Education Outdoors Conference

The Dr Brian Nettleton Lecture

The Brian Nettleton Lecture was introduced by Outdoors Victoria in 2018 at the “Your Future in the Outdoors” Conference, held at Victoria University, in honour of Dr Brian Nettleton, who passed away in 2017.

Brian was a pioneer of Outdoor Education and place-based experiences in Australia. His active engagement in the field had a remarkable influence on the journey of Outdoor Education in Victoria and inspired and supported many Outdoor Education professionals who have continued to think, teach and write in ways he helped establish.

A speech, delivered by John Quay from Melbourne University & Brian’s daughter, Lisa O’Leary, was a moving tribute and the birth of the “Brian Nettleton Keynote Lecture”.

As of 2019 our Education Outdoors Conference will contain a keynote speech  by an outstanding individual who shares Brian’s values and passionate working contribution to outdoor and environmental education in Australia.

Brian was a very humble person, introverted and shy, but this did not curb his passion for the outdoors, and his wish to share this passion with others. A deep thinker, Brian understood the importance of adventures in nature for children, young people and adults, from all socioeconomic backgrounds and physical and intellectual capacities. He brought his passion and understanding together professionally in his role as a lecturer and researcher at The University of Melbourne.

Brian expressed his work in many ways, including through his teaching and writing. He taught and wrote about nature as a friend and the importance of this understanding for outdoor education; about transformational moments in outdoor education which occur through adventures in nature; about the importance of outdoor education in providing contact with nature when society is heading in the opposite direction. In this sense he was before his time, promulgating ideas that have continued to grow in importance.

The Brian Nettleton Lecture celebrates Brian’s contribution to outdoor and environmental education in Victoria.

Beginning in 2019 at the Outdoors Victoria conference and continuing each year after, the Brian Nettleton Lecture will be delivered by a prominent supporter of outdoor and environmental education in the spirit of his legacy, creating a tradition which annually reaffirms the ideas and passions that sit at the heart of this profession.


Associate Professor,

John Quay, PhD


Doug Humann AM (GAICD, BA (Hons), Dip Ed)

Doug will be our 2019 Keynote Speaker delivering the inaugural Dr Brian Nettleton Lecture

  • Chairman- Landcare Australia
  • Convenor- National Parks Advisory Council

  • Director- Doug Humann & Associates Pty Ltd

Doug has had around 40 years involvement in regional Australia including 30 years leadership experience in the environmental sector. Doug led Bush Heritage Australia (1997 – 2011) to national prominence before establishing his own consultancy working for environmental NGOs, Indigenous groups, traditional owners and natural resource management /catchment management authorities. Doug provides advice and support on a range of strategic, investment, project and governance matters, and is particularly involved in building partnerships and collaborations.  Doug’s outdoor interests include extensive wilderness walking in south eastern Australia and travel across the country on a regular basis, and he was an early graduate of the Bushwalking and Mountaincraft Leadership course in the 1980s. His current leadership responsibilities include Chairman of Landcare Australia, Convenor of the National Parks Advisory Council (Victoria) and Deputy Chair of Dhelkunya Dja Traditional Owner Land Management Board, along with a number of other roles for environmental and Indigenous NGOs.