Victorians are preparing for another state election on 24 November, so let’s activate our campaigns to put the Outdoors front and centre in this year’s election.
The Outdoor Learning Classroom
- Outdoors Victoria have been working with several Nature Play and Bush Kinder groups and organisations, advocating for support to be able to offer equal access to these highly beneficial programs for the whole Victorian community. After briefing the Treasurer’s Office, we are now in dialogue with Minister Mikakos’s office, and the Department of Education.
- The wealthier parts of the State have been identified as already having access to many of these programs. Outdoors Victoria and our partners are strongly advocating that less privileged communities must have equal access to these great programs, which will give our kids a better start in life and lead to huge long-term benefits socially and economically for the whole Victorian community.
- Outdoors Victoria is also in dialogue with the Department of Education advocating for Primary Schools and High Schools to increase Learning Outside the Classroom across the curriculum of Prep to Year 10, to improve student physical activity levels, mental health outcomes and academic performance. With NAPLAN results from last year across the nation showing a stagnation in results in Years three, five, and seven, and a decline in performance in Year nine, different approaches to learning are needed to bolster teacher’s toolkits – and we know Outdoor Learning has a direct benefit to learning outcomes across the curriculum.
Nature-based Outdoor Recreation Activities
- Outdoors Victoria strongly supports the new Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, so they can continue to offer leadership scholarships for women, introducing pilot programs for gender equality in sport and recreation, and many other critically important initiatives.
- We endorse Canoeing Victoria’s efforts to get approval to build the new Westerfolds Park Regional Paddle Sports Centre on the Yarra River at Westerfolds Park in Templestowe. This centre will:
o increase the accessibility to all paddle sports for people of all abilities;
o offer a gender friendly facility; and,
o pave the way for several regional paddle centres across the State which are needed for this highly popular outdoor activity.
- If you’re in the Tourism sector you may have read VTIC’s comprehensive campaign: Tourism is Victoria’s Business. Two items on their 5 point plan are calling for: Expansion of the Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund & Investment in our Natural Assets and Regions, both of which Outdoors Victoria strongly supports, as we are dedicated to facilitating sustainable and respectful outdoors experiences right across the State.
- Parks Victoria: with 1,300 National and State Parks and Reserves and talented Rangers, has a lot to offer Victorians. The Victorian Government can unlock the further enormous potential social, economic, physical health and mental health benefits with a sustained further injection in Parks Victoria.
Outdoors Victoria welcomes the recent legislation enabling a path to Treaty with First Peoples and looks forward to further initiatives from all sides of politics on the ways in which self-determination and Treaty-making can be strengthened in the years ahead.
Please contact Andrew Knight, Ph.0437 452 456 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any feedback or further ideas and initiatives OV might support as there is still time to showcase and advocate for them.