What makes Eco Explorers programs so unique?
Who we are
We believe that all children deserve the same rich variety of opportunities for outdoor and adventurous play and our goal is to create an environment where everyone feels welcomed and included.
Our unique and highly popular bush programs have been developed by our team of early childhood educators, primary school teachers, forest school leaders, play workers, yoga teachers, artists, conservationists and environmental experts. You can read more about our team here. We are constantly learning and striving to improve our services and keep up to date with the latest research and training on child development, learning and play.
Our team attend regular training sessions throughout the year and all of our forest school staff and assistants are trained in all areas of forest school by our Directors, Melinda and Adam who are level 3 certified forest school leaders.
Our programs embed Aboriginal perspectives, help develop and strengthen community connections, consider each child’s holistic development, support mindfulness in nature and encourage sustainability by engaging in meaningful, age-appropriate real life skills and conversations.
Cultural and local knowledge
Each program is carefully designed so we share relevant local site information about the history, practices, local plants and wildlife that we gather on. We acknowledge and pay our respects to our First People who are the traditional custodians of the land and through sharing authentic Aboriginal books, resources and songs, we help connect families to respect and care for the environment.
Each facilitator learns from Elders and Aboriginal People in their local area (you can find more and read about them here) through hands on experience and by attending workshops.
Our uniform logo incorporates community and family (large red circle surrounded by small circles) who take care of the future community, the children, their connections to each other, providing support and strength and coming together to learn and grow.
About the Artist: Samantha Roberts is a descendant from the Wurundjeri and Dja Dja Wurrung tribes through the Terrick family. Samantha established a business “Connecting Two Worlds” to share traditional and modern Indigenous culture through interactive incursions and art.
Well-being and Mindfulness
We aim to empower and educate families about the health and well-being benefits of play and learning in nature. We practice connecting to nature and being mindfulness through the activities we offer which focus on opening our senses and tuning in our bodies to the world around us. This is a practice that all our facilitators embody and practice, with the support of our Director, Melinda who has a background and qualifications in mental health and community services.
Our programs are thoughtfully created to help support all areas of each child’s development and to build on their natural curiosity and learning. We provide a flexible learning structure and environment cater to each child’s individual interests and abilities with plenty of opportunities for free unstructured play.
Our facilitators are passionate about creating a respectful, welcoming and nurturing space to help develop friendships and connections with other families. Everyone is welcome and treated with respect at our bush programs and we offer an inclusive and safe space where we nurture each families values and backgrounds.
Environment and Sustainability
Eco Explorers has a strong commitment to the environment and sustainable practices. The learning experiences are planned to help families learn about and appreciate nature. This encourages environmental responsibility and care of the land we gather on.
We have a number of environmental policies in place to protect the spaces we gather on, which includes moving to a new location each term and picking up any rubbish we may see on our walks.
Australian Forest School Association
Forest School is world-wide philosophical approach to nature connection and learning for children. Our Director Melinda is a current committee member of the Australian Forest School Association (AFSA). Our programs and professional development are aligned with the AFSA Guiding Principles.
Since 2022, we have also mentored Teacher Candidates completing their community placements in the reaccredited Master of Teaching program at the University of Melbourne.
Have a question? Visit our frequently asked question page here for more information.