Nature-Based Leadership Training

This immersive, nature-based leadership program is the first of its kind in Australia. It aims to create the kind of earth-based leadership and resilience we and our communities will need in the coming decades. Beginning and ending with nature immersion retreats outside Melbourne, this 10-month program is now accepting applications for the 2024 program.

Going through the course has completely shifted my perspective on and experience of the world. I feel more present and more connected to the Earth than I can ever remember. – Claudia, 2021 participant

I learned that my wild indigenous self has been here within me all along. Waiting for acceptance, and an invitation to return. – Mike, 2022 participant

Program details

Cost: $6,950 – $9,950.
Bursary-supported places are available, as well as payment plans
Duration: 10 months

Beginning and ending with nature immersion retreats outside Melbourne, the program will cover six core modules that seek to explore both the philosophy and practice of nature-based leadership.

  1. Tending the Wild
  2. Deep Nature Connection
  3. Village Building
  4. The Wider Story
  5. Leadership, Authenticity and Purpose
  6. Spirituality & Sacred Activism

This program is presented in partnership between CERES and Nature’s Apprentice.

This course recognises and builds on contributions from ecology, indigenous wisdom, environmental studies, eco-psychology, spiritual traditions, and place-based education, synthesizing and applying them to our local context.

Nature-based leadership draws on these and other disciplines to nurture leadership in all aspects of society, with the aim that people in all relationships—with themselves, others and the Earth itself—contribute to a healthy, peaceful and regenerative present and future.

The course is suited to those new to these fields (entry level welcome!), as well as those wanting to deepen their experience, knowledge and applicability of these areas in the world.

This course will take participants on a journey towards a more resilient and interconnected sense of self – rooted in the ecological, biological, sensory, emotional and rational dimensions. We call this learning through the ‘head, heart and hands.’

For the head:
Understanding new possibilities for systems change on the personal, social and planetary levels
Knowledge of contemporary eco-psychology philosophy and practice
Understanding of the stories and narratives of our times

For the heart:
A greater sense of place and belonging
Greater clarity of personal gifts and purpose
A greater depth of spiritual practice

For the hands:
Practical skills of wildcrafting and rewilding
Skills in community-building technologies, including the completion of a community project of your choice
Facilitation, mentoring and leadership skills

The course takes a hybrid approach to curriculum, including nature-based experiential activities in the outdoors, classroom discussions, online readings and commentary, and personalised projects.

Bookended with nature immersion retreats outside Melbourne, the program will cover six core modules that seek to explore both the philosophy and practice of nature-based leadership.

While each module will turn our lens to a different facet of Nature Based Leadership, our experiential face-to-face time will have a consistent thread of core routines of nature connection and earth skills throughout the year.

Each module will involve a set of recommended texts and readings, experiential processes and exploration of a broader context that embeds it into work for the world. The modules will be woven together into the retreats, and studied in more detail during the twice monthly workshops and webinars.

Participants will be invited to reflect on their learnings in each module through an online platform, and during the peer-led sessions in the middle of the year.

In the second half of the program, participants are invited to model and integrate the skills of nature-based leadership through creating a small project within their community.

As part of the final retreat, you will have the opportunity to enact a 24-hour Vision Quest to deepen and clarify your gifts and purpose going forth.

This is a 10-month program starting March annually.

  • 2 x week-long nature-immersion retreats (February and December, within 2 hours of Melbourne)
  • 14 x in-person workshops (Fridays in Melbourne)
  • 6 x online evening webinars (Wednesday eves. Recorded)
  • 2 x personal mentoring sessions
  • Peer-to-peer support for personal project design and implementation.
  • Reading and resources for each module will be provided through an interactive online learning platform that you will be expected to engage with and reflect upon.
  • You will also have the opportunity to design and deliver a community project or activity of your choice, to integrate your learnings.

Corporate rate / pay it forward


Student and unwaged

Tuition includes in-person workshops, online seminars, camping and catering on retreats, program supplies and mentoring. Payment plans are available on request. A limited number of partial scholarships are available on application.

Sieta Beckwith Sieta is the Narrative Director at CERES in Melbourne. Her role is to connect all the many stories of CERES across regenerative farming programs, environmental education, social enterprises and community participation, into an impactful, unified narrative. Together, these stories aim to change the systems that no longer serve our world, and help people fall in love with the earth again. Sieta has worked for 15 years in strategic communications roles, assisting purpose-led organisations to discover, share and live their deeper values. Through her work, Sieta aims to respond to the question, “What are we longing for?” and contribute to building a new story of humanity that is regenerative and hopeful. She finds joy in bringing together small groups of humans from all ages and backgrounds to explore heart-centred practice, and to learn how to live well together through times of great change. Sieta was born on Noongar country but has made her home on Wurundjeri land and loves to rock climb, dance, weave baskets and have conversations with trees.

Claire Dunn Claire Dunn is a writer, speaker, mother, barefoot explorer, rewilding facilitator and founder of Nature’s Apprentice. Claire is passionate about human rewilding and believes that a reclaiming of our ecological selves and belonging is key to regenerating wildness on the planet. For the last 15 years, Claire has been facilitating individuals to dive deeply into the mysteries of nature and psyche through the pathways of deep nature connection, ancestral earth skills, deep ecology, ecopsychology, soulcentric nature-based practice, village building, dance, ceremony and contemporary wilderness rites-of-passage. Claire is the author of memoirs My Year Without Matches, which tells the story of her year living wild, and Rewilding the Urban Soul which explores how we might embody wild consciousness within a modern city context. Claire lives in the Yarra Valley where she lovingly tends her family, her garden and her own wild heart.

Daniel Amrein

Daniel Amrein is a carpenter and father of three living in the village of Warburton in the Yarra Valley. Dan’s introduction to earth based ceremony was at age 16, and since then ceremony, sweat lodge and Vision Quest has been a powerfully consistent thread and guiding principle in his life, both as participant and more recently as a trained Vision Quest guide. Since a kid Dan has had a deep love and curiosity for the wild world. Conversations with the wild other are part of his everyday vernacular, and tracking a way of life. Dan is currently apprenticing to the arts of storytelling, song, deep authentic relating, wandering, and the mythic in wild landscapes. You will often find him tending his garden, catching stories from friends, baking bread, running the trails of his mountain home, and spending sweet time with his children, and partner Claire.

This course features guest presenters in each topic. Guest facilitators include:

Maya Ward

Beth Hill

Yin Paradies

Taj Scicluna

Josh McLean

Meg Ulman and Patrick Jones (Artist as Family)

CERES reserves the right to cancel workshops due to insufficient numbers.

If we cancel the workshop you will be entitled to a 100% refund, or you may choose to transfer to another date, subject to availability.

If you decide to withdraw 7 or more days prior to the workshop date CERES will retain a 10% administration fee.

If you decide to withdraw less than 7 days prior to the workshop date CERES will retain 100% of your workshop fee.

Should CERES have to cancel the course due to Government changes relating to the COVD-19 response, we will let you know as soon as possible. Affected participants will be sent a notification that includes details on how to re-book another date or workshop. While cancellations on our part remain refundable within the specified time period, we do hope you will consider bearing with us in these precarious and trying times, and consider the rescheduled date where possible.

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