Advisory Board

Meet the Advisory Board Members behind Nature Play Queensland



Nature Play Advisory Board:

Kylie Brannelly, Chief Executive Officer, Queensland Children’s Activities Network (QCAN)

Kylie has been involved in the Education and Care Services sector in various support, advocacy and leadership roles for more than 20 years. As a National representative for Outside School Hours Care, Kylie participated in the steering committee overseeing the development of the Learning Framework for School Age Care, My Time, Our Place.  At this level, Kylie has been also able to advise government on pertinent policy and program issues for the sector representing OSHC on both Federal and State Ministerial Advisory Councils in 2014. Kylie appreciates the opportunity to work together with other organisations in both government and non-government sectors and is honoured to be a member of the Nature Play Queensland Advisory Board.

Kylie holds a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood), Master of Education (Special Education) and has an ongoing commitment to professional learning and development evident in her current PhD studies exploring change leadership within the OSHC sector.

Norm Hunter, Chair of Nature Play Advisory Committee 

Norm Hunter was a founding Co-Principal, then Principal, of Hillbrook Anglican School, serving for a period of 21 years. His work in creating an inclusive school culture with a shared vision, along with his contribution to Queensland and Australia's education community has been recognised through national Fellowships of the Australian College of Educators and the Australian Council for Educational Leaders, the awarding of the 2006 Australian College of Educators' Biennial Queensland Medal, and the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2007 for his services to educational leadership. In 2010 Norm was awarded the ACEL Queensland Excellence in Educational Leadership Award, and in 2013 the ACEL national Nganakarrawa award for educational leadership.

His work has included assisting a number of independent schools in the appointment of their principals, convening school and system workshops on the Leadership Capability Framework of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders, leading strategic retreats for independent school boards, conducting professional learning seminars for school leaders and outdoor educators from all three education sectors, and mentoring/coaching principals, school leadership teams, and aspiring leaders. 

Ngaire Stirling, Owner and Editor, Brisbane Kids
Qualified early childhood teacher, Head hunter of cool things to do at Brisbane Kids (the biggest kids website in Brisbane). She believes that nature and childhood belong together.  Nature Play is a perfect fit for the Brisbane Kids brand and for the owner who grew up in the outdoors with her father who worked for the Queensland Museum. Many weekends were spent in National Parks across South East Queensland and New South Wales exploring and bushwalking. Ngaire has a strong belief that encouragement and inspiration are the best ways to improve the amount of nature play in childhood. She thinks that the memories made in nature are so overwhelmingly fulfilling that supporting any involvement by families in nature play activities is be key to changing behaviors and ultimately building better childhoods. 

Penny Allan, Manager, Community Programs, Playgroup QLD

As a mother of one, Merredith is passionate about parenting and advocacy for a child’s right to play. She has a keen interest in anything creative that inspires and engages both children and their parents, particularly when it comes from nature and from the every day. Merreditih believes that play is a universal language that can overcome many barriers and challenges that even the most vulnerable families face.

Merredith grew up in Turramurra in NSW and spent many happy times playing in the bush, building cubbies and being in the water whether it be a creek, the beach or even on Narrabeen Lake windsurfing. She shares her love of water and nature with her daughter who also loves to fish and grow things in her garden.

Merredith holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Science, a Master of Business in Employment Relations, Diploma in Children’s Services, Cert IV in Training and Assessment, a Graduate Certificate in Development Management. She is also a PRINCE2 practitioner. Merredith is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Governance and Risk.

Merredith has worked in Australia and the United Kingdom in the health, education and employment sectors and was a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Trust and the Grundtvig Scholarship program from the European Union.

Sport and Recreation Services, within Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works

As a founding partner of Nature Play QLD, the Department of Housing and Public Works has a representative on the Advisory board, Edward Monaei.


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