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Churchill Fellowship

I’m humbled to share that I’ve been awarded a 2018 Churchill Fellowship.

Even more special, as the recipient of the Terry Lavender Scholarship.

This means that in 2019, I’m going to have the opportunity to investigate how engaging people in outdoor trails can assist in  building community through world-class 'shared-use' outdoors.


I hope’s to honour Terry's legacy by harnessing this opportunity to uncover new ideas, attitudes and implementation strategies to further the profile and accessibility of outdoor recreation trails for all types of users. 


The fellowship will enable me to travel to New Zealand, United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Switzerland and the Netherlands to speak to, explore and learn from the best in the outdoor industry.

Project Brief:

Explore opportunities for trail destinations to attract and grow world class 'shared-use' interests. 

Project Scope:

Undertake a holistic research approach to best determine how outdoor recreation destinations, spaces and trails can be developed, improved, managed and promoted. 

Investigate how relevant and appealing the 'shared-trail' concept is, recognise what appeals to users, specifically, bushwalkers and mountain bikers in trail development and grasp what is required for the ongoing sustainability of a ‘shared-trail’

Promote greater engagement of activities within single locations to understand the diversity of benefits as a result of multi-use trail destinations. 

Seek out ways to develop trail communities by consulting stakeholders to generate a sense of ownership. Then explore the role community ownership can have in the promotion, development, management and maintenance of trails.

Aspiring to collect evidence, examples are experiences that reinforce that outdoor recreation and trails can effect a diversity of positive change in people through engaging them in natural environments.

Project Consultation:

Do you have an opinion, experience, ideas or resources regarding to developing, improving, managing and/or promoting outdoor recreational trails and pursuits? ...I'd love to hear from you!

Guiding Questions:

  • Why do outdoor recreation destinations, spaces and/or trails matter?

  • What do you believe attracts people (specifically young people) to outdoor recreation trails? Then, what is it that engages them and has them continually returning?

  • Do you have examples or experiences of how outdoor recreation destinations, spaces and/or trails support young people to develop and grow themselves?

  • What does a thriving and sustainable outdoor recreation community/village model look like to you?

  • Where are successful examples of shared trails (trails used by multiple user groups - walk, bike ride, horse ride etc.) and why are they functioning well?

  • Can trail destinations form the foundation of potential micro-enterprise outdoor community hubs? 

  • What present options exist for stakeholder and community engagement in trail development?

  • Do shared trails improve engagement and accessibility for all in the outdoors?

  • What do you consider to be the benefits of shared trails?

  • If you could improve or change one or multiple things in outdoor recreation destinations, spaces and/or trails, what would it be?

Project Benefits:

Honouring Terry Lavender's legacy by harnessing the opportunity to uncover new ideas, attitudes and implementation strategies to build the profile/usability of outdoor recreation trails for all types of users.

Educating young Australians on the opportunities available to them through outdoor adventure. Encouraging them to seek out adventurous activities which utilise shared outdoor trails and incorporate them in the future development of these outdoor destinations and spaces.

Exploring how resources, infrastructure and services can help develop local community recreation spaces, with consideration to all diverse interests and needs of the community. 

Investigating and addressing a common national issue faced by many trail users, to be able to learn about successful examples where shared-trail use occurs and how all users respect, educate and embrace the concept. 

By expanding evidence-based knowledge of what contributes to a successful shared-trail destination, including logistics, social and economic value, implementation of additional programs (such as Leave No Trace) and the viability of community ownership. 

Project Support:

I’d really appreciate your support through:


Being open to a meeting where we can discuss questions, examples and perspectives for my research.


Sharing resources and information connected to my research.


Considering me for upcoming events, conferences and activities which can raise the profile of my research


Providing connections to contacts who may be able to contribute towards my research

I’m interested in speaking to anyone with an interest in my project. 

Churchill Fellowship

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established in 1965 to honour the memory of Sir Winston Churchill and fulfil his wish for people from all walks of life to travel the world to gain new knowledge and share ideas and insights.


You can read more about my cohort of 2018 Fellows here


The fellowship is something like a Rhodes Scholarship, but more egalitarian, and available to all people and on a much wider basis.


Since the inception of the Churchill Trust, more than 4,000 Australians have identified projects where overseas research allowed them to bring back vital networks and skills.


I’m very humbled to have received a Churchill Fellowship through the Terry Lavender Scholarship. Terry Lavender is an Australian outdoors icon who among many achievements, was a Churchill Fellow himself in 1991 and was central to the development of many trails, notably the 1200km Heysen Trail in South Australia. You can read more about Terry’s legacy here.


The Terry Lavender Churchill Fellowship was established to provide a South Australian with an opportunity to follow their passion overseas to investigate ways to develop, improve, manage and promote outdoor recreational trails and pursuits.


A letter from the CEO of the Churchill Trust, Adam Davey which supports my Churchill Fellowship can be found here.

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