Click a button below to ‘jump to’ to a particular day, or scroll down the page to view the whole program.

The following program is preliminary in nature and subject to change as planning proceeds.


12:00 – 18:00 Registration | Pre Function Area
12:30 – 15:30

Workshop 1 

The Art & Science of Building Connections: An Experiential Workshop

Mark Collard

Workshop 2

Moving Beyond the Talkfest: Advocating for Equity and Diversity in Outdoor Learning

Tom Potter, Hoya Lynne Thomas, Son Truong, Teresa Socha, Glyn Thomas, Tonia Gray

Workshop 3

Nature Play and Outdoor Learning National Forum

Sam Crosby, Griff Longley, Dr Amanda Lloyd and Maria Taylor

16:00 – 16:30 AFTERNOON TEA | Pre Function Area
Room Ballroom
16:30 – 18:00

Keynote Presentation

Yvonne Weldon

18:00 – 19:30 WELCOME FUNCTION | Jamison Valley Lawn
19:30 onwards Film Night (optional) | Auditorium


Theme Key
Conversations at the edge
Human-Nature Interactions
Are you ready?
Learning and leading in the outdoors – beyond 2020
07:45 – 08:30 Registration – Arrival Tea & Coffee | Pre Function Area
Room Ballroom
08:30 – 08:45 MC Intro
08:45 – 09:45

Keynote Presentation

Pasi Sahlberg

09:45 – 10:00 Activate
10:00 – 10:30 MORNING TEA | Pre Function & Exhibition Areas
Room Ballroom Macquarie Bligh – Phillip Club Auditorium Misty’s Outside
10:30 – 11:00

Outdoor education programs – solutions looking for a problem?

David Strickland

Looking Up and Out: The future of engaging responsibly outside the classroom.

Aaron Pittaway

Risk Management Frameworks – putting the pieces together.

Simon Wilson

The role of academic identity and the creation of outdoor fieldwork curriculum: A discussion of the initial findings from a cross-discipline research project.

Brendon Munge

Post Neo-Hahnism: A paradigmatic line in the sand.

David Hayward

Escape from Treasure Island. Using an initiative task to explore elements of group functioning.

Joss Rankin

Awesome Icebreakers and Energizers.

Michelle Cummings

Uncertainty in Outdoor Education 

Peter Smith

Pedagogical content knowledge in the Tasmanian classroom: testing teacher PCK in the delivery of ‘Human–Nature Relationships’, a unit of the Tasmanian senior secondary subject Outdoor Leadership.

Alison Savage

11:00 – 11:30

How can current and new assessment tools be used to measure the attainment of threshold concepts in university outdoor education programs?

Scott Polley, Beth McLeod, Brendon Munge, Joss Rankin, Peter Bovina, Duncan Picknoll

Increasing student readiness and deepening learning through pre- and post-activity Outdoor Education – case studies from a sequential Year 2-12 Outdoor Education Program

Darren Osmond, Emma Beveridge

Fire and Ice: reframing the narrative for effective leadership

Lily Brown

Beyond the theory: situational leadership for sustainability

Matt Ryan

The Science of Safety: How history informs our practice

Clare Dallat

Am I “ready to learn”?: Integrating Outdoor Education with School wide Learning models to improve outcomes and better communicate the value of experiential learning opportunities amidst old fashion views of Outdoor activities.

David Gemmell, Nathan O’Malley

11:30 – 12:00

Education suffers from the great divide: the wealthy, privileged, educated, pale male owners – who have access to a disproportionate portion of the pie.

Tony Keeble, Mark Reeves

Insights into a long term Outdoor Education program from the ACT

Dan McNamara, Piper Quick, Peter Blunt

Affective Nature Connection: an Australian case study 

David Hayward

Understanding Educational Diversity in Outdoor Education Program Design and Facilitation

Brendon Fogarty

Back to the Future for Outdoor Education Safety: Leading Indicators, Safety II, and Unruly technologies 

Paul Salmon

When shit gets real, unpacking a critical incident

Mark Cartner, Will Dobud

Location TBC

Walking as an ecopedagogy: a school practice example

Genevieve Blades, Lisa Hall

Rhizomatic Mapping in Alpine Outdoor Environmental Education

Ant Mangelsdorf

12:00 – 12:30

Monkey Mind. An educators journey from ruin to realization

Ben Tamblyn

How Outdoor Learning is becoming part of the ‘everyday’ in South Australian primary schools

Maria Taylor

Building Community through Place-Based Outdoor Education

Ben Trewren

Engaging Primary Schools in the Outdoors

Rachel McMurtie

‘Speaking up for safety’: Evaluating graded assertiveness frameworks to improve students’ capacity to advocate for safety in outdoor education settings

Brendon Munge

Place and young children: A response to calls for place consideration in Early Childhood

Marion Sturges

12:30 – 13:30 LUNCH | Pre Function & Exhibition Areas
Room Ballroom Macquarie Bligh – Phillip Club Auditorium Misty’s Outside
13:30 – 14:00

An Evaluation of UPLOADS using the RE-AIM framework

Scott McLean

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

Dom Courtney

Expanding the Horizons of New Field Staff in Industry; Contextualising Experiential Education Theory

Aaron Simpson-Woods

Underrepresented Representatives – diverse truths for an inclusive future

Pei Ting Tham

The Flagship is Sinking… ‘Do we go down with the ship? Or start bailing like mad?’

David Gregory

“We can do better”: the journey towards reinventing strong waste management as a cultural norm in our outdoor education programs.

David Gemmell, Carly West

Effective Debriefing Tools & Techniques

Michelle Cummings

14:00 – 14:30

Teaching to embrace the spirits of a more-than-human world: self, others and environment as an alliance of wills

John Quay

Outdoor Recreation and Outdoor Leadership qualifications

Jeffrey Lehrer, Liz Horne

Gender Inclusive Leadership in University Outdoor Education; It’s Not Just Women’s Business

Rylie Charles, Tonia Gray, Son Truong

Bringing screens outdoors – Photo Hunting

Simon Sambrano

14:30 – 15:00

Higher Than Everest

Ajeet Bajaj

Is Bush Adventure Therapy just glorified Outdoor Education?

Anita Pryor

Describing what a University outdoor education graduate knows and can do using the 7 threshold concepts – what does the profession think?

Scott Polley, Sandy Allen-Craig, Marcus Morse, Glyn Thomas, Tonia Gray, Anthony Mangelsdorf

Holism, experiential education and what it means to be a kick ass facilitator!

Ben Tamblyn

Psychosocial risks managed with UPLOADS PriME

Graham Pringle, 
Dr Scott McLean, 
Andrea Newton, 
Paul Salmon, 
Clare Dallat

Some unexpected ways OE supports transferable skills for wellbeing: Curiosity, Gratitude, Hope and Kindness

Cat Lamb

Nature and Forest Therapy Guiding: Cultivating Connection to Self, Others and Nature

Louise Kiddell

15:00 – 15:30

Working with At-Risk Youth through Outback Intervention Programs

Linda White

Risk management in a safety dependent environment – an embodied approach

Melanie Ross

Outdoor Ed in the Middle of the Sydney CBD: What we’ve learnt by starting with a blank piece of paper and writing a whole new program in a different mould.

Paul Colaguiri

15:30 – 14:00 AFTERNOON TEA | Pre Function & Exhibition Areas
  VIC State meeting  TAS State meeting WA State meeting SA State meeting NSW/ACT State meeting QLD State meeting   
16:00 – 18:00 BREAK
Room Ballroom
18:00 – 19:00

Keynote Presentation

Tim Jarvis



Theme Key
Conversations at the edge
Human-Nature Interactions
Are you ready?
Learning and leading in the outdoors – beyond 2020
08:00 – 08:30 Registration – Arrival Tea & Coffee | Pre Function Area
Room Ballroom
08:30 – 08:45 Welcome to Day 2
08:45 – 09:45

Keynote Presentation

Deb Ajengo

09:45 – 10:15 MORNING TEA | Pre Function & Exhibition Areas
Room Ballroom Macquarie Bligh – Phillip Club Auditorium Misty’s Outside
10:15 – 10:45

Are we all on the same page? Applying the Australian Adventure and Activity Standards and Good Practice Guides for a consistent approach to risk assessment and management in a University Outdoor Education and Recreation study pathway

Joss Rankin

Maniapure Community Camp – A short history of community development in the Amazon

Simon Sambrano

Nature Based Interventions for Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders – Developing a Program that has Impact

Katie Carter

What? Bucket lunch again! An exploration of dietary perspectives and practices of journey-based outdoor leaders in an Australian context

Brendon Munge, Marcus Morse

Taking young children into the bush:one preschool’s journey

Marion Sturges

Second Victims: Caring for our own, better

Clare Dallat, Deb Ajengo

Exploring Ubuntu: There Exists A Common Bond Between Us All

Mark Collard

Scouts Australia: Are we Ready?

Jeffrey Leher

Seeing the sounds of nature: Learning to read in the world

Katherine Bates

10:45 – 11:15

The Importance of delivering authentic Indigenous Education in a system that wont recognise the true Indigenous history of Australia

Tony Keeble

Digital Technology in Outdoor Education: Results from International Research 

David Hills

Wilding nature play for children and families: An evaluation of The Ian Potter Children’s Wild Play Garden at Centennial Park, Sydney

Son Truong

Marshmead: Walking the talk through a 30 year vision of sustainability. Learning in the Outdoors – beyond 2020, Program Design on Sustainability

Marion Martin, Tom Davis

Outdoors for Out of Home Care young people: The benefits of the bush and nature for children in the out of home care system

Deborah Watson

The birth of a school – The Nature School Primary

Catherine Oehlman

How the Royal Botanic Garden creates effective, meaningful and inspiring outdoor learning spaces in schools and communities, whilst guiding people on how to best utilise them.

Peter Dawe, Brenden Moore


11:15 – 11:45

When the Shit hits the fan: how to negotiate your way through a major incident

Todd Samorowski

Insights from 30 years of experiential learning at Glengarry

Jeffrey Mann, Jeff Grundy, David Johnson

Lessons learnt and outcomes from the review into canyoning and caving in the ACT

Dan McNamara

Creating accessible and dangerous Outdoor Education experiences for non-conquerers

Jessica Wilson

Transferable Knowledge – A short but practical guide for mapping the Australian National Curriculum to Outdoor Education Programs for meaningful integration

Kristi Bryant

Widening the Aperture: Using Visual Methods to Broaden Our Understanding of Outdoor Identity

Tonia Gray, Sandy Allen-Craig, Rylie Charles

Practical, Fun & Engaging Debrifing Strategies Students Love

Mark Collard

New horizons: Conceptualising and commencing a new offering in Outdoor Education and Recreation at Flinders University

Joss Rankin

11:45 – 12:15

Kids Programs Need To Take More Risks, Literally!

Richard Williams

Exploring place-based pedagogies with the youngest of learners: What does place-based pedagogy, nature play, Education for Sustainability and Indigenous perspectives mean for infants and toddlers

Katie Vander Donk

A Pedagogy for Change: Old Methods for Contemporary Challenges

Ian Neville

How Dr Suess and J.R.R Tolkien (plus a sh** tone of research) can help you design a world class outdoor education sequence for your school; then get the executive and your various providers to support your vision

David Gemmell, Carly West

12:15 – 13:15 LUNCH | Pre Function & Exhibition Areas
Room Ballroom Macquarie Bligh – Phillip Club Room Auditorium Misty’s Location TBC
13:15 – 13:45

Out of the fire – a curriculum based response to environmental crisis

Catherine Oehlman

Generation X has the power!! Training camp staff for today’s world!!

Simon Sambrano

Solution-Focused Therapy in the Outdoors: How Therapists and Outdoor Professionals can Construct a Distinct Model for Change

Will Dobud

The Hutchins School Risk & Activity Management Plan Documentation

Mark Oates, Matt Eaton

2020 Vision: Megatrends and Outdoor Environmental Education Programs

Peter McKenna

An Ecotherapeutic Approach to Outdoor Education in the age of anxiety

Kerry Coombs-Valeontis

Facilitated Growth: Experiential Activities for Recovery and Wellness

Michelle Cummings

13:45 – 14:15

Learnings from BushFire Crisis

Sharing and panel discussion.

Facilitated by Liz Horne


Technology Update 2020

David Hills

Creating an inclusive outdoor sector for your organisation and business

Matthew Townsend

Opportunities for Outdoor Education in Education Reform

Loren Miller

14:15 – 14:45

Assessing outdoor leadership practice at university

Peter Bovino

More-than-human stories: Experimental co-productions in outdoor environmental education pedagogy

Scott Jukes, Ya Reeves

Invisible emotions: Is your staff supported to meet the emotional demands of leadership? 

Mandi Baker, Tonia Gray


Unplugged, but in touch: Program evaluation in the digital age

Rebecca Harth

What really happens in a WILD PLAY Garden and how does it relate to outdoor learning?

Sam Crosby, Julie Regalado

Sustainable practices in outdoor education

Robyn Fox

14:45 – 15:15 AFTERNOON TEA | Pre Function & Exhibition Areas
Room Ballroom
15:15 – 16:00

Keynote Presentation

Tom Potter

16:00 – 17:00 National Awards Ceremony and Closing Ceremony



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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