Community Partnership Programs for Youth

Community Partnership Programs

School GroupOutward Bound's Community Partnerships  are a strategic initiative designed to foster growth in communities of regional Australia that allow not only the youth of the area but the whole community to benefit from an Outward Bound program.

Outward Bound Australia's vision for this initiative is to foster the development of the youth of rural and regional Australia by providing experiential learning opportunities which provide a catalyst to help our young people develop important life skills. In partnership with communities, schools and sponsoring organisations, businesses and corporations, these programs have enormous potential to work at the root cause of many of our most problematic social issues by giving youth the confidence, resilience and self-awareness to contribute positively to their communities.



History of the Program

The initiative began in the Hunter Valley (NSW) with the Coal & Allied Community Partnership in 2000. It has expanded to include Central West NSW, Mildura/Sunraysia (VIC), Northern NSW, Southern NSW, South East NSW, Mid-West WA and South Western Sydney.

With Community  Partnership 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  program model and expand to more regions around Australia.

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.

At the conclusion of each program Outward Bound performs research and analysis on participant feedback and provides learning outcome results through Life Effectiveness Questionnaires. Results from formal evaluation of these programs have been very encouraging and provide tangible outcomes to report to sponsors.

How Community Partnerships work

In the first instance,  Community Partnerships begin when a school, community group, local corporation, business or organisation  identifies a problem  or opportunity for young people and are commited to providing a solution. This involves 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

* Dedicated Outward Bound Program Managers and facilitator to provide an empowering program.

Outward Bound encourages communities 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 successful model and proven 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.

If you are interested in partnering with Outward Bound to sponsor a Community Partnership Program, or would like to get your community involved in the initiative, please contact:
Lucas Gamble
Australian Outward Bound Development Fund
1800 267 999
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