Embracing The Wild

What is the relationship between nature and our emotional wellbeing?

In our work-dominated, technology-immersed lives we often forget to consider the systems of nature and our place in them. Our relationship to nature can be a rich source of understanding and attentiveness, humility and wonder, self-knowledge and wellbeing for ourselves, as well as the world we live in.

This October, we’ve brought together four of Australia’s most extraordinary thinkers to explore the relationship between nature and our emotional wellbeing: our outer and inner wild. At this exclusive live event, we will be guided through four key ideas and encouraged to undertake a series of self-reflective exercises designed to challenge our thinking around nature and our emotional wellbeing.

Throughout the evening we will hear ideas from:

  • Author and adventurer Miriam Lancewood will share her personal experiences of living in the New Zealand wilderness and the effect that the wild has on our minds.
  • Environmentalist, activist and former leader of the Australian Greens Bob Brown will explore the relationship between nature and our health.
  • Acclaimed contemporary artist Patricia Piccinini will use art to explore the unknown and unfamiliar within ourselves.
  • Indigenous writer and anthologist Bruce Pascoe will challenge us to reconsider our understanding of wilderness in Australia.

Co-curated and presented in partnership with our friends at Dumbo Feather magazine, this event is part of a new series exploring major emotional concerns in our modern world. We will leave with new perspectives on the theme and practical ideas about how we might think and act differently.

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18.15              Doors Open
19.00              Welcome & Introduction
19.10              Miriam Lancewood
19.35              Bob Brown
20.00              Break
20.15              Patricia Piccinini
20.40              Bruce Pascoe
21.05              Closing Remarks
21.15              Event Concludes

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This event is suitable for all ages.

Please note that this event is also running in Sydney on Tuesday 30 October. Click here to book for the Sydney event. 

“In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

– Henry David Thoreau

About Miriam Lancewood

Miriam Lancewood lived for seven years with her husband in the New Zealand wilderness. They sleep in a tent, move around like nomads, cook on a fire, and hunt wild animals to eat. Their life is about finding freedom, embracing insecurity and stepping into the unknown. Her book Woman in the Wilderness (Allen & Unwin, 2017) is an international success. After the book came out they walked 2000km through the mountains of Europe, and are at present in Australia.

About Bob Brown

Bob Brown was born and educated in rural NSW and worked as a doctor before becoming the face of the campaign to save the Franklin River in 1982. He was elected to the Tasmanian state parliament in 1983 and during his tenure most notably advocated for gun law reform, gay law reform and achieved the expansion of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. In 1996 Bob was elected to the Senate, where he led the national debate for 16 years on issues including climate change, democracy, preventative healthcare, conservation, and human rights. In June 2012 he established the Bob Brown Foundation, a not for profit organisation dedicated to supporting action campaigns for the environment in Australia and our region. He is a published author and acclaimed photographer.

About Patricia Piccinini

Patricia Piccinini is a contemporary artist who is interested in what it means to be alive in the present day. She creates a world somewhere between the one we know and one that is almost upon us. She focuses on the emotional lives of the new creatures that might emerge, along with our relationships with them and with nature. Her world is one of questions rather than answers. Instead of telling the viewer what to think she asks them how they feel when confronted by possibilities. Patricia has exhibited all over the world, including the Venice Biennale, and in 2013 created the Skywhale for the Centenary of Canberra.

About Bruce Pascoe

Bruce Pascoe is a a Bunurong, Tasmanian and Yuin man born in Melbourne who grew up on a remote island in Bass Strait and today lives in East Gippsland. A multi-award winning author, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement in Literature Award by the Australia Council in 2018. A prolific writer of children’s books, short stories, novels and historical works, his latest novels are Bloke (Penguin, 2009), Chainsaw File (Oxford, 2010), Fog (Magabala, 2012) and Mrs Whitlam (Magabala, 2016). Dark Emu, a history of Aboriginal agriculture, was published by Magabala in 2014, won the New South Wales Premiers’ Book of the Year Award in 2016 and was performed by Bangarra Dance Theatre in 2018.

About Special Events

Leading writers, economists, historians, philosophers, psychologists, artists and other thinkers offer provocation, inspiration and consolation in the form of advice for living better. Speakers for this strand have been invited by The School of Life to present their own material. Session formats will vary depending on the subject.


Buy tickets for
Embracing The Wild

Major Event
When and where:
  • Thu 25 Oct 2018 7 – 9.15pm
    Plenary 1, Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre, 1 Convention Centre Pl, South Wharf, Melbourne

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General Admission: $55.00
Concession: $40.00
Double Pass: $95.00
(+ $2 booking fee and 1.5% CC fee) 

Valid concession cards include a Health Care Card, Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card and current student cards.

Please note that we are unable to offer refunds or transfers with less than 7 days cancellation notice before the original event date.

For ticketing and box office enquiries please call 0434 492 669 or email melbourne@theschooloflife.com.au.

This event features Auslan Interpretation and is wheelchair accessible.