Day 1 – Conference Field Trips

We will begin our program on Monday, 25th September, at Building 40 with a smoking ceremony at 8.30 am, and our conference field trips. These will be followed by the AGM and Green Hour Gathering Sundowner back at UOW.

You will have a range of field trips to choose from, some that will take you out on country, others around the exciting sustainable university buildings and some will include workshops and hands-on activities. Each field trip will disembark the university around 9 am, consisting of three stops in and around Wollongong, Keiraville and Shellharbour, returning to the university around 4.30 pm.

Field trips will have limited capacity, and closer to the date you will be invited to express your interest in the field trips you would like to attend.

Field Trip 1: Warrawong

Discover the beauty of Green Connect Farm, where vegetables and herbs grow in abundance, and chickens, goats, sheep, and pigs graze happily. The produce is grown using organic methods, then harvested, sold, and delivered to the local community in Green Connect’s Fair Food Fruit and Veg Boxes. At Warrawong High School, witness the power of permaculture by exploring a Living Classroom where students cultivate permaculture gardens, showcasing the power of hands-on learning. Then, journey to Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation, where cultural programs, art, and bush regeneration forge bonds, foster pride in Aboriginal heritage, and promote unity. Support a brighter future for youth through education, employment, and wellness initiatives.

1. Green Connect Farm Tour

2. Warrawong HS student permaculture garden ‘Living Classroom’

3. Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation

Field Trip 2: Botanic Gardens

Immerse yourself in Wollongong Botanic Garden’s Tiny Forest, learning about how the Tiny Forest started, student activities and how you select the right plants for your Tiny Forest to function at its optimum. Then, discover a birdwatcher’s paradise. Join Illawarra Birders on a guided stroll through diverse habitats, encountering over thirty bird species. Your sightings contribute to global research, advancing our understanding of these fascinating creatures. Then, delve into Indigenous native food plants during an enlightening workshop. Learn identification, cultivation, and culinary uses, including tantalizing taste tests. Explore a world of flavors and possibilities as you unlock the secrets of these unique plants

1. Education Discovery Centre

2. Botanic Garden Bird Walk

3. Growing Native Edible Bushfood


Field Trip 3: Workshops at UOW

Delve into the profound importance of Indigenous knowledge, science, and art in healing the Australian landscape. Explore interconnected realms, listen to the land, and immerse yourself in Indigenous art practices. Reflect on outdoor teaching methods, rejuvenating your pedagogical approach. Then, empower students to upcycle textiles into art, joining the story of transforming waste into creativity. Ignite your passion for holistic environmental education, forging a deeper connection to the land’s stories.

1.  Reclaiming Sovereignty through Holistic Environmental Education: Indigenous Perspectives from Country


2.  Outdoor Learning: Transforming Pedagogical Thinking and Practice


3. Connecting Threads: transforming textiles from waste into weavings


Field Trip 4:  UOW Innovation Campus and Popes Produce

Visit the University of Wollongong Science Space Planetarium to watch ‘The Earth Above: A Deep-Time View of Australia’s Epic History’. The focus of the film is Australia’s last 140,000 years of history, incorporating both scientific and traditional knowledges. Then, you’ll move on to the Sustainable Building Research Centre (SBRC) building on the University of Wollongong (UoW)’s Innovation Campus, where a tour will showcase the latest full scale building energy testing facility as well as UOW’s two Solar Decathlon Houses. Finally, join Sarah and Ben Anderson at their hidden market garden, Popes Produce, an urban oasis with a strong focus on sustainability, permaculture, and reconnecting people to the roots of their food and the wonder of our local environment.

1. UOW Science Space Planetarium

2. Sustainable Buildings Research Centre

3. Popes Produce

Field Trip 5: Shellharbour

Join Gumaraa, an Aboriginal cultural experience and education company, to delve into the rich traditions of the Dharawal and Yuin Nation through programs infused with deep knowledge about the traditional custodians of this land. Then, visit Illawarra EEC at Killalea Regional Park where teachers narrate the area’s evolution from Dharawal territory to conservation site. Lastly, at the Yirran Muru playspace, follow the seasonal movements of local Aboriginal people, connecting with the cultural and historical significance of regional landmarks, designed to educate about the cultural and historical significance of landmarks in the area area.

1. Gumaraa Experience

2. Killalea Regional Park & Illawarra EEC

3. Shellharbour council

Field Trip 6: Tour and Workshops at UOW

Visit the UOW Kids Uni, that operates four Early Education and Care services. Learn about their program and facilities, and hear from esteemed educator and pioneer Dr Sue Elliot, who will discuss the current state of early years education, as well as the future landscape. Next, let the UOW Environmental Management team you on a tour highlighting the history of the landscape, waste and sustainability features of the campus and learn about the flora and fauna that lives in the local area. Finally, let Dr Belinda Christie provide you with mindfulness-based tools to cultivate joy and resilience in your daily lives, and to explore your own experiences of what has helped support their continued work in the world.

1. Kids Uni UOW

2. Environmental Management Team

3. Mindfulness for Sustainability: leaning towards joy and cultivating resilience through trauma informed mindfulness-based practice


Field Trip 7: UOW and local bush sites

Begin at UOW with a Les Robinson presented workshop on generating innovative ideas and facilitating dynamic group discussions, drawing inspiration from James Webb Young’s “A technique for producing ideas.” Then, journey with Growing Illawarra Natives and Council Bushcare team for an immersive walk and talk in a local ecological endangered community, followed by hands-on planting. Finally, delve into the world of Bush Magic Adventures, a nature play-based organization in NSW. Explore the future of “bush schooling” with experiences that will spark creativity, deepen your connection with nature, and rejuvenate your approach to education and engagement at the beautiful Mt Kiera destination

1. Funology: how to add irresistible magnetism to any people project


2. Growing Illawarra Natives

3. Bush Magic Program