Outdoor News and Opportunities
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Dear Subscriber

Please enjoy Victoria's Outdoor Sectors News, September 2021
A person cross-country skiing in Mt. Stirling

As we say goodbye to winter, our featured image of the month is an amazing place within the Victorian Alps. Did you know? Mt. Stirling is named after James Stirling, who was responsible for mapping and doing geological survey work throughout Victoria between 1897 and 1899. The Indigenous people who inhabited the area for at least 10,000 years before Europeans arrived, belonged to the Taungurung clan.  They held alliances with several other clans and language groups in Victoria who together are known as the Kulin Nation.

Image Source: Adam Merrick, Trust for Nature.
A word from the CEO,

The whole team at OV acknowledges many in our outdoors community are hurting. 

Alongside our partners, the Australian Camps Association (ACA) and with support from Christian Venues Association (CVA), we have been continuing to liaise with many of you whilst connecting with the Victorian government and Ministers offices.

Thanks to your recent survey responses, we were able to swiftly provide up-to-date data to the relevant Minister’s office. 

Your feedback boosts our effectiveness in influencing the Victorian government’s support for outdoor education providers and camp operators, who are such a critical part of our children’s education. Your work will always be essential to boosting physical activity, physical literacy; and critically right now, building more resilient young Victorians.

The Victorian government is well aware of what is at stake with the potential wholesale loss of capacity from this sector of the Outdoors industry: the impact on the education of millions of children, regional economic contributions into the hundreds of millions of dollars, and over 5,000 jobs.

We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of our advocacy and please connect with us this coming OV Industry Zoom morning tea on Tuesday 5 October 10:30 am to share your reflections, experiences and learn more.

The OV team’s extra capacity assists us in working hard to better support you across various areas, and we send our spare positive energy to you all, very best wishes.

Andrew Knight. CEO
Lifeline: 131114
MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78
Headspace: 1800 650 890
Kids helpline: 1800 55 1800
Wellbeing and Mental Health Support for Victorian Small Businesses

Outdoors Victoria News

Outdoors VIctoria, Australian Camps Association and Christian Venues Association Logos

Australian Camps Association (ACA), Christian Venues Association (CVA) and OV Survey. Thanks for your participation!

Last week we reached out to you to have your say about the Victorian Government Covid Funding Access for Outdoor Businesses. Here are some of the most important facts resulting from your responses.
  • 62.2% applied for the Business Cost Assistance Program Rnd 4.  73.6% of those, were successful in receiving it.
  • 11.47% applied for Small Business Covid Hardship Fund, 42.8% were successful in receiving it.
  • Only 3.2% applied for the Business Continuity. 50% that applied for this funding received it.
  • The majority of the remaining percentage 23.13%  didn't or couldn't apply for any funding.
  • ANZSIC codes 4400 accommodation and 9139 Amusement and other recreational were the ones that were successful. 
  • Some of the main reasons why businesses did not apply or were not successful are:
-Non GST Operator
-Not having ABN or because the government only pay once per ABN
-Ineligible ANZIC code: 95400 Religious services was the most quoted.
-Outside of Melbourne (regional)

You insight was very important in potentially securing additional support due to the importance of our sector to the government and community. Thanks for your participation!
A computer showing an online meeting on the screen

Chat with Andrew Knight and the team from Outdoors Victoria at 10:30 am Tuesday, October the 5th.

A chance to talk - to get together with others from the outdoor sectors.
Some topics we’ll cover in this chat include:
  • Information about our new Live Series Events. Would you like to be a part of the upcoming series? Come along to this chat to find out more.
  • Updates on OV's advocacy work, in partnership with ACA and CVA, on behalf of outdoor providers and camps in Victoria
  • Discussions on the new DET funding policy changes to schools in relation to excursions, camps, curriculum consumables etc
  • Careers in the Outdoors online portal being sneak peek- Luke Parker & updates from Andrew Gooday's Careers
  • Promotion project
  • An exclusive OV report fresh from the Precursor to the National Outdoor Education Conference (NOEC) 
  • OCA working groups update on: Attraction and Retention of Outdoor Professionals, Outdoor Qualifications and Training Pathways, Accreditation Frameworks and Insurance
Outdoors Victoria Live Series logo

Outdoors Victoria New Live Series Events! 

Outdoors Victoria is preparing Live Series Events to welcome Guest Speakers to talk about relevant topics for the outdoor sectors in Victoria. This will be an opportunity for outdoor education, active outdoor recreation, nature-based tourism and bush adventure therapy organisations to dive into interesting topics through a different and interactive format.

In preparation for our Live Series Events, we would like to gather some insight from the community about what topics you would like to learn about and discuss. This survey is also an opportunity for you to express your interest in participating as one of our Guest Speakers.

Richelle Olsen, new Community Engagement Officer for AABAT

Welcome to our newest staff member!

Richelle joined Outdoors Victoria in August as the Community Engagement Officer for the Australian Association of Bush Adventure Therapy (AABAT).

Professionally Richelle has worked as an online business analyst for over 20 years, in Australia, the UK and the Middle East. In 2015, she cycled the Great Divide MTB Route off-road from Canada to Mexico, almost 5,000kms over 5 months. Richelle is the founder of Escaping Your Comfort Zone, body-positive adventures for women, with the approach "The outdoors don't care about your size, your pace or your fitness, and neither do we".

OV Affiliate Membership

Welcome and thank you to our newest Affiliate Member organisations who signed up this month:  Renewing members: All members and their staff and students still have complimentary access to Outdoor Education’s Digital Library, including all current and past copies of the JOEE (Journal of Outdoor & Environmental Education)


Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority Logo

Review of VCE Outdoor and Environmental Studies in 2022

VCE studies are reviewed on a cyclical basis, according to their accreditation period, to ensure that the VCE continues to meet Victorian community expectations for high-quality curriculum and assessment.

Outdoor and Environmental Studies will be one of the studies that will be reviewed in 2022 and VCAA is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified people to participate in the curriculum review process for it. The OV team and ACHPER Vic strongly encouraged VCAA for the OES review to be undertaken. Thanks, VCAA for taking the feedback on board.

You can apply through the Sessional Staff Management System by Monday 11 October. / More info about the review of VCE studies in 2022.
Business Entrepreneurs Program from Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

In supporting industry recovery we would like to share this valuable information. The Entrepreneurs Programme is a $400 M federal government initiative that aims to help small businesses transform. Their services give you access to expert advice and financial support through grants to help you progress your goals.

Have a look at the opportunities HERE

Outdoor News

Saddle Lookout project, artist's impression of the new lookout and the expected area of restriction during construction

Port Campbell National Park - Saddle Lookout project

The lookout was a key project discussed during community consultation in 2018, and with environmental, cultural heritage and planning assessments now complete works are set to commence this month, continuing until 2023.

Part of the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan, this $9.2 million project will replace viewing areas that no longer cater for visitor numbers, providing a safer and more accessible lookout that will help boost the regional economy and future-proof this iconic destination.

Works are expected to begin on the lookout, with no access to the Castle Rock and Saddle viewing areas from the middle of the month. During construction, visitors will continue to enjoy the other lookouts, boardwalks and visitor areas at the Twelve Apostles and elsewhere in the stunning Port Campbell National Park.

More info on Saddle Lookout
Backcountry Travel Conditions from Mountain Safe Collective

Mountain Safe Collective Website for Backcountry Travelers

Since lockdown restrictions were lifted in regional Victoria, and there is still time for Spring Skiing and other adventures, have a look at The Mountain Collective Safety Website where daily reports inform backcountry travellers of the current conditions and hazards that they may encounter while in the backcountry mountainous environment.

Please note, due to current Covid restrictions there may not be daily updates in Victoria
National Outdoor Education Conference Banner. Reads: Precursor: 29th September 2021. 10:30 am - 4:00 pm AEST

1 Day Precursor to NOEC
29 September 2021 / 10:30 to 4:00 pm

The Key topics for this special 1 Day Online Event are:

  • Learnings from fires and COVID-19
  • ACARA Curriculum Review
  • Updates from the Outdoor Council of Australia
  • Nature Play Innovations with Pasi Sahlberg

*Precursor online event has no extra cost for attendees that have booked and paid for NOEC 2022 before 25th July.

Info and Registration - Download PDF program

National Symposium Outdoor Health

The National Outdoor Health Symposium, now fully online, November 3rd and 4th.

This year’s Symposium is an opportunity to engage with and contribute to innovations in outdoor health research and practice. Presentations will span Indigenous health practices, nature-based health interventions for emerging conditions, and Outdoor health for whole populations. As governments and policy-makers grapple with new challenges, and the Australian community seeks to adapt to new realities, Outdoor Healthcare provides promising cost-effective benefits for our physical, mental, social and cultural health. 

Info and Registration
VIC AABAT Spring Offering - Philosophical & Practical Immersion for Practitioners in nature & ACT banner

VIC AABAT Spring Offering - Philosophical & Practical Immersion for Practitioners in nature & ACT

Alternative Directions founder, Adam Dickinson, is offering a workshop exploring the uses of therapeutic theories and resources based around Acceptance & Commitment Therapy combined with sitting/playing/working in natural places to allow opportunity and useful change to not only occur during an outdoor session but to provide ongoing ideas/strategies that can be returned to and utilised after the outdoor event/experience.

Info and Registration
Time with nature connects us all. #NaturePact campaign 2021 from The People & Parks Foundation

Have you joined The People & Parks Foundation #NaturePact campaign yet? 

The People and Parks Foundation is calling on everyone to make a #NaturePact, and to feel the difference in their mood, energy and wellbeing when spending time outside in fresh air. Time spent with nature makes us healthier, happier, and better connected to what each one of us is born a part of – life on earth. So, this September, schedule some time with nature every day, grab a friend (or fur-friend!) and head outside for your daily #NaturePact.

Their  #NaturePact campaign for 2021 is well underway, but there’s still time to sign up! You can make your #NaturePact at any time during the month of September and schedule precious time outside connecting with nature. This week's theme is a beautiful way to take your Nature Dose, it’s Forest Bathing (Shinrin-Yoku) and Rock Basking.

More info and Sign Up
National AABAT Forum 2022. 21-23 October

The AABAT National Forum has a new date!

Unfortunately, the ongoing uncertainty and the implications of South Australian border closures to the eastern states due to the Delta variation of Covid-19 have resulted in the AABAT committee's decision to postpone the 2021 AABAT National Forum to October 22/23 2022.

Registrations for the new forum date will be available soon. Stay tuned for details on the AABAT Forum 2022 HERE

Other News

Enrolments now open for Chisholm’s Graduate Certificate in Family Violence
Enrolment and information HERE

Covid Restrictions in Victoria

Stay up to date with the latest restrictions for your related outdoor activities:

Metropolitan Melbourne and City of Ballarat
* Sport and exercise 
* Travel

Regional Victoria
* Sport and exercise
* Travel

For further information see the Table of Restrictions or visit

  • Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed the state’s road map out of lockdown will be announced on Sunday, 18th September.
A reminder to all outdoor providers, as well maintaining your COVIDSafe Plans at all times, make sure you're up-to-date and familiar with the current AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURE ACTIVITY STANDARD
& Associated Good Practice Guides

Outdoors Victoria acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
We are always happy to add your stories to this newsletter. Please send by 10 October, 2021 to be included in the next edition.

We are looking for interesting articles, resources, event dates, funding opportunities and images from our members for the next edition. If you have something to share, contact:
Andrea Vela 
or Robyn Allan 
Copyright © 2021 Outdoors Victoria, All rights reserved.

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