BAT Be In It

Pete Rae and Ben Knowles

When: 09/06/2017, 9:30am to 09/06/2017, 4:00pm
How Much: $185 ($165 AABAT members)
Where: Parks Victoria Conference Centre - Westerfolds Park (Templestowe, Victoria)

Register Here

An Experience in Bush Adventure Therapy

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn

(a quote often attributed to Benjamin Franklin[i]).

To keep our feet grounded, our sense of self clear, and our purpose useful for those around us, it is helpful to experience others’ perspectives, including the impact of BAT from the shoes and perspectives of a participant.

While reading, listening and grappling with ideas is extremely useful in gaining an understanding of how BAT supports people towards healing and wellbeing, it is equally important that we have the opportunity to place ourselves in the vulnerable role of participant in an experiential way to enhance our capacity for empathy, compassion and personal insight and to build our understanding of BAT practice from the inside-out.

This day will help us to put theories into action and ultimately be more useful for the people we aspire to support.

[i] This quote is often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, but is more likely connected with the words of an ancient Chinese Confucian philosopher called Xun Kuang who lived from 312-230 BC and said “Not having heard something is not as good as having heard it; having heard it is not as good as having seen it; having seen it is not as good as knowing it; knowing it is not as good as putting it into practice”. This quote was found in a compilation of Kuang’s works put together by Liu Xiang in 818AD and later translated by John Knoblock. See:

This one-day workshop extends AABAT’s ‘BAT 101’ by involving participants in active and reflective experiences of BAT. While the AABAT ‘BAT 101’ is not required to participate in this workshop it is highly recommended. BAT 101 information can be found on the AABAT Website here.

Workshop Content

The aim of this workshop is to learn about BAT through direct involvement. For those that have experienced a condensed overview of BAT in Australia, through participation in AABAT’s (Australian Association for Bush Adventure Therapy) BAT 101 workshop, this day extends us into the realm of practice by offering opportunities to get involved in a range of key BAT practices, and co-create BAT experiences.

The workshop provides a space for self-reflection and personal/professional growth for the benefit of our participants and ourselves.  Participants will help to shape the day, including helping to decide which dimensions of BAT will be covered from the following list:

  • Creating a safe space*
  • Group dimensions (processes/ dynamics/ structure/ formation)
  • Shared intentions (group and individual)*
  • Relationships (participant to practitioner, participant to participant, practitioner to practitioner, self with self)
  • Trust and empathy
  • Reflexive Practice
  • Review and reflection*
  • Participants at the centre
  • Informed consent*
  • Ethics in action.

* These topics are considered foundational for BAT practices and as such will definitely be covered during the workshop.

Bush Adventure Therapy and Adventure Works

This workshop will be delivered by experienced staff from Adventure Works, an organisation that exists to support BAT in Australia.

From our team’s perspective, BAT is a holistic approach to human health and wellbeing. Undertaking adventures in natural environments within a safe small group offers a unique therapeutic milieu. When BAT experiences are personally chosen and individually tailored, the therapeutic potential is magnified.

We believe BAT offers respectful and non-blaming practices that enable people to experience themselves in new ways and create space to better understand problems they may face in life.

We have found that natural environments offer a unique setting for intentional conversations and the gaining of helpful insights.

Our BAT workshops are delivered by practitioners trained in narrative therapy, family therapy, outdoor education, leadership and a range of social services.

A common aim across our BAT services is to invite participants to reflect, act and relate in new, preferred ways. Furthermore, research evidence demonstrates that people from all walks of life find BAT seriously good!


This one-day workshop will be delivered in the bush in close proximity to Melbourne, Victoria. Exact details will be confirmed closer to the date.

Presenter Information

Ben Knowles

Ben is dedicated to seeing bush adventure therapy become widely available for people from all walks of life who face difficulty or hardship. Ben has experienced and witnessed the self-affirming and life-changing joy of time spent in the bush and the breadth of healing that can accompany this. As a child and young man Ben spent a great deal of time exploring his local bush in the Adelaide hills and the mountains and the forests of central and western Victoria. He grew up living in a country pub, on small farms and in small communities. These early experiences laid a foundation for his therapeutic practice which is grounded in the lived and unfolding experience of people, culture and place. With over 15 years of experience, Ben decided it was time to make good on a long-held plan to begin what is now Adventure Works. More:

Anita Pryor

Anita has been a keen practitioner, trainer and researcher in BAT since the early nineties. At a young age, Anita noticed that adventuring with friends and family in natural environments made her feel good and she wanted to share that with other people. After over two decades of doing just that, Adventure Works is her way of putting it all together. She wants to increase uses of outdoor adventure for therapy and expand people’s opportunity to experience the healing potential of BAT. Anita’s approach comes from the belief that humans benefit from contact with nature and that ‘good therapy’ is not something ‘done’ to another person, but co-created. More:

Pete Rae

Pete has worked professionally as an outdoor leader, educator and practitioner in BAT for over 20 years and has enjoyed his own personal adventures in the outdoors for nearly 40 years. He brings experience in program development, administration and management to the Adventure Works team, and has helped establish program operations. Pete has worked across a range of outdoor activity disciplines and modes of delivery with children, young people and adults, in groups and with individuals. In his spare time Pete works on his family’s organic hobby farm and escapes for adventures in Tasmania’s fantastic outdoors with his family. More: