Outdoor Education Coordinator

Padua College, Brisbane

Dan Rush  

How did you get into Outdoor Ed? Where did you study? What did you do?

Apprenticeship in Cooking: Because I like eating good food, experimenting with different techniques and exploring regional food styles and produce
Diploma in OH&S: because I was active in the outdoors and loved gaining knowledge to prevent bad things from happening
Diploma in Outdoor Recreation: To solidify some of the high level qualifications I have in the sports I love like: rock climbing, canyoning, caving, mountain biking, surfing, white water canoeing and kayaking, rafting, scuba diving, sailing and 4WD stuff.
Currently studying: B VET.

What is your work history? Why did you make those choices?
Teacher at North Point Tafe: Similar to having an apprentice working for you, I enjoyed teaching young people new skills.
Contract OE Churchie: Like the staff working there and could contribute to the team. Enjoyed the program and outcomes for the kids.
Full-time at St Joseph’s: My high school; great program and campus. Program had been developed by my role models and showed excellent sequential program.
Coordinator at Padua College: New role to develop and shape the future of OE at a school that had a terrific campus but lacked the program design.

What do you love about working in outdoor education?
I enjoy being outdoors, the adventures, the experiences, the places and the people. I like see the learning that takes places and the light bulb moments where people piece together meaning.

What are the challenges of working in outdoor education?
Being away from family and your children and being a present dad when I am with them.

What would you like to do in your OE future?
I think possibly some more work with adult learners in the corporate market place and also some more guide training. I see spending time with family on trips outdoor as life-giving rather than being all focused on work priorities.

What have been some of the highlights of your OE career to date?
Designing and building ropes courses, international travel, innovative programming, building relationships with the students, building capacity in school teachers and staff

How have you grown through your OE work?
Better skills and ability to judge conditions in the field and make active risk management decisions, managing staff and people, restorative practices.

What advice would you give to people just getting into outdoor education?
Get out there, try everything, ask questions, look for role models and spend time developing your own skill set.