The Centre for Ecological Learning (CEL) provides Earth-based, immersive, educational experiences for all ages that deepen our relationship with ourselves and the natural world, towards more sustainable lifestyles and communities.

Nature Connection

We run a range of nature connection projects for young people: Beetle Buddies – nature workshops for preschoolers; the Young Naturalist Club – bushwalks with ecologists for teens; and Bellingen EYE – overnight camps for young people.

Leading Change

When we are connected with our planet, we become driven to protect it. Our nature connection programs give birth to inspired change agents, who come together and form new CEL projects such as Youth Against Plastic and Waste Not Bellingen, which create long-lasting positive change in our community.

Public Speaking

Andrew Turbill is an environmental educator, a wildlife naturalist, a writer, and nationally renowned speaker. His inspiring, entertaining and insightful presentations are suitable for a broad range of audiences including conferences, parents, teachers and corporate keynotes.

Community Gardening

Our Food4LYF program sees students and community members meditate, garden. harvest, cook and dine together at the Bellingen High School Community Garden each week. This program connects students with the world around them and builds skills for life.

Deep Ecology

Reconnection workshops offer connection to other community members, through conversation and group exercises that acknowledge both gratitude for the beauty of our world, and despair for what is happening to our planet. The Work that Reconnects

Programs for Schools

CEL offers specially-tailored camps and in-school programs for schools, facilitated by experienced and qualified mentors. We work with any sized high school group on the east coast of Australia.


A 2017 paper states, “one of the most effective steps humanity can take to transition to sustainability is through the overall engagement of society in the appreciation of nature”. This paper sets a world record for the most scientists to co-sign and formally support a published journal article in history. If ever we had a mandate for doing the work we do, this is it. The time to support nature connection is now. Read more

Stronger Together

We believe in the power of working together. CEL forms part of three alliances – the Jalligirr Biodiversity Alliance, the Coffs Coast Regional Science Hub (lead partner) and the Bellingen Sustainability Learning Alliance (lead partner).

Join the Movement

There are lots of ways to support the work we do and join the CEL family. Come to an event, start a project, become a member, donate, or subscribe to Nature Connection News.

Why Nature Connection?

“Few areas of life provide young people with as much opportunity as the natural world for critical thinking, creative enquiry, problem solving and intellectual development.”

– Stephen Kellert, editor of “Children and Nature”

One of the most effective steps humanity can take to transition to sustainability is through increasing outdoor nature education for children, as well as the overall engagement of society in the appreciation of nature

– World Scientists Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice, 2017