Community Organisations support Inaugural Rainforest Navigator Program


Last year’s acquisition of Northern NSW based Outdoor Education provider Inter-action has been hailed a success by the community after the inaugural Outward Bound Youth Navigator course received strong support from local organisations and Outward Bound’s National supporters.

The Inaugural Rainforest Navigator course, held over 12 days from 7th to 19th January at Uki’s OutwardBound@Inter-Action, has accelerated the momentum of the business in the local market, with 15 students from Northern NSW and South-East QLD attending the course.

Australian Lions Clubs, which have had a long-standing involvement in Outward Bound programs across the country, also demonstrated their commitment to the new program with the co-sponsorship of 13 students by Q1 District Lions Clubs and the Australian Outward Bound Development Fund (AODBF).

In addition to local Lions clubs, the initiative involved working with the Queensland Department of Communities and NSW Department of Community Services to provide five children in foster care an opportunity to attend the course. Along with families of participants, the following Lions Clubs worked together to raise funds for the 13 co-sponsored students to participate in the inaugural course: Lions Clubs of Casino, Brisbane Macgregor, Robina, Logan Ladies Brisbane, Ballina, East Ballina, Lismore, Burleigh Heads, Camp Hill-Caringdale, Rochedale-Springwood, Macleay Island and Bonaldo, as well as the Lions Club of Tweed Coast South who provided transport for the four Queensland children in foster care.

This co-sponsorship initiative, modelled on Outward Bound’s Community Partnership program with Lions, was made possible by Past District Governor Tony Cornell, who was appointed to coordinate all participating Lions Clubs in the area and who worked tirelessly to make the ambitious project come to fruition.

“This was a new venture for our Lions District; it is our intention to build on the success of the camp,” Mr Cornell said. benshay

“We believe we can establish Outward Bound as a more prominent and worthwhile activity in Queensland.

“Based on the success of this program, we are now currently working on the next course at Uki.”

While two girls had to withdraw due to illness during the course, it was a highly successful program with thirteen individually charged teenagers finishing as a fully bonded team, tired but fulfilled and, according to instructors not wanting to leave.

Lions sponsored participant Lara Ran said the course has helped her relate to outside situations based on what she accomplished during the program.

“If I can walk up Mount Jerusalem, surely I can publish speak!” Lara said.

Likewise, Ben Parker who was also sponsored by Lions said he’s gained a lot of self-awareness as during the course.

“It showed me that the only thing that will stop me is me…And that people really do notice the little things you do for them,” said Ben.

The program also significantly impacted the two participants not sponsored by Lions, Jack Walkowiak and James Barry, who gained invaluable experience from their exposure to the Lions sponsored effort and each personally contributed to the strong group dynamic.

“Outward Bound is the best thing I have done in my life so far. It’s worth every second,” Jack said.

James Barry said, “My comfort bubble was popped” “It was one of the best things I’ve ever done”.

The next Outward Bound Rainforest Navigator course will run from July 2nd to July 13th and Lions clubs are already working on the program. If you know of someone who could benefit from a life-changing Outward Bound experience in the Northern NSW or South-east QLD area, or a Lions club that would like to get involved in the initiative, please contact:
Lions PDG Tony Cornell 
ph: 02 6680 2011
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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