Keynotes

Welby Ings
Welby Ings, Auckland, New Zealand
Professor of Design, Filmmaker

Welby Ings is a Professor in Design. He is an elected Fellow of the British Royal Society of Arts and has been a consultant to many international organisations on issues of creativity and learning. He is also a multi-award winning designer, illustrator, author and filmmaker. He has taught at all levels of the New Zealand school system and currently co-ordinates the PhD programme in practice-led design research at AUT University. Although he holds professorial positions in a number of international universities, until the age of 15 Welby could neither read nor write. He was expelled from secondary school and later suspended from Teachers' College.
Welby has written and spoken extensively on dehumanized systems of teaching, our obsession with performance, and the benefits of disobedient thought.
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Dr Ihirangi Heke
Dr Ihirangi Heke, Waikato/Tainui, New Zealand
Health and Physical Education Consultant

Dr Ihirangi Heke, of Tainui-Waikato descent, was raised in the South Island mountain adventure environment, before it was popularly known as such. A graduate of Otago University, he has lectured there and built a career based on helping athletes, both ordinary and elite, achieve goals beyond their expectations. Over the past 10 years he has been active in helping Mãori and other indigenous groups abroad, build their own health and wellness activities based on their traditional environmental knowledge. On any one day of the week you might find Ihi mountain biking with Te Arawa people in Rotorua, playing traditional games with students in Kaikohe, at a trekking meeting in the snow in Japan, or in a virtual meeting with colleagues from Auckland University, Brookings Institute Washington, and a marae in Uawa. This is all part of him joining the dots to enable Mãori and other indigenous peoples to define and determine their own health pathways and solutions as defined by their local environments.
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Nathan Fa'avae
Nathan Fa'avae, Nelson, New Zealand
Ten Events Ltd, Outdoor Educator, Adventure Racer

Nathan joins the Natural Phenomena Conference with a few feathers in his cap. He is a highly qualified and acclaimed Outdoor Educator having worked as an Outward Bound instructor and Ambassador. He is currently the Patron of Whenua iti Outdoors and is known for his work with at-risk long-term unemployed youth.
An entrepreneur in the adventure industry, Nathan has won a New Zealand business award in the adventure tourism sector. His events company hosts the biggest adventure race in the world - the Spring Challenge. He is a founding director of outdoor nutrition company, Absolute Wilderness freeze dried meals. In his spare time, Nathan captains the country's elite adventure racing team.
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Niki Buchan
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.
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