Retreat, Reflect and Reconnect with Pennie Brownlee – Tauranga 2015

11692790_842468725821944_3684848329517992979_nNB: As of 5 September 2015 both courses have SOLD OUT. Sorry to those who have missed out. I’m hoping to bring Pennie back early 2016.

It’s been two years since the phenomenon that is Pennie Brownlee has come to Tauranga to teach.
Will it be 2017 when she visits again?

This will be the third time i have collaborated with Pennie to bring parents, playcentre parents and educarers these 1-day ‘retreats’. Pennie and i give you a special day atop Ohauiti Hill. The Settler’s Hall has a delightful simplicity and charm (and old-school kick-arse wall heaters). She sits with big windows letting in the sunshine and natural light, overlooking Mauao and a small herd of goats grazing on the green. We share a catered vegetarian lunch together with gluten and dairy free options.

Apart from the pilgrimage up the winding road breathing in the country air leaving the city and its busyness behind, i love coming to Pennie’s workshops for these reasons:

Pennie has a gentle sense of play and humour which makes the day entertaining. 11665626_837234703012013_5116439061730024254_n

The workshops are jam-packed with ‘places and people to go to’ – she cites her evidence based teaching and references her provocative statements. I spend the day filling my pages with names and refreshing practices to google when i get home i.e. there’s opportunity to get more learning than can be realised in the 1-day workshop.

Pennie wears many hats. She is a mother, a grandmother, an ex-primary school teacher, a playcentre mum, a writer (‘Dance with me in the Heart‘ and ‘Magic Places‘), an visual artist (among other things). I love her compassion for us, for herself, for what it is to be human. I love that she questions and reads and gives bold statements (in those stunning images and quotes she feeds facebook) for us a community of nurturers to contemplate.

NB: Playcentre parents. Talk with your centres about receiving funding to come to this professional development day, as Playcentre has tagged budget for this.

Pennie tours Aotearoa facilitating learning. She is greatly influenced by Emmi Pikler, and is the New Zealand representative of this way of being with young people.

She is highly skilled at leading workshops. She is engaging, communicates in a fun and clear way, and has the perfect balance of attendee ‘offering/doing’ stuff and teacher ‘offering/doing’ stuff. 11169490_842460932489390_8862968631190207166_n

The hidden gem of these workshops is also sharing conversation with like-minded people. I have learnt beautiful and helpful things from my fellow participants e.g. never saying no. So, when my daughter says, “Can i have more ice-cream?”, i can reply, “Sure, you can more ice-cream next weekend”. I find being with ‘people on the same page as me’ very energising, inspiring and nourishing.

My old volvo and I, amble back down that hill to my whanau as if i’d been on holiday. I feel filled up and warmed to keep giving to and learning with ‘my’ children.

2011 sold out.

The early bird price of $145 (includes lunch) is offered until the course is full or 30 August 2015

Out of town-ers? Just in case you needed more than Pennie Brownlee to come fly or drive kilometres and visit Tauranga. Tauranga Arts Festival is on over the weekend of the course(s). There’s time to fit in some heart-stopping theatre, visual art, dance, music or writers talks. Come make a weekend of it.

You’d like to bring your fine self or team up/down/across for the day for ‘professional development’? An opportunity to warm their hearts, to celebrate this gift of being with children, to press pause retreat, reflect and reconnect.

Email me: Emily at 11665775_839555076113309_72667391008755064_n
Sacred Urge to Play
. Friday 30 October 2015
Anyway! You’re not the Boss of Me. Saturday 31 October 2015

Contact: Emily at with any further questions

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