ShelleyWright – Doing the BAT Dance

Doing the BAT Dance

Shelley Wright, Josh McLean, Lisa Hutcheon

Session duration: 120 minutes

Key words: bush adventure therapy, intervention, outcomes, intention, mechanisms of change, facilitation, engagement, choice


Bush Adventure Therapy facilitation is a complex dance to which we all bring our own unique style. Knowing when to bust out the running man is a dilemma I face every day. This workshop is an opportunity to explore the choices we make in BAT facilitation and will include practical examples and case studies from our work at Geelong Adventure Specialists (GAS).

At GAS we tailor each session to respond to a participant’s interest and their purpose for being there, understanding that different elements of BAT will be more important at different times. These elements include connection to the natural world, opportunities to move and participate, adventure and risk taking, collaboration and social relationships, and the application of clinical modalities.

Join us ready to participate, question, listen and share.

About the presenter/s

Shelley Wright co-owns and manages Geelong Adventure Specialists (GAS). GAS offers bush adventure therapy, disability support, outdoor education & adventure tourism opportunities. Shelley has degrees in outdoor education (BEd), experiential learning & adventure therapy (MEd) & counselling (MCounselling). In her work she has weaved the common thread of outdoors and adventure into domains of education, psychosocial rehabilitation, student engagement and counselling. Many moons ago Shelley served on the Victorian Outdoor Education Association (now Outdoors Victoria) and the Out Doors Inc Board of management.

Josh McLean is a Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work practitioner that brings a diverse spectrum of health practice responses, strategies, experience and knowledge to his work. He started his career in rural drug and alcohol prevention and youth mental health. It was through first-hand experience with young people that Josh realised the potential for facilitating nature-based experiences that could provide targeted approaches, especially for young people.

Josh is currently researching ‘Outdoor Healthcare’ with the Australian Association for Bush Adventure Therapy (AABAT) – Research and Policy Unit, and collaborating with many other professionals in their respective nature-based fields of practice across the world. His focus is on ensuring the delivery of the safest and most effective practices for everyone and anyone who could benefit from Bush Adventure Therapy.

Lisa Hutcheon brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to GAS in her roles as Outdoor Educator, Disability Support Worker and BAT Assistant. She holds a Bachelor of Outdoor and Environmental Studies and a Cert IV in Theology. Lisa enjoys leading extended journeys on land and water where nature invites people into an unhurried rhythm of being, awakening curiosity, awe and new perspectives.