Executive and Life Members
Meet the 2020 -2021 EONZ Board
Sophie Watson - co-chair
Researcher NZCER, writer, project manager
Sophie has spent the last decade working with young people in the outdoors. Most recently she was the TIC of Outdoor Education at a secondary school in Wellington. Her programmes were driven by concepts of inclusive, place-responsive and cross-curricular pedagogies. In 2016, she completed a Master’s in Education, which focussed on the experience of young women in Outdoor Education. Sophie has a great passion for learning and the outdoors and is currently involved in a range of education projects, including EOTC research, professional learning, and resource development. She enjoys any adventure that gets her outside and most recently has been trying her hand at multi-day bike journeys. This is Sophie’s second term serving on the executive.
Phil Washbourn - co-chair
Papanui High School
Phil is Assistant HOD HPE: Outdoor Education at Papanui High School in Christchurch and has been active within the Canterbury EONZ region since the early 2000s. He recently completed a Masters Thesis investigating Māori student perspectives in Outdoor Education and the implications for cultural responsive pedagogies in outdoor programmes. Phil has a passion for engaging students with Aotearoa New Zealand's unique outdoor environments, creating connections with the places they live in, and facilitating care and sound decision-making in our interactions with natural environments. Phil enjoys tramping, mountain biking, sea kayaking and tree planting in his spare time.
Fiona McDonald - Interim CEO
Fiona is an Education Outside the Classroom consultant, project manager, and assessor. She works with a number of organisations. She a member of the Ministry of Education Reference group that was involved in the development and ongoing review of the EOTC Guidelines.
Previously Fiona has worked as a teacher, Head of Faculty, Assistant and Deputy Principal at a high school level. She works with Skills Active supporting qualification development, moderation, and assessment. She is an auditor for Qualworx.
Fiona strongly believes in the value of quality integrated cross-curriculum EOTC for students.
Otago University, Teaching Fellow Victoria University of Wellington
Libby has a long career in education, starting in primary and secondary teaching before moving to the tertiary sector. She spent sixteen years developing PLD experiences, and in-school one-on-one support, across the schooling sector, mainly involved in, but not limited to, the HPE learning space.
Libby has been both a facilitator and creator of PLD packages that are structured from an Inquiry perspective that are responsive to teachers’ needs and that of their akonga, based on evidence and research.
Dr David Irwin
Ara Institute of Canterbury (Editor of Te Whakatika)
Originally trained as a primary teacher many years ago, Dave now works on the Sustainability and Outdoor Education Programmes at Ara Institute of Canterbury where he has been engaged in teaching and research related to learning in the outdoors since the late 1990s. Dave is interested in how both educators and learners grapple with their identity, finding out about their place in the world, and the role of education (and particularly experiential education) in change towards a more sustainable future. Along with Allen Hill and Jo Straker, Dave contributed to and edited the book Outdoor education in Aotearoa New Zealand: A new vision for the twenty-first century, published by CPIT and available through EONZ.
Dr Allen Hill
Ara Institute of Canterbury
Dr Allen Hill is a Principal Lecturer in Sustainability and Outdoor Education at ARA Institute of Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand. Dr Hill joined the team at ARA in July 2016 from the University of Tasmania, Australia, where he was a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education since 2011.
Before his transition into tertiary education, Dr. Hill was a secondary school teacher in Aotearoa New Zealand for 11 years. During this time he held a number of leadership roles including Head of Health and Physical Education and Outdoor Education, and Head of Assessment in a large co-educational state secondary school.
Dr. Hill’s professional career can be characterized by an enduring commitment to the development of people through education coupled with a strong concern for issues of justice, equality, sustainability, transformation, and citizenship. How education can contribute to a more sustainable future through healthy people, healthy communities, and healthy environments is at the heart of his research and teaching interests.
Deputy Principal, Trident High School
Caroline has been working in the outdoors for the past 20 years, first as an outdoor instructor, then teaching in the education system. She has a focus on developing resilience and building capacity in teenagers through the outdoor environment. Caroline has a Masters in Educational Leadership and based this on coaching and mentoring and the use of Key Competencies to develop future-focused curriculum and reporting programmes. Caroline is a member of the senior leadership team at Trident High School.
Little Kiwis Nature Play
Celia originally studied outdoor recreation and adult education at Aoraki Polytechnic. For the past 20 years she has worked for a variety of outdoor education organisations nationally and internationally. From instructing, tutoring at polytechnic level and running multi week wilderness expeditions, she has gained experience setting up, developing and running outdoor programmes, leadership development programmes and establishing risk management and safety systems.
Celia has more recently redirected her skill set to help connect the younger tamariki of New Zealand to the outdoors through nature play. She does this by providing professional development training to early childhood and primary teachers encouraging them to find outdoor learning opportunities using nature as a teacher.
She currently runs a bush kindy playgroup each week and is setting up a one-day nature school programme for 5-10-year olds to start in term 4 2019.
Mount Aspiring College
I have spent most of the last 3 decades working ion outdoor education and am keen to offer my experience to the EONZ executive. I have taught in a number of New Zealand secondary schools, and have also spent several years instructing at Outward Bound in New Zealand and Canada. I was the first EONZ kaiārahi, and have recently enjoyed collaborating with other EONZ members on the Skills Active led review of Unit Standards. I linve in Wānaka where I spend my free time kayaking and biking, and am halfway to being an empty nester.
Having spent time in my twenties developing and sharing my skills and knowledge associated with experiences based on around and under the sea, I elected to study education and train also as a teacher. My primary vocational contribution for almost twenty years following that was lecturing at AUT in the area of leadership in the outdoors. During this time, I had the good fortune to learn, share time, thoughts and initiatives with many fine people.
After much contemplation about where I considered it valuable to contribute in my next chapter, I have concluded that being nearer schools and the promotion of skills attitudes, behaviours and experiences that develop the welfare of people communities and nature is the place I wish to be. My current place of work is Sir Peter Blake MERC and my mission is to see all children regularly participating in engaging and non-exclusive nature-based experiences in all learning areas of the NZC.
Te Pā o Rākaihautū
Sharon is a Kaihautū (leader) at Te Pā o Rākaihautū in Ōtautahi. She has taught Outdoor Education and Te Reo at NCEA level and now leads integrated programmes of learning at Te Pā o Rākahautū. Sharon has been co-opted to the National Executive to help support EONZ in its Te Tiriti o Waitangi journey.
Join the Executive
The following EONZ members have made a significant and ongoing contribution to EONZ and Outdoor Education in New Zealand over an extended period:
Te Tumu herenga waka, herenga tangata
(the post that binds the waka also binds the people)
Associate Professor Mike Boyes
The bestowing of this special award of Te Tumu acknowledges leadership in our sector over an extended period of time.
Read more about the meaning of the award and Mike's enduring contribution to outdoor education and EONZ contribution here.
Regional Life Members
EONZ members who have made a significant contribution in their respective regions:
John Charteris, EONZ Waikato
Margaret O'Connor (Deceased), EONZ Auckland
Jill Dalton, EONZ Auckland
Colin Bramfitt, EONZ Auckland