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Outward Bound acquires Northern NSW site - OutwardBound@InterAction is born!

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Inter-Action Director Greg Smith and Outward Bound CEO Darren Black formalise the OutwardBound@InterAction deal

A partnership between Outward Bound Australia and Northern New South Wales based Outdoor Education provider Inter-Action has been formalised with an acquisition deal that will see the birth of an exciting new endeavour - OutwardBound@InterAction.

Outward Bound’s official acquisition of Inter-Action on July 1 comes as a result of the aligning needs of both organisations; Outward Bound’s need for a site to service the South East QLD and Northern NSW market and  Director and Founder of Inter-Action, Greg Smith’s desire to see his groundwork continue with a value aligned organisation.

Greg said the deal will enable both organisations to formally begin the work of realising their potential as a greater organisation.

“Outward Bound and Inter-Action are a great match philosophically,” said Mr Smith.

“We both focus on providing a mixture of journey and activity-based programs. Outward Bound needed a site and Inter-Action had the strong local knowledge and track-record to match.”


Born of Greg’s dream to run an Outdoor Education and Retreat Centre based on his own senior and post school education experiences, Inter-Action began in October 1995 as a facility built entirely from cash flow, recycled timber from the on-site property and a ‘can-do’ attitude.

After running a program for its first customer in 1996 and making $1000 in its first year, the small organisation began to flourish due to local market needs, cost effectiveness and great, intimate customer service.

Fifteen years later, Greg’s desire to continue his dream beyond his own tenure as Director initiated a partnership with Outward Bound that would enable the teams to ‘share the load’. A long, due diligence process led to confirmation that Outward Bound Australia’s desire for a Northern NSW base fitted well with the region’s market demands and the acquisition deal was signed-off.

Moving forward, the joint organisation will seek to capture the best aspects of Outward Bound and Inter-Action and bring the two together to make OutwardBount@InterAction a bigger, better provider of Outdoor Experiential Learning.


While OutwardBound@InterAction will continue to service all of Inter-Action’s past clients, deliver its own programs and manage its own staff and customer relationships, the organisation’s delivery capacity will be maximised by acquiring seasonal Outward Bound clients and new public programs.

Outward Bound CEO Darren Black said the formation of OutwardBound@InterAction is a major step forward for Outdoor Education on the east coast of Australia.

“The acquisition gives Outward Bound a permanent presence now to grow in South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales, enabling locals to continue to benefit from the life-changing journeys offered by both organisations,” Mr Black said.

“Outward Bound is excited to acquire a solid client base and begin working with the terrific management team at Inter-Action, along with their outstanding facilities, equipment and the benefit of all of Greg Smith’s many years of experience in Outdoor Education.

“We look forward to building on the great foundation that Greg has built over the past 15 years.”

For more information on programs at OutwardBound@InterAction click here or contact Greg Smith ph. 02 6679 7070
or 0429 872 386.

Students reflect on their journey while taking in the beautiful Northern New South Wales scenery



St Joseph's students trade tech for trek


More than 100 St Joseph’s Aberdeen High School students have returned from a five day wilderness adventure with valuable life lessons about perseverance and leadership as part of a continuing program with Outward Bound Australia.

The Year Nine students left their creature comforts at home as their resilience was put to the test in Canberra’s Namadgi National park during a range of challenges including abseiling, trekking and rock climbing, armed with only what they could carry on their backs to keep them warm during the cool September nights.

The course offers a personal challenge to the students of their perceived limits and encourages them to push against the ‘easy way out’. During the course, students learned to develop initiative through taking on challenges such as the ‘Spiders Web’, where they must use their communication skills and trust to help each other through a tricky maze of ropes. The concept of leadership was also introduced to the Year Nine’s through navigation challenges where the students take turns navigating teams through the national park.

Student Chloe McBeath said the course has been very challenging but everyone is getting in and having a go.

“Some things have been really hard, especially the abseiling, but everyone has tried their hardest and had fun too,” Chloe said.

The Outward Bound course has become a marker to indicate a rite of passage for all St Joseph’s Year Nine students and has been part of the school’s personal development curriculum since 2005.

p8306541St Joseph’s teacher Alison Tilse said the Outward Bound course aligns closely with the school’s own values and has become an important part of the students’ transition from junior school (yrs 7-9) into senior school (yrs 10-12).

“The program challenges the students in the natural environment without the shields of modern technology and the comforts of home,” said Ms Tilse.

“They are called upon to draw on their own personal resources and to discover and develop leadership qualities such as resilience, self- determination, teamwork and organisation.

“It is very well supported by all members of the school and local community including students, parents, staff and local businesses and organisations. Our students readily refer to OB as an “experience of a lifetime.”

Outward Bound CEO Darren Black believes outdoor adventures are crucial for the development of young Australians so they can discover, develop and achieve their potential.

“The course stretches students mentally and physically, but the challenge helps them grow,” Mr Black said.

“They learn to work together and draw strength from each other to succeed, developing the most positive elements of the human character consistent with our core values of integrity, responsibility, resilience, compassion, service and human potential.”

Outward Bound Australia has been helping Australians develop life skills through outdoor adventure for over 50 years and delivers outdoor learning programs to thousands of students every year.

In addition to its schools program, Outward Bound also offers courses for families and adults - with the longest being an epic, 26-day adventure that takes participants from ‘Summit to Sea’ in south eastern Australia.


For more information about Outward Bound and their courses, visit



Outward Bound sets up for success at School Education Expo

schools expo webtile


The 2011 Sydney School Education Expo™ will get a taste of education with a difference this Saturday and Sunday, as Outward Bound sets up a stall to encourage students to unlock their potential by attending a Navigator Course in the great Aussie outdoors.

Outward Bound’s stall will give students, parents and teachers an opportunity to learn about the Youth and Family courses and connect face-to-face with Outward Bound staff.

Over two days, Outward Bound staff will speak to visitors about the challenges of finishing school and transition into adulthood that can be overcome with the confidence, resilience and life-skills learnt during Outward Bound programs.

schools expo2

The School Education Expo™, now in its seventh year, is an award-winning community event which showcases everything educational for school years.

Public Enrolments Officer Phoebe Saunders said Outward Bound’s presence at the expo will encourage visitors to think outside the box about education.

“It’s a great way to open teachers’ & parents’ eyes to opportunities outside the classroom that will help students learn more about their strengths and abilities,” Ms Saunders said.

“Our Youth and Family courses offer an experiential style of education, where teenagers and parents can learn about themselves and connect with people in a setting away from the home and school environment.”


School Education Expo™ Organiser Elizabeth Christie said the expo provides exhibitors with a unique opportunity to showcase their products, resources and services.

“The expo is a powerhouse of information on everything educational from early learning to Year 12,” Ms Christie said.

Outward Bound Australia will be located at booth G6 at The School Education Expo™,   3 & 4 September 2011 at the Sports Centre, Olympic Boulevard, Sydney Olympic Park.

To view a floor plan of the booths, click here.

For more information about the School Education Expo™, visit

If you would like more information about Outward Bound’s Public courses for Youth and Family please contact Public Enrolments Officer Phoebe Saunders, ph. 02 6235 5709, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Outward Bound and Rotary snuggle up to help those in need


On a recent visit to Bunbury, Claire Peck & Damon Croke of Outward Bound Australia dropped off an unusual but welcome delivery to the Rotary Club of Bunbury Leschenault.

One hundred sleeping bags, retired from faithful service on programs in the wild Walpole wilderness, are on their way to providing a warm night this winter for the homeless and those less fortunate in Bunbury.

Thanks to the networks of Rotary club members Ian Telfer and Graham Houghton the sleeping bags have already been passed on to groups that cater for the disadvantaged and homeless including the Salvation Army and Bunbury In Town Lunch Centre. Mr Telfer and Mr Houghton have also dropped some of the bags off to Accord West, an agency that deals with crisis accommodation and housing.

Mr Tefler said the sleeping bags will make a great difference to those in Bunbury in need.

“This is a terrific donation from Outward Bound Australia. Our heartfelt thanks go out to the crew at Outward Bound,” Mr Telfer said.

The Rotary Club of Bunbury Leschenault has over the years run a range of appeals and fund raising efforts for those in need in the community, including the popular Give a Damn Give a Can appeal run each May.

bunburyrotarysleepingbags1Outward Bound Australia (OBA) and Rotary have also come together in order to help create life changing opportunities for the youth in Bunbury, encouraging support in the form of scholarships for Outward Bound’s award winning Navigator Program.

Navigator is a unique 12 day youth development and leadership program, set in the magnificent Walpole-Nornalup National Park.

Outward Bound CEO Darren Black said the partnership with Rotary provides an avenue for many young Australians to challenge themselves and set goals for their future.

“It’s an opportunity to develop the most positive elements of the human character through expeditions into the wilderness,” Mr Black said.

“The course is both an internal and external journey of discovery that helps adolescents to develop inner strength, teamwork and leadership skills to sustain them, and their communities, throughout their adult lives."

Navigator caters for youth aged 15-18, and recently won the 2011 Outdoors WA Industry Award for “Best Expedition into the Outdoors by a Group”. It is also endorsed by the WA Curriculum Council, enabling participants to receive 10 points toward their WA Certificate of Education.

Outward Bound is an independent non-for-profit organisation, with a long standing history and commitment to Western Australia. Dedicated to helping others discover, develop and achieve their potential through challenging and inspiring journeys, they have been operating in Walpole WA for the past 23 years, and seek now to build lasting partnerships with like minded youth agencies and community clubs.

WA Partnerships Manager for Outward Bound Claire Peck said providing opportunities for all West Australians is Outward Bound’s current goal.

“This is only made possible by the passionate support of clubs like Rotary and Lions, who are true ambassadors for youth in their communities,” said Ms Peck.

“Whilst the Navigator program is open to anyone aged 15-18, by linking in with other community organisations we can better identify those who would benefit most from an opportunity such as Navigator, and also provide the means for them to make it a reality.”

Outward Bound are industry leaders in their field, not only working with youth, but helping families, adults and corporate groups reach beyond their limits through exhilarating outdoor education programs that take them to a place apart and challenge them to reach their full potential.

If you would like to find out more about opportunities with Outward Bound in Western Australia contact WA Partnerships Manager Claire Peck:
Ph: 0407 095 130
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Learning for Life with The Smith Family


Thirty five year eight students from across Western Sydney have spent five days in Tharwa in the ACT,after being selected by The Smith Family to take part in a personal development course with a difference.

Supported by The Smith Family’s suite of Learning for Life educational support programs, the students embarked on an Outward Bound Australia adventure designed to help them grow in self confidence, bond with others and develop their resilience and social skills.

Nestled on the fringe of the Namadgi National Park, Outward Bound’s base rests outside of the comfort zone for most of the city-based students,. Being isolated from all of their creature comforts removes distractions for the students and provides opportunity for reflection and goal setting.

The students, who reside in and around Mt. Druitt in Western Sydney, participate in activities such as expeditions into the wilderness, rock climbing, ropes courses and a series of fun initiatives that help students meet the aims of the Outward Bound component of the program.

The Smith Family's Learning for Life program supports disadvantaged children and young people all the way through their education, from pre-school and primary school, to senior school and on to tertiary studies if they choose.

The Smith Family CEO, Dr Lisa O’Brien said The Smith Family’s partnership with Outward Bound allows for students to take part in experiences which may otherwise not be available to them and which complement classroom learning.

“This personal development course forms part of the holistic approach we take to children’s education, helping them develop vital life skills, stay engaged in their education and reach their full potential,” Dr O’Brien said.

Outward Bound Australia has worked with The Smith Family on several occasions, most notably the National Aspiring Leaders Summit. Each year students from across the country travel to Canberra for a special leadership forum. CEO, Darren Black said the partnership with The Smith Family provides an avenue for many disadvantaged Australians to challenge themselves and set goals for their future.

“We’re pleased to be working in collaboration with The Smith Family. At Outward Bound we feel that all young Australians have the right to discover and achieve their full potential.”

“Students often find they are capable of much more than they ever thought possible when challenged. It’s a process we’re proud to help facilitate,” Mr Black said.

The students will return to Outward Bound next year, to build upon what they have learned.


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