The Australian Outward Bound Development Fund (AOBDF) was established in 1999. It was founded to enable Outward Bound programs to be as accessible as possible, we provide Outward Bound Scholarships to those who are financially, socially and geographically disadvantaged. We know that more young people experiencing a holistic education will help them realise their potential at a critical developmental phase in their lives. This will contribute to building a positive society of well-rounded, resilient, responsible and adaptable, passionate and compassionate people.

AOBDF is a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) as well as being endorsed as an Income Tax Exempt Charity (ITEC) and a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR).

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Community partners

We have work in partnership with other community organisations that are addressing the gap of generational disadvantage in education. Some of these partners include The Smith Family, Beacon Foundation, Country Education Foundation, Graham Polly Farmer Foundation, Australian Indigenous Education Foundation, National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy, Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience, Queensland Police Service, and Duke of Edinburgh.



Funding Partners

The Australian Outward Bound Development Fund values the goodwill and support of individuals and organisations that help us in our commitment to building stronger communities across Australia.


These partnerships and programs have been funded by private donors, Trusts, Foundations and Corporations including the Qantas Foundation, Trust Company, Ian Potter Foundation, Equity Trustees, QLD Government, Westpac Foundation, Coal & Allied, Boral & Aurizon.


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 committed 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.