what is afsa?
The Australian Forest School Association is a not-for-profit group whose aim is to promote, mentor and support nature immersion programs for diverse ages and environments across Australia.
AFSA committee members
Joanne Sørensen - AFSA President
Joanne Sørensen - AFSA President
Jo has been teaching and advocating for nature play since 1990. She is co-founder and president of AFSA, founder of Bush Knowing Forest School and runs training in nature play through C&K and FSLI.
Hannah Powell - Vice President
Hannah is an Early Childhood Teacher, nature enthusiast and advocate of children’s access to wild green spaces. She has established 4 ongoing Forest School Programs and hopes to support others to create more.
Nicki Farrell - Secretary
Co-founder of Wildlings Forest School, Nicki, is a highly experienced teacher, Forest School educator, Wildschooling Mum and Children’s Rights Advocate who has been running Nature Play programs and educator workshops across South East QLD since 2017.
Jennifer McCormack - Vice Secretary
Jennifer is an early childhood Nature Mentor and Playworker, storyteller and artist with a passion for the creative arts, conservation and well-being. Jennifer is a Co-Founder of Birdwings Forest School.
Narelle Neville - Treasurer
Narell is an early childhood Nature Mentor and Playworker with a passion for conservation and children’s rights. Narell is also a botanical artist and Co-Founder of Birdwings Forest School.
Vicci Oliver - Vice Treasurer
Co-founder of Wildlings Forest School, Vicci, is a highly experienced teacher, Forest School educator, Wildschooling Mum and Risky Play Advocate who has been running Nature Play programs and educator workshops across South East QLD since 2017.
Bec is the founder of Cottonwood Learning, a forest school/Bush kindy leader, playworker, play advocate and mentors others to take play and learning outdoors in nature.
Vicki Christopher is a Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Southern Queensland. Her research is located within the Early Childhood Education field, with particular interest in forest schools, social justice and child’s voice.
Melinda Bito is the founder and Managing Director of Eco Explorers and a certified forest school leader, playwork practitioner and mental health worker and advocate.
Amanda runs Wildlings FS in Brisbane. She is both a Primary Teacher and an ECT and is undertaking a PhD researching Forest Schools in Qld.
My name is Jess and I have been an educator for 8 years. I love helping my children learn by exploring our bush capital.
Kelly is the founder of Wild Kindy. She has over a decade of experience in Early Childhood Education and is an advocate for child led nature play.
Tash Treveton has been practising and consulting nature-based work with children for 20 years. Founder of Inspired EC and Timbernook Newcastle she thrives on creating better outcomes for children.
I have worked in Nature Play for the past 7 years, both internationally and in Tasmania. I studied early learning and alternative education models and have always been passionate about this.
Suzi has been an ECT since 1995. She is a certified Forest School Leader, founder of Earthside Explorers and has been designing and delivering Bush Kindy, Bush School and Bush Playgroup programs to children and their families since 2015.
who are we?
We are nature play advocates, facilitators and players. We are volunteers who are working in the field in numerous capacities. We have come together to create AFSA through our shared vision of offering nature play mentors access to guides and approaches to empower, support and enrich programs. Through these programs, children are offered the opportunities and freedom necessary for nature immersion experiences to be valuable and meaningful.
To create a united voice to provide advocacy, guidance and support for all members. To recognise the benefits all participants gain from access to nature immersion programs.
- Regular nature immersion
- Connection to Country
- Free play and natural learning
- Inclusivity and accessibility
- Mentoring practices
- Sustainable practice