Positive Start 2022

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Our Mission

Using canoes to work with the dynamics of water and wind, encouraging new ways of seeing, learning and behaving in the Anthropocene.

Up the creek is founded on a commitment to developing the whole person, enabling them to thrive as part of a living system, in the Anthropocene. David Attenborough said "the whole of life is coming to terms with yourself and the natural world." Connecting with the more than human world now, perhaps more than ever before, is essential for the suitability for life on earth.

I have experienced education outdoors from many perspectives. As a student, I loved it, lifelong memories were formed, As a young leader I was mentored by innovative, passionate and dedicated legends of the field. Today I can still picture the faces of many leaders, students and groups that I have collaborated, who in turn have inspired and helped shape me.

What then do I wish for those who interact with Up the creek, both present and future?

That they laugh. That they learn something of themselves, and the world around them. That they have opportunities to explore, to connect with people, ideas and imagination . That they are exposed to great people, ideas and are inspired by them. That they make great connections. That they experience the joy of victory and of success and, perhaps even more importantly, the sting and disappointment of defeat and failure. That they learn from the latter. That they do the best they can. That they strive.

Finally, that they learn to think, to influence and to change the world..... theirs.

Up the creek offers opportunities for human beings to discover and iterate with themselves others and the world around them.

Derek Cook (AKA Ben Hennessy)

Founder | Director

Dip. Outdoor Leadership B.Education (p-12). Grad cert. adolescent development.

With 30 years in education focused on canoeing and outdoor adventures. Derek believes in trust and expectation for creating environments and cultures that place people in the pilot’s chair. It is about enabling them to wrestle with their situation to co-create their own program and takeaways. Throughout Derek’s career he has drawn on Educational theory from the United Nations (hyperlink), that has driven him to now be providing unique water-based experiences for individuals, schools and organisations.

Come on let's go up the creek!

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