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Spiritual Ecology: Building Reverence & Resilience for a New Generation

  • King Parrot Cottages, Otway Ranges 195 Dunse Track Pennyroyal, VIC, 3235 Australia (map)

Spiritual Ecology: Building Reverence & Resilience for a New Generation

2019 Retreat + Leadership Program

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Spiritual Ecology is a spiritual response to our present ecological crisis. It is a developing field that joins ecology and environmentalism with the awareness of the sacred within creation. It calls for responses to environmental issues that include spiritual awareness and/or practice. The principles of spiritual ecology are simple: In order to respond to such environmental issues as depletion of species, climate change, and over-consumption, humanity must examine and reassess our underlying attitudes and beliefs about the earth, and our spiritual as well as physical responsibilities toward the planet.

Over the coming decades much of the work needed to support ecological renewal will fall on millennials and younger generations. Spiritual Ecology can help support and inspire young people who recognise the need to create a future that is not driven by materialism and greed, but rooted in the spiritual values of reverence for nature, interconnectedness, stewardship, compassion and service.

These events offer younger generations and those who are drawn to work for the future, the tools and resources to respond from a place that is real and transformative. Together let’s consider what a spiritual response to our social and ecological crisis would look like.

4 day retreat (Otway Ranges)

February 14-17, 2019. This four day retreat will introduce participants to the field of spiritual ecology and ways of cultivating personal and social resilience through reverence for nature. Over the course of the retreat participants will learn simple and practical techniques for integrating spiritual values into their lives and work. Through storytelling, nature connection and deep inquiry participants will journey into the nexus of the human and non-human worlds, building a relationship that can nourish both personal and societal change.

The retreat, located at the spectacular King Parrot Cottages in the Otway ranges, will include seated and walking meditation, lectures, spiritual ecology and nature connection practices, storytelling, group discussion and reflection.

Download the retreat info booklet (PDF)

Register your interest here.

About the facilitators:

Claire Dunn

Claire Dunn.jpg

Claire Dunn has a passion for fostering deep connection to earth, self and community, and ‘rewilding’ both our inner and outer landscapes. She has been offering reconnecting and rewilding workshops and retreats since 2005 and is a trained Vision Quest guide. She is the author of her memoir My Year Without Matches: Escaping the City in Search of the Wild.

Amrita Bhohi

Amrita Bhohi leads the Spiritual Ecology Programme at St Ethelburga’s Centre for Peace and Reconciliation in London. She teaches and facilitates public workshops, retreats and events sharing the spiritual ecology curriculum and tools. She also manages the Spiritual Ecology Leadership Programme, which supports the next generation of emerging leaders to embed spiritual values into their practical work and leadership. She holds an MA in Ecological Economics from Schumacher College. In 2013 she organised TEDxWhitechapel, named as one of the most popular and radical TEDx events in London.

Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee has unfortunately had to cancel his visit to Australia due to unforseen circumstances and will not longer be facilitating this retreat.

Spiritual Ecology Leadership Program

February – August 2019: Beginning with the retreat, this program is an opportunity to immerse yourself more deeply in the principles of Spiritual Ecology. Developed in partnership with Initiatives of Change Australia, this program will enable you to:

  • Explore leadership skills and reflective practices

  • Develop authentic relationships and improve collaboration

  • Be mentored by experienced spiritual and ecological mentors

  • Learn Human Centred Design and develop local community

Program Outline

1. Immersion into Spiritual Ecology principles: Participate in the 4-day Spiritual Ecology retreat in the Otways National Park February 14th – 17th 2019

2. Toolkit Development Workshop Series: March 16th 9am-5pm at CERES, April 13th 9am-5pm at IofCA, May 19th 9am-5pm CERES, June 15th 9am-5pm IofCA. Mentoring runs continuously from March to July.

3. Public Presentation & Open Dialogue Forum: Saturday July 27th

Apply here if you are aged 18 – 35 with a faith or spiritual practice, and are passionate about ecology and environment. We are also looking for mentors of any age, to support the project development. Please get in touch with if you would like to know more about the mentoring opportunity.

This program is funded by the Victorian Government Community Harmony Program.


4 day retreat:

Thursday 14th February – Sunday 17th February 2019

King Parrot Cottages, Otway Ranges

Leadership Program:

As above, plus full day workshops on Saturdays:

March 16th, CERES

April 13th, IofCA

May 19th, CERES

June 15th, IofCA.

July 27th, TBC


4 day retreat: $695 cottage accommodation / $475 camping

Leadership Program: We offer this course by gift, welcoming participants to set the course fee that feels appropriate to them (it could be zero).


Sieta Beckwith

03 9389 0180


Retreat: Due to limited places, we are requesting an expression of interest form be filled out prior to confirming the booking. This info will also help us shape the program where possible, to suit participant needs.