OCA Summit 2021 working to unite & strengthen the outdoor sector
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Dear Subscriber

Please enjoy Victoria's Outdoor Sector News, March 2021
3 emus in the bush looking very smart

25th- 26th May

The Outdoor Council of Australia (OCA) has announced a summit to discuss the priorities and a path to a possible transformation of the outdoors sector across Australia. It is the perfect time to come together to further unite and strengthen the various streams of the outdoor sector and the universal challenges faced by individuals, businesses and organisations that work within it.
The OCA Board, which is made up of CEO’s and Presidents of many of the State and National outdoor sector peaks, has committed to inviting 100 sector representatives to gather together via Zoom, over two sessions in May:
  • Tuesday 25 May, 2021 (afternoon)
  • Wednesday 26 May, 2021 (morning)
We would like to take this opportunity to highlight the OCA summit is committed:
  • to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as well as other people of diverse gender, age and cultural backgrounds.
  • to facilitate all working groups to listen and be respectful to all marginalised groups, working towards best practices within the outdoors community.
  • to direct all working groups to consider the impact of climate change and how the outdoor sector might be leaders. 

Draft Agenda:

The event will be facilitated, and attendees will be involved in a discussion about a proposed positive cycle for the outdoors sectors. *See graphic representation

Topics will include but not limited to:
  • Effective communication on outdoor sector careers
  • Training pathways
  • Accreditation and safety
  • Superior service offer
  • Galvanised marketing of the sectors
  • Pay and conditions
  • Retention of professionals across the sectors
Attendees will collectively clarify an agreed list of priority items to focus on.

Proposed Outcomes:

  • Enhanced understanding of the issues and opportunities for the outdoors sectors
  • Inform future direction for initiatives to be undertaken by the OCA and other organisations
  • Working groups maybe formed to further explore opportunities for transformation, with a discussion on terms of reference including feedback loop on progress to the outdoors community.
To ensure all members of the outdoors community feel included, opportunities to connect with a number of OCA Board members will be made available to all throughout the process.

Kids in Nature

New online chat

Outdoors Victoria is hosting a Zoom afternoon tea to coincide with Nature Play Week
The session will update the sector on the Nature Kindergarten Facilitator Demonstration Project and examine the challenges and opportunities the education sector faces as children who have grown up with nature play in kinder transition into school.
More details to follow. Register here
When:  MONDAY April 19th @4.30pm

Nature Play Week

12 days filled with events. Getting kids into nature. Creating a sense of wonder. Organised by organisations all over Victoria and beyond. Coordinated by Kids In Nature Network. It’s a week. It’s a movement. Be part of the movement. Nature Play Week 2021 runs from April 14-25 
a whole bunch of people lined up for a group photo shot

Nature Kindergarten Update

OV's Nature Kindergarten Facilitator Rose Major and colleague Lisa Coxon from the Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Network (ECOLN) travelled to Sale last month to work with a number of organisations to boost the uptake of early childhood outdoor programs in Wellington Shire.
Teachers from more than 10 early childhood centres and kindergartens in the region took part in training on how to go through the process of starting a nature kinder. Rose and Lisa also visited a number of potential sites for outdoor learning around the Sale area to advise other centres who are further along in their planning.
Wellington Shire Council’s policy and planning department has worked closely with Rose throughout the process. Rose will return to Sale in April to work with other Council departments, including the Parks and Gardens team, on how Council can further support nature kindergartens and nature play in the region.
The Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Network's annual Pedagogy and Practice in Nature Education Conference 2021 is on Zoom this Friday March 26th!

Nature Stewards

Native red flowers
Congratulations to the hard-working Nature Stewards team who are thrilled to announce that the two autumn programs are overflowing with applications! All sessions will be in-person (fingers crossed). The team are looking forward to welcoming successful participants to the April programs and getting back out and about in nature.
For everyone else, we have just updated the reference list online used throughout the program and for those interested in many aspects of the natural world.

News from the Field

6 paddlers on a river
1 paddler in yellow canoe in river
2 paddlers in yellow water craft on a river
In early March 2021, water levels had been good from a visiting La Nina this summer and held up long enough for Covid restrictions to ease. Coming off the back of some final bushwalking and navigation assessments on the Bogong high plains, the Diploma of Outdoor Recreation students from 2020/21 finally had their chance to undertake some solo sports raft training on the Mitta Mitta river.  
The planning for this trip was a year-long affair that had been extended, postponed and rescheduled as often as the Covid restrictions changed throughout 2020. With a new level of adaptability and perseverance learned through a pandemic, these students scouted and planned, set safety and navigated each new rapid as they worked their way down along the Mitta Mitta river on the final journey of their course.  
I would like to congratulate each of the students in the Diploma of Outdoor recreation for completing their studies at Chisholm Tafe.  An amazing group of Outdoor leaders who are already working in the industry and proving themselves to be great advocates for the outdoors and the industry as a whole. – Ben Cradz
Welcome to our new 'News from the Field' section. Each month we will feature news or stories from our Unis, TAFES/RTO's & Schools. Teachers or students are invited to submit stories, articles or events (including an image) to Robyn: Help keep us all connected to what's happening in the real world of Outdoor Education. 

OV Affiliate Membership

Hey we have another 2 new members to announce! 
Project Outbound is a NOT-FOR-PROFIT initiative with all profits going into full scholarship for Foster kids to experience our programmes and trips. Project Outbound is passionate about working together to equip our younger generation and their families to “Find themselves in the middle of nowhere” – armed with skills and experiences that will create a lifelong passion for the outdoors.
Global Buddy Education (GBE) was founded in September 2014 by a group of Shanghai returnees as a cultural exchange organization in Shanghai, China. Their goal is to promote experiential learning and offer expert Educational Tours. We encourage parents and students to join our educational programs 'Family Tour' and 'Buddy Camp.'

Thank you also as always to our wonderful renewing members:

The Victorian Government has announced that Victoria will further relax its COVIDSafe Settings, allowing for more visitors in the home, reduced mask wearing and an increase in the number of people allowed in live music venues and other settings. The full list of COVIDSafe Settings will apply from 6pm Friday 26 March 2021.  

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

In other news

Go with a Licensed Tour Operator

Promotional Launch

One of the best ways to get into nature!

Parks Victoria has launched five new videos promoting Licensed Tour Operators (LTOs) across Victoria. 

The videos have been designed specifically to increase awareness of LTOs, promote the benefits of using LTOs and to encourage the public to book an LTO experience in Victoria’s spectacular parks and waterways. 

The call to action at the end of each video leads the viewer to the searchable LTO list on Parks Victoria’s website with the tagline ‘to find your next adventure with a Licensed Tour Operator, visit

The National Outdoor Education Conference (NOEC) is ON! 

When: 28 Sept, 12:00 pm – 01 Oct, 4:00 pm
Where: Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains
***EARLY BIRDS*** Register now
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 10th April, 2021 to be included

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 Robyn 
W: or
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