Professional Development

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria provides an extensive range of professional development opportunities for teachers at all levels, all year round.

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria partners with leading industry experts to provide an ever-increasing range of professional development opportunities for educators across the year. Check out the opportunities currently planned for 2021 below. To stay up to date with our future learning opportunities for your students, sign up to our Learning eNews here


Upcoming Professional Development opportunities in 2021 

Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Network’s annual Conference 

Friday the 26th and Saturday the 27th March 2021 
Online, Melbourne and Cranbourne Gardens 
Book here

The annual ECOLN Pedagogy & Practice in Nature Education Conference will run for the fifth time across March 26-27, 2021. The conference presents the latest in nature-based education research and practice and is a must for any educators wanting to maximise the benefits of outdoor learning.  

The conference will be held online on Friday the 26th of March, with the option to attend a workshop in person at either the Melbourne or Cranbourne gardens on Saturday the 27th of March.  

Click here to find out more information, topics and guest speakers.  


  • Friday online sessions only: $40 
  • Friday online sessions plus Saturday Melbourne or Cranbourne workshops: $120 



2021 Bush Kinder Orientation 

Wednesday, 31 March 2021, 9.30am – 3.30pm  
Cranbourne Gardens 

Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne is a highly valued Bush Kinder venue with many local organisations using the space on a regular basis. This professional development program is specially designed to orientate educators on how to best utilise the Cranbourne Botanic Gardens site and it is recommended that organisations complete it annually. 

Organisations will receive a ‘Royal Botanic Gardens Bush Kinder Ready Certificate’ on completion. 

Program will include: 

  • Setting up a Bush Kinder Program and working with landowners and parks 
  • Round table discussions exploring nature play – theory and pedagogy 
  • Storytelling and song and dance experiences to understand how to embed indigenous perspectives and connect children to country 
  • A guided walk with Learning facilitators to familiarise staff with Cranbourne Botanic Gardens bush kinder site 
  • Presentation of Certificate on completion 


$50.00 per person. Payment is via invoice 



Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Network’s Training Package 

Training Package 1 
Monday 15th and Friday 19th March 2021  
Melbourne Gardens 

Training Package 2 
Tuesday 11th and Tuesday 25th May 2021 
Cranbourne Gardens 

Training Package 3
Monday 26th July and Monday 9th August 2021 
Melbourne Gardens 

This training has been designed to assist teachers and educators who are interested in taking children into nature or who are looking for support to strengthen their existing programs. Presented by leaders and pioneers in the field of Australian early childhood nature programs - Doug Fargher, Lisa Coxon and Karen Anderson - the program is held over 3 sessions, including a site visit to a nature kindergarten in action. 

Program Outline 

Day One Outline (held at either the Melbourne or Cranbourne Gardens) – Introduction  
Introduction to nature kindergarten including discussion of: 

  • How nature programs align with the NQF, VEYLDF and EYLF 
  • How Children Services Regulations can be adhered to 
  • The role of philosophy and pedagogy 
  • Practical considerations for developing an offsite program 

Day Two Outline – Site Visit. Visit a nature kindergarten program in action. Choose one of three visits: 

  • Westgarth Bush Kinder - Doug - Wednesday  
  • Minimbah Creek - Lisa - Thursday  
  • Balnarring Living & Learning with Nature program - Karen  

Day Three Outline (held at either the Melbourne or Cranbourne Gardens) – Get down to work  
A session for planning and writing, tailored to your needs and your service. 

  • Reflect on site visits 
  • Step through benefit/risk assessment development 
  • Work through our template to guide individual program development 

Cost and Bookings: