OUR TEAM

 

We’re a small team, driven by our passion to get kids outside. We love to share stories and ideas with each other over good coffee. We’re dreamers, who unashamedly romanticise about changing the world.

 

We love connecting with people at our events and the sound of children at play. We guess you could say, we love what we do, and the organisation we work for.

 

While you may know us as the fluro-clad, [hopefully] smiling [not too frazzled] staff at events, we also have an important role to play in promoting change beyond the grass roots level. We’re passionate about advocating at a local and state government level for more programs, initiatives, and spaces that assist families and education sites engage in outdoor play. And, we support groundbreaking research that strengthens the nature play movement.

 

We’re friendly, approachable and love a good chat, so when you see us at an event say, “hi”, tell us what nature play adventures you’ve been up to, or just let us know that you’ve had a great time. We look forward to meeting you.

 

This is us:

Sarah Sutter

CEO

Since Nature Play SA’s beginnings in 2014 Sarah has been pivotal in the growth of the organisation and nature play movement. She is a qualified teacher, former Commonwealth Games Gold medalist, and mum of two high school-aged children who have a passion for sports and adventure. Sarah’s role is to lead our team and advocate for change across all levels of government, the business community, and with any association or group to ensure nature play is on everyone’s agenda.

 

“My fondest childhood memory was my time spent with my family at our shack at Black Point on the Yorke Peninsula where our summer holidays were filled with exploring the reef, fishing, snorkelling and just being free. Us kids would disappear into the sandhills and make cubbies for hours.”

Jason Tyndall

General Manager

Jason is an artist and dad of two girls. In 2021, he authored Nature Play SA’s very first book – Where Birds Sing and Wildflowers Dance. His love for nature was inspired by his many years of volunteer work with the Friends of Scott Creek Conservation Park that led him into a career in environmental management. Jason has always enjoyed working with people, which saw him move into environmental education. Joining the nature play movement was a natural progression especially given Nature Play SA’s focus on building deeper connections to nature and Aboriginal culture. His role varies from presenting to children and adults on nature to working alongside rangers, Aboriginal elders and educators to build strong partnerships through creative and innovative projects all aimed at doing one thing – inspiring change.

 

“I remember spending a lot of time at the local creek catching yabbies’ and wandering for what seemed like hours. We’d walk along the creek until we found a section that we thought we could jump – so we all gave it a go and most of the time we made it!”

Narrah Zollo

Executive Assistant

Narrah is a qualified educator, garden enthusiast and mum of two adventurous girls who love tending to their produce-rich garden. Narrah has always played an active volunteer role in her school community helping write grants, fundraise and establish playgroups. Narrah provides administrative support to our strategic directions managing correspondence with our board and membership organisations.

“Being an urban kid, one of my fondest memories is tearing around the neighbourhood on my bike with my mate Danny. We were probably around 10 years old, dragging our bikes in and out of storm drains, looking for abandoned buildings and holes in fence lines. We stayed out as long as we could, without adult supervision, making judgement calls and taking calculated risks. The memory of that thrill of the wind whipping across my cheeks, adrenalin pumping, masters of our universe, still brings a smile to my face.” 

Jodee Dellow

Events Manager

Jodee is a nature loving mum to 4 adventurous children who love exploring in the Adelaide Hills. Her children are often found building cubbies, making flying foxes, collecting and identifying native seeds and nuts and planting trees on the family property. As a passionate events manager with over 10 years experience in the industry, Jodee brings her love for events, play based learning and the great outdoors to the Nature Play SA team.  Her hard work and collaborative approach saw Nature Play SA awarded the 2019 state winners in the Australian Event Awards.

 

As a child I grew up on the Murray River. My 3 sisters and I spent many hours exploring the backwaters; we would canoe, yabby and fish for hours. One of my fondest memories of being a Murray River child was learning to water ski at an early age, the feeling of being on the water behind the boat made me feel like I was flying through the water. I now love to see the joy and happiness on my children’s faces when we take family trips to the Mighty Murray.

Maria Taylor

Manager Education

Maria is a teacher, mum of two and lifelong explorer. Maria lead’s our education team with the management of our school’s program, professional learning programs and education projects. Her work with high impact teaching methodologies has been shared at international and national forums with her combined love for teaching, adventure and travel finding its perfect fit in the nature play team. In 2019, our work in education was awarded the OEASA Kris Mosher Environmental Education Award. Maria is passionate about innovation in education and supporting others to bring learning to life with advocacy, guidance, and mentoring.

 

“My love of teaching, travel and outdoor adventure has provided me with so many wonderful experiences. From the dusty classrooms of Nepal to the green pastures of the Scottish Borders and the wild coastline of Australia, I am constantly refining my beliefs about what powerful teaching and learning can be. I share my love of wild spaces and learning from nature with my family as we travel and explore together.”

Lisa Statham

Early Years Specialist

Lisa is a qualified teacher, specialising in the Early Years. She has worked in various early year’s settings in both England and Australia, where she now lives with her young family in the beautiful Adelaide Hills. Lisa can often be found in her garden with her children looking for koalas, making mud pies, building woodlouse houses and trying to catch the chickens!

 

Lisa is passionate about creating learning opportunities through nature play, helping to develop inspiring environments that encourage wonder and investigation. Her creative mind helps her to think of ways to bring learning to life through using our senses and making experiences really count.

 

Looking back into my own childhood, I remember spending hours in the garden, particularly crouched by the pond. I would make frog homes out of leaves and mud and try to save every bee or fly that fell into the water. Being outside amongst nature is what makes me truly happy, where the sight of a kookaburra or koala draws a smile from ear to ear. I love nature’s unpredictability, it’s beauty and above all, it’s potential to connect us all.

image of staff member Cameron

Cameron Edwards

Schools Officer

Cameron is a qualified teacher, experienced scout and all-round lover of the outdoors. Although quite new to the education world, his passion is centred in providing children with the tools they need to enjoy their time outside to the best of their abilities and igniting the life-long love for nature that was awakened in him from a young age.

 

“My childhood was jam-packed full of wonderful outdoor adventures! From the 2007 Scout jamboree to our annual family camping trip to Port Elliot. My father would take us out to “run the rocks” from Commodore Point, along Horseshoe bay and around Lady Bay to Boomer Beach. Anyone who has visited the bay knows what I mean. The risk was there, but it was calculated, and it gave us the determination to tackle whatever life could throw at us. We would spend our nights on the beach armed with trowels and spades and would make the most abstract, complex sandcastles that we could imagine, inspired by a group of professionals we saw one year. One night, we got a bit carried away and ended up digging a communal hang-out dug-out big enough to seat 8 people! These trips have nurtured my passion for the outdoors since I was young, and my love for being outside is just as strong today.”

Candice Gray

Shop Coordinator

Candice has experience in retail Management and Marketing and is a mum to two school aged children with whom she is off on an adventure at any opportunity.

Summer days are always spent at the beach (Port Noarlunga) snorkelling, paddle boarding and exploring the Fleurieu Peninsula.

 

“It’s hard to remember a childhood memory that wasn’t outside. My parents would take me and my sister camping over the school holidays. Dad would always find somewhere off the beaten track, set up camp in the middle of nowhere and we would live off the land for the next two weeks. Nature was our playground and it provided me and my sister with endless opportunities and adventures. Never once did we think about the world we left behind, we were just living for the moment from sun up to sun down.”