Australian Outward Board Development Fund

Ensuring Outward Bound programs are accessible for all Australians, regardless of financial, social or geographical disadvantage.

Supporting Young Australians

The Australian Outward Bound Development Fund (AOBDF) is a charity established to give all Australians the opportunity to experience the life affirming benefits of an adventure learning program. AOBDF offers financial scholarships to selected participants who could not otherwise afford to attend a program with Outward Bound Australia.


The Australian Outward Bound Development Fund (AOBDF) was established in 1999 to provide Outward Bound Scholarships to financially, socially and geographically disadvantaged individuals.

When young people experience a holistic education, we believe they develop their potential, often at a critical developmental phase in their lives. Allowing young Australians to build strength of character, resilience and determination will contribute to producing a positive society of well-rounded, responsible, adaptable, passionate and compassionate people.

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 is now the opportunity to build on the program’s success 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.

After each program, Outward Bound performs research and analysis on participant feedback. This provides learning outcome results through Life Effectiveness Questionnaires. Results from these programs’ formal evaluations have been very encouraging and deliver tangible outcomes that we can then report back 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, and local schools. 

Community Partners Model

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.

We have worked in partnership with other community organisations that address 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.

Some of Our Community Partners
Business Partnering with Education
Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience
Beacon Foundation
Real Futures for Young Australians
National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy
The Smith Family
Everyone's Family
Wesley Mission Victoria
Helping People Most in Need
Supporting Young Australians
Our Funding Partners

We are incredibly thankful for the difference these partnerships and programs have made in many Australians’ lives. These opportunities, 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 have changed the trajectory of life for so many.

The Trust Company
Qantas Foundation
Coal & Allied
The Ian Potter Foundation
James N Kirby Foundation
Gandel Philanthropy
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