History of The Outdoor Education Group

The Outdoor Education Group (OEG) started life in 1984 as the “The Outdoor Activities Group” (OAG), and was born from the dreams of three canoeing instructors, Jeff Adair, Leanne Guy and Tony Pammer, who were passionate about instilling in young people resilience, character, compassion and relational ability through the use of the outdoors as an educational medium.

During the first two years the owners earnt no wages, Jeff and Leanne moved on, and Tony was joined by the Martinis (Peter and Glenda) and the Natolis (Sue and David).

In 1996 the original privately owned organisation was sold for $1 to the newly formed and non profit “Outdoor Education Group”, Sue and Tony went on to be become employees, and the Martinis bought the Corporate training arm of OAG. At the same time The Outdoor Education Group branched out from its historic connection to Eildon in Victoria, and merged with a small organisation in NSW – allowing the new organisation to provide programs across Victoria and New South Wales.

The idea of becoming “non profit” came about as The Outdoor Education Group has always been deeply philosophical about our approach, and we felt it was vital to ‘walk our talk’. We operate to provide outcomes for participants, not to benefit ourselves.

Modern society and technological advances are leading people increasingly away from nature and from their own inner journey. We lack time for reflection and connection with nature, ourselves and others. The Outdoor Education Group courses, either journey based or camp based, are about providing a pathway into these vital experiences, connections and insights.

The nature of outdoor education and recreation continues to evolve. In 1984 the average student walked three times the distance of today, activity groups were twice as large and with half to a third of the number of specialist staff.

Now, around 30 years after the original three canoeists invested $1,000 each (mostly borrowed!), The Outdoor Education Group continues to create purpose designed camps, invest in the highest quality staff and equipment and engage in research and development – all aimed at improving the depth of the educational experience of our participants, be they from school or community based groups.

Together with the Wodonga Institute of TAFE (Vic) and Western Institute TAFE (NSW) The Outdoor Education Group is training the next generation of outdoor leaders – a vital and essential factor in ensuring the delivery of quality outdoor experiences that enable our young people to learn more about themselves, their communities and the natural world.