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2023 National Conference
Conference Program

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Day 1 – Wednesday 20th September

  • Registration opens: 8am   

  • Conference Sessions Commence: 9:15am



Welcome to Country



ZoeBettison250Square.pngHon Zoe Bettison MP

Minister for Tourism and Multicultural Affairs, South Australia

Conference Open



danaubincasual2.jpgDan Aubin

Director, Daring Humans

"Balancing Powerful Change"

Dan Aubin offers a daring pathway for dealing with change. His diverse career in education, performance, business, and health, have given him a unique perspective as someone who helps others develop high-performance cultures and consider what it is to be a ‘daring human’. As someone who has had to find and re-find balance in his life in quite dramatic ways, Dan’s stories are packed full of adventure and practical tools for  adaptability, resilience and growth. He also has a background in elite gymnastics and circus so there might be a spectacular performance as well.

About Dan: Dan is a communication expert, speaker and facilitator who works across multiple sectors to help organisations bring important ideas to life. Through his company, Daring Humans, he works in communication, collaboration, strategy and wellness to create engagement, clarity and connection.

He holds degrees in Communication, English and Drama and has worked as a full-time lecturer / researcher at Charles Sturt University winning a faculty award for excellence and innovation.  Developing a culture of effective communication translates into valuable outcomes for the organisation and impactful professional development for individuals.

Dan has a background in elite gymnastics, acting, stunts, circus and physical theatre which fuels his embodied approach to presenting and teaching. 

Anna-Rickards-01.png​Anna Rickards

General Manager - National Quality Assurance, Health By Design

"How humans work best"
Understanding Human Performance:
Neuroscience and Behavior

In this session, we will explore:

  • The neuroscience factors that influence behavior patterns, performance, stress response, burnout, cognitive function (short and long term), mental health, immune system function, and physical health.
  • Stress Response Systems: Examining why individuals within a team may respond differently to a given workplace situation or life event.
  • Brain Reward Systems: Understanding how they work and how they are influenced by human interactions, challenges, work pressures, stressful events, and lifestyle factors such as sleep, exercise, and nutrition.
  • A toolkit of ideas and strategies to enhance individual and team health, performance, and mental well-being.

About AnnaAs the General Manager at Health By Design and an international speaker, Anna has collaborated with hundreds of organisations to enhance their employee productivity and wellness strategies, producing measurable results and meaningful outcomes.

Employee health has never been more crucial and intriguing. Anna assists organisations in addressing the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 and adapting to new business demands by teaching them how "humans work best." She establishes connections between physical health, mental well-being, and exceptional human performance.  This insight sparked Anna's interest in neuroscience, behavior change, maintaining wellness for healthy individuals, and facilitating strong recovery during challenging times.

With consulting experience spanning the US and Asia Pacific, working with The Human Performance Institute and Johnson & Johnson, Anna's expertise encompasses a diverse range of organisational structures and business challenges.

Peter McDougallPeterMcDwebimg.png

CEO, Australian Camps Association

"Sector Update"

After seven months as CEO of the Australian Camps Association, Peter will provide an insight into his background and his initial observations working in the sector; the challenges, opportunities and his strategic vision for the future working in collaboration with all ACA Members and key stakeholders. 

About Peter: Peter joined the ACA as CEO in early 2023 after nine years as CEO of the Northern Football Netball League (NFNL). Prior to working at the NFNL, Peter worked at AFL Victoria for 12 years as the Community Football Manager where he worked closely with all football leagues and clubs across the state. During this time, he was instrumental in providing support to all stakeholders, as well as improving the governance and management of many metro football leagues to make them a strong professional organisation. Peter has also worked closely with and to represent all stakeholders to federal/state/local government departments on key industry issues. Peter is very much a team focussed CEO who works closely with all staff to help the ACA achieve its strategic goals. 

Nick Payne.JPG​Nick Payne

Camping Manager, The Y NSW

"$44 Million Reasons To Think Big, Plan Big and Ask Big"

The Y NSW was successful in the NSW State Government Westinvest Grant, receiving $44,000,000 towards a $49,000,000 redevelopment project.  This success is a game changer for the Y NSW and has the ability to be a game changer for the outdoors industry.

The presentation will cover why we should think big as well as;
1. Master planning,
2. Community Impact
3. Core element to the successful grant submission

About Nick: "Started my Journey in Outdoor Education in 1991 where I was privileged to be part of joint program with the Army Adventure Training School and Outward Bound. This program and following 4 years in the 3 battalion gave me a thirst for adventure and drive the share adventure with others. After leaving the Army I became a youth worker specializing in intensive needs/challenging behaviours and medium was the outdoors and adventure. My first passion was white water kayaking, I have been part of a first decent expedition in Tibet, paddled Nepal and spent time chasing the rain at home. My latest passion is mountain biking, living in the Blue Mountains I just roll out the door and the adventure begins. I have worked with the Y now for almost 20years providing me with the medium to share my passion and a base to chase my own adventures. I have stayed with the Y because of our commitment to our people and I have stayed in outdoor education because 30 odd years on I am still learning from that 1st adventure."

Helen Hatherly OAM and Neisha GangeHelen and Neisha.png

The Ashwood School

"Facilitating experiences for students presenting with behaviours of concern"

Learning to Participate, Participating to Learn.

In any given camp or outdoor experience there will be a range of participants – some who have never been to the venue, some with limited experience in learning outside of the classroom and some who are at a different stages of development to the majority of the group.

In this presentation conference participants will learn about a program that takes school age children with intellectual disabilities and some with severe behaviour disorder out of the classroom and into the real world where they ‘participate to learn’ to understand themselves, their fears, their enjoyment and their ability to face their challenges. In doing these activities they ‘learn to participate’ and contribute to the learnings of others.

Participants will take away knowledge and strategies for including, planning and facilitating experiences for students with intellectual disabilities and severe behaviour disorder to ensure these students can participate in learning experiences in a positive, supported environment.

About Helen: Helen Hatherly is the recently retired Principal of Ashwood School who has a passion for outdoor education and experiential learning and the benefits of this for everyone.

About Neisha: Neisha Gange is an experienced classroom teacher and specialist teacher. Neisha is a Curriculum Learning Specialist- Student Engagement, SWPBS, Personal Social Capabilities. She is also the President of the Garfield North Outdoor Education Centre.

  • Close of day: 4:15pm

  • Free time: 4:15 - 5:30am

  • Delegates make own way to Adelaide Oval for 5:30pm

  • Conference Cocktail Event: 5:30pm - 8:30pm at Adelaide Oval

Day 2 – Thursday 21st September

  • Registration opens: 8:30am   

  • Conference Sessions Commence: 9:00am

katrinawebb2.pngKatrina Webb OAM, Paralympic Gold Medallist.

Co-Founder and Director, Newday Leadership

"Newday Leadership – the art of leading yourself for the greater good.

In her presentation, Katrina will take delegates on a personal journey, sharing with them the skills she mastered to become a triple gold medallist and global leadership expert.

Through the art and science of self-mastery, Katrina has identified three foundational elements for impact – purpose, performance and potential. Delegates will complete a personal audit, as well as learn powerful leadership ‘hacks’ to help them perform at their best, whilst inspiring them to lead for the greater good.

About Katrina: A Paralympic gold medallist, international speaker, entrepreneur, philanthropist, personal mastery consultant, global advocate for diversity, trainer in wellbeing and resilience, and physiotherapist, Katrina’s elite sports mindset, evidence-based materials and proven methodologies effectively unlock self-mastery, performance wellbeing and whole leadership.  For over two decades, Katrina has transformed corporate leaders in conference rooms, professionals in the mountains of Nepal, and elite athletes in change rooms from experiencing limited success, and downplaying their unique difference, to realising their full potential through unlocking self-mastery, performance wellbeing and whole leadership. 

As a trained therapist, Katrina has a deep love and passion for helping others. She has mastered the skill of creating a safe space for people to learn and grow and is renowned for doing so in unique and inspiring environments. Hosting over 50 leadership programs in Australia and Nepal, Katrina believes in the power of experiential learning. Whether it’s getting people out of their comfort zones, challenging their perceptions, or facilitating reconnection with oneself and others, Katrina’s philosophy is that the best classrooms involve nature, cultural understanding and human connection. With an insatiable passion for adventure, Katrina has travelled to Nepal over 10 times, walked the Kokoda track, and trekked to Everest Base Camp twice raising $100,000 for kids in need.

Wilkey_Shawn_sq.jpg​Shawn Wilkey

Board Member, Australian Camps Association

"Implementing a Reconciliation Action Plan: Lessons from across business, government, education and sport"

This session will explore reconciliation efforts across business, government, education and sport to support camps and associated providers with their own reconciliation efforts, including Reconciliation Action Plans.

About Shawn:  Shawn has over 15 years’ experience leading organisational transformations, policy design and implementation, and strategic communications across a diverse range of organisations and industries. He is passionate about bringing business, government and the community together to create shared value and achieve collective impact. Shawn is currently a Senior Manager with EY in their consulting team and prior to this worked in Government at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Department of Defence, Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, and Aboriginal Victoria. Shawn also worked for several years in sport across the Carlton Football Club, AFL Victoria, and Oakleigh Chargers FC. Shawn is currently the President of the Australian National University Australian Football Club, a Board Director for the Australian Camps Association, and holds Masters in Public Administration and Business Administration.


Joel and Brendan.png​Joel Thompson and Brendan Smith

Island Energy & YMCA Discovery Camps Victoria

"How to take your camp Carbon Neutral –

a case study from Island Energy and YMCA Discovery Camps Victoria"

YMCA Discovery Camps in Victoria, Australia, is responsible for more than 78,000 campers and guests every year.

The Y has been on the road to carbon neutrality for the last 18 months and this presentation will show you how your own camp can benefit from our research.






lori copy.jpg​Lori Modde

CEO, Outdoors NSW & ACT

"Navigating the Challenges in Business"

We are faced with interesting times in social demography, economics, cultural transformation that all have impact on business. This session will aim to bring these current trends, issues and opportunities to the attention of participants whilst tailoring it to the outdoor camp environment. The content will help businesses make informed choices that can impact better outcomes for their future.

About Lori:   Lori is currently the CEO of Outdoors NSW & ACT. She also holds 6 volunteer board roles and volunteers in mentoring and supporting award programs through judging as well. Since taking on Outdoors NSW & ACT on the first day of the 2020 Covid lockdown, Outdoors NSW & ACT has progressed in becoming a strong peak body for the industry and having national conversations that are pathing the way for better conditions for the larger industry.

She has worked in community and economic development for close to 30 years and sees her role in the world to amplify and empower the maestros in their area of expertise so that they continue to make a difference in the world. This is perfectly matched in the Outdoor industry where active recreation, combined with outdoor education and adventure tourism leads to healthier communities and better regional economies.

Previously Lori has held roles in commercial, local government, state government and not for profit entities including senior management roles in Tourism NSW (now known as Destination NSW), Hills Shire Council, Sydney Olympic Park Authority and various regional tourism organisations.


JefferyL.jpg​Jeffery Lehrer

CEO, Scouts Australia RTO

"Micro-credentials for the Outdoor Sector"

Using examples from Scouts Australia and the wider outdoors industry we explore how qualification packaging rules and clustered units of competency are delivered as micro-credentials and how the introduction of the national micro-credential framework may change the development of Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications.

About Jeffery: "Combining Outdoor Education and Vocational Education and Training, Jeffrey Lehrer is the CEO for the Scouts Australia RTO and sits on a number of industry, education and training committees. Through a variety of paid and volunteer roles in commercial, government, not-for-profit and industry associations he consistently advocates for increased recognition of Formal, Non-formal and Informal learning."

Richard Williams - Risky Kids.png​Richard Williams

Director, Risky Kids

"Rethinking Challenge by Choice - Engaging the Fearful"

With declining rates of physical conditioning and emotional resilience in camp and outdoor education participants, disengagement and program refusal are rising not just for camps, but programs everywhere. 

Risk, challenge and their navigation are foremost in the remit of outdoor education. Yet many outdoor educators have limited tools to engage with this refusal behaviour, or recognise it. 'Challenge By Choice' has been a staple for a very long time, however new research into resilience and risk have the power to amplify it's objective of engaging young people, and manage many of it's weaknesses.

Risky Kids works daily with thousands of young people, helping them confront, navigate and excel at challenges. Our training delivered for Y Discovery Camps has resulted in reports of higher activity participation, better relationship management and more confident interactions involving fear and anxiety.

About Richard: With an education in psychology and criminology, Richard blended life experience as a fitness industry consultant with Spartan Race, gym owner, elite-obstacle racer, ultra runner and professional stunt actor to create Risky Kids.

The Risky Kids Program blends experiential learning and blends Behavioural science with awesome and exciting parkour, freerun and Ninja challenges. Risky Kids has 4 clubs across Victoria and NSW and is growing.

Day 3 – Friday 22nd September 

  • Delegates are to meet in the Pullman Adelaide Foyer at 7:50am for an 8am Departure.

It’s always nice to take time out from your camp and to take a look at other sites and take the opportunity to discuss things that most camp managers would face.

With this in mind we are happy to announce that we will be running a post conference camp tour visiting:

Visit 1 - Willow Creek Adventure Camp

Willow Creek Adventure Camp is proudly owned and operated by Surf & Sun's | Beyond the Classroom. The camp has hard top and soft top camping, with a range of activities onsite including raft building, orienteering, mountain bike track, challenge structures, bushwalking and more. Set on 800 acres, the camp is located just out of Victor Harbor on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Visit 2 - Arbury Park Outdoor School

At Arbury Park Outdoor School students, parents and teachers from all parts of South Australia come to live and learn together, in an active and exciting camp experience.

The school is a purpose built residential facility situated on 32 hectares near Bridgewater in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges, 23 km from Adelaide. It is a state-wide service of the Department for Education and commenced operation in 1976.

Visit 3 - Woodhouse Activity Centre

While only 25 minutes from the CBD, you will feel a million miles away on 54 hectares of undulating gum tree studded countryside.

Experience-based group accommodation for school camps, conferences and team building events, weddings, milestone birthdays, family reunions, as well as cultural and community groups. 3 accommodation buildings, sleeping from 25 to 200 guests. 4 camp options to suit all budgets and requirements, each starting with bunk accommodation for 2 nights, fully equipped commercial kitchen, access to fixed onsite activities, a huge array of unique opportunities for outdoor learning... and a whole lotta fun.

You can book your place on this post conference tour when registering to attend the conference

Tour will depart the Conference Venue - Pullman Adelaide at 8am and will work toward drop off at the Adelaide Airport by 3:15pm.

Latest News

Call for Expression of Interest ICDC - Trainer

The Australian Camps Association (ACA) is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified and experienced Camp professionals to become an International Camp Directors Course (ICDC) Trainer.

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