All staff employed by Dooloomai are familiar with BAT and experiential learning principals and practices, are experienced in working with groups and individuals in remote wilderness settings, have current Wilderness First Aid qualifications, and hold current relevant activity qualifications (in areas of rock climbing, kayaking, etc.).


When required staff with tertiary or post graduate qualifications in therapy and counselling will form part of the facilitation team.

Val Nichols

Val has worked as an outdoor leader and practitioner of Bush Adventure therapy for children, youth and adults for over 20 years. Her experience includes working with young people living with chronic health conditions; homelessness; grief; developmental delay; poverty; addiction and a range of Mental Health concerns. More recently Val has been involved in professional development and training for practitioners and the design and delivery of Outdoor Environments and Therapeutic Interventions at the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. Val gained her doctorate exploring the merits of “Quiet Time” within challenge based adventure therapy programs in 2008. When she isn’t at work Val can most often be found out on the water sailing or hidden amongst the veggies in her permaculture garden.Val is a member of the Association of Bush Adventure Therapy

Peter Rae

Pete has worked professionally as an outdoor leader, educator and practitioner of Bush Adventure Therapy (BAT) for over 20 years. With personal involvement in adventures in the outdoors for nearly 40 years! Working across a range of outdoor activity disciplines and modes of delivery to children, youth and adults as individuals and groups. Pete’s experience within the BAT context has included working with youth at risk with a variety of socio-economic, physical and mental health issues, the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, adults recovering from mental illness and in alternative education programs. His focus has been primarily working at the “coal-face” with participants in programs. Two years running the Aboriginal Outdoor Recreation Program for Sport and Recreation Tasmania, short stints as the Operations Coordinator for the Wilderness Program, involvement in the Dolloomai committee and responsible for Operations for the newly established Adventure Works Pty Ltd has provided experience in the development, administration and management of BAT programs. Pete has also worked in the Vocational Education and Training sector combining alternative education and BAT practices to work with youth and young adults disengaged from mainstream education. In his spare time Pete works on his families organic hobby farm and escapes (occasionally) for adventures in Tasmania’s fantastic outdoors with his family.


Matt Conolan


Matt has worked in the outdoor education and adventure industry for the last 15 years and is passionate about connecting young people with the natural environment allowing them to access a deep connection to themselves and their communities, human and ecological. He has worked as an Outdoor Education teacher in Victoria and Tasmania and is a registered teacher in Tasmania. He Currently works part time as the Outdoor Education Co-ordinator at Sacred Heart College in Hobat. Matt has led countless expeditions with youth in the Australian bush, and has led several trips over seas with Australian students in Borneo, Vietnam and Timor Leste. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Natural Environment and Wilderness studies through the University of Tasmania and a Diploma in Education from Monash University.

Rob Fairly


Over the past ten years Rob has worked extensively as a facilitor of wilderness based therapy courses throughout Tasmania for the Tasmanian State Government. Rob is a passionate supporter of wilderness based therapy programs as a powerful tool for individuals to come together in small groups and create transformative experiences that lead to dynamic and positive changes in peoples lives. He is inspired by the process of leading groups through the wilderness and developing relationships that encourage participants to self reflect and create opportunities for transformational experiences. Over the last ten years Rob has developed his hard skills in various areas including:-leading bushwalks for multi day trips, leading kayaking activities on flat water and coastal trips, conducting abseil activities in a variety of locations, Leading caving experiences. Rob has worked a large diversity of client groups including: youth at risk, school groups, leadership programs, mental health and physically challenged clients, and with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community. Rob is constantly amazed at the ability of wilderness therapy to work for people of all ages and backgrounds.



Jillian Smith


All of Jillian’s best memories are in the outdoors. Coming from a nature loving family she spent a lot of time bushwalking and the best part of a year travelling Australia as a kid; she was lucky enough to spend her 10th birthday birdwatching in the mangrove mud outside of Broome. She feels that these positive experiences have given her a connection to nature that has provided support and solace to her throughout life.  Jillian’s aim in life is to show people just how wonderful life can be with a bit more nature in it. She has worked as an outdoor guide and educator since 2008 leading people of all ages to special places in Tasmania and across the world. Jillian holds a Bachelor of Natural Environment and Wilderness Studies and a Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation. She is currently training to become a primary teacher, and hopes to help kids create their own amazing, inspiring experiences and memories. 


Anita Pryor


Anita is a keen practitioner, trainer and researcher in Bush Adventure Therapy. In addition to holding activity qualifications and experience in outdoor activity leadership across a range of modes, she has training and experience in providing therapy, counselling and supervision, and in evaluating innovative interventions. Although much of her work over the last years has kept her desk-bound, her favourite personal and professional past time has always been taking people into the bush for mental health and wellbeing. A brief summary of Anita’s professional background: After completing a BA (Outdoor Education) in 1992, Anita worked as adventure guide and outdoor educator until completing an Honors degree (Outdoor Education) in 1996 entitled “Attitude change through outdoor Experience". At that time she began working at as Field Supervisor at The Outdoor Experience (TOE), a wilderness therapy program for young people experiencing difficulties with drugs and alcohol. To enhance the practice model, she studied a Graduate Diploma (Family Therapy), and helped develop a 6-week core program integrated with vocational outcomes for participants. She was Manager of TOE from 2002-2005 during which time she helped develop a statewide suite of community adventure programs for a range of target groups. To establish a research evidence base for bush adventure therapy, Anita completed a PhD (Public Health) in 2009 entitled “Wild adventures in wellbeing: foundations, features and wellbeing impacts of Australian Outdoor Adventure Interventions”. During her study, Anita worked as Adventure Therapy Specialist for Out Doors Inc., a psychosocial adventure service for adults living with mental ill health and consulted to a range of organisations in areas of practice, training, and research. She worked as Policy Officer for Anglicare Tasmania (2011-2013) and has since stepped back into the bush adventure therapy arena by establishing an adventure therapy service called Adventure Works Pty Ltd. Anita lives in Hobart Tasmania, and for her own wellbeing, makes regular trips out into the wild Southern ocean in her much-loved sea kayak.

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