The Mind in Nature: Our Superpower

Ever wondered why being outside in the garden, walking in the bush, or just stopping to smell someone else's roses makes you feel so good?

Hosted by acclaimed writer and tree lover Sophie Cunningham AM, join us for a conversation with esteemed authors Sue Stuart Smith, The Well Gardened Mind, Sunday Times bestseller (UK) and Dimity Williams, Nature, Our Medicine: How the natural world sustains us (AU) as we explore the most important relationship we have – our connection with nature.

Delving deep into science, storytelling, psychology and alternative cultural knowledge, expect to broaden your senses on the unbelievable healing powers nature can unlock in our minds – and learn that working with, caring for, and just being in nature can radically transform our lives.


Sue Stuart-Smith, a prominent psychiatrist and psychotherapist, graduated in English literature at Cambridge University before going on to train as a doctor. She worked in the National Health Service for many years, becoming the lead clinician for psychotherapy in Hertfordshire. She currently works for DocHealth, a not-for-profit service that helps doctors suffering from stress and burnout. She is married to Tom Stuart-Smith, the celebrated garden designer, and, over thirty years together, they have created the wonderful Barn Garden in Hertfordshire. Her book, The Well Gardened Mind, was published in 2020 and became a Sunday Times bestseller and a Times and Sunday Times book of the year. It has since been translated into eighteen languages.


Dr Dimity Williams is a mother, nature lover and family doctor. Passionate about integrating nature into health care, Dimity delights in issuing nature prescriptions and believes nature play is essential for children. She is a co-founder of the Kids in Nature Network. Her book, Nature, Our Medicine: How the natural world sustains us, is described by Environmentalist Dr Bob Brown as "a life-changing proposition. It takes us through the rapids of our high-stress world to the calming balm of nature – Just like rafting the Franklin.”


Sophie Cunningham is a non-fiction writer and novelist with a passion for trees, walking and broader environmental issues. She’s written nine books, including the essay collection City of Trees, and (as co-author) Wonder: 175 Years of the Royal Botanic Gardens. She posts an image of a tree every day at her Instagram account @sophtreeofday. She is currently writing about eucalyptus in her role as the 2023-24 Miegunyah Creative Fellow at the University of Melbourne.


Presented by Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.