The National Outdoor Education Conference (NOEC) was set to return for its 21st event to New South Wales in 2020 after many years being held in other states, but COVID-19 forced the event to be postponed. But the good news is it will be held in September 2022 in the beautiful Blue Mountains.
“We analysed the opportunities for this conference, online, hybrid, pre-recorded but what kept coming back to the organising committee was the importance of the face-to-face networking” says Liz Horne, NOEC Committee Member.
“By our shear nature as educators we need the connection and to use the combined voice for outcomes, so we knew we just couldn’t host the event virtually.”
It has been a difficult decision for the committee to continue with the event, as considerable funds were lost in the forced postponement, twice. In the true spirit of what Outdoor Education stands for, ‘resilience’ and ‘mental health’ the event will go ahead to ensure the opportunity is there for the outdoor community to connect and be inspired again to continue to develop their great work.
“The outdoor education sector touches over 3 million Australian students each year. Continual improvement enables us to further the aim of outdoor education of building life-long skills and positive attitudes, or as some would say ‘skills for life’” says Mark Brackenreg of the organising committee and Board Member of Outdoors NSW & ACT.
“This conference allows us the opportunity to reflect on the rapid changes we implemented during times of natural emergency and the pandemic. Conference discussions will include lessons learnt and innovation that we can now leverage to improve the outcomes for the children and adults that participate in Outdoor Education and Active Recreation pursuits.” Mark continues.
It certainly looks like it will be worth the wait for outdoor educators, leaders, activity providers and stakeholders as there is a solid line up of keynote speakers followed by 50 professionals in their field delivering case studies and thought-provoking discussions. Not to mention the networking opportunities in some amazing venues like the Hydro Majestic and the Fairmont Resort Leura.
Registrations are open now and the full program can be seen on the NOEC website.
Lori Modde, CEO of Outdoors NSW & ACT, and the host for the 21st National Outdoor Education Conference had this to say, “We expect this event to be exactly what the sector needs, not only an opportunity to connect but to reset on the opportunities for the future. One thing Covid has taught us is that ‘what worked yesterday won’t necessarily work tomorrow’ so I can’t wait to have some fruitful discussions with the industry on what we need to collaborate on ensure the continual achievements of our sector.”
“This industry is an unsung hero with the skills they provide our youth in long-term benefits and the broader community. Research studies continue to show that our participants increase their social skills, better mental health and are more resilient as a result of our programs. This industry is also a proactive health advocate instilling lessons and practices that will benefit communities for life. So, I urge anyone that is connected to this industry or wants to be more engaged in outdoor education for the betterment of our communities to come along and take something back to your community that will help them!”
NOEC 2022 is supported by Wilderness Equipment, the Australian Government and Meet in Regional NSW, Destination NSW.
Fairmont Resort Leura
Monday 26 September – Wednesday 28 September 2022