Honouring our OEAQ Fellows
In recognition of their longstanding contribution, OEAQ has honoured certain individuals who have been integral to the advancement of outdoor education and the outdoor edu community in Queensland.
It is with gratitude and respect that we can honour them here.
Read on to understand the role Rob Simson played in the development of OEAQ.
Rob Simson was made a Fellow of OEAQ at the association’s tenth anniversary dinner on 29th Feb 1992 in recognition of his decade of service. Together with Cave Batt and Tim Trehearn, he was one of the founding member of OEAQ when the organisation was formed in 1981.
The following year (1982) he organised 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 delivered a paper on the Project Arcadia expedition program (1974-5) – three expeditions in the Carnarvon Ranges which he organised with Paul Feeney.
Rob’s outdoor interest was in Geography, Geographical Field Studies and Bushwalking. He was on a learning curve at Maroon regarding canoeing, sailing and rock climbing, however he was never a fan of ropes courses, thinking them rather ‘artificial’ where the environment was not the challenge, just the backdrop.
With Helen Sherriff he started the orienteering programs at Maroon OEC. Orienteering soon became one of his passions. He went on to produce over 30 orienteering maps, founded the Toohey Forest Orienteering Club, hosted many events, and promoted school orienteering. He was national Secretary for School Orienteering with School Sport Australia from the first year of the ASOC in 1989 for ten years. Later, his work as a principal in mainstream education took him out of the outdoor scene, but not the outdoor scene out of him.
He represented Queensland Orienteering as a founding member of the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation (QORF), and was made a Life member of that organisation in 2010, in recognition of his services to outdoor recreation in Queensland.
He has published two novels. Cave Hill could be regarded as memoir through fiction. To and From God, his spiritual memoir, has a lot to do with his Outdoor Education and teaching life.