Meet Glenthorne Partnership member Chris Thornton

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.