Why do we call it a Forum and not a Conference?
AABAT/OHA have deliberately chosen to gather around the notion of a Forum, rather than a Conference, because of the different emphasis that it places on who brings knowledge.
In its modern form the structure of conferences often highlight a difference between the professional ‘key note’ speakers and the ‘delegates’ who are the ‘receivers of knowledge’. The term Forum comes from the ancient Greek ‘forum’, which is a marketplace. As such, our annual gatherings are a place for sharing and exchanging professional skills, knowledge and practice wisdom. The diverse community of people who gather to share their practice, ideas, programs or services under the umbrella of Outdoor Health (OH) are seen as active participants in the innovation and generation of what evidence-informed nature-based services currently are, and can become.
Forums are an opportunity to bring your personal and professional self, barter ideas, search out new innovative practices, share, be curious, and be inspired by what is being created around our region. Forums are the best place to discuss what the bedrocks of safe and effective OH practices might include deepening our knowledge of how we understand the effects and intersections of need that people face when they come and seek us out, and how we can respond. If you would like more information, see the Proceedings of the First event of this kind, the First South Pacific Wilderness Adventure Therapy Forum, held in Bacchus Marsh Victoria in 2002.