GO! Girls Outdoors

A resource for women in Outdoor Education and Recreation

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Gear Resources
Gear manufacturers have realised that lots of women like the outdoors and they're different shapes from men. Here's what's out there, and where you can buy it.

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Travel Resources
A selection of travel resources especially for women who love to travel. Includes a list of online communities if you do it yourself, or companies if you need a little help.

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Surfing Resources
Listed here are some links to resources from all over the world that cater to women who love surfing.

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Hiking Resources
Extended walks are great for the mind and spirit and lots of women love to take part in them. Check out these resources and get inspired to go on a walking adventure.

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Snow Sports

Snow Sports Resources
Skiing, snowboarding, backcountry, polar expeditions - all done in the snow and all done by lots of amazing women.  Check out these resources to find out more...

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Kayaking Resources
White water, surfing, sea kayaking, sprint racing, marathon racing, multisport, fishing...is there anything you can't do from a kayak? Explore these resources!

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Cycling Resources
A list of resources for all sorts of cycling - mountain biking, road biking, touring, racing, recreation and commuting - all specific to women.

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Climbing Resources
Women can (and have) achieved incredible things in climbing. Listed in this section are a collection of climbing and moutaineering resources that are useful and inspiring for all climbers.

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A list of organisations that cater exclusively to women, or run trips exclusively for women. A great way to find a women-specific adventure in your area.

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Outdoor Industry

Outdoor Industry Resources
Looking for resources to help you plan programs, companies and organisations that cater for women or organisations you can join? Look no further...

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The Outdoor Education Group

OEG Alpine PeakkWe are lucky in Australia that our society values and accepts the benefits of Outdoor Education, and as a result that we are able to provide many of our school students with outdoor adventure experiences.  These experiences teach valuable lessons, and many Australians have fond memories of their expeditions and camps, even if they don’t pursue the activities further.  

One of Australia’s largest organisations that run outdoor programs for school students is The Outdoor Education Group, commonly known as OEG.  If you have any connection with a school student in Victoria or New South Wales, chances are that student has been through a course with OEG!  OEG is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that focuses on learning through the experiences encountered during Outdoor Journeys.  The organisation also delivers training for up and coming outdoor instructors, such as the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation (as a course or a traineeship) and the Diploma in Outdoor Recreation.

OEG GroupThe organisation was started up in 1984 as The Outdoor Activities Group (OAG) by three passionate canoeing instructors, Jeff Adair, Leanne Guy and Tony Pammer, in Eildon, Victoria.  They wanted to provide young people with lessons in resilience, character, compassion and relational ability, using the outdoors as their tool.  In 1996 the original organisation was sold for $1 to the new, non-profit Outdoor Education Group and branched out into New South Wales.  Although Jeff and Leanne have now moved on and been replaced, Tony Pammer remains the driving force behind OEG, continuing to fulfil his passion for education in the outdoors through the successful and growing organisation.

OEG recognises that they need a balance of women and men in the Teaching Team, and have taken several steps to ensure that women are attracted to the organisation and are keen to remain involved as they gain skills and experience.   They do this by creating ads that attract women into field work, actively recruiting through TAFEs and universities, creating full time roles with no field time, providing paid maternity leave, providing equal access to training and ensuring that there are an equal number of male and female trainees (despite the fact that there are more male applicants).  They also base their pay structure on a wide range of competences rather than just on technical skills because they have found that paying based on technical skill favours men.

OEG RaftingThese strategies seem to work for OEG because they employ a number of women who have become nationally and internationally recognised for their work in outdoor education, whether this be a specific outdoor skill, tertiary study, risk management or the capability to lead expeditions in remote or extreme environments.  OEG ensures that it offers an environment with many career paths, offering the opportunity for all its employees to manage their career development in a way that suits them, whether this be taking seasons off to work overseas or working steadily up into management and administrative positions.

Liz Horne at OEG recommends taking every opportunity to learn the foundational skills of navigation, group management, risk management and communication.  Choose the outdoor pursuits you are most excited about and obtain an appropriate level of qualification to teach those skills at whatever level you wish.  Find a mentor or two you can aspire to learn from, and who you can talk to about your successes and challenges.  And finally, choose an organisation whose mission and vision complement your own personal beliefs and goals.

OEG Sea kayakingIf you are interested in OEG and wish to learn more, visit the Outdoor Education Group website.  Remember they offer courses and traineeships for people interested in a career in Outdoor Education, as well as running a wide range of trips for schools.

If you're interested in a career in Outdoor Education, you might also like to read the profiles of Heather Kirkpatrick (who has worked for OEG), Priscilla McKenney (based in San Francisco) or Bec Fox (manager of Kindilan in Queensland a mother of two small children).

You can also visit the Outdoor Industry Resources page on GO! Girls Outdoors.

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