By promoting outdoor education as a means of learning and by developing professional practice in outdoor education, the OEAQ will contribute towards developing thoughtful, knowledgeable and skilled professionals who can participate in creating and maintaining just, humane and environmentally sustainable communities.
Values of the OEAQ
The OEAQ values understanding the inter-relatedness of people and the environment that sustains them through learning experiences based on:
People as in integral part of ecosystems;
Ecologically sustainable use of natural resources;
Interactions between the bio-physical, social and cultural elements of the environments in which people live;
Positive relationships between people and nature.
The OEAQ values active, informed participation by individuals in communities through:
Personal and social development;
Informed decision making;
Understanding social and cultural diversity.
Learning & Leadership
The OEAQ values quality learning and leadership through experiences which are:
· First hand
The OEAQ recognises that the professionals working in this field are entrusted with a significant responsibility to nurture the wellbeing of the students and other participants in their care.
The following Code of Ethics articulates the guidelines which the Outdoor Educators' Association of Queensland encourages our members to adhere to.
The Outdoor Educator will provide a supportive and appropriate learning environment
An Outdoor Educator is committed to providing learning experiences for his or her participants. A learning environment must be planned with clear learning goals in mind. The programme then needs to be developed and implemented with the participants’ physical, social, mental and emotional maturity in mind to safely achieve these learning goals. Flexibility within the learning environment allows for responsiveness to the situation, or participants. In providing a supportive and appropriate learning environment, the Outdoor Educator will:
* Ensure that the learning environment is appropriate to their level of expertise.
* Ensure that the learning environment is appropriate to the participants’ maturity, experience, and developmental stage.
* Understand and apply a variety of leadership and learning models to suit the learning environment.
* Employ inclusive and equitable practices for participants.
* Contribute to a just and humane society through the facilitation of participants’ understanding of themselves and their relationships with the diverse biophysical, social and cultural environments.
The Outdoor Educator will develop his/her professionalism.
An Outdoor Educator is committed to providing a high standard of professional service and contributing to the profession. In developing his/her professionalism, the Outdoor Educator will:
* Demonstrate passion and commitment to the ideals of the Outdoor Education profession.
* Provide services in accordance with his/her education, training and experience.
* Demonstrate commitment to maintaining professional development.
* Contribute to the Outdoor Education body of knowledge and practice.
* Demonstrate mutual respect for colleagues and celebrate the diversity of practice within outdoor education professional practise.
* Engage in professional reflection and critique on a regular basis.
* Encourage and support the development of other Outdoor Educators.
* Promote public awareness and understanding of the Outdoor Education profession.
The Outdoor Educator will ensure his or her practice is culturally and environmentally sensitive.
An Outdoor Educator is committed to caring for the earth and its inhabitants. In practising cultural and environmental sensitivity the Outdoor Educator will:
* Promote critical reflection on the ecological consequences of both local and global behaviours.
* Personally model culturally and environmentally sensitive behaviours.
* Encourage a greater understanding of the natural and constructed environments through quality interpretation.
* Maintain a positive balance between the learning goals of the programme and the environmental impact. This could be achieved through
* Utilisation of the most appropriate environment that allows the programme goals to be achieved
* Maintaining group size to a level appropriate to the environment
* Educate participants in the use of environmentally sound practices.
* Care for the local environment through action projects.
* Encourage respect for the diverse cultural beliefs and practices.
The OEAQ has developed a draft strategic plan. This plan is the culmination of some great feedback and responses from the OEAQ membership and wider Outdoor Education community. Open OEAQ meetings, an online survey and two strategic planning workshops were some of the ways in which this consultation took place.
Purpose: The Outdoor Educators' Association of Queensland (OEAQ) was established in 1981 to represent the interests of individuals and organisations involved in Outdoor Education and to encourage and lead the development of professional practice in Outdoor Education in Queensland.
Type of Association
Outdoor Educators Association of Queensland is an independent, non-government, not-for-profit association that is incorporated in Queensland . While retaining its independence, OEAQ is a member of Outdoor Education Australia, a national network of outdoor education associations. The OEAQ is also a member of the Joint Council of Queensland Teacher Associations and the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation.
The activities of the Outdoor Educators' Association of Queensland are primarily focused on providing opportunities for information sharing, networking and professional development.
An Executive administers the affairs of the organisation through regular meetings and the support of a Management Team. In addition to the AGM of the association, at least 4 Executive and Management Team meetings are held each year. A news-journal "Horizons" is published twice each year. Occasional meetings, workshops and lectures may be held during any year anywhere in Queensland.
A state conference is held every 2 years, with the next one occurring in 2013. The conferences usually involve a mix of lectures, workshops and practical sessions at a facility that provides accommodation, catering and access to outdoor venues.
Through interaction with the natural world outdoor education aims to develop an understanding of our relationships with the environment, others and ourselves. The ultimate goal of outdoor education is to contribute towards a sustainable community.
“Developing the people who deliver Outdoor Education in Queensland”