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2021 National Conference
Conference Program

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Day 1 – Web 14th April

victorpertonweb.jpgVictor Perton - no papers from presentation

Director, The Centre for Optimism

"The Case for Optimism"

As the Chief Optimism officer for the Centre for Optimism, Victor will be asking people what makes them optimistic - the purpose? To help everyone and anyone become more optimistic and to foster 'realistic and infectiously optimistic leaders'. 

About Victor: Victor has a vast range of experience, as an author, barrister, Board Director and speaker. He has served as the Commissioner to the Americas and has 18 year's experience as a parliamentarian.




petegriffiths.jpgPete Griffiths - view presentation slides here.

CEO, Australian Camps Association

"Sector Update"

Pete will give an updated overview of the Australian Camp sector and what we have learned through COVID-19. He will discuss the challenges yet to be overcome but also the successes we've achieved as a sector in 2020. 

About Pete: Pete has worked in nature based tourism and outdoor education since 1985. He has had many roles during his career, including running an adventure travel company in Tasmania, working in the field, developing and running residential camps and as Head of Outdoor Education in three Victorian schools. Pete joined the Board of the Australian Camps Association in 2014 and became the CEO in 2015. 


Daniela falecki blue.png​Daniela Falecki - view presentation slides here.

Founder, Teacher Wellbeing

"Be a First Responder to Your Wellbeing" 

Common themes in outdoor education include developing resilience and growth mindset thinking.  In 2020, we had to draw on our own resources to live the very skills we teach. In this keynote, Daniela shares simple yet practical ways to reflect on our wellbeing using a well known First Aid acronym.

Given we have done hours of First Aid Training to respond to critical incidents in the field, we also need to ensure we have strategies to act as first responders to our own wellbeing.

About DanielaDaniela Falecki is the founder of Teacher Wellbeing and known as the “keep-it-real” teacher. Having worked as a teacher for 25 years in Australian schools, Daniela knows the highs and lows. Upon leaving teaching, Daniela worked in outdoor education as the NSW senior manager for OEG (Outdoor Education  Group). Now, she Specializes in Positive Psychology & Coaching Psychology to help merge theory into practice. Daniela has a Masters in Education (Leadership), a Bachelor of Education (HPE), a Certificate in Rudolf Steiner Education, is a licensed Mental Toughness practitioner, certified Life Coach and NLP Practitioner and member of the International Coach Federation and International Positive Psychology Association. Daniela has lectured at Sydney University & Western Sydney University for over 10 years where she was named lecturer of the year 2014.

MarkVanDerHaar_low_res.jpg​Mark Van Der Haar - view presentation slides here.

Director, AB Phillips

"Insurance Industry Update"

AB Phillips will present a market update and navigate through the existing challenges the industry is currently facing.

About Mark: Mark is AB Phillips' Director, General Insurance and has more than 20 years experience in General Insurance and Workers Compensation broking. Mark has a wealth of experience in insurance and among other areas specialises in the camp and leisure industry. His expert advice in insurance and risk management is very highly regarded. In 2008 he was awarded Victorian Young Professional Broker of the Year. 



Day 2 – Thu 15th April

Rosenberg-Tom-bio.jpgTom Rosenberg - view presentation slides here.

CEO, American Camp Association

"Why Camp Is More Essential Today

In many ways, the Australian Camp sector's experience reflect that of our American colleagues. Tom will help us understand US trends in areas such as childhood development, risk aversion and camp management. He will also discuss the American Camp Association's response to issues common to both countries such as insurance, staff recruitment, government advocacy, etc.

About Tom: As President/CEOof the American Camp Association (ACA), Tom Rosenberg is a leading voice for young people today, advancing the public’s understanding of the value of camp for everyone as an essential developmental and educational experience. Tom is actively advancing the collective field of camp in its battle against the prevalent tide of depression, anxiety, and social disconnection affecting today’s youth, while teaching the mindsets, skills, and dispositions everyone needs to thrive in school, work, and life.

Through Tom’s leadership, ACA has adopted a bold and ambitious strategic plan to accelerate ACA’s organizational growth and sustainability by: expanding its reach, relevance, and equitable accessibility; championing quality; and amplifying the value of camp experiences in youth education and development. Prior to serving as President/CEO of ACA, Tom had a distinguished 27-year career leading nonprofit and for-profit camps.


Heather-smaller-headshot.jpg​Heather Morecroft - view presentation slides here.

Associate Director

"Planning in times of uncertainty: How to drive impact and financial sustainability" 

The last 12 months have been a time of change and challenge brought by bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic. In some states and territories, the camps sector has felt these changes and challenges keenly.  While the last year has been a period characterised by disruption and difficulty, it has also been a time of opportunity. This includes digital transformation and delivery, core funding through the JobKeeper program, reduced bureaucracy and reporting requirements around grant funding, and a once-in-a-generation chance to approach things differently.

However, with economic recovery a hot topic of debate, JobKeeper ending, government funding uncertain for some, and corporate and philanthropic funding forecast to decrease, many organisations are considering where to from here.

This interactive session will be focused on providing camp leaders with clear insights and practical resources to plan in this time of uncertainty. As well as providing questions and tools to support with strategic planning and financial sustainability, this session will also include opportunities for small group discussions to enable attendees to share challenges and kick around ideas with their peers.

About Heather: Having worked in the not-for-profit, private and university sectors, Heather is now a Senior Advisor at Spark Strategy where she advises for-purpose leaders and teams. Her clients span sport and recreation, health and wellbeing, community services, local government, arts and culture, disability and inclusion, youth, education, employment, violence prevention and safety, and more. She has also enjoyed working in the camps sector, with the likes of the Australian Camps Association and Urban Camp.

Everyday, Heather collaborates with organisations to develop strategies and solutions that drive greater impact and strengthen financial sustainability. Three Ps are key here - purpose, profit and pragmatism. Heather believes in and is committed to solutions that drive social and environmental impact and financial sustainability.

You can find Heather on LinkedIn here: www.linkedin.com/in/heather-morecroft-5111aa58/

​Jay Henderson, Erin McLeod and Grace Maynard - view presentation slides here.

Australian Camps Association and Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC)

"Update on the Quality Tourism Framework - Camp and Adventure Activity Accreditation" 

The Australian Camps Association and the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) have committed significant resources to the continued development and improvement of the Camp and Adventure Activity module within the Quality Tourism Frjay.jpegamework to ensure the most robust national scheme possible.  

Hear from the QTF Advisory Committee how current initiatives around accreditation processes, Australian Adventure Activity Standards (AAAS), verification visits, and links with the insurance sector are being pursued by the ATIC in partnership with the ACA.

​About Jay (ACA, Convenor, QTF Camp & Adventure Activity Advisory Committee)Jay Henderson has been involved in camping and Outdoor Education for nearly 40 years, within schools, universities, peak bodies, and community groups. He has held teaching positions with three DET and private schools for nearly 30 years, with 18 years as Director of Outdoor Education at Xavier College. This role included oversight and management of ‘Camp Xavier @ Buxton’ and the successful pursuit of ACA Campsite Accreditation, the second private and independent school camp in Australia to do so.

Jay was also a Lecturer at a number of universities, and spent 10 years at Victoria University as Course Co-ordinator of  Recreation/Fitness Leadership and Recreation Management courses, and the Outdoor Studies erinmcleod.jpgCo-ordinator for the B.Arts/B.Ed courses. In this way he has influenced and supported thousands of teachers, managers, providers, and users of campsites and programs.

​Jay’s breadth of involvement has included his participation in the formative meetings convened in the early 1980’s by the Dept of Sport & Recreation that led to the formation of the CAV; and as the founding Executive Officer of the VOEA for four years. He is an advocate of further education, and holds a B.Ed, a Post Grad
Diploma in Educational Administration, a Masters of Education, and the Certificate IV in Training and

About Erin (ATIC General Manager): Erin is the General Manager of the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC), the national representative body for the Australian tourism industry. As a part of this role she oversees the continuous development of ATIC’s accreditation programs, which includes the Camp and Adventure gracemaynard.jpgActivity program, and works with the states/territories on the delivery of these. Erin has worked in the tourism industry for over 15 years with experience in destination marketing, business development/support, accreditation, and events.

About Grace (VTIC Industry Development Coordinator): Grace is the Industry Development Coordinator at the Victoria Tourism Industry Council, having made a career change from the public sector six years ago. Grace has completed a Master of International Sustainable Tourism Management and for the last three years she has been helping tourism operators meet the national accreditation standards and achieve their business development goals. As program manager of the Quality Tourism Framework in Victoria, Grace works closely with accredited Victorian camps to develop best practice procedures, ensuring a high-quality visitor experience and professional business operations.


petegriffiths.jpgPete Griffiths - view presentation slides here.

CEO, Australian Camps Association

"Great Getaways - diversifying your offerings for older adults" 

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is the need to diversify camp business streams away from a reliance on schools. There are many opportunities to so diversify but in this session I will focus on the Great Getaway program (camps for people over the age of 55), and how camps / outdoor activity providers can both develop new business streams while at the same time addressing one of our society's greatest challenges - an ageing population.

Every year the proportion of Australians over the age of 55 is increasing, and as we live longer it is clear that a greater proportion of later life is spent in ill health due to social isolation and insufficient physical activity. Camps and led outdoor activities can play a powerful role in combating this, and can easily align with state and federal government platforms on active ageing - a win for them and a potential funding stream for us.

This session will provide an overview of the research that underpins the Great Getaways, provide the tools you will need to access this market and look to what has worked well and not so well in the project to date.

About Pete: Pete has worked in nature based tourism and outdoor education since 1985. He has had many roles during his career, including running an adventure travel company in Tasmania, working in the field, developing and running residential camps and as Head of Outdoor Education in three Victorian schools. Pete joined the Board of the Australian Camps Association in 2014 and became the CEO in 2015. 


georgia burn - bw.jpgGeorgia Burn and Jacob Matthew - view presentation slides here.

Speech Pathologist/Communication Access Consultant and Communication Access Assessor, SCOPE


"Creating Communication Accessible Camps And Programs"

What is communication access and why is it so important? Often when we think about accessibility we think about physical elements like ramps and lifts that may support a person using a wheelchair to get to where they want to go, or maybe screen readers that help people with visual impairment read information on a website.

But what about the estimated that 1.2 million Australians that experience communication difficulty at some point in their lives? Or the 44% of adult Australians that do not have literacy skills to meet every day needs? Should we not all be able to get our message across and understand written information?

We’d love to talk to you about the Communication Access Symbol to understand what it represents and learnjacobmatthew.jpg about the outcomes for businesses/organisations who have been awarded the symbol. We will also cover the tools, resources, and training that can support you to provide accessible programs and camping experiences to ​everyone.

About Georgia: Georgia Burn is a speech pathologist and is passionate about achieving social inclusion and improving accessibility for people with communication disabilities. Georgia works to accredit mainstream businesses, services and organisations with the Communication Access Symbol and is currently completing her PhD at University of Melbourne. 

About JacobJacob Matthew is a Communication Access Assessor with Scope's Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre. He has supported many businesses and organisations to be accredited with the Communication Access Symbol. Jacob's passion for promoting the rights of people with a disability so that they could participate in community life as respected individuals has led him to complete his Diploma in Access Consultancy. In addition to his work and volunteering roles, Jacob is the ambassador for the Chrisalis foundation, has a black belt in Freeform martial arts, and is training for his 1st degree black belt


Day 3 – Friday 16th June

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 - Blue Light Youth Camp

Victorian Blue Light Youth Camp is a not-for-profit organisation that is closely aligned with Blue Light Victoria.

Our programs focus on the health and well-being of young people. As well as our BikeEd focused school camps, we also run programs that address the needs of vulnerable young people. We provide education, help with crime reduction, life skills coaching, and host cultural, social and sporting programs for young people aged between 5 to 18 years. Our initiatives involve everyone including youth at risk, indigenous, migrant and victims of crime.

Located in Maldon, 136km northwest of Melbourne, is set close to the heart of the Maldon Township. Hailing back to 1987, it is a $1.8 million purpose-built to replicate the style of the original Derby Hill Gold Mine on-site. In 1990, the Victorian Government sold the property to Blue Light Victoria to develop into a school camp.

Visit 2 - Boomerang Holiday Ranch

Boomerang Holiday Ranch is a family owned and operated Camp located in the Spa Centre of Victoria, only 2km from the main centre of Daylesford and surrounded by picturesque Hepburn Regional Park.

Boomerang Ranch offers trail riding through native bushland, with all rides supervised. School camps are a specialty with bunk style accommodation and a large range of fun outdoor activities.

Visit 3 - Log Cabin Camp
Log Cabin Camp is located in the picturesque town on Creswick, only 15 minutes away from Ballarat and 25 minutes from Sovereign Hill. Plenty of adventure activities on site including giant swing, canoeing, dual zip-line, milk crate stacking, archery and more.

You can book your place on this optional tours when registering to attend the conference

Latest News

Victorian DET Time in Lieu Update

The three Outdoor sector peak bodies have been working collaboratively to consult with the Government regarding appropriate implementation and support measures. Most recently Rod Thomson (ACA CEO), Graeme Janes (CVA CEO) and Andrew Knight (OV CEO) met with DET senior staff to gain further details regarding Guidelines for schools.

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