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Meet Glenthorne Partnership member Chris Thornton

Each edition we’ll introduce you to one of the 13 members of the Glenthorne Partnership who are helping to shape this new national park.

The Glenthorne Partnership was created to provide important community insight, ideas and perspectives, and help make decisions to ensure the park meets community needs and expectations.

The group includes community members with connections to surrounding ‘Friends of Parks’ volunteer groups, the Kaurna community, the City of Marion, the local business association and the local R-12 school.

Hear from Glenhorne Partnership member Chris Thornton about his connection to the creation of Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta.

‘Although I’m no bungee-jumper, adventurousness for me comes in being open to experience and the possibility of learning new things – I love learning, particularly things about the world around me.

‘This is the reason why I returned to uni to do a PhD in my field of practice – communication design. And there, the thing I learnt about learning is that the environment in which we learn is key, this includes place and people.

‘I fully agree with the view on the power of nature as teacher – perhaps our first and best teacher. But, my angle on this is from a design perspective, and the need to reframe how we communicate about nature in our culture. Our language, mental frames and behaviours around it are often wrong.

I believe increased intrinsic experiences of ourselves in nature are what we must aim for – opportunities to know ourselves through nature. Doing so can help people not only understand, but feel, their personal relatedness to the environment – nature-as-self, if you like, which can then foster long-term concern for looking after it.

‘The challenge is how to bring this message to the mainstream. I see Glenthorne National Park as a real step towards achieving this, making nature personal again.’

Read about the other members of the Glenthorne Partnership.

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