How Regional Partnerships Work
In the first instance, Regional Partnerships begin when a community identifies problems or opportunities for young people, and that they want to provide solutions for their young people via greater educational opportunities in life. This involve the coming together of community champions who are motivated and willing to take a leadership role in promoting and coordinating programs at a local level.
There are four key ingredients:
* A community that wants to provide their young people with greater educational opportunities in life, and has the motivation to get the program started;
* Community champions who are willing to take a leadership role in promoting and coordinating the programs at a local level;
* A sponsor willing to assist with the costs of the program; and
* Outward Bound. The Outward Bound program suite is an innovative set of public open enrolment, education and corporate programs.
Through Regional Partnerships in the initial stages a community is encouraged to develop scholarship initiatives through public open enrolment programs. The Community Partnerships Manager and Public Enrolments team manage this initial process and liaise with the Regional Partnerships Manager. These programs include:
1. Youth - Navigator (12 days, 16-18 years)
2. Adults - Catalyst, Explorer, Pinnacle and Summit to Sea (from 5 to 26 days, city to the wilderness, for ages 18 -80)
3. Family (9 days) Mother and Daughter, Father and Son, Entire Families
In the next stage of the Regional Community Partnership Development process, community action groups, developed in conjunction with the Partnerships Team, are encouraged to support the development of a broad based Regional Education Program through the Outward Bound Foundations (School Year 9 level) Program. Finally Regional Partnerships are supported in the development of a Regional Leadership Program and development of a Corporate Program, to assist the Youth and School based programs with general community learning.
Outward Bound would encourage a community to build a program plan incorporating active outdoor experiential education opportunities in conjunction with community groups, the corporate sector, local government and education authorities as well as local schools. Outward Bound has a history and a successful structure in place to nurture these communities and present to them the opportunities available to them including a funding model, sustainability kit and a program plan.
The Funding Model
Cost is the major obstacle in the initial stages. To assist with this, seed funding is available through the Australian Outward Bound Development Fund. It is applied on a tiered basis, and gradually reduced over time. For example: 80% course costs sponsored in Year 1; 60% in Year 2; 40% in Year 3 and so on. This empowers the supported community to progressively take on more responsibility for funding their own program. This is critical to the longevity of the programs as long-term sponsorship cannot be guaranteed.