors provides a uniquely valuable environment for experiencing and learning new things, and for children to develop their physical, emotional and interpersonal skills.

She has recently completed a masters in Public Health, and - much longer ago - an undergraduate degree in Anthropology. She is also interested in textile arts of all kinds, and is passionate about the value of handwork and craft skills.

Elissa has two young boys who enjoy digging holes, playing at the river, and traipsing sand all through the house.

Elissa Strumpher - Educated by Nature

Joel Gouges

Nature Playworker - KIN Family Programs

Joel loves nature, fun and music and can frequently be found barefoot in the outdoors! He is interested in holistic health and mindfulness, bringing these interests into his work with children. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and biking, spending time at the beach and playing guitar. Joel is also a rock climbing and abseil instructor.

Abby Strang

Nature Playworker - INCURSIONS & ROVING PROGRAMS, KIN Family Programs

Abby has grown up camping, hiking, swimming and canoeing and she loves the outdoors more than ever. She has a degree in Psychological and Behavioural Sciences from UWA as of 2023. She loves the opportunity Educated by Nature gives her to be in nature and mentor others while exploring and connecting with the environment. 

Abby - Educated by Nature

Ayden Stenton

Nature Playworker - INCURSIONS & ROVING PROGRAMS, KIN Family Programs

Ayden is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering after completing high school in 2021. He loves the outdoors and has spent 10 years as a Scout, gaining knowledge and skills which have changed the course of his life for the better. He also loves being a Volunteer Bush Firefighter where he can protect and educate his community. Ayden believes that Educated by Nature has provided him with a fantastic opportunity to mentor others in exploring and connecting with the natural environment.

Ayden - Educated by Nature

Administration

Amelia Kennedy

Finance Manager

Since completing a Bachelor of Business and starting her career at an accounting firm, where she became a Chartered Accountant, Amelia has worked in a wide range of Business roles in Perth and in the UK. She has been Financial Controller for small businesses and large corporations, a corporate trainer, a Lecturer at university and owner-operator of her own retail business.

As someone who grew up in WA’s wheatbelt, she wishes all children were as free to roam and play outdoors as she did. Amelia time outside of work is spent with her husband, daughters, two spoilt dogs, extended family and her friends. She is an enthusiastic amateur in her vegetable garden and loves reading, hiking and camping.

Amelia Kennedy - Educated by Nature

Tui Dougiamas

MARKETING OFFICER
Nature Playworker - Incursions & Roving Programs, KIN Family Programs

Tui started working and volunteering at Educated by Nature in their early teens with not a great deal of knowledge or confidence, but large respect for natural environments. Over the years, they have developed into a confident communicator, tool user, tree climber and cubby builder. As a passionate believer in nature education, Tui’s favourite aspect of working at Educated by Nature is helping children take this same journey, building confidence and finding empowerment in their own capabilities playing in nature. 

Outside of their work at Educated by Nature, Tui is studying a double major in electronic music and law at the University of Western Australia. 

Tui - Educated by Nature

Junior Staff

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.

Dylan Maybee

Junior Playworker - KIN Family Programs

Dylan enjoys being outdoors and has learnt a lot about nature through Scouts. Growing up around water he loves boating, water skiing and stand-up paddle boarding. Dylan really enjoys being a role model for younger children and believes that Educated by Nature will provide him further opportunity to do so while also helping them learn to explore and appreciate the outdoors in a fun environment. 

Dylan - Educated by Nature

Abbie Whitehead

Junior Playworker - KIN Family Programs

Abbie is a current high school student. She loves all things outdoors and has been doing scouts since she was 5-years-old. She finds her work with Educated by Nature very fulfilling! In her free time, Abbie enjoys going camping, taking nature hikes, playing netball, and going to the beach.

Abbie - Educated by Nature

Jack Bennett

Junior Playworker - KIN Family Programs

Jack is in high school at Christ Church Grammar school. He was born in Australia, but has travelled a lot, living in United States and Norway. In his free time, he enjoys playing floorball and scuba diving. He values nature play because it helps us relax and enjoy life to the fullest.

Jack - Educated by Nature

Hope Bruins

Junior Playworker - KIN Family Programs

Hope grew up hiking and camping. She loves going to the beach, snorkelling, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, and mountain biking. She has always been surrounded by younger kids and has a great passion for building relationships with them. She loves Educated by Nature because it includes two of her greatest passions, the outdoors and kids.

Hope - Educated by Nature

Molly Yonge

Junior Playworker - INCURSIONS & ROVING PROGRAMS, KIN Family Programs

Molly grew up attending Educated by Nature and has always loved spending time in and around nature. She loves exploring and is up for any adventure. Molly is equally at home reading a book in a tree or building a raft on the river. When she’s not outdoors you can find her snuggled up with her cats and dogs at home. She loves the opportunity that Educated by Nature has given her to be able to spend time in nature while helping to mentor and nurture children's love of the outdoors. 

Molly - Educated by Nature

Lyra Telfer

Junior Playworker - KIN Family Programs

Lyra is a high school student and also studies at TAFE. They enjoy theatre, sailing, swimming at the beach, and baking. They are currently a Venturer Scout and have been involved with Scouts WA since they were six years old.  Lyra was drawn to work at Educated by Nature because they believe that children should get the opportunity to play in the outdoors and connect with nature. 

Hope - Educated by Nature

Kezia Marmion

Junior Playworker - KIN Family Programs

Kezia is currently a high school student. She enjoys a wide variety of activities including climbing trees, sailing, crocheting and playing hockey or floorball. In her spare time, she enjoys playing a range of musical instruments, such as the violin, piano, clarinet, saxaphone, drums, ukulele, and guitar. Kezia finds that kids are the best company to keep, as they are curious, unafraid, and honest. She is currently a Venturer Scout and has found it to be a comforting and supportive space. In working with Educated by Nature, Kezia feels that she can provide children with similar opportunities to experience a community that encourages them to try new things and grow.

Sam Wride

Junior Playworker - KIN Family Programs

Sam is a high school student who enjoys being outdoors, particularly when he is swiming and sailing! Sam has been involved with Scouts since he was 6 years old, and is now a Venturer Scout. Through Scouts, Sam has grown up in nature, developing a deep appreciation for all the fun and learning that can be had outside. He loves getting to spend even more time outdoors through his work with Educated by Nature.

Sam - Educated by Nature

Charlotte Thong

Junior Playworker - KIN Family Programs

Charlotte is a current high school student. She attended the KIN program throughout her younger years and loves being able to help create more awesome experiences for kids. She loves the outdoors, whether it's in a tree reading her favourite book, or hiking on the Bold Park trails.

Sam - Educated by Nature
Hayley Henheffer - Educated by Nature

Junior Mentors

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, Tristan, Chloe, Owen and Sarah.