Niki Buchan, Dunsborough, Western Australia

Natural Learning Early Childhood Consultancy

With a biomedical background, Niki has lived and worked in South Africa and Scotland and has been calling Australia home since 2011. She has a great love for the outdoors and has been working with both adults and young children in very consultative, naturalistic and sensorial environments both indoors and outdoors for more than 35 years. She has vast experience working directly with children and educators as an educator, pedagogical leader, head of centres, as well as founder and owner of her own child care and education centres. She works internationally as a conference keynote speaker, nature pedagogue, mentor and author. Niki has developed a reputation as a strong advocate for children's right to a high-quality childhood with a deep concern about children's mental health and trauma. She believes children have a right to regular access to nature and trusts children as being capable and competent including their ability to assess and take their own risks and face challenges.

Keynote Presentation: Climbing Trees and Smelling Dandelions! Working with Children and Nature

Many children do not get their regular dose of Nature. We will explore the benefits to children in spending time in outdoor, nature filled spaces. Not just physical benefits but mental, social, emotional, academic and intellectual benefits as they investigate and play in a largely unstructured natural environment. Supervision and the sensitive dance between interference and high quality interaction, what it means for children to be as safe as necessary and the danger of trying to keep children as safe as possible.

Niki Buchan