The Outdoor Is for Everyone – Future Opportunities
OEIH welcomes anyone who wants to begin their outdoor education journey at the very beginning, but we also recognise that many individuals seeking a career change might have families to support and less flexible time to study. They may already bring deep and diverse life experiences and skills that can enrich our industry and the lives of young people.
The Outdoor Education Industry is supported by an incredible team who work across catering, operations, housekeeping and administration roles and anyone interested in these roles is encouraged to apply.
In recognition of this, we are working to develop some more specific pathways in collaboration with different organisations.
Vision for Diversity
The Outdoor Education Industry Hub’s vision is a community where all team members can fulfil their potential, thrive and feel valued through:
- equal opportunity for everyone to grow, regardless of background or affiliation
- transparency and accountability in decision-making processes
- zero tolerance for harassment or bullying
- a place where you can be comfortable being yourself, provided it is respectful and tolerant of others
We believe in the right of all employees to be free from discrimination based on race, religion, age, sex, gender identity, marital status, neurodiversity, disability or sexual orientation, whether in the field of recruitment, terms and conditions of employment, career progression, training, transfer or termination of employment.
The outdoor education sector offers roles to suit people from all walks and stages of life who are dedicated to supporting or leading impactful experiences. We understand the unique skills required to work in outdoor education and are committed to supporting lifelong learning for all those in the industry.
Wellbeing and Mental Health
Supporting mental health and wellbeing is at the heart of all we do. Like our participants, we understand team members may need support to cope with poor mental health or wellbeing at times; this is embedded into OEIH learning and workplace connections, with
- all OEIH recruits will have access to online mental health modules about mental health and wellbeing care for self, others and participants.
- all workplace partners are required to provide, at a minimum, an Employee Assistance Program where their staff team can access confidential therapeutic support.
- Students associated with Box Hill or Victoria University will have access to additional mental health and wellbeing resources and support (links to appropriate pages above).
Some programs work specifically with more vulnerable groups or individuals to achieve therapeutic outcomes. Leaders especially passionate about mental health and wellbeing may be interested in further professional development to give them the skills, experience and qualifications to work in this field.
“I would say that the experience had a large impact on our mental health, I say this because it has had a large impact on the way we think of life.”Year 8 student
“I felt like it helped me grow stronger mentally and physically.”Year 9 student
Women in the Outdoors
Young Australians need to see leadership, that reflects what is possible in their world. Outdoor education places women as competent leaders in the bush and the boardroom.
Participants of all genders can see effective leadership takes many forms, with every leader’s style as unique as themselves.
While women have been active contributors to the outdoor education community for as long as it has existed, their historic and ongoing contribution is often less visible. We promote an outdoor education sector where women are encouraged and supported to lead and grow professionally. Opportunities may include:
- Roles with flexible working options, from site days with participants at camps where leaders return home at night to flexible hours and working-from-home options for support roles.
- Working with programs specifically designed to strengthen and model leadership for young women alongside a team of female leaders specifically selected for their unique leadership strengths and skills.
“…being in the outdoors and learning in the outdoors can be vastly expanded, and I think maybe that’s what one of the things we’ve got to offer as women.”Gray, T. Allen-Craig, S., & Carpenter, C.
(2017). Selective Hearing: The Unrecognised Contribution of Women to the Outdoor Profession. Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education. 20(1). 25-34. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03401000
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians
First Nations people have learned and healed through community on Country for many thousands of years. We recognise and value the unique skills and knowledge our Indigenous Leaders bring to Country, our participants, and our professional community across all outdoor education programs.
Many outdoor education programs seek to engage young Indigenous or non-Indigenous people with culture and Country, from short sessions as part of a camp program to immersive experiences and journeys alongside Traditional Owners. The knowledge, background and skills offered by Indigenous Leaders are especially crucial in ensuring these experiences are impactful and culturally appropriate.
- Unique opportunities are available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people interested in choosing outdoor education pathways. These may include Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students associated with Box Hill or Victoria University accessing additional resources and support
- The possibility of being involved with programs offering sessions on Country run by Indigenous Elders, including sessions on Tungaurung Country (Victoria) or immersion on Mirrar Country (Northern Territory).
We recognise that veterans often bring practical and leadership skills that align well with the work of outdoor education. We are working on creating opportunities for veterans to have this prior experience recognised, allowing them to focus on upskilling in areas specific to nurturing the development of young people, and supporting them to move more quickly into outdoor educator roles.
Asylum Seekers and Refugees
We recognise the challenges for refugees or people seeking asylum, and understand that there may be barriers to finding employment once settled in Australia. We welcome the unique experience that refugees and people seeking asylum may bring from their previous careers and value the power for young people in experiencing the perspectives offered by diverse leaders, educators and support teams.
Outdoor Education employment can offer a sense of purpose and community, while also providing opportunities for skill building and career advancement.
We are working on developing programs specifically to welcome, support and train people from asylum seeker or refugee backgrounds.