History of the Regional Partnership Program

This significant regional outdoor education initiative began in the Hunter Valley (NSW) with the Coal & Allied community partnership in 2000. It has expanded to include Central West NSW, Mildura/Suraysia (VIC), Northern NSW, Southern NSW, South East NSW, Mid-West WA and South Western Sydney.

With Regional Partnerships programs now well established, with over 2500 young people from regional communities participating, there now exists the opportunity to build on the success of the Solid Foundations program expanding into South East Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, followed by South Australia, Tasmania and Northern Australia.

The Solid Foundations program (pitched around 15 year olds) is well complimented by Outward Bound's Aspiring Leaders Program (suited for 16-8 year olds). Communities are also keen to support broader development and may consider other program options, such as Navigator, Family, Summit-to-Sea, Pinnacle, Explorer, Catalyst, and Outward Bound's nationally recognised Cert IV in Outdoor Recreation 'Trained Leaders' Internship Program.

Outward Bound Australia's vision for Regional Partnerships programs is to foster the development of the youth of rural and regional Australia by providing experiential learning outdoor education opportunities which provide a catalyst to help our young people develop important life skills. In partnership with communities, schools and sponsors, these programs have enormous potential to work at the root cause of many of our most problematic social issues.

The elements learned on an Outward Bound course are all critical life skills for young people growing up in regional or marginalised areas, who lack access to the same opportunities that most of their peers in the city have.

Evaluation results from Regional Partnership programs have been very encouraging. They are above the average of Outward Bound's other industry-leading outdoor education programs, indicating a significant change in lifelong learning, and re-inforcing this initiative as a powerful, practical, effective and positive community development initiative.

At the conclusion of each program Outward Bound performs research and analysis on participant feedback and provides learning outcome results through Life Effectiveness Questionnaires.

If you would like to know more about our regional or community partnerships or are interested in beginning such an initiative in your region, please contact the Partnerships Team.