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.
For the first two years the owners earnt no wages, Jeff and Leanne moved on, and were replaced with Peter and Glenda Martini and Sue and David Natoli.
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 Martini’s bought the Corporate training arm of OAG. At the same time OEG branched out from its historic connection to Eildon in Victoria, and merged with a small organization in NSW allowing the new organisation to provide programs across Victoria and New South Wales.
The idea of becoming “non profit" came about as OEG has always been deeply philosophical about its approach, and we felt it was vital to ‘walk our talk’. We operate to provide outcomes for students, not to benefit ourselves.
Modern society and technological advances are leading us increasingly away from nature and from our own inner journey. We lack time for reflection and connection with nature, ourselves and others. OEG courses are about providing a pathway into these vital experiences, connections and insights.
Schools, students and the nature of outdoor education 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.
The quality and depth of OEG courses continues to increase dramatically, and around 27 years after the original three canoeists invested $1,000 each (mostly borrowed!), OEG has since gained the capital to purchase sites, equipment and invest in research and development, to further increase the capability and power of outdoor education courses.
Together with the Murrindindi Training Institute (Vic) and Western Institute TAFE (NSW) OEG is training the next generation of Outdoor Educators – a vital and essential role in ensuring the delivery of quality Outdoor Education courses to schools and their students enabling our young people to build a relationship with nature in a powerful and enduring way.