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.
  • Wilderness expert and author Martin Hawes will explore the values of wilderness and its role in our search for meaning.
  • Acclaimed contemporary artist Patricia Piccinini will use art to explore the unknown and unfamiliar within ourselves.
  • Intergenerational healing expert Judy Atkinson will explore the connection between Country and emotional wellbeing for Indigenous, and indeed all, peoples

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              Martin Hawes
20.00              Break
20.15              Patricia Piccinini
20.40              Judy Atkinson
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 Melbourne on Thursday 25 October. Click here to book for the Melbourne event. 

Support World Heritage for the Tarkine. Take action on patagonia.com.au/takayna. Photo: Mikey Schaefer

“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 Martin Hawes

Martin Hawes is a Tasmanian writer, researcher and educator who has spent nearly 50 years exploring and photographing the Tasmanian wilderness. He is the author of three books and numerous articles, addressing topics as diverse as walking track monitoring, the definition of wilderness and living with integrity in the contemporary world. 

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 Judy Atkinson

Judy Atkinson is a story teller. Stories heal. Stories tell us where we have been and where we are going, helping make sense of the worlds in which we live.  A Jiman / Bundjalung woman, Judy also acknowledges her Anglo-Celtic / German ancestry.  Her book Trauma Trails - Recreating Songline: The Transgenerational effects of trauma in Indigenous Australia opens opportunities for conversation, educating in sharing stories that can help heal the trauma of worldwide human colonisations of place and people.

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:
  • Tue 30 Oct 2018 7 – 9.15pm
    Wesley Conference Centre, 220 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000

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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 0481 263 041 or email sydney@theschooloflife.com.au

This event features Auslan Interpretation and is wheelchair accessible.