Helping young Australians get real world ready 1800 888 900

Helping young Australians get real world ready
1800 888 900

THE OUTDOOR EDUCATION FOUNDATION

The Outdoor Education Foundation (OEF) provides meaningful and unforgettable experiences for those who need it the most. We empower disadvantaged young people to develop and achieve their potential through innovative outdoor education experiences in an outdoor setting where they support each other, share life experiences and practice and enhance vital life skills.

Robert Pascoe, Chair of The Outdoor Education Foundation Board, says, "Outdoor education provides powerful, life-changing experiences to young people. There are social and economic inequities in society however, that mean not all young people can access an outdoor education experience. We have created the Outdoor Education Foundation to provide high-quality outdoor education programs to disadvantaged young people so they can build resilience and learn skills to tackle the ordinary and extraordinary challenges of life."

WHY DID WE START?

The Outdoor Education Foundation is the charitable arm of the Outdoor Education Group, the largest provider of outdoor education for school students in Australia. Established in 2018, the Foundation has provided camps and expeditions to over 1,000 disadvantaged Victorian students.

Outdoor education provides a wide range of benefits to students, including strengthening resilience, leadership, teamwork and greater feelings of wellbeing. However, highly considered and well-designed outdoor education programs are expensive putting them out of reach of many young Australians and their families.

The Outdoor Education Group was conscious students who would most benefit from these experiences were also the students who were most likely to miss out. To give all young people these opportunities, the Outdoor Education Foundation was established.

The Outdoor Education Foundation utilises the staff and equipment of the Outdoor Education Group to run camps and expeditions at cost. By partnering with philanthropic trusts and funders, we can offer these experiences to all young people, regardless of circumstance.

OEF girls group cycle

OUR IMPACT

At the Outdoor Education Foundation, we’ve seen first-hand the tangible difference outdoor education can make in young people's lives.

Since 2007, in partnership with the Alice Sloan Trust, the Outdoor Education Group has facilitated a 10-day expedition for young women from rural communities who otherwise would not have the opportunity.

The Alice Sloan Expedition received the award for the best national outdoor education program from Outdoor Education Australia and has been academically evaluated for its impact on the lives of participants beyond the program.

One mother whose daughter went on the program wrote to us to illustrate how the experience had changed her child. She said, "When my daughter set out on the expedition, she was 16 years old and totally lacking in confidence and self-worth. She had been severely bullied at school and had contemplated suicide quite a few times. She had an unhappy home life with an alcoholic stepfather, a mother who yelled far too much at her step-father and worked four jobs so wasn't really home a lot to give my daughter the secure home life that she craved.

My daughter left for the program as a young girl with no self-confidence and in a world of doubt as to whether she was up to the challenge. My little girl who had departed as a meek and mild teenager who was so easily pushed around by others had returned as a fierce and determined young woman ready to take on the world and win".

Many of the young men who have participated in our Young Men, Old Mountains program speak about how it helped them connect with their fathers and demonstrated what a "good man" is. With all the negative stereotypes of young men, the program also taught them about some of the positive aspects of masculinity, such as mateship, healthy risk-taking and service to community.

Parents have been equally positive about the effect the program has had on their boys.

One parent told us, "As a parent to see their child come home from a 10-day program with this much enthusiasm and to be able to talk to you about their incredible stories and what they achieved was mind-blowing - the resilience he gained within this period and the realisation that he could do it, even when things got tough. Only a parent can really see what it has done and what it means to their son but also the benefits towards their family and local community. It is incredible, the growth from such a program."

THANK YOU

The Outdoor Education Foundation would not be able to provide these experiences without the incredible financial support of our generous donors.

These include the Alice Sloan Trust, the Calvert Jones Foundation, the Cass Foundation, the West Gate Neighbourhood Fund, Alexandra Rotary Club, Murrindindi Council, Perpetual, the Jack Brockhoff Foundation, Arc'teryx and Victoria University.

Learn more about the incredible opportunities The Outdoor Education Foundation provides or support our work by donating today.

LEARN MORE

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