AFSA President Joanne Sørensen
I have been in the Early Childhood industry since 1990 in a number of different positions and age groups here and overseas. I have trained with many professionals in Australia and notably in Denmark where my husband’s family lives. I am very fortunate to have had multiple opportunities exploring Forest School programs since 2003.
For many years l have been running training and consultancy for C&K – The Creche and Kindergarten Assoc. and FSLI – Forest School Learning Initiative, supporting the future Forest School Leaders.
At the start of the week l am a C&K Community Kindergarten Teacher working a 5 day fortnight and we visit the local creek on our alternate Wednesday of the program. We have been operating a Nature Kindy program since 2009.
At the end of the week l operate Bush Knowing. Bush Knowing Forest School is a council licensed business which opened in 2018, when my youngest child went to high school, to offer nature immersion sessions for families in North Brisbane Moreton Region Queensland. Sessions operate several times a week on the same site, beside the Kedron Brook creek. Our sessions inspire children to be curious, creative and connected future stewards of this precious earth.
Our programs operate several times a week for children from birth to 8 years of age during the term and for older children to 12 years during the school holiday sessions. I also offer and deliver consultation services to many organisations, schools, kindergartens and child care centres.
At Bush Knowing we are very mindful to provide affordable and accessible sessions to encourage engagement with and care for the country we are learning from. Over the years we have been sustainably managing the land, disposing of rubbish and eliminating weed species. Since the devastating floods of 2022 left our site severely impacted we have been regenerating the land with riparian zone specific native plantings with our families.
I have been taking groups of children into nature for a very long time and have always sought to share knowledge and gain knowledge from and with others. The creation of AFSA has been a long time in the making. Most of the core committee met in 2016 at a course and became Australia’s first locally trained Forest School Leaders. Over the years we kept in touch – finally coming together to create AFSA in 2020 through our shared vision of offering nature play mentors access to guides and approaches to empower, support and enrich programs.
We look forward to this association growing from strength to strength and we thank you for joining us.