Is the involvement of your industry peak body helpful or harmful in a crisis situation?

Mr Dom Courtney1
1Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation



Peak bodies are directly involved in advocacy for industry standards and implementation of standards to reduce likelihood of incidents occurring. Should peak bodies be actively involved in response to things that go wrong in the outdoors?
Critical incident management planning (or crisis management planning) is the process by which an organisation deals with a disruptive and unexpected event that threatens to harm the organisation or its stakeholders.
Three elements are common to a crisis: (a) a threat to the organisation, (b) the element of surprise, and (c) a short decision time. It can be argued that “crisis is a process of transformation where the old system can no longer be maintained”. Therefor the fourth defining quality is the need for change. If change is not needed, the event could more accurately be described as a failure or incident. (Adapted from Wikipedia)
An industry peak body may have different objectives to the organisation at the centre of a crisis situation. Does a different perspective help or hinder the response?
During 2019, QORF and Outdoor Educators Association of Queensland co-hosted a series of workshops on critical incident management planning for the outdoor education sector and the broader outdoor activity community.
This workshop is not intended to be a repeat of the preparedness workshops. This workshop is intended to be an open and frank discussion of whether an outdoor peak organisation should get involved in a crisis situation that an outdoor organisation may be experiencing, and if the peak body should be involved, on what terms?

Dom Courtney is Executive Officer of QORF, the peak body for outdoor activities across Queensland.
A crucial part of Dom’s role is to assist the outdoor sector to change from what it is currently into what it should be, while ensuring that decision-makers realise the importance/value of the outdoor sector and its paid and unpaid workers.

Dom previously worked as a land & water manager for a State government agency and in local government, as well as a previous career in the construction industry.
Due to his role with QORF, Dom is on the Board of the Outdoor Council of Australia and the board of Active Queenslanders Industry Alliance.

About OEA and Outdoors NSW

Outdoor Education Australia (OEA)  was established in 2006 as a national network of outdoor education associations. The organisation facilitates communication between state and territory outdoor education associations about the practice and delivery of outdoor education; advocates for outdoor education across primary, secondary and tertiary education; and provides policy advice.

Outdoors NSW is the go-to place for all things outdoors in NSW.

The peak body for the outdoors in NSW, the organisation, (formerly known as ORIC), represents the outdoor community, advances outdoor standards, safety and practices, and fosters greater participation in the outdoors.

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