Monday 9 to Thursday 12 April 2018, Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart

 Wisdom of the Past – Exploring the Future 

The 2018 biennial National Outdoor Education Conference will be hosted by Outdoor Education Tasmania from April 9-12 in Hobart, Tasmania.

The theme of the 2018 NOEC conference is “Wisdom of the Past – Exploring the Future.”

Delegates will be invited to examine and engage with historical foundations of long-held traditions of outdoor education, such as nature, risk, adventure, skill development and social and interpersonal development. More contemporary constructs of outdoor education will also be presented and interrogated, including local place-based education, environmental education, sustainability education and social justice.

We look forward to engaging with a variety of delegates representing the diverse outdoor education sector –  teachers, academics, instructors, tourism guides, students, commercial operators, and government officials are invited to attend.

Tasmania has spectacular natural environment for interacting with nature and Hobart will offer both inner city venues and beautiful outdoor sites to run a diverse program. This conference will have a uniquely Tasmanian twist as we celebrate the proud history and tradition of teaching and learning in the Tasmanian outdoors.

There will also be a number of social functions to catch up with interstate colleagues and meet delegates attending the conference for the first time:

  • Welcome drinks @ TMAG
  • Film Night – Winter on the Blade + The Lorax Project
  • NOEC 2018 Conference Dinner

Keynote speakers

Dr. Allen Hill, from New Zealand, will launch the conference with an inspiring keynote address at the opening function at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.  Allen will set the stage for the conference as he frames his talk around the theme of the conference:  Wisdom of the Past – Exploring the Future.

Dr. Mary Breunig hails from Canada and her keynote address draws on her extensive practice and research on cultural competency.  Mary will help us understand what cultural competency is and the ways in which outdoor educators can further develop cultural competency through intentional exploration of attitudes, awareness, knowledge and skills. 

Dr. Mark Leather, from the United Kingdom, will ask some important and, at times, hard and unsettling questions about Forest Schools in the United Kingdom (UK).  These questions are timely given the growing number of Forest Schools in Australia.

Dr. Bob Brown, from Tasmania, former state and federal politician, Green Party Leader and Senator. Bob Brown has been a life-long activist and in June 2012 he established the Bob Brown Foundation, a not for profit organisation dedicated to supporting environmental campaigns and green causes in Australia and Tasmania.

Biographies on these keynote speakers can be found here

Program Highlights

For those with an interest in hands-on teaching, we have some great presentations looking at issues of curriculum, assessment and pedagogy in outdoor education.

For those with a more practical skills interest, you can learn about how to start a fire without matches, or how to packraft, or how to build a boat.

And if you have an interest in early childhood/primary education, you’ll be able to hear about fantastic initiatives happening around Australia in this space.

From the academic stream, we’re delighted that leaders in the academic field of outdoor education in the tertiary sector will be presenting and will be pushing us to think deeply about the theoretical underpinnings of outdoor education as they tell us about their latest research findings!

There’s also indigenous sessions, environmental topics and much more, plus a fantastic Education in Action day. This provides you with the opportunity to get outdoors and engage in:

  • Learning for your students
  • Learning for Yourself or the Organisation
  • Learning for the Environment

All program details can be found here

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