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National Aspiring Leaders return from week long Summit

Twenty nine young students selected by The Smith Family attended Outward Bound’s fifth annual National Aspiring Leaders Summit 2011 in June, a unique eight day leadership event held at Outward Bound Australia’s national base in Canberra.  Students now have the opportunity to share their newfound leadership skills with their local community as part of a planned action project.

The Summit is made possible by the support of The Smith Family, with the majority of the participants drawn from its Learning for Life program.

 The National Aspiring Leaders Summit is one of Outward Bound Australia’s premier leadership programs. The course equips participants with the skills and experience necessary to make a difference in their community. This year 29 young leaders attended the Summit.

 As part of the National Aspiring Leaders Summit, the participants develop a community action project designed to make positive change within their community. They end their time at the Summit by presenting their project plan to the others in the group and to a panel of experts, where they detail their plan, vision and reasons for choosing their cause.

 This year some of the projects include establishing local youth refuges, localised programs to support victims of bullying, initiatives to break down social barriers within communities, starting a healthy breakfast program, providing opportunities for teenage girls with disabilities and re-educating students on animal cruelty.

 Chief Executive Officer of The Smith Family, Dr Lisa O’Brien, said the Summit demonstrates the enormous drive and potential made by young people from less privileged backgrounds, to initiate and lead positive social change.

 “Now that the students have completed the course and are back at home, they have the opportunity to showcase the project they identified and developed during the week, and demonstrate leadership by implementing it within their local community,” Dr O’Brien said.

 Outward Bound Australia CEO Darren Black says the National Aspiring Leadership Summit is a highlight of Outward Bound’s calendar.

 “The Aspiring Leaders Summit is an amazing experience for everyone involved. The progress the young people make during their week at Outward Bound is amazing.”                         

“Their drive and commitment to making a difference in their community is inspiring to see. They will make fantastic leaders of the future,” Mr Black said.

View the full photo gallery here on Flikr (this gallery is password protected)


Ronald Frank Hatchett (6 June 1924 - 9 June 2011) Tribute: An Outward Bound Australia Champion

This week we celebrated the life and service of one of Outward Bound Australia’s true Champions.

Ron was a former Board Member, volunteer and "Trustee" of Outward Bound.  His service began in the 1970's and only ended when he passed away last week at age 87.


 Outward Bound CEO Darren Black gave a tribute to Ron at a Thanksgiving service in Sydney on 17 June.


























Above: Outward Bound CEO Darren Black and his wife Melissa with Ron.




Today I speak on behalf of Outward Bounders past and present. We remember Ron Hatchett, an old mate, community champion and servant to many, and we celebrate his faithful service and friendship.


Ron was a humble man, who gave much and sought little in return.  He was a champion of the community and Outward Bound was one of his continuing passions through to the end.


Ron is known to many Outward Bounders and I see two of our Chairman and several Board members here today to remember him.  Ron’s association with OB goes back almost as far as his involvement with legacy – some 40 years.  I am told it began with an invitation to serve from the then Chairman, Brig Fred McCallister.  I am told a request to serve from Fred was hard to deny but Ron certainly came willingly and gave much of himself in the many years since:


Tim Medhurst says during the days of the first Sydney Office – approx 1986-1996 - Ron spent many years volunteering 2 days a week in the office to help with accounting, insurance and then superannuation etc.


Tim recalls: “I recall that as a retired businessman from the insurance industry he would spend 2 days each week at OBA office, 2 days a week at Legacy Office and one day per week at golf!


Ron was also the host of countless OBA AGM’s which up until recent years where held at the Legacy House in York St, Sydney. Ron would be there serving beers after each AGM.


Ron was an OBA Board member for many years and was subsequently appointed a “Trustee” of Outward Bound, that is, he along with Ian Curlewis were entrusted with ensuring the continued good name of Outward Bound.


Tim, Peter Miller, William Crothers, Andrew Aitken, Julie Molloy and Alan Riches remember Ron as an absolute gentleman. He was the Board member who was there for the staff. He was there when needed or when things became tough – he was a wonderful mentor and supporter of OBA.


Darren Black: “To me Ron was a quite supporter, and an old mate.  Still trying to help when he was able and always with a positive word of support.  He was the definition of a Gentleman.


Ron was much loved and highly respected by all those who new him.  He will be missed.  Go in Peace old cobba.”



Hunter students thrive in Regional Partnership

Eighty-six students recently took part in the Hunter Regional Community Program designed to create new leaders in the community.

Six schools from the Upper and Lower Hunter region participated in the program, Scone High School, Muswellbrook High School, Singleton High School, All Saints College, Maitland High School and Francis Greenway High School.

The program was run in three national parks in the Northern NSW region, Mebbin National Park, Mont Jerusalem National Park and Nightcap National Park. Over the week the students put their limits to the test as they were pushed outside their comfort zones.

The program aims to enable its participants to understand that they direct their future, through their attitudes, choices, beliefs and actions.

The course focused on improving the student’s relationships skills, their own self awareness and self management. The challenges they face help them develop resilience, initiative and responsibility, while being able to appreciate service and the value of doing something for others.

Outward Bound courses provide experiential learning opportunities which aren’t available in the classroom.

"Outward Bound is great for kids to develop confidence, patience, social skills and outdoor skills" Samantha Tulloch, accompanying teacher from Muswellbrook High School said.

St Joseph's Campus of All Saints College documented their Outward Bound journey with a diary and video blog.

Click here to read the blog

This is the 12th consecutive year the Hunter Regional Community program has been run. The 2011 course was made possible with the support of long term partner Coal & Allied, which has committed nearly $220,000 over three years to the program.

Coal & Allied Principal Community Investment Stephen Sneddon said Coal & Allied is committed to helping develop strong and resilient communities in the Hunter, and supports life-long learning opportunities for local young people.

“We are pleased to partner with Outward Bound to provide experiences for students in the Hunter to test their skills such as teamwork, leadership, and problem solving,” Mr Sneddon said.

“The activities that the students participate in are undertaken in an outdoor setting, which also stimulates the children to learn through practical and hands on exercises that they may not necessarily get in the classroom.

“They are enjoyable but challenging and help our local young people develop their self-confidence at school and in life.”

Outward Bound Australia CEO Darren Black said the Hunter Regional Community Program is an example of the results achievable when organisations work together.

“Outward Bound is proud to have been able to make a difference in the Hunter region over the years this program has run.

“The support of Coal & Allied has not only made these courses possible, but made a big difference to the community and the future of the young people who have had the chance to go on course” Mr Black Said.


A FRIENDly Ride to Support Australian’s Living with Brain Injury

Former Outward Bound staff member and rugby coaching personality Andy Friend, along with his wife Kerri (also a former Outward Bound staff member), are embarking on a mountain bike challenge to raise awareness of acquired brain injury.

Andy will take on the Bicentennial National Trail in the 'FRIENDly Ride' challenge, with his wife supporting him as he attempts to ride his mountain bike from Cooktown, Queensland to their home town in Canberra.

In May 2010 Andy’s wife Kerri was involved in a mountain bike accident in which she suffered an acquired brain injury.  Since the accident Andy, Kerri and their sons have been striving towards a full recovery together.

Andy says, The FRIENDly Ride will push his limits for three months, both physically and mentally, as he rides through 5,000km of Australia’s toughest bush terrain on one of the most difficult bike trails in the world.

"The Bicentennial National Trail is one of two trails in the world rated a 10/10 in difficulty. The challenge for us is to work hard on the ride and work hard away from the bike as well, raising awareness and much needed funds where possible.  The beauty of this event is that I love the Australian bush and I love bike riding, so I’m determined to make this event a success,” he said.

Andy and Kerri will be raising money for Brain Injury Australia and the Australian Outward Bound Development Fund.  Both organisations offer assistance and support to those that suffer with acquired brain injuries while supporting them during their rehabilitation process.

The FRIENDly Ride will run from the 1st of September until the 3rd of December this year.  To show your support Click here to make a donation or simply follow the links to Brain Injury Australia and donate directly.


Read more: A FRIENDly Ride to Support Australian’s Living with Brain Injury


National Aspiring Leaders Summit 2011

NALS 2011

Outward Bound Australia’s National Aspiring Leaders Summit is one of Australia’s premier youth leadership events.

The course takes young people from across the nation to participate in a seven day program at Outward Bound’s National Base in Tharwa in the ACT. It will give them skills and experiences necessary to contribute to their communities in a positive way and make a difference.

The National Aspiring Leaders Summit is offered as a part of the Smith Family’s Learning for Life Program which supports disadvantaged children and young people throughout their education.  The Learning for Life Program aims to give young Australians the opportunity to develop important life skills, to stay interested in their education and to help them realise their potential.

The Smith Family

Outward Bound Australia would like to congratulate the following young Australian’s who have been selected to participate in the National Aspiring Leaders Summit for 2011:



Olivia Graham & Jack Riley



Grayce Cooper

Kim Cropper

Kimberley Guy

Aiden Harrison

Tara Lee Hawkins

Matthew Jester

Jonathan Milanovic

Samiul Sheens

Tahmecca Stoll



Nadine Austral & Naomi Roe



Eden Attwood

Chris-Henry Dallinger

Kelly Larsen

Taylah Shaw

Jasmine Simonyi

Merhawit Tesfay

Emily Ware

Bianca Webster



Joshua Holt

Emily Lizzul

Catherine O’Connor

April O’Neill



Agua Abuy

Oriel Elliss

Nikeasha Larsen-Gray

Brendan O’Donnell-Lewis

Tristan Ruck


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