PreConf – Batoo – Water – Wai – The Power of Water, Surf and Circles. Exploring the use of Water in Adventure Therapy

Narawarn Water Wai - The Therapeutic Power of Water

Haaweatea Holly Bryson, Sally MacKinnon and Aunty Julie Peeters

When: 03/09/2018 at TBC
How Long: 2 Day Where: Jervis Bay, Booderee National Park
How Much: $570.00


Join us for a 2-day experience exploring the therapeutic power of water, through soul surfing, an extraordinary Aboriginal experience, and ways to bring adventure therapy to our water places.

We camp beachside, where there is rich local wildlife, kangaroos outside your tent, dolphins in the bay, and awakening to the dawn chorus of birdsong. Jervis Bay is known for its white sand, and we’re also adjacent to the second whitest sand beach in the world.

Water (or batoo in Dhurga language of the local Aboriginal people, wai in Māori and Hawaiian) is an element that provides a rich context for metaphor, reflection, adventure, and contemplation.

Adventure with us in Jervis Bay, Booderee National Park, 2hr 40mins south of Sydney. Following the handback of the area to the Aboriginal traditional owners, it holds evidence of the traditional owners ancestry, and with the wind, the water, and all life reflected in the past, it is the home and spirit of the Wreck Bay people. We experience dhugan gambi biritch (storytelling and yarns by a warm campfire under a glistening dark sky, be entranced with Aunty Julie) and dginngi nadgung (starry water), exploring stories of water, stories of struggle and survival, a testament to the strength of our ancient culture and its living traditions, with Galamban Extraordinary Aboriginal Experiences. “ We at Galamban have a lifetime of knowledge to share. This knowledge has passed down through generations of our people and we continue to offer these unique experiences on our Country”.

The workshop will delve into how we can access and deepen our adventure therapy work at our water places; whether rivers, tides, lakes or sea. We explore the use of circles, otherwise known as council practice, in group, couples or family work. The workshop involves deepening our skillset in nature awareness practices, relating practices and ecopsychology approaches through direct experience and rich sharing.

Experience a 4-hr soul surfing session, including an introduction to meeting the waves and tracking ourselves in the ocean, mindfulness and surf yoga, a surf lesson or coaching, and integration of metaphor and insight. Surf equipment is provided and no experience necessary (participation in this section requires the ability to swim). This is co-led by soul surfing instructor Sally McKinnon and the Jervis Bay Surf School.

This is an authentic experience in the rich cultural heritage and absolute beauty of Australia, while exploring the wide possibility, creativity and purpose we hold in our work.

Workshop explores circle-work directly, (council practice, group work, traditional circles, and how we bring these into new context; incl. families, couples, and various contexts). We explore ancient-place based practices and how it informs us in a contemporary context. The surfing section offers an experience in surf therapy, and the adventure and therapeutic use of water activities. Other components such as nature awareness, relating practices and ecopsychology approaches offer a skillset that can be readily applied to anyone working with people in the outdoors.

Equipment Required:

  • Camping equipment for the overnight: tent, tarp or hammock, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, flashlight (looking into options to rent tents).
  • Swimwear and towel
  • Notebook and pen
  • Clothing for warm and cool weather
  • Eating utensils, bowl/plate/mug *if possible.
  • Water bottle, sunblock, hat, sunglasses

Presenter Information

Haaweatea Holly Bryson

Haaweatea Holly Bryson is the founder of Nature Knows, a Rite of Passage Guide, Bush Adventure Therapist and Psychotherapist specialising in transition, transformation and trauma. She currently lives on the Big Island of Hawai’i, supporting family quests, equine therapy and co-ordinating a Rite of Passage school (Mahalo Aina Sanctuary and Akuahā). She has 10 years experience in the field with various populations; youth, veterans, indigenous communities, women and families, with current programs and collaborations in Australia, NZ, the US and China. Her background includes program development such as ad-hoc programs to schools, prisons, psychiatric hospital, youth centers and addiction treatment. While working at Weave youth and community services in Sydney, she created Bush Circle, named one of Australia’s best indigenous programs in The Australian paper (Aug 2014) and used as a case-study to inspire youth with nature for the decade ahead for over 10 countries (World Parks Congress). She draws on her Māori, Waitaha ancestry in her traditional healing work and with waterscapes. She has an MA in Wilderness Therapy (Naropa University), is a Wilderness First Responder, and Vision Fast guide (School of Lost Borders).

Sally MacKinnon

Sally is a soul surfer of life, diving into experiences that nourish an open heart, playfulness and peace. Her grounding practices personally and professionally are surfing, yoga, chi gong, meditation and walking. Sally has a PhD in Adult Learning and a Masters in Social Ecology. She is a qualified, experienced instructor in surfing (with Surf Easy Surf School on the Gold Coast), yoga, and fitness.  She facilitates workshops and retreats that offer stillness and movement practices, along with Soul Surfing. Sally published the book “The Dharma of Surfing: Wisdom from the Water for Life” (2016) along with a Surf Yoga DVD. She understands that getting published won’t heal your life but writing will, so she writes every day. She formerly spent 24 years as a professional environmental educator and protector, and as Co-founder and Executive Officer of the Ethos Foundation, a not for profit sustainability adult learning organization that hosted the groundbreaking Courageous Conversations in QLD and NSW. Sally lives and works in the mountains and beaches of South East Queensland.

Aunty Julie Peeters, Galamban – Extraordinary Aboriginal Experiences

Julie is a traditional owner of the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community on the south coast of NSW. Wreck Bay is on the Bherriwerri Penninsula, Jervis Bay. Julies mother is of the Guruwal clan (kamay). Born on the La Perouse Aboriginal reserve her mother comes from a long line of shell workers and story tellers. Her father was a Wreck Bay fisherman of the old tradition, born on a significant local mountain, Cullungutti. Bound by traditional and cultural practice, he was a Wandandiandi man whose totem was the Bumberang (Jacky Lizard). Her family line has gifted her with a story telling heritage and continuation of cultural practice. Julie is inspired by family, country, culture, tradition, history and life. She says “art is how culture continues and is maintained into the future. It strengthens connection to country. It’s my lifeline; it’s in the blood, its family and its forever.”

At the 2016 South Coast Tourism Awards, Galamban won The Hall of Fame Award, The Gold Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism and The Bronze Award for Inclusive Tourism.