I grew up in the Pioneer Valley, a farming district in the Central Mackay Coast (CMC) bioregion. The Pioneer Valley sits between Mackay on the Australian East Coast, and the foothills of the Clark Connors Range, a place of outstanding natural values and biophysical diversity.

Between having immense freedom of time and space to play as a child, the seasonal rhythm of farming life and a family who loved the outdoors I had many, many beautiful formative experiences with the natural world and developed a strong sense of place.

After school I studied a Bachelor of Learning Management (Early Childhood) at CQUniversity and during this course of study I found myself particularly interested in learning theory, educational psychology and alternative models of education including Steiner and Montessori.

The birth of my daughter in 2009 catalysed my thinking toward attachment and emotionally responsive parenting which then influenced by beliefs about working with children toward a more holistic model of development and wellbeing. Linking this all back to my studies I knew that my daughter’s health, wellbeing and development would  both shape and be shaped by her interactions within and across micro and macro systems of her community and society (Bronfrenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory), including our interrelatedness with the environment. Around this time I began participating in many community groups including Mackay Community Garden and Mackay Conservation Group.

I have worked across many educational settings in various roles including as a relief teacher in public schools, private tutor, kindergarten teacher, early childhood educator in a long day care centre and as a family day care educator.

In 2016 I decided I wanted to further my study in the general direction of Social Ecology.  I studied a Graduate Certificate in Permaculture Design at CQUnivesity Australia. This course looked at how the ecological principles of Permaculture could be applied across various domains to address some of the social and ecological challenges we face collectively. My work was heavily focussed in the domains of education and culture, where I explored topics such as the direction and purpose of education, the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), the concept of right-livelihood, localisation and regenerative cultures. I travelled to Bali to complete my Permaculture Design Certificate at the Kul Kul Farm and visited the amazing Green School. During this year of study I also lived on a Permaculture farm in Sarina and was involved in the ‘Third Ground Project‘, a place-making and village building project with a focus on localisation and food sovereignty.

In 2017 I began formulating ideas for a social enterprise (a business with social and environmental outcomes) and also undertook Level 3 Forest School Leader training with Forest School Learning Initiative and NaturePlay QLD.

In 2018 I have been privileged to be a part of The Watershed Land Art Project and facilitating children’s workshops at the Mackay Community Garden as well as opening an outside school hours care service, Hill End OSHC, with Inspired Family Day Care.

I am excited to offer Edutones to the Mackay community and keenly anticipate the deep learning, connection and innovation that emerges.

Kellie