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THE TEAM

We are passionate locals that put our heart into everything we do. We wish to share our expertise to make a positive impact in our communities and the wider world.

We want to give children back the childhood that is missing in todays society. Some of us can recall a time when every afternoon after school and all weekend we would head outdoors and spend endless hours immersed in free play. Our imaginations ran wild as we created and constructed, making potions with leaves, petals and seedpods, making cubby houses with sticks and logs and rocks. We took on pretend roles, we collaborated with our fellow friends and created games. We set off on journeys exploring creeks and hills and bushland and discovering wildlife along the way. We climbed trees, we rode push bikes, we rolled down hills, we just had fun and pure delight. It is this joy from real meaningful play the reason why we can recall these happy memories with elation. These memories are what we cherish, its what warms our heart, its how we learnt, how we grew. We want to give families an opportunity to give children life experiences like they had as a young child.

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WHO WE ARE

Cottonwood Learning was created by Bec, a Currumbin resident, mum of two independent confident children and an educator who is passionate about giving children opportunity for free play in nature. Her background has been in teaching, predominately in early childhood, in rural community based non profit organisations in services within natural environments. Most recently in an outdoor nature based program – a Bush and Beach Kindy that takes children outdoors in all weathers. Bec’s other roles have been teaching and mentoring adults to take their teaching to the next level at TAFE, University and more recently at Nature Play QLD. She has a Bachelor in teaching and extensive training, particularly in nature play, a Forest School Leader Level 3, a Bush Kindy Leader and proficient in Nature Pedagogy. Her underlying beliefs are that nature is life’s ingredient that is needed for holistic development and overall wellbeing. It is this that drives her to create opportunities for families and children to connect with nature and with each other.

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THE NAME

The Cottonwood tree also known as Hibiscus tiliaceus, is native to coastal areas of Australia, grown readily in south east Queensland. It has large rich maroon-green foliage and bright yellow (occasionally coral) flowers.

Symbolically it has many aspects of significance, the tree is a sign of growth, just as children are in a rapid developmental stage of growth and thriving. The trunk is sturdy, with bark with incredible strength, used traditionally by Indigenous people to weave the bark strips to make rope for fish traps and nets. The flowers are edible, the leaves are used in cooking and the sap used for medicinal purposes. The leaves are shaped in a heart representing love and care.

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