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Attendee Information 

Monday 26th September 

12:30 - 3:00pm

Choice of 3 pre-conference workshops

The Art & Science of Building Connections 

Practice makes Permanent: Learning the tools and tricks to plan and run meaningful critical incident scenarios in your own organisation.

Nature Play and Outdoor Learning

Mark Collard

Dr Clare Dallat

Pasi Sahlberg, Christian Erkart, Amanda Lloyd


Afternoon Tea will be served at 3:00 pm

The exhibition area will be open at 3:00 pm

All attendees need to register before 3:30 pm

3pm Conference Registration before 3:30pm Official Conference Commences 

3pm - 7:30pm

Acknowledgement to Country by Yvonne Weldon
Keynote Address by Pasi Sahlberg
"Let the children play – for outdoor learning, wellbeing, and life success of every child"

Followed by a Cocktail function overlooking the Sunset on the Beautiful Blue Mountains



Movie Night in the Auditorium at 7:30 pm

Courtesy of Adventure Entertainment

Watch the trailer for the movie here

3pm - 7:30pm

Tueday 27th September 

8am - 5pm  

Keynote address from Ky Furnaeux

Ky is an Adventurer, Survivalist, Stunt Woman, Motivational Speaker, Author and TV Host. Ky won a Taurus Award – the Oscars of the stunt industry – in 2012 for Best Female Stunt Performer in the world.

Morning Tea will be served at 10:00 am in the exhibition area, followed by a broad range of concurrent sessions from 10:30 - 12:30 pm.

Lunch will be served in the Restaurant

More concurrent sessions will occur from 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm, until Afternoon Tea is served in the exhibition area. 

The last session of the day is an important session on the impact of disasters, now and in the future, facilitated by Liz Horne. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The session will conclude at 4:30 pm and delegates are asked to congregate at the porte-cochère at 5:00 pm ready to board the buses to go to the Hydro Majestic.

Buses will depart Fairmont Resort at 5:15 pm PROMPTLY

An alternate pick-up point will be the Carrington Hotel, Katoomba at 5:20 pm

Before arriving at the Hydro Majestic at 5:30 pm

5:30pm - 10pm

Celebratory Dinner

Join us for a night of celebration as we join together to toast the Outdoor Industry at the Hydro Majestic Hotel in the Blue Mountains. The Outdoor Education Program awards will be announced at this event.

Buses will leave the Hydro Majestic each half hour from 9:15 pm to 10:15 pm

Drop off at the Carrington Hotel will be provided for those who would like to disembark in Katoomba


Held in the Governors Room over breakfast, this workshop looks at ideas to adapt to Climate Change

Wednesday 28th September 

8:30am - 5pm

Join us for the IGNITE Session - what's working in the industry right now with Professor Tonia Gray, Assoc Professor John Quay,  PT Tham, Dr. Tony Keeble, Dr. Clare Dallat and Lynne “Moya” Thomas

Keynote address

Tom Potter & Stephanie Potter

"Expanding Horizons: Moving from Complacency to Action for Gender Equity and Inclusion"

Deb Ajango

Followed by Morning Tea at 10:30 am. 

Concurrent sessions follow from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm with lunch then served in the Restaurant. The final concurrent sessions start at 1:45pm and conclude promptly at 3:05 pm for afternoon tea. 

The final session of the conference starts with a 

Keynote address from Beau Miles

and then he will stay to assist with the National Outdoor Education Individual Awards and Closing Ceremony.


If staying for the optional Activity Day on 29th September, we encourage delegates to 

book dinner at their restaurant of choice to guarantee availability. 

Post Conference Activities
Thursday 29th September

Thanks to the Outdoor Industry in the Blue Mountains there are reasons to stay another day. 

A variety of offers have been put together for you to choose from.

Bookings are required direct with the operators and more information can be found here.

Experience the Blue Mountains the way it was intended... in nature's playground!

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Acknowledgement to Country

Monday 26 Sept 


Yvonne Weldon 

Chairperson, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council

Yvonne Weldon is the current Chairperson of Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council. She is a proud Wiradjuri woman and maintains strong ties to her homelands of Cowra and the Riverina areas in New South Wales.

Yvonne is a former student of Redfern Public School, Cleveland St High School and St Scholastica's College. She is a graduate of the first intake of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Program. Yvonne has worked in senior positions in Aboriginal policy development, health, human services, child care services, child protection, housing, disability and Aboriginal heritage. Yvonne is a member of MLALC, Aboriginal Children’s Service, and a number of interagencies throughout the Sydney Metropolitan area.

She has a passion for health, Aboriginal rights, children’s rights, education, research and evaluation. Yvonne recently received an award from the Australasian Evaluation Society for her contribution to the Evaluation of the NSW Aboriginal Child and Family Centres and has recently been awarded a Cultural Diversity Scholarship from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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Master of Ceremonies

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

Mark Collard                                                                  

Mark is best known for his remarkably fun training workshops, interactive keynote presentations and his three best-selling activity books including No Props No ProblemSerious Fun and Count Me In.

Over the course of his 30+ year career, he has delivered more than 2,000 program days and presentations which have helped 100,000+ people have fun and connect meaningfully with others in 11 countries around the world (translated in 4 languages.)

Mark has written 5 books and leverages a massive repertoire of 800+ fun group games & activities to help people connect.

He has produced 350+ video tutorials (which have attracted more than 11 million views), worn-out 3 rubber chickens, formed over 5,000 circles, stayed in 300+ dodgy hotels and spent 5 months of his life in a plane crisscrossing the globe to travel to & work with his groups.

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Keynote Address - Day 1

Monday 26 Sept 4:45pm

Professor Pasi Sahlberg

Pasi Sahlberg has long and distinguished career in education holding various expert and leadership capacities in Finland, including policies and reforms that are associated to Finland’s successful education system.  He has worked as schoolteacher, teacher educator, researcher, and policy advisor and has studied education systems, analysed education policies, and advised education reforms around the globe. Pasi is a former senior education specialist at the World Bank, a lead education expert at the European Training Foundation, a director general at the Finland’s Ministry of Education, and a visiting Professor of Practice at Harvard University.

His most recent book “Let the Children Play: Why More Play Will Save Our Schools and Help Children Thrive” highlights the importance of play, especially outdoor play, to allow children to explore, discover, fail, succeed, socialize, and flourish. He argues play is a fundamental element of the human condition and is the key to giving schoolchildren skills they need to succeed - skills like creativity, innovation, teamwork, focus, resilience, expressiveness, empathy, concentration, and executive function. 

Known as the international “school improvement activist” Pasi directly links to practitioners, their communities and many other education audiences by sharing his experiences in classroom teaching, teacher education, school improvement and global educational change. 

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Keynote Address - Day 2

Tuesday 27 Sept 


Ky Furneaux                                                                

Ky is an Adventurer, Survivalist, Stunt Woman, Motivational Speaker, Author and TV Host. Ky won a Taurus Award – the Oscars of the stunt industry – in 2012 for Best Female Stunt Performer in the world. She has doubled stars such as Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Jaime Alexander and Sharon Stone. She has co-hosted, produced and participated in some of the most extreme TV survival shows ever made. For the woman who grew up in the middle of nowhere in South Australia, it was a long way to the top.

"I became an outdoor guide because I loved the combination of challenging myself and helping others gain knowledge, all within the gorgeous and unpredictable setting of the natural world" Ky Furneaux.


Keynote Address - Day 3

Wednesday 28 Sept 9am

Tom & Stephanie Potter


Tom’s passion for outdoor education has spurred many international contributions to the field. His work strives to investigate and communicate why and how the outdoors has such a potent impact on learning, therapy, and wellbeing; how and why student learning/experiences in the out-of-doors can be heightened through pedagogy; and, how leaders and participants can make informed decisions to enjoy safe experiences in this rich, meaningful, and often challenging learning environment. Thus, his research interests blend to include the pedagogy of outdoor education (including the educational use of solos and traditional technology), outdoor leadership, risk management, transportation safety, gender equity, nature-based therapy and park management.


Tom has instructed field courses, presented and published widely internationally. He has editorial responsibilities on several journals, including past Associate Editor for The Journal of Experiential Education, and has co-edited the book Controversial Issues in Adventure Education: A Critical Perspective. 


Tom Potter, PhD is a Professor in the School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada and is joined by his daughter Stephanie Potter.

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Keynote Address - Day 3

Wednesday 28 Sept 9am

Stephanie Potter


Stephanie Potter was raised among outdoor educators and keenly applies her passion for the outdoors in her research, education, and professional endeavours. With attention to critical feminist philosophy, her interests include parks and protected areas management, polar tourism management, and social justice, particularly as it is affected by outdoor experiences.

Stephanie holds a Master of Environmental Studies, through which she developed marine tourism management recommendations for the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site where Sir John Franklin’s lost ships were located in the Canadian Arctic.


Her work has been awarded multiple scholarships and medals, including Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s Graduate Scholarship. Stephanie is now a Geomatics Technician for Yoho, Kootenay, and Banff National parks and a leader in Parks Canada’s web based mapping and emergency response resources. Her publications examine outdoor journeys as catalysts for change, integrated approaches to protected areas management, and gendered experiences in outdoor recreation, including a co-authored book chapter in the edited book The Palgrave International Handbook of Women and Outdoor Learning.

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Keynote Address - Day 3

Wednesday 28 Sept 9:30am

Deb Ajango

Deb Ajango is the author two books on safety-related topics and has presented nationally and internationally on risk management, emergency action planning, and wilderness medicine. She received the Charles (Reb) Gregg Award in 2012 in recognition of “Exceptional Leadership, Service, and Innovation in Wilderness Risk Management,” and in 2014, she was awarded the Paul K. Petzoldt Award for “Excellence in Wilderness Education.”

Deb is currently a member of the faculty committee for Wilderness Medical Associates International and she has served on the Safety Committees for the Student Conservation Association and Outward Bound. Ms. Ajango has also served as a member of the Alaska State Parks advisory board, and for nine years, she was a member of the Association for Experiential Education’s (AEE’s) Accreditation Council.


Keynote Address - Day 3

Wednesday 28 Sept 3pm

Beau Miles

Sunsmart, accidentally addicted to caffeine, liker of liquorice and advocate of wool, Beau wishes he could grow pumpkins as well as he did in 2015. Outdoor-edder come YouTuber and writer, Beau is coming to grips with being lucky, healthy and ambitious in ways he never saw coming. 


Beau Miles is also a writer, dad, wannabe farmer and low-level woodchopper. Outdoor Educator for 20 years,  Beau dearly misses his time as a guide and teacher but has evolved this day-to-day into storytelling, family life and trying to repeat the quantity and quality of his 2015 veggie patch, which is proving elusive.  


In a resistance to professional expertise, Beau will talk to you about the only thing he does know to an expert level; himself. 


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