How the Royal Botanic Garden creates effective, meaningful and inspiring outdoor learning spaces in schools and communities, whilst guiding people on how to best utilise them.

Mr Peter Dawe1, Mr Brenden Moore1
1Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Sydney, Australia


The Royal Botanic Garden’s Youth Community Greening program (YCG) commenced in 2008 and is an environmental outreach education program targeting disadvantaged youth from birth to 25 years across the State.

YCG assists disadvantaged preschools, schools, migrant youth groups, Youth off the Streets, Juvenile Justice Centres, and young people with disabilities through helping create productive school and community gardens and green landscapes. The program also delivers syllabus-linked environmental classroom and outdoor activities at schools and centres across NSW as well as training teachers in how to confidently and successfully utilise these outdoor spaces.

Over the last 11 years YCG has worked with youth at over 400 sites across NSW and worked with in excess of 100,000 young people.

In recent years there has been an increase in demand for schools and other centres to create outdoor learning spaces, often with an Indigenous theme. YCG assists these sites with the entire process from ideas and design to construction and effective use.
We will share with the audience the most effective way to create these spaces and how to make them a functioning resource for the site.

Peter Dawe has been the Youth Community Greening Coordinator for the Royal Botanic Garden for the last six years and has been delivering environmental education to students and communities for the last 30 years. This experience combined with a Masters of Environmental Management, Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Sustainability provide him with the expertise, knowledge and passion to deliver such an important message and program.

Brenden Moore has qualifications in horticulture, Aboriginal Studies as well as Community and Social Development. Through his skills and experience he inspires NSW Housing tenants to establish kitchen and display gardens, works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities such as the Thurawal Aboriginal Corporation in Western Sydney, Juvenile Justice Centres and schools to reconnect with nature and the environment, learn about native plants, bush regeneration, gardening, health and wellbeing.

About OEA and Outdoors NSW

Outdoor Education Australia (OEA)  was established in 2006 as a national network of outdoor education associations. The organisation facilitates communication between state and territory outdoor education associations about the practice and delivery of outdoor education; advocates for outdoor education across primary, secondary and tertiary education; and provides policy advice.

Outdoors NSW is the go-to place for all things outdoors in NSW.

The peak body for the outdoors in NSW, the organisation, (formerly known as ORIC), represents the outdoor community, advances outdoor standards, safety and practices, and fosters greater participation in the outdoors.

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