Outdoor Learning

From bush kinders to educational and networking opportunities for the outdoor learning sector

OV advocates and supports outdoor learning as an important method of teaching, from the early years right through to  tertiary level. We have been involved in specifically supporting teachers running year 11 & 12 VCE outdoor education and environmental studies, as well as university & TAFE professionals.

Through the work of a dedicated staff member, David Hagel, as well as our Chair, Steve Mc Murtrie, we are guiding efforts to improve and enhance the safety and regulatory environment associated with outdoor learning through our work on the Safety Guidelines for Education Outdoors (SGEO), for the Department of Education and Training.

We’re also a part of the supporting team of research initiatives, such as Outdoor Youth Programs Research Alliance (OYPRA) which is an Australian group looking at documenting the benefits of outdoor programs for young people.

Additionally we support The UPLOADS Project. The information produced by UPLOADS will support organisations and the sector in future injury prevention activities, with the potential long term benefit being a reduction in injuries and a safer outdoor recreation sector for all.


Education Outdoors Conference

The Education Outdoors Conference is our major annual event in late May, provides professional learning for teachers, educators, students and outdoor providers within the outdoor education sector. Over the past 6 years the conference has been hosted across the state, including 3 major universities. With over 300 attendees, 50 presenters and 25 exhibitors. It’s the perfect chance to advance your PD whilst networking with colleagues and catching up with old friends.

Careers in the Outdoors Day

In 2018 & 2019 OV and Victoria University vave hosted the Careers in the Outdoors Day for year 9 & 10 students across the state. Representatives from many different areas of the Outdoor ran workshops exploring employment options, careers and how to excel in future careers by studying Outdoor Education and Environmental Studies. The event was 2 weeks away in 2020 before we had to cancel due to COVID-19 restrictions put in place in Victoria. Stay tuned for announcements in 2021. 

Outdoor Education

OV works closely with the TAFES & Universities of Victoria that run Outdoor Education Programs, whether it be through the holding of our annual conference, the development of PD programs or the sharing of resources.

Coming soon, a dedicated page of tertiary courses available.

Risk Benefit Approach to the Outdoors

OV will be opening up a dialogue with relevant businesses and organisations in the insurance, health and education areas to advocate  for the ‘Risk Benefit’ approach to active outdoor activities.

Outdoor Education Australia (OEA)

Access to OEA membership is via your Outdoors Victoria membership & the newest benefit to being a member of OEA is access to their digital library, which includes all issues of the Journal of Outdoor & Environmental Education. When you become an OV member you’ll receive your passwords to access the library. If you are not a member you can still purchase digital copies of the journal or single articles directly through the publisher.




Nature Stewards Program

OV’s Nature Stewards program is growing across the state! After five highly successful programs in 2019, more programs around Melbourne, in the west, and beyond are set for 2020!

The Nature Stewards program aims to develop the environmental literacy, participation, and stewardship of communities across the state. It supports participant wellbeing, social connections within local communities, and empowers participants to get out and active for nature.

The program involves an introductory 10-week program, with 10 class sessions and four field sessions delivered by an expert facilitator, with other expert guest and local volunteer group presenters. It is focussed on Victorian and local ecosystems and natural area management, given from local Aboriginal community and western perspectives. It support for volunteering numbers in local parks or natural areas with agencies or community environmental groups, building a new cohort of environmental volunteers. 

This initiative is significantly funded by DELWP as part of their biodiversity 2037 plan. Other partners are City of Greater Geelong, City of Melbourne, City of Melton, and Manningham Council.

For more information, to apply or partner with us, see https://outdoorsvictoria.org.au/nature-stewards/

Bush Play and Kinders in Victoria

There’s a lot of fantastic work being done in this space across the world. Check out these leading organisations in Victoria, who we are working with. They are at the forefront of the movement to  connect pre-schoolers to nature.

Policy: Help get Kids Outdoors

We believe that giving children better opportunities to learn and play in nature leads to lifelong improvements in their education, health and wellbeing outcomes. This is reflected in our Draft Outdoor Policy Agenda