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    Play to Thrive: Exploring the intersection between mental health, education and play


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    Event description


    This full-day professional development opportunity explores the intersection between mental health, education, and play. It is designed for those working with children and young people across early years, education and allied health industries.  The day will explore topics such as mental health literacy, the role of play in childhood development, neurodivergence and play, contextualised community wellbeing approaches in education settings, and how intentional nature interactions are critical for a child’s physical and mental wellbeing.  

    Our Keynote: Matthew McCurry  

    Matthew McCurry

    Matthew McCurry is the Principal of Hospital School SA (HSSA). He is passionate and has an unwavering commitment to be intentional about Inclusion both in attitude and process.  

    Matthew played a significant role in design and implementation of the innovative model ‘Supporting Improved Mental Health in Schools Program’ recognised as internationally unique, involving collaboration devised by Hospital School SA between CAMHS, Paediatrics, young people, families and enrolled schools. 

    Matthew's keynote will explore the landscape of child and adolescent mental health in South Australia, with a focus on a multi-disciplinary approach from educators, clinicians and allied health professionals to build a 'village' of support. Matthew will explore concepts of agency, self-determination and mental health literacy.

    Our speakers 

    We have a diversity of speakers that are comprised of play therapists, developmental educators, principals, teachers, and researchers. Seven notable presenters will lead breakout sessions, exploring topics including:

    • Celebrating neurodivergent play
    • Play and its effects on mental health and wellbeing
    • Understanding the challenges to outdoor play from early to primary years settings
    • Community wellbeing in education settings
    • Exploring nature spaces as the third teacher

    We will finish the day with an expert panel discussion, followed by practical sessions focussed on outdoor sensory, gross motor and creative play delivered by Kauwanu (Uncle) Tamaru, Kaurna/Narungga Elder, and our experienced team of educators.

    Full program released soon.  


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