ORIC’s Annual Outdoor Industry Conference, held in late August 2015 and attended by 180+ people from South Australia, Victoria and NSW, reconfirmed the value of this annual L&D event and true to its theme, Evolution in the Outdoors, outlined advancement within the organisation and positive outcomes for the sector.
A pre-conference training day on UPLOADS, the National Incident Dataset, pioneered by the University of the Sunshine Coast was held on Friday 27 August. Representatives from Tasmania joined others states for this training which was sponsored by TAFE Western, and gratefully appreciated by ORIC.
Highlights of the conference include:
- New research by PhD students and Masters students from Canberra University, University of the Sunshine Coast and University of Western Sydney, validating the benefits of involvement in outdoor experiential education. This research was echoed by Dr Briony Scott, Principal of Wenona Girls School, who praised the role of outdoor education in developing independency, responsibility and focus in students and the ensuing benefits to school life.
- An update from ORIC’s Strategic Business Officer, Liz Horne, on the Evolution of ORIC consultation and plans, including engaging Action Communications to help review ORIC’s brand, market presence etc. ; establishment of an Employers Reference group to begin to collaborate on workforce development issues; and agreement on the need to review ORIC’s Constitution and Governance Structure in greater depth at the AGM in October 28th.
- Presentations on facts and trends in physical literacy of children in Australia comparative to the rest of the world; trends in sport and government focus on active recreation; an inspiring session on work people are doing in the field; plus, high activity sessions with some great ideas for group activities.
A standards meeting was held at the conference to discuss the Draft Ropes Course and Flying Fox Australian Standards with 20+ ropes course builders and owners participating in a three-hour update.
As with previous years the conference provided a relaxed and convenient opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new people in the outdoors community.
According to Liz Horne, there was a great buzz between sessions and at the dinner. “Feedback has been positive with many people commenting on the renewed energy amongst members and conference attendees, due to the initiatives underway. Once again, a big thank you to our sponsors and exhibitors whose ongoing support and participation is important to the industry and ORIC as the peak body.”