The Nature Connection Project Launch

The Nature Connection Project Storytelling Launch

November 2023

The Botanical Gardens in Hobart has to be one of the most delightful backdrops to stage a launch. Add 40 interesting guests, Sveltlana Bunic on accordian, a divinely decorated vegan launch cake and delicious catering, and you have the makings of a welcomingly warm and easy mingling affair.

We acknowledged country and the post referendum pain our Aboriginal friends and colleagues were experiencing. Tipped our hat to Indigenous Fellow, Rob Anders’, impending PhD journey and the event was off and running.

Our team of Dr Pauline Marsh, Dr Emily Flies, (Co-Lead Researchers) Usitha Rajeevan (Report Writing), Ari Moore (Research Assistant) and Jen Sharman (Partner Connections), introduced themselves and their roles.

Pauline spoke of the power of storytelling as a tool for understanding how people make sense of the world around them, while allowing us to hear diverse voices and share them in a meaningful way.

Emily explained that through this research project we will be able to understand the positive impacts nature has on the health and wellbeing, social connections and pro-environmental behaviours of people right around the country, while creating improved strategies and policies to better enable nature’s benefit into the future.

Our guest speaker, author Karen Harrland, spoke of the power of nature and storytelling in her writing life and teaching role at Margate Primary.

The Pod hosted a postcard writing activity and a group of 12 communicators from organisations such as Libraries Tasmania, Neighbourhood Houses, Landcare, Wildcare and Conservation Volunteers Australia stayed on to join Susan Wallace (writer, mediator, actor, celebrant) and Belinda Hawkins (Australian Story Producer) for a deeper dive into the world of engaging storytelling and collecting.

All in all, a successful and engaging event to kickstart the project!

Karen Harrland, the project team, and our beautiful launch cake.

Author: Jen Sharman 🌼 Photos: Jen Sharman & Ari Moore

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