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Conference Program

To view the conference program, please click here.

Day 1 – Thurs 15th June

Brad Ostermeyer WebBrad Ostermeyer – CEO, Victorian Tourism Industry Council

Brad was appointed to the role of VTIC Chief Executive in January 2017. Brad has extensive experience in economic development, industry development and the delivery of regional economic infrastructure projects, primarily through strategic and commercial partnerships with the private sector and local government.

Prior to joining VTIC, Brad was Executive Director Infrastructure with Regional Development Victoria. In this role, Brad led the delivery of significant tourism projects, including the VIBE Marysville Hotel and Conference Centre, the Ballarat Station Redevelopment project, Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment Project and the Grampians Peaks Trail.

Brad has also worked previously with Tourism Victoria as Director Tourism Investment, where he had responsibility for attracting new tourism investment into Victoria.

Brad will provide camps with knowledge on how to become part of the mainstream tourism industry.

Pam Kappelides Pam Kappelides – ‘Building Inclusive Environments = Increased Participation’

Pam is a lecturer at La Trobe University in the Centre for Sport and Social Impact and an expert in the field of disability and minority groups, volunteer management, community development, youth and children development and the impact of outdoor recreation, sport participation and development in the community.

Since 2013 Pam has secured a number of research projects to the value of $950,000 and has consulted to many sport and recreation organisations and government agencies such as the VicHealth, YMCA, Special Olympics, Masters Sport, Tennis Victoria, Football Federation Victoria, Sport and Recreation Victoria, and Kings IV IPL Cricket in India. Pam is also on the board of the Australian Camps Association and Volunteering Victoria Reserch Roundtable.

Pam’s presentation will explore:

  • The value, benefits and experiences of people with a disability participating in the outdoors/camps;
  • What is the nature and extent of barriers, problems and challenges for people with disabilities who wish to participate in outdoor recreation and camps;
  • What strategies of marketing and delivery can potentially overcome these barriers, problems and challenges in order to maximise the participation of people with disabilities in your programs

AICM Keynote Marriott Gold CoastPeter Buckley – ‘Media Skills – Your Mouth, Your Say, Your Result’

They can leave you mauled or in a state of delight…the media is a strange animal! Your relationship with the media can be as simple or as difficult as you want to make it, in certain circumstances.

What do you do if you come under the spotlight, or into their line of fire? When you want the media on board to help your cause, how do you get them to come knocking??

As the former News Director for FM104/MMM and Assistant News Director for B105FM Brisbane, Peter Buckley has witnessed, and been part of, news scenarios that have produced good, bad and, occasionally, ugly results.

Peter’s presentation will:

  • Help you better understand the media
  • Give you tips on dealing with a media pack
  • Identify ways to have the media working for your benefit
  • Improve or establish a media relationship by making media contacts
  • Give you interview techniques and processes to control your nerves
  • Get your organisation’s ideal message out there every time

Mark-Collard-headshot-20141Mark Collard – ‘From Good To Great: The Difference Between Ice-Breakers & Ice-Makers’ 

Most camp leaders believe that they should use ‘ice-breaker’ or ‘get-to-know-you’ activities at the start of their programs because this is what they are supposed to do. Sadly, without a proper understanding of how to design successful ‘ice-breakers,’ many of these exercises turn into ‘ice-makers.’ Or worse, some camp leaders think that ice-breakers are a waste of time, and add little value to their program outcomes, so they dispense with their use. Wrong, so wrong!

In this practical, interactive workshop, a series of simple group activities (requiring few if any props) will be presented which can be used immediately in your existing programs to help campers feel as comfortable as possible to play, share, trust and learn.

Then, Mark will reveal the five essential attributes of every successful ice-breaker, and model their use during the session. He will likely challenge many of your pre-conceived ideas about what an ice-breaker really is, and how they should and should not be used.

‘Top Ten Interactive Camp Games & Activities’

Join Mark in this practical, extremely fun session in which he will present the ten most popular interactive camp games and activities, as featured on the world’s largest online database of camp games and activities – Expect to learn a lot of new activity ideas, plus new ways to present some golden oldies. These activities will not only warm-up your campers, and generate energy, but develop critical interpersonal skills such as communication, collaboration, leadership and trust.

Bec FoxRebecca Fox ‘Understanding Human Psychology so That we can be Even Better Leaders and Managers’

As a Life, Business and Leadership Coach I have trained in Meta Dynamics, EDISC and human behavioural psychology strategies, as well as led teams, developed exceptional outdoor education and recreation programs and managed highly effective workplace teams for over 27 years.

This presentation shares key insights into human psychology and mindsets. It will help facilitators, leaders and managers develop even better rapport through understanding universal fears, 6 Core needs and techniques so you can be an even better communicator, program with intention, facilitate with more awareness and get even more from yourself, leadership and teams you manage.

Understanding human psychology and mental health can help people get even more out of their life, leadership styles and the teams they lead. My coaching helps people be their best, building resilience, happiness, and unlocking their potential by shifting limiting beliefs and creating new pathways and plans of action that will lead to more rewarding and fulfilling lives. I will share some key points for your benefit from what I have learned over my years of training, coaching and experiences in the outdoor education and recreation industry.

julie and lukeJulie Parr and Luke Jansons ‘From Good to Gold’

A significant upheaval to our business in 2012 produced the stark choice – sink or swim!

Turning adversity to opportunity we have reinvented ourselves to become a continuously improving professional organisation confident in our ability to navigate through challenging changes and take up business opportunities.

During the session we will guide you through ten things that took us from tough times to being awarded a Gold medal at the 2016 SA Tourism Awards. Participants will be able reflect upon their own situation through the lens of our experiences in the key areas including:

  • Developing Resilience
  • Defining A Business Model
  • The Building Blocks of Business Planning
  • Getting Everyone On Board
  • Managing The Marketing Maze
  • This session is suitable for owners and managers of camping businesses.

Joel Bio Photo - small resJoel Thompson ‘Social Media and the International Business of Camps’

Joel Thompson is a co-founder of OutBeyond. With over 8 years experience in the Tourism & Outdoor Education sector, Joel has grown domestic youth leadership organisations that serve schools and universities, into Internationally engaged companies. A strong advocate for youth development through innovation and experiential learning, Joel is also the founder of Youth Leaders Incorporated a not-for-profit organisation that aims to support the growth and development of young and emerging industry talent. Joel is also a Board Member of the Australian Camps Association – the peak body responsible for more than 140 camps in Australia that promotes getting more people outdoors, more often.

OutBeyond will be presenting on Social Media and focusing on the International Business of Camps, particularly China. This presentation will get you thinking about potential market horizons, and hopefully spark some interest in adopting new marketing initiatives for their brands, particularly focusing on WeChat as a Case Study.

LizLeyshancroppedLiz Leyshan ‘Working Towards Better Leadership’

Liz Leyshan began her position as the Mittagundi Director in January 2014. Her experience and skills have been shaped by her experience in outdoor education and conservation management.  Liz has worked at various commercial and not for profit organisations and camps including Wollangarra, The Crossing, Coastlife Adventures, Conservation Volunteers Australia, NPWS and Kindilan OEC. Liz has a Diploma in Outdoor Recreation and a Degree in App Sc Parks, Recreation, and Heritage. Liz’s experience and skills have been extended by actively working on boards such as The Crossing Land Education Centre, The Australian Camps Association and membership with community organisations like SES, CFA and the Victorian Ambulance service. Liz is a community orientated person always working to help people achieve their potential.

Do you get the best from your leadership staff? Are your leaders getting the best chance from you to seek their potential? OR are you seeking a practical toolbox to work towards being better at what you do? This session is about working towards better leadership. Liz uses a leadership model that she has successfully used in her working environments. Combining self-leadership and the needs of the organisation to create better leadership.

Ivy Feng & Dongliang Liao ‘Camps In China’ 

IMG_0423Ivy Feng
LeShine Founder and Executive Director

Ivy has a background in finance and investment but her keen interest in social responsibility led her to establish LeShine in 2013 in order to provide Chinese young people with the social and educational benefits of the camp experience. Under her guidance LeShine has become a leader in educational and business best practice in the camping sector.


IMG_0424Dongliang Liao
LeShine Co-Founder and CEO

Dong has worked in environmental engineering and sustainable development, including time in Canada. His interest in combining the best of eastern and western educational philosophies and practices underpin the unique camp experience at LeShine.


Together, Ivy and Dong will discuss the camps sector in China.

AndrewMcGuckianAndrew McGuckian ‘Growing Your Camp Business Through Research Based Marketing and Communication’

Understanding the expectations and demands of the full range of stakeholders is vital in an effective marketing campaign. Applying the most current research based evidence in your marketing and communications strategies can be the key to unlocking resistance and gaining commitment from decision makers. Explore the range of stakeholders and their needs, understand the program outcome model and CHANGES framework in program design and hear about some exciting recent research outcomes you can use.


ianwilliamsThis presentation will be co-presented with Dr. Ian Williams.  Dr Ian Williams is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, and Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne. He currently coordinates a collaborative research program investigating health and wellbeing benefits associated with youth participation in outdoor camps and nature-based programs through the Outdoor Youth Programs Research Alliance (OYPRA).



Beth Guy & Evla Han ‘Childsafe Standards Update’

We all have an obligation to do the best we can to keep children safe from harm and abuse. All organisations working with children are now responsible and must take steps to prevent abuse. This session will provide a review of the principles and the Child Safe Standards, as well as a snapshot approach to what compliance looks like.

Day 2 – Fri 16th June

Gordon Smith 2Gordon Smith ‘What do you mean I’m selling….I thought I ran a camp!’

Gordon Smith has (far too many!) years of experience of sales, marketing, management, training, team development & coaching at all levels in organisations of all sizes.  The results he achieved for companies means that he has gained numerous awards as a sales person and as a leader of successful sales teams.

Since 2000 Gordon has delivered sales training and coaching programs throughout Australia and overseas. He works with diverse groups with sales experience ranging from that of ‘work from home’ mums to experienced sales teams from major corporate organisations.

Gordon regularly finds himself working with ‘Accidental Sales People’ who have ended up selling more by default than by choice. Gordon provides businesses, teams and individuals with the practical skills, procedures and confidence required for consistent sales success. His training ideas, material and approaches are now successfully used by several thousand people around the world.

The battle for the ‘discretionary dollar’ is highly competitive. In the world of camps there are new disruptive competitors. This creates an ever-increasing need to be able to be able to differentiate yourself from the competition in a price sensitive market.

To do this effectively means having to sell yourself and your offering. This is often an unattractive concept to people in roles such as camp managers – the last thing they want to do is be a sales person! Typically, people in roles such as these have never been trained to be sales people and didn’t ‘sign up’ for that aspect of the role.

In this 1 hour session we will introduce some key concepts to enable the attendees to understand:

  • What do we mean when we say they have to ‘sell’?
  • What does it take to make anyone a good sales person (without being seen as one!)?
  • What are the two most important sales skills I need to learn to use effectively?
  • What are the 4 areas of difference between competitors?
  • How do I make sure I am selling what people are buying?
  • How do I focus the conversation on value rather than just the price?

This will be a fast paced, interactive and very practical session designed to allow the attendees to walk away with some ready to use skills and an increased level of confidence in their ability to be effective sales people.

Clare-PhotoClare Dallat ‘Organisational Risk Assessment; looking beyond the person, the equipment and the environment’

Clare Dallat is an experienced outdoor educator with over twenty years practicing both in the field, and in administrating programs. For thirteen years, Clare held the position of Director of Risk Management at The Outdoor Education Group and now leads their Innovation team. She has responded to, in both a field and leadership capacity, to critical incidents and has expert witness and court experience. A frequent presenter and author on risk management nationally and internationally, Clare holds an MSc. in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester, UK, and is currently a PhD researcher with the Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Clare’s PhD supervisors are Prof Paul Salmon and Dr Natassia Goode.

Failure to identify and adequately manage risks associated with the task of determining participant characteristics in the program design and planning phase can lead to the creation of 150 further emergent risks. This is just one significant finding from a three-year program of PhD research that focused on the development of a risk assessment method which could identify and analyse risks associated with the design, planning and conduct of led outdoor programs. The method, called NET-HARMS, was underpinned by the now widely accepted view that accidents are caused by multiple, interacting factors located throughout the system of work, and not solely by the actions or decisions of the people closest to the accident scene. Clare will demonstrate the method, through applying it to an actual program and workshop participants will have the opportunity to have a go and trial the method with their with their own programs with their own programs in mind.

Jody Aiken

Jody Aiken ‘National Allergy Strategy Update’ 

Jody Aiken works for Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia as a Health Management educator. Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia is Australia’s peak consumer body for people with allergic disease.

Jody has been working in the area of Nutrition and Public Health for over 20 years. She has worked in research and health promotion with NSW Health and Healthy Kids School Canteen Association before joining Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia in March 2016.

Jody has a special interest in allergies as she has a child at risk of anaphylaxis to peanut and tree nut, as well as having a lifelong fish allergy herself.

In her role as Health Management Educator with Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia Jody advises consumers, writes newsletters, liaises with food industry and tries to keep on top of the A&AA Facebook page. She is involved with National Allergy Strategy project committees and is an associate member of ASCIA.

RowenaThieleRowena Thiele ‘Unlocking the value from your Business’

Rowena Thiele FCPA is a qualified Accountant, Registered Tax Agent and Financial Planner with over 24 years’ experience. Rowena has worked in financial planning for 5 years and is a Representative specialising in retail super, self-manged superannuation and retirement planning.

Rowena is a trusted Financial Adviser working with a range of clients advising in taxation, business advisory incorporating mentoring and growing wealth for retirement.  The ability to see the whole picture for a client is extremely important and having a strong skillset across a number of disciplines enables clients to feel confident that all aspects of their financial affairs are being considered.

Rowena is a fantastic listener and enjoys interacting with her clients regularly.  The opportunity for a client to have their financial affairs managed by an adviser who is skilled in both financial planning and personal and corporate taxation matters culminates in extremely productive meetings.

Throughout this presentation we will explore strategies that help you transition wealth from business to personal whilst you are still working and look at options to help you when you choose to transition out of your business; maximising value while keeping tax to a minimum. Strategies include:

  • Small Business Capital Gains Tax concessions
  • Superannuation Strategies
  • Transferring Wealth

Colleen LordColleen Wilson-Lord, OAM  ‘Selling Health and Wellness to the over 60s with Active Life Weekends

Colleen is the Director of her own company, Rayna Holdings Pty. Ltd., trading as Healthy Lifestyle Health Promotion Services – a healthy lifestyle consultancy business.   Colleen has developed many national healthy lifestyle programs, including Walking for Pleasure, Gentle Exercise, Aqua fitness, Lifeball, Vacations for Pleasure, Active Life Weekends, and is a Master Trainer for these programs.  Colleen works as a consultant for many agencies including: Veterans and Families of Veterans Counselling Service, Greater Western Area and Murrumbidgee Area Health Services, Department of Recreation Communities, NSW delivering the Active Life Weekends and the Sports Ability program.  Colleen has received many honours and awards including: Order of Australia Medal; NSW Seniors Week Achievement Award; Aquatic and Recreation Industry Award of Excellence; Nominated for Australian of the Year; The Advance Australia Award; and the Australian Fitness Industry’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Active Life Weekends/Vacations for Pleasure have been held for over 25 years by various Departments of Health and Sport and Recreation with the main aim being to help senior members of the community to engage in meaningful recreation and sporting activities. Active Life Weekends target people over the age of 60 and provide opportunities for participants to involve themselves in a wide range of activities. Customised surveys identified client needs and so the program is well balanced to suit different levels of skill. The activities offered include: Water Exercise; Archery; Kayaking; Pole Walking; Lifeball; Tai Chi; Painting; Memory Training; Massage; Flying Fox; and Indigenous Games. The concept of healthy residential programs has been evaluated extensively. A large percentage of the participants who attend these holidays gain immediate as well as long term benefits, including improved confidence, and a more positive attitude to their ageing process.

Paul CorriganPaul Corrigan – Australian Tourism Accreditation Program – Power Up Your Business

Camp and Adventure Activity (CAA) ATAP Accreditation is more than compliance and quality assurance, it’s also about being a better business for you, your customers and your bank balance. CAA Accreditation with ATAP has been designed by ACA for Camps and by Business experts for building sustainable business into the future. Paul is Program Manager of ATAP Victoria, he will show you the benefits then take you through the steps of becoming a Camps Accredited operator.

This session will start with an overview of how Camps Accreditation in beneficial for your business, then take operators through the fully online program. Bring your laptop, tablet, an active email address so we can work together through relevant stages of the Accreditation modules. Participants will be given instant free access to the whole program to see if it is right for them. As Camp and Adventure Activity Accreditation is designed by ACA and sector professionals – ACA Members receive $50 off their Annual Accreditation Fees.

trevor butlerTrevor Butler – WorkSafe

Trevor started with WorkSafe in January 2000 as a field Inspector at the Geelong office, and was promoted to Senior Inspector in2005. He has undertaken a number of secondments which included six months the Shepparton office, time at the Mildura office and 12 months secondment to Victorian Transport Association. he was promoted to the Geelong Group Leader role in 2009 and continued this role until the Regional Operations Manager Western position was created in July 2014. This role includes offices in Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Mildura and Warrnambool. Geographically, if you put a line from Lara to Eucha (on a map of Vic) everything left of the line falls under the Western Region.

Session Content

  • What an Inspector looks for on a visit (in general terms),
  • what’s a reportable incident and
  • who has responsibilities.

Day 3 – Saturday 17th June

OPTIONAL: Camp Tours

TDoxa_Malmsbury_2_332x247his year’s conference is definitely a ‘change from the ACA’s norm’ in regards to the event venue.  Many would be used to joining us in a camp setting for our conference.

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 2 x post conference camp tours; 1 x Regional Tour and 1 x City Tour (T.B.C).

You can book your place on these optional tours when registering to attend the conference. More information to come…