About UsLive Life Outdoors
Outdoors Victoria (OV) is the peak body for all Outdoor activities in Victoria. We exist to support the Outdoors Community, to advocate the benefits of outdoor activity to the broader community.
Our purpose is to build a valued and sustainable outdoor sector for the benefit of the community and natural environment by enhancing, connecting, and advocating on behalf of outdoor education, outdoor recreation, outdoor therapy and nature based tourism.
What We Do
We provide advocacy to all levels of government on behalf of the Outdoors Sector, often in collaboration with other peak bodies and associations.
Outdoor Providers and Camps Subcommittee
This subcommittee includes a number of large and medium-sized businesses across the Outdoor Provider and Camps (OP&C) industry in Victoria. It functions as a reference point for the CEO and OV Board into the OP&C sector, to inform their work in advocating for, and supporting the Outdoors industry in Victoria.
The current Chair of the Subcommittee is OV board member, Anthony Hall.
Coordination & Delivery
The annual Education Outdoors Conference is our major event for the year. Through this event , and the deliverance of a professional learning series we provide important educational and networking opportunities for the outdoor learning sector.
Showcasing Outdoor Career Pathways
In 2018 in partnership with Victoria University, we launched the first ‘Careers in the Outdoors Day’ for Victorian school students.
Resources for the Outdoor Sector
We provide resource for the outdoors learning sector on a range of issues and initiatives through our help desk service to members and our monthly newsletter.
Safety Guidelines Projects
We guide efforts to improve and enhance the safety and regulatory environment associated with outdoor learning, through our work on the review of the DET’s Safety Guidelines for Education Outdoors (SGEO)
Through our ongoing work as the National Secretariat of the Australian Adventure Activity Standards (Aust. AAS), we provide advice to the outdoors sector on current safety and regulatory developments by
Develop, Deliver and Support Initiatives and Programs
We either support initiatives that help improve the health, wellbeing and the outdoor education of Victorians or work with people in the sector to help develop new programs, such as the new Nature Stewards Program.
Facilitating and supporting Research
Amongst other leading organisations in the sector Outdoors Victoria actively supports research teams such as OYPRA & The UPLOADS Project, who provide invaluable insights that guide strategic development.
Meet Our Staff
Andrew Knight joined Outdoors Victoria in 2016 with a passion for the outdoors reaching right back to his time in Cubs and Scouts, learning how to live in the bush, snow and on water, while having fun with friends and family. Andrew spent 10 years as an active patrol member of the Lorne Surf Life Saving Club and was Patrol Captain for many of those years. Andrew has extensive management experience in the automotive, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), and retail sectors working in Australia, the UK and USA. More recently Andrew has done important work in national roles for Not for Profits in the areas of fresh food rescue and community finance. He formed shared-value partnerships with a number of Australia’s largest corporates and governments, to generate positive outcomes for the Australian community. Andrew is skilled at bringing together complex groups, identifying common ground and then achieving the best results for the community. Married with two children, Andrew’s family frequently get away in their caravan to explore the staggering array of landscapes and activities Victoria has to offer. As OV’s CEO, Andrew enjoys meeting and working closely with Victoria’s Outdoor Education, Recreation, Therapy and Nature Based Tourism organisations.
Robyn began working with OV in early 2014 & has coordinated 6 Education Outdoors conferences. She is responsible for the daily running of the OV office from database, website and digital communications. She previously worked for 3 years at The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and has a deep love of the outdoors and a belief that conscious connection to the outdoors is essential for everyone’s mental health.
Dave has a lifelong passion for the outdoors and a broad background in Outdoor Education and Recreation. Dave feels privileged to have worked in the outdoor sector for over 14 years across a wide variety of activities, roles and organisations. More recently Dave can be found embracing winter twice a year ski instructing and guiding in Australia and Japan. (Yes we are all jealous) Dave told us that if he had a magical superpower it would be to shoot spaghetti a great distance out of his fingertips at will!
Nikki Lovell LLB
Climbing Development Officer
Nikki joined Outdoors Victoria in February 2020 as the Climbing Development Officer. In this position Nikki is exploring whether Victoria would benefit from having a peak body for rock-climbing, how such a body would most effectively and sustainably be structured, and completing a consultation process across the climbing community. This role is as a result of a grant from Sport and Recreation Victoria, and part of the grant is that Nikki will also spend a proportion of her time supporting Sport Climbing Victoria events and administration.
Nikki first discovered climbing when she was 15 and was immediately hooked. She loved the creative problem solving involved in conquering a route or boulder problem and pushing herself both physically and mentally to do things that at first seemed impossible. Nikki is also incredibly grateful for the beautiful outdoor places where climbing has led her, and all the people she has met through this shared passion. Nikki acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which she works, recreates and lives, and recognises their continuing connection to land, water and community. She pays respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
Professionally, Nikki comes from formal legal training and practice, and community development background where she has held leadership positions at many not-for-profit organisations. She is incredibly excited to now be leading this legacy piece of work.
Nature Kindergarten Facilitator
Rose has worked as an early childhood teacher, a primary school teacher and a playgroup facilitator in both indoor and outdoor settings. She has been part of the not-for-profit network and professional learning group the Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Network (ECOLN) since it’s inception in early 2014.
Rose grew up hiking and camping in the UK and re-discovered her love for the outdoors after moving to Australia 17 years ago. Rose has a passion for sharing her love of nature with young children and families and believes that fostering a love for the outdoors in young children is a necessary step to promoting sustainable thinking. She would like to acknowledge the influence of First People’s perspectives on deepening her understanding of what it means to live, work and play on another’s country.
Luke is a former teacher and is the current Education advisor for Outdoors Victoria for over 4 years where he works with numerous stakeholders including teaching organisations, Schools, and the Department of Education to encourage outdoor learning across the curriculum.
Furthermore, he is a University Lecturer at Australian Catholic University in Outdoor Education, PE, Health and ICT. Luke is the founder of one of Western Victoria’s first Aerial (drones) & VR imaging companies with clients including Universal Studios Hollywood, Warner Brothers Hollywood and the AFL to name a few.
Luke enjoys playing AFL football for his local team, but has a particular fondness for Skiing, White Water Rafting and Rock Climbing in combination with many other adventure activities.
Dr. Maddy Willcock
Nature Stewards Project Co ordinator
Maddy Willcock can frequently be found in her preferred natural habitat, the great outdoors, camping, relaxing, and probably checking out any local volcanoes. Childhood family and scouting adventures ignited a great respect, love, and spiritual connection with the natural environment. Supporting others with their connection with the environment, is a key passion. Maddy has continued to explore and learn in the great outdoors through her career in geological field research and STEM education program development, and in her training in land management and art therapy.”