OEAQ through the years

Click on the years below and it will expand to show you the major highlights of that year. Please let us know if there are important highlights we’ve missed.

1981 — Formed

OEAQ was formed by a few committed Queensland outdoor educational professionals, including Rob Simson, Dave Batt and Tim Trehearn.

1982 — Hosted the National Conference at Maroon OEC

OEAQ hosted the National Conference at Maroon OEC. Stewart Jackson was conference convenor and managed to secure Colin Mortlock from UK as the Keynote speaker. Colin was and still is one of the most experienced, knowledgeable and respected people in the world, concerning values, adventure and wild nature. At the conference Rob Simson delivered a paper on the Project Arcadia expedition program (1974-5) – three expeditions in the Carnarvon Ranges, which he organised with Paul Feeney.

1990 — First state conference

OEAQ inaugural state conference at Girls’ Grammar School Memorial OEC at Imbil 24-26 September 1990.


Outdoor Education – more than just doing it!” OEAQ State Conference at MOEC 5-6 October 1996.

1997 — Instrumental in forming Queensland’s peak body for outdoor recreation.

Senior staff in the Queensland Government sport and recreation agency allocated the initial funding to set-up a non-government organisation to advocate for the outdoor recreation industry. OEAQ Committee Member and Agency executive, Dave Batt was asked to help make this happen in 3 weeks. With much work from the then OEAQ management committee, we press-ganged various folk to come to meetings, agree on a name – the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation (QORF) – elected a management committee, incorporated the organisation, set-up a bank account, wrote a draft constitution, got approval from the QG sport and recreation agency, banked the initial grant and gave birth to QORF.


Outdoor Education in Schools”- 4th Queensland Outdoor Education Conference 24-25 October 1998 at Ferny Grove State Primary School. This conference had a major sponsor (K2 Base Camp) and “support” from Ferny Grove State School and Project Nature-Ed.


Rob Simson was made a Fellow of OEAQ at the tenth anniversary dinner on 29th Feb in recognition of his decade of service.


State conference held in Cairns in July.

2013 Macpac preentation


OEAQ hosts the 19th National Outdoor Education Conference at the University of the Sunshine Coast.  Foundation partners Wilderness Equipment and RAYS and OEA Supporters World Challenge and Macpac provided sponsorship to support the success of this conference.

OEAQ Key People

We’d like to acknowledge those folk who served (knowingly or otherwise) on the OEAQ management committee or assisted in other ways prior to 2005 and played an integral in role in ensuring the organisation’s sustainability and growth. Their names appear in no particular order.  Apologies if we’ve missed you. Please get in touch as we are keen to honour you here!

Genny Blades – ex-OEAQ President late-1980s-1994.

Derek Sheldon – Maroon Outdoor Education Centre (MOEC) foundation staffer, occasional OEAQ Vice President

Pam & Bruce Lanham –– early to mid-1980s, now teaching at Corinda SHS & Moreton Bay College respectively

Liz Jarvis – OEAQ Treasurer in the early 1980s; One of the founding staff of Hillbrook Anglican School & strong advocate for OE

Kathy Pinch – ex-MOEC; Professor of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, California State University, Sacramento, USA

Jim Johnson – Principal, Brisbane Grammar School, Pepperina Hill OEC 1980-2010 (tbc)

Kathy Kingsford – Director in the Qld Department of National Parks, Sport & Racing

Danny & Debbie Parkin – currently Dan works for Clarence Valley Regional Council & Deb is a primary school teacher

Tim Trehearn – involved in OE from 1981 & now involved in OE & related matters in the Cairns region

Peter Trehearn – worked at Brisbane Grammar School’s Pepperina Hill OEC until 2012 approximately.

Bruce Davis – worked at Camp Fairbairn OEC in 1994

Steve Coleman – worked at Townsville Grammar School in 1994

Ray Young – worked at Kinchant OEC near Mackay in 1994

Tony Hillias – DP, MOEC in late 1990s

Wendy Read – in the late 1990s & early 2000s Wendy was teaching in Brisbane and a keen orienteerer in her spare time

Curt Draheim – OEAQ President late 1990s & early 2000s. In 2012, was still in Education Qld

Peter McKenna – Peter is the current Principal of MOEC, and was chair of OEA until 2022 .

Mark Dingle – Works in Victoria

Rob Hales – Program Director: Sustainable Enterprise, Griffith University. Author of 2007 Outdoor Recreation Trends in SEQ

James & Carol McIntosh – James was the OEAQ President for more than 10 years concluding in 2016.  He provided direction and momentum , bring the OEAQ into the 21st century whilst balancing his role as Director of Outdoor Education at Brisbane Girls Grammar School. Carol, has been an ongoing supporter of the OEAQ dedicating much of her time to collating and editing the “Horizons” publication whilst balancing her teaching, family life and outdoor adventuring.

Virginia Mitchell — OEAQ president (2017 – 2018)

Others MIA: Karen Talbot; Greg Hossack; Steve Guihot, Steve Strong, Yoley Entsch; Tom Wixted, Mark Freakley, and Kim Polistina