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Gould League scholarship winner embraces forest therapy

AAEE NSW is excited to announce that Tanya Leishman, specialist teacher at Seaforth Public School, is our 2020 Gould League Scholarship winner.

Since starting at Seaforth Public School at the end of 2018, Tanya has redesigned the school Kitchen Garden program from just food garden learning, to an embedded, holistic sustainability program focusing on food production, Indigenous perspectives, waste and biodiversity providing authentic sustainability learning experiences through a series of activities in the garden setting.

Tanya was selected for the scholarship due to her commitment to improving not only her school environment, but also the well-being and mental health of her school community.

The Gould League scholarship will provide Tanya with financial assistance to complete the online Forest Therapy Foundation Course offered by the International Nature and Forest Therapy Alliance (INFTA).

“I am thrilled to have received the 2020 Gould League Scholarship to undertake this professional learning,” Tanya said. “This course struck a chord with me as I think it’s very relevant today with the impacts of COVID-19 isolation and the increasing evidence of poor mental health in our society, especially children. Knowledge from this course will help me build connections with the natural environment as well as promoting physical activity and encouraging self-reflection, social connection and good mental health.”

“I already teach skills to find calm and sit quietly, but I want to know more so I can help teach those strategies to students. Staff at my school are engaged in wellbeing programs such as Smiling Mind and they too will benefit from learning about this therapy” she continued.

The scholarship is a legacy left by the Gould League of NSW to assist environmental and sustainability educators in their learning and to develop their skills and knowledge to integrate sustainability, science and geography into the curriculum, connect people with their natural environment and empower the community to live more sustainably.

Find out more about the Gould League Scholarship

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