2021 Awards Recipients

Outdoor Education Australia (OEA) in conjunction with its Foundation Partner, Wilderness Equipment, is pleased to announce the recipients of the inaugural — 2021 — Australian Outdoor Education Awards.

The OEA Awards recognise the work, dedication, leadership and service  of outdoor educators and organisations.

These awards are made possible due to the generous support of Wilderness Equipment and Macpac.

CONGRATULATIONS to all our worthy 2021 Winners. Read on to discover why there were so deserving.


The Alice Sloan Expedition

Delivered by Outdoor Education Foundation (charitable arm of The Outdoor Education Group)

Alice Sloan tragically lost her life when a tree fell on her tent during an outdoor education program in 2005. Alice was 16 years old and had a love for the outdoors, sport, and the arts. Her family courageously decided to establish the Alice Sloan Trust with the aim of supporting young women who otherwise may not have the opportunity to participate in activities that Alice loved.

Along with partners, The Outdoor Education Group and The Alexandra Secondary College, the Alice Sloan Expedition was designed. Now in its 16th year, close to 150 young women from regional Victoria have participated in the 10-day outdoor education expedition (and optional two-year leadership program) where they themselves live, on Taungurung land ((Alexandra/ Eildon area).

The program aims to support the young women to develop leadership skills, increase empowerment, and build community. Victoria University recently conducted an evaluation of the program, which included long-term impacts, and found that participation led to perceptions of enhanced empowerment and leadership, and a sense of community, all of which contributed positively to personal outcomes.


Helene de Lagillardaie

Helene joined Outward Bound Australia as a Group Leader in 2017 and was promoted to Senior Group Leader within 6 months. As a Program Co-ordinator in 2019 Helene delivered OB’s mobile seasons in NSW and Victoria. In 2020 – through the thick of COVID hibernation and re-emergence, Helene stepped up to lead OB’s operations. As a part of a small, passionate, cohesive and determined team, Helene has been pivotal lynchpin in Outward Bound’s survival and transformation. This included navigating bushfire, flood and COVID impacts to shift, reschedule and adapt complex operations across NSW, Victoria, WA and our base in the ACT. Helene’s dynamic and impact on people is magnetic – drawing in others to be a part of a special, challenging and exciting time at Outward Bound. This exceptional contribution was recognized by Helene receiving the 2020 Outward Bound Chair’s Award. Today she is responsible for Outward Bound’s field crew and expedition program delivery in all regional and mobile areas – in WA, Victoria and NSW.

Moore details on Helene here

“Helene is the exemplary outdoor education professional – amongst the best that Outward Bound has seen over its 60-year history in Australia.  Helene brings an ideal suite of qualities, skills and experience to create her own authentic approach to her outdoor education practice.            Intuitive compassion, integrity, and curiosity form the foundation of her brilliant facilitation skills. She is enormously respected by thee Outward Bound field crew. Modelling strong, confident female outdoor education practice and leadership in a new generational way, Helene is the type of practitioner that our industry needs to celebrate, recognize and look to attract and build more! Helene’s commitment to outdoor education is lion hearted.  She exemplifies that passion and practice that leads to safe, inspirational programs and the growth and development of our profession.”

Prior to joining Outward Bound Australia, Helene worked as a whitewater canoe guide for 5 seasons across Canada. As a highly proficient paddler and group leader, she led young people from 6 – 17 years of age on canoe trips on Canada’s spectacular wild rivers – with trips up to 26 days, covering 872km on water.     Earlier, Helene worked for two years as a group leader with primary children in years 3 – 6 in an outdoor centre in the Yorkshire Dales in the UK – where program activities extended from canoeing, climbing and hiking, to simple structured games and play.  Helen has an intuitive skill in working with children – tapping into their curiosity and creativity, knowing that they still believe that anything is possible prior to the doubt and societal impositions that often arrive with adolescence.  Helene studied for 2 years in Norway, completing an honours degree of outdoor adventure and nature guiding.  She also holds a bachelor degree in Sports Science from the University of Normandy, France.


Dan McNamara, ACT

Peter Blunt, ACT

Elizabeth Horne, NSW

Liz has contributed much to the outdoor Ed industry over three decades through leadership positions and shared her learnings from 10 years practical experience in the US.

In Australia she was Director of Programs, Teaching & Staff Development for The Outdoor Education Group for nine years. She. Strategic Business Officer for Outdoors NSW for 5 years and been an engagement executive with Skills IQ working with industry stakeholders to conduct a thorough national review the Outdoor Recreation Training Package product within the SIS Sport and Recreation Training Package. She has also been active contribute to the Australian Safety Standards with respect to various outdoor activities.

Phil Harrison, QLD

Phil is the Principal of the Tinaroo Environmental Education Centre (TEEC) on the Atheron Tableland.. Before coming to TEEC as a teacher in 2013, Phil taught in schools in Sydney and SE Queensland, and spent 7 years as a TAFE teacher in Cairns.

Mike Meredith, South Australia.

Mike has been a Secondary OE teacher for 25 years, many of those with Golden Grove High School – Outdoor Education Teacher.

Mike has been involved with the evolution of South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE), been an OEASA committee member, and help many other committee positions and representation across OE throughout his career.


In our augural year Fellowship was conferred to seven outstanding contributors for their many decades of service.

  1. Dr Ian Boyle FOEA, NSW
  2. Professor Tonia Gray FOEA, NSW
  3. Margot Hurrell FOEA, ACT
  4. Dr Scott Polley FOEA, SA
  5. Peter Martin FOEA, VIC
  6. Jackie Kiewa FOEA, QLD
  7. Dr Glyn Thomas FOEA, QLD

You can read all about our Fellows here.

With thanks to our

OEA Foundation Partner