History

BOEC would like to thank the following people for contributing to this timeline history: Brian Woinarski, Jim Crebbin, Piers Hartley, Mary Cole, Steve McMurtrie, Paul L'Huillier, past and present staff.

1968

1968

The Victorian Education Department acquired the camp buildings and four houses from the SECV. (State Electricity Commission of Victoria). Instrumental in this deal were the Minister of Education, Lindsay Thompson, Minister for Fuel and Power, Mr Balfour, and Principal Hydro Engineer - SECV, Mr Ron White.


1969Brian Woinarski, Camp Director, 1968–88

1969

Brian Zichy-Woinarski was appointed Camp Director but lack of funds delayed the renovations needed to make the camp livable. Valuable liaisons were made with Department personnel. Wally Bell, Camp Director of Somers School Camp, was extremely helpful.


1970Jim Crebbin, Assistant Camp Director, 1970-96

1970

Jim Crebbin was appointed to the camp at Easter to help Brian Woinarski. Major renovations were undertaken by Public Works in the kitchen area to facilitate catering for 100 students.

Brian Woinarski and Jim Crebbin gutted the administration building to make classrooms, QM store, archery room etc. The ropes and assault courses were built with borrowed materials and hike routes were trialed.

Jim Crebbin was Deputy Camp Director up until 1979 and was appointed acting Camp Director for 1989. Indispensable help was given by Ron White, head of the SECV in Mt Beauty, and many of his staff in getting the Camp established (See letter to Bob Wegener).

A small group of Education Department officials including Jack Ford, Hec Gallagher and Harvey Cox from the Physical Education department, all provided valuable encouragement.

It was decided that 48 students was all that the site could handle. Programs were worked out, timetables made and the camps advertised to start in early 1971.

A meeting with the Chief Finance Officer from the Education Department requesting a vehicle for the camp resulted in $100 being given to buy a trailer.


1971

Six staff were appointed to Bogong, Brian Woinarski, Jim Crebbin, Allan Marsland, Barry Lovell, Meg Crebbin and Lois Marsland. There were to be 20 ten day boys camps (usually 24 boys from two different schools).

The students traveled by train to Wodonga and were transported to Bogong by Mylons Coaches. Griffith's Coaches from Mt Beauty, provided the internal bus travel. Staff used their cars for most other functions, but luckily the SECV provided a delivery service which was vital for the supply of perishable foods from Mt Beauty.

The program included abseiling on the dam wall, (in boiler suits with leather pads over the shoulder), archery, pioneering, environmental studies, target shooting, ropes and assault courses, Kiewa Scheme, wall and beam, canoeing. As canoeing was done all the year round, outriggers were fitted so the canoes would not capsize in the freezing waters of Lake Guy in winter. They were stored under the village hall (now dismantled).

Allan Marsland was responsible for developing the environmental studies program. Topics included in the 10 day camp were: Kiewa Scheme, land use studies, hydrology, animal trapping, botany walks, bird trapping, bugs and a half day bus trip that included a visit to a power station, timber mill, tobacco farm and dairy farm.

In summer, a two day hike was included in the program. Many a hike started on the High Plains and went over Spion Kopje, or to Mt Fainter, and back to the camp. In inclement weather, out to the Bogong Creek Huts and home over Mt Arthur was another route. Jim Edmondson donated his hut at the foot of Mt Nelse to the camp which undertook to maintain it.

In winter, downhill skiing replaced the hike. (Cross country skiing was not considered at this stage due to anticipated problems with waxing in an era prior to fish scale waxless skis being available). Ski issue and practice was done indoors on carpet. All skiing was done in the Falls Creek Alpine Bowl as there was no chairlift to take beginners over into the Sun Valley area.


1972-79

The staff numbers increased to 7 with the appointment of Brenda Martin.

A film of the camp entitled 'High Mountain Venture', made by AVEC of the Education Department, captured the essence of the camp.

Over the next 8 years many minor changes were made in the program. Terry Corr replaced Allan Marsland (1971-76) as the Environmental Studies teacher. Learning stations and dioramas were created in the environmental studies classroom. A sensory trail in the fern gully north of the dam wall was constructed.

Abseiling was now done under the dam wall as well as outside on the spillway as was pioneering and the indoor assault course. In 1974 orienteering was introduced by Paul L'Huillier. Most hikes were now finishing on the High Plains with the students being transported back to Bogong by bus.

The SECV donated two huts to the camp which were erected and maintained by the camp staff. They were situated at Bogong Creek, allowing students to shelter from the rain and leeches, thus enabling hikes to go ahead in poor weather.

An indoor climbing area was constructed in the old boiler house at the rear of the administration building and a volleyball court built, all by the teaching and maintenance staff. Peter Martin's influence in the rock climbing area meant the abseiling sessions were expanded to include more climbing.

In 1976 Mt Beauty Secondary College received grant funds to buy a set of waxless cross country skis. Paul L'Huillier arranged to get the skis to Bogong and a group of 12 students trialled the activity one day that winter. This was the first time cross country skiing was done at the Camp.

19 ten day camps were held during most years of this era.

Permission was finally given for us to bus students direct from Melbourne, but as we needed 54 seater buses, Hampton Road Bus Lines did our external work until Pyle's Coaches from Mt Beauty was able to provide a suitable bus and a competitive price. Charging schools for their share of the bus costs encouraged them to send their full numbers to keep the cost per student down as transport was the major cost for the students. This policy resulted in most of our camps being full.

At this time, in-service courses were run in conjunction with Camps Branch.

The installation of the Eagle Chair and the Playground Poma at Falls Creek, saw the skiing program blossom with the skill level of students improving considerably.

The camp secretary was Lynn Harley who was appointed in 1973 and retired in 1993


1980

In 1980 the camp purchased its first vehicle, a LWB Land Rover for approx $4000 and obtained a licence to carry passengers.

Max Harris was appointed to the position of Assistant Camp Director but died 6 months later while taking part in a camp hike.

Teaching staff for the first 9 years of the camp included, Brian Woinarski, Jim Crebbin, Meg Crebbin, Allan Marsland (1971-76), Lois Marsland (1971-76), Paul L'Huillier (1973-76), Helen L'Huillier (1973-76) , Barry Lovell (1971-72) Brenda Martin (1972) Ken Deacon, John Taylor, Terry Corr, Janet Holmes, Jenny Draper, Peter Martin, Garry Lewis, Andy Minko, Geza Kovacs, Greg Verso.


1981Brian Keeble, Assistant Camp Director, 1981-2001

1981

The first all girls camp with 48 students from Wellington High School was an outstanding success. The assault course was omitted from the program but otherwise the girls did everything the boys did and performed just as well.

Brian Keeble was appointed Assistant Camp Director.

Rapid Rider canoes (without outriggers) were purchased to replace Canadian canoes, as canoeing was taken out of the winter program.


1982-1989

The first co-ed camps were held but were made up of boys from one single sex school and girls from another. Mainly boys' technical schools were matched with metropolitan girls' schools. Later co-ed schools were invited to send 12 boys and 12 girls.

In 1986 a Bogong School Camp Council was formed which was made up of staff and members of the community.

Changes during this time were:

  • Cross country skiing was introduced
  • Target shooting and assault courses were deleted from the program
  • Five and six day winter camps were held
  • Some environmental camps were held at Bogong Creek huts
  • The camp acquired its own 'red plate' vehicle, a Troop Carrier.
  • Rogaining was introduced and run in an area surrounding Rocky Knobs on the Bogong High Plains. Procedure was continually updated to make it safer. Students were closely supervised in groups of 4 for approximately 5 hours
  • Initiative activities were introduced by Brian Keeble as first day activities.
  • The camp ran many in-service activities for teachers, but mainly in the downhill-cross country skiing area. Other activities such as rafting, orienteering and ropes course were trialled
  • Having a vehicle enabled us to carry the pioneering spars down to the river where pioneering was then held with much more success and an element of reality.
  • Downhill skiing for the students was made even better with the building of Halleys Comet, Wombats Ramble and the shelter at the foot of Halleys. The Camp never went back to the Alpine Bowl.
  • Rock-climbing was tried in several areas on the High Plains including Mt McKay, near Faithful's Hut and near Strawberry Saddle.
  • Another addition at this time was a dishwasher in the slushie area and more sinks In the kit return area for hiking.
  • Brian Woinarski retired in 1988 and Jim Crebbin was appointed Acting Camp Director for 1989.

The first camp for regional staff was held.

In 1989 all camp positions were advertised. New staff appointed were Ian Ryan and Heather Blackman, Tony Coventry and Michelle McCauley.

At this time Bogong School Camp complained bitterly about not getting its fair share of the funds allocated for the three Victorian Education Department Camps i.e. Bogong, Rubicon and Somers. Support from Somers and independent members of the Committee set up to review the situation altered the ratio. In Bogong's favour was the fact that it had been able to have a 98% occupancy rate on its 48 student capacity over 18 years.

Staff over the period 1980-1989 included Brian Woinarski (1969-88), Jim Crebbin (1970-96), Max Harris, Brian Keeble, Terry Corr, Russell Bellingham, Ann Morell, Joy Nethersole, Mike Watkins, Pam Wood, Peter Bradley, Ken Deacon, Jenny Roberts, Peter Martin, Bernie Redfern, Lorraine Smith, Tina, Jacqui Scott, Ronice Goebel, Geza Kovacs, Heather Blackman, Ian Ryan, Jodie McFarlane, Mike Cleary, David Lloyd, Mike Patterson, Janette McLaren, Michelle McCauley, Tony Coventry and Michael Pearce.

Cooks during part of this period included Alf and Josie Marian.

The office area was revamped.

Schools were now given the choice of which activities they would like. Horse-riding was included.

Tightening of budgets in schools, and union pressure made it harder for teachers to be away from school for lengthy periods to accompany students on camps, resulting in the Camp having trouble filling their camps of 8-9 days. The move was then made to have 5,6, and 8 day camps, even in summer.


1990–1999Piers Hartley, Principal, 1989-99

1990-1999

In 1989 Piers Hartley was appointed as Camp Director for a five year term and took up the position on 1st January 1990. At this time BOEC was operating as a School Camp, part of the then School Support Teaching Service (SSTS), along with other school support units, such as school support centres and curriculum centres. It was not a school. The Goulburn North-East Region handled the day to day matters between the Department and the camp, and the camp came under the Regional Director's authority.

Brian Keeble had an ongoing position as Assistant Camp Director and the remaining staff were on secondment from various schools, subject to annual confirmation. There was no security of ongoing appointment.

The camp had a number of staff houses available for staff.

Camp finances were complex, minimal and operating on an unpredictable basis, where the Director had to seek funds annually. Grants from the Department were held and managed from the Region. Claims and accounts were submitted monthly and paid by the Region. Under the then Government regulations, the Camp was not permitted to keep any dollars generated from student fees, other than to pay direct expenses such as equipment and transport. All other cash had to be paid back to the Department, never to be seen again. Thus the Camp had to keep two separate sets of books, one for the claims and one for the student fees. It was an inefficient and iniquitous system.

Threats of closure: In the last year of the last Labor Government (1991) there was a serious attempt to close down some or all of the three camps i.e. Bogong, Rubicon and Somers, as a financial saving. All camps mounted a large, effective and widespread public campaign through media coverage, support from user schools, petitions to parliament and deputations to the Minister to stop this. The campaign had the desired effect and the plans were scrapped.

However in the first year of the Kennett Government, a serious and major review of the camps was ordered by new Minister Hayward, with a view to either confirm their value to the state system, to privatise or sell them off. The review found that the camps were best left in the state system, but with some fundamental operational changes to be put into place. The major one of these was that the camps increase their revenue flow through greater use and higher fees with the aim of becoming largely self funding over time.

In 1992 the camp changed its name to Bogong Outdoor Education Centre. This was accepted as a reflection of the educational purpose and function of the centre.

Teaching staff appointments during this time: Roger Blackwell, Craig Chapman and Heather (Hedge) Thompson. Paul L'Huillier worked a number of term contracts from 1996.

Lyn Harley, the centre's bursar, retired in 1993 after 20 years' service. Cheryl Jarem was appointed as the new bursar in 1994.

From 1997 to mid 2000 Peter and Jo Eastey held the catering contract.

In 1995 Ken Gilmour was appointed as the centre's maintenance officer and his wife, Anne, as housekeeper.

The establishment of the camp as a school in the early 1990's led to major and far reaching developments.

  • The establishment of a school council, with the same powers and responsibilities as councils of a mainstream school provided BOEC with a proper staffing structure, and with the same appointment processes and ongoing positions for staff as in schools - this was a major improvement of working conditions for staff, giving certainty of their positions for the first time.
  • Setting up funding processes that followed the same principles as those operating in secondary schools - again, this was a major improvement as it provided certainty of funds and a greater income flow for the centre.
  • Becoming a Pilot school in the Schools of the Future project.

Other developments during this period were:

  • The sale of Bogong Village by Southern Hydro to private developers and the consequent redefining of the Department of Education lease conditions within the village.
  • Major improvements to the facilities, including major renovations to the dormitory, redevelopment of Kiewa and Nelse Lodges, rebuilding the student recreation room and canteen; refurbishment of the dining room, kitchen and scullery.
  • Major improvements to equipment levels so that all student equipment (such as skis, jackets/overpants, bush walking and climbing gear) was kept in top condition and regularly replaced.
  • Abseiling on and under the dam wall was banned in the early 90's because of legal liability problems.
  • When mountain biking was introduced it soon became apparent that the route had to be either flat or downhill to cater for all abilities (downhill would have necessitated transport). In 1995 the present half day mountain bike, half day rock-climbing arrangement out to Strawberry Saddle on the Bogong High Plains was introduced.
  • The village hall was demolished and the canoes stored in an SECV garage now.
  • In 1995 the construction of an outstanding high ropes course by Eric Westrup (an outside consultant), Russell Bellingham and Roger Blackwell. It is set in mountain ash forest on the shores of Lake Guy. The low ropes course which was constructed in 1970 on the spur above the tennis courts, was dismantled in 1996.
  • In 1996 the development of BOEC's website by Peter Bradley and subsequent updates by Ian Ryan and Paul L'Huillier. The address is: www.boec.vic.edu.au.
  • Establishment of the annual Bogong/Rubicon Conference in 1990. The purpose was to build closer working relationships between the two camps and to share the expertise and experience of staff. BOEC and Rubicon take turn about in organising and hosting the conferences.
  • In 1998 the construction of the indoor climbing facility, at a cost of $25,000, expanded the rock climbing challenges around the centre. Roger Blackwell co-ordinated its construction.
  • Purchase of two Coaster buses and a school vehicle to provide greater flexibility to program delivery.
  • Widespread use of hand held radios and mobile phones to improve program safety.
  • In-depth curriculum development work, bringing the curriculum documentation and delivery into line with current curriculum approaches.
  • Introduction of programs for students doing VCE Outdoor Education.
  • Introduction of a range of 5, 6 and 8 day programs in non-winter terms.
  • Introduction of a group instructor or leader system and provision of written reports for every student at the conclusion of each program.
  • Undertaking and gaining full camp site accreditation with the Camping Association of Victoria (CAV).
  • A major two year research project by NOELS (National Outdoor Education and Leadership Services) into the educational outcomes gained by students attending BOEC programs. This was a significant research project, undertaken under the guidance of a highly credited professional research organisation, which evaluated for the first time in Australia the educational outcomes flowing from a short stay residential outdoor centre. The research provided valuable confirmation of the outcomes gained as well as providing pointers to areas for further program development.

The research "reveals a well run organisation and program which is highly valued by its clients and is producing a variety of real outcomes for its students. The study showed that there were areas of particular strengths, especially in improving the students' effectiveness in dealing with life and in developing more positive general self concepts."


1999Mary Cole, Principal, 1999-2004

1999

The centre saw the appointment of its third principal, Mary Cole. The death of Ian Ryan, following a cross country ski race in August 1999, affected all staff and it was a difficult time. Ian had taught at Bogong for 10 years.The PRMS (DEET) allocation of funds ($207,656) enabled a major improvement of facilities in 1999/00.

Development of a Learning Technologies Plan which included upgrading of the centre's computer network, connection to the wide area network (VIC One) comprising edumail and the internet, use of digital photography during activity sessions and the supply to each school of a CD of photos of the students' participation, a major development to the centre's website (www.boec.vic.edu.au), staff IT in-servicing and most teaching staff taking up the Department of Education's offer of Notebook computers to expand their IT knowledge.

There were 35 camp weeks, with 1,723 students from 59 schools.


2000

A $40,000 upgrade to the Environmental Studies Centre. This comprised the construction of a dedicated audio-visual room, a major walk-through display area called the Long Room, the redesigning of the main lecture room, as well as a new outside access on the east side via a path, verandah and double doors. Landscaping of  the east slope to the road was also done. The project was co-ordinated by Charlotte (Charlie) Bisset.

Extensive renovations on staff housing.

The introduction of VCE winter ski programs (8 in all) out of the Kiewa and Nelse Lodges in conjunction with the normal year 9/10 ski programs.

Three new staff appointments: Paul L'Huillier, Michael Geerling and Charlotte Bisset making nine staff in total.

A triennial review of the centre was conducted in 2000, and a new charter written.

New arrangements for catering were made in 2000, with the appointment of an SSO (School Services Officer - Maria Schubert) and the centre purchasing all food.

A Safety Audit was conducted and follow up procedures put in place.

Continuation of the NOELS research collecting ongoing data regarding student outcomes.

There were 36 camp weeks, with 1,874 students from 69 schools.

Vision/mission statement and philosophy agreed to by staff.

Vision: "To continually strive for excellence in Outdoor and Environmental Education Programs that nurture students and empower them to develop values, attitudes and beliefs that sustain them for life".
(Adopted by BOEC staff on 13 June 2000)

Philosophy: "Outdoor Education at BOEC is about: - people temporarily living and working together in a small community; reflecting on contemporary living in order to…. adopt a basic and environmentally sound lifestyle while…. ensuring individuals are valued and feel that they can make a contribution to others and the environment.
Outdoor activities enable: - students to learn about themselves and to be challenged to perform at a personal best level; while learning about other people and the outdoor environment…. in an active, safe and health promoting way…. in the unique Alpine National Park of Victoria".


2001

The Residential Outdoor Schools Association (ROSA) was formed. It comprises the three outdoor centres run by DEET i.e. Bogong Outdoor Education Centre (BOEC), Rubicon Outdoor Centre (ROC) and Somers School Camp (SSC).

The NOELS (National Outdoor Education and Leadership Services) research study was continued into the educational outcomes gained by students participating in BOEC programs. This was done on a much smaller scale than previously and for only one semester.

Teaching staff employed on contract during 2001 were: Anita Mamers, Simon Williams, Kate Blackwell, Ian Arbuckle and Paul L'Huillier.

Brian Keeble (Assistant Principal) retired in November after 20 years service with BOEC.
Roger Blackwell was appointed in November as the new Assistant Principal.

Michael Geerling took a year's leave to become a junior pastor at Faith City - Wodonga.
Charlotte Bisset resigned to pursue other career options.

Steve Curtain was employed on a part-time basis to complete the Environmental Studies Centre's 'Long Room' display.

The centre organised a return students five day Bogong High Plains Summits Bushwalk (63 km) for 12 students who had attended BOEC in the last two years. It was by application and subsidised by the centre to the amount of $2,000. Michael Geerling was the staff member in charge of this inaugural activity.

The centre held a 30 year reunion of staff, friends and others who had been associated with BOEC during this time. During the reunion the newly developed Environmental Studies Centre's first two stages were opened by Regional Director Adele Pottenger, and named after the late Ian Ryan. It is called the 'Ian Ryan Environmental Studies Centre'.Ian's wife Julie unveiled the plaque. Two stages of the Environmental Studies Centre's development were completed for the reunion i.e. The Long Room display and the Cattlemen's Hut (audio/visual area). The third stage, The Main Room, is to be completed during the first half of 2002. This room will concentrate on five major themes: Flora, Fauna, Climate and Weather, Geology and Water.

Improvements to IT have included:

  • the placing of the centre's teacher, parent and student information booklets on the BOEC website so schools can access them directly to print out and distribute  
  • emailing to schools of the 2002 application form
  • student rosters and timetables were consolidated into a professional computerised package
  • computerised report writing
  • visiting teachers use digital cameras to capture images of their students during activities. These images are downloaded to a computer at the end of each day and at the end of the camp a CD containing all images is taken back to school
  • a multimedia projector and laptop computer have been purchased to be used for presentations in the Environmental Studies Centre and in other areas of the program as needed.

Consolidation of BOEC as a service provider for Wodonga TAFE and of Duke of Edinburgh Award programs.

BOEC received $6,000 in LIP funding from DE&T following the Triennial Review and Charter Development. This has been used to fund a variety of special programs in 2002 e.g. Tallangatta SC - personal best (2 days), Berwick SC - literacy and orientation (6 days), Making It theatre group from Wodonga (3 days), Wodonga District Primary students - leadership focus (3 days) and BOEC staff development. The opportunity to assist schools with funding has been a highly successful model, enabling BOEC to selectively provide to schools based on outcomes consistent with their Charter and with State Government priorities.

There were 36 camp weeks with 1,850 students from 79 schools. There were also 570 outside users who used BOEC for a variety of reasons.


2002Roger Blackwell, Assistant Principal, 2002-2010

2002

Work on Information and Communication Technology continued in 2002. All groups take a digital camera with them on activities, a selection of photos is taken and a CD is burnt at the end of the week and given to each visiting school. Some of the more innovative and technically competent students produce digital presentations that are shown on the schools media projector during our farewell session.

The Enviro team completed Stage 3 of the Ian Ryan Environmental Studies Centre dedicated to the memory of Ian Ryan a former staff member. This Centre now has three rooms of interactive displays, suitable to a range of ages. It is a credit to the dedicated hard work, initiative and resourcefulness of the Enviro Team led by Jarrod Paine and consisting of Steve Curtain, Michelle Forrer and Russell Bellingham.

The centre applied for and was granted $10,000 from Parks Victoria in October 2002, which enabled the planning of the Bogong Alpine Village Footsteps project. The project has received a great deal of community support. Interpretative signs will be placed around Lake Guy in Bogong Village in late 2003 and will give our students and visitors to the Village a self guided tour with a focus on the local environment and local history.

The centre applied for and was granted $75,000 over 3 years for a Strategic Partnership Program , funded by the Learning and Teaching Innovation Division of DE&T. This has enabled the employment of a 0.5 teacher who will liaise with Parks Victoria in Mt Beauty to provide information and resources to visitors to the Bogong High Plains area. Visitors may be primary or secondary students or simply a group of tourists with an interest in the High Plains. The Ian Ryan Environmental Studies Centre may be used for educational sessions. It is an exciting innovative project.

The Curriculum Committee led by Jim Gargan and consisting of the Principal and Assistant Principal, continued to work on applications that are outcome based. CSF 2 outcomes are now clearly identified on our student reports, together with indicators for each outcome. Staff assessed each activity to establish outcomes that best described the activity. Staff assessed programs with established activities to come up with program outcomes that schools could use to select from. A program brochure has been developed by Steve Curtain which allows schools to select programs based on these outcomes and timetables have been established for a variety of programs.

The principals of Bogong, Rubicon and Somers have continued to support ROSA, the Residential Outdoor Schools Association. This has provided valuable networking between schools, resulting in the first ROSA Conference in 2002 at Somers Camp, with teaching staff from all three schools. The focus of the conference was Middle Years. A meeting in term 4, 2001 with Nino Napoli from Finance division resulted in all three schools being granted an additional staff member. This will support our delivery to over 6000 students per year and is greatly appreciated as recognition of the value of our educational delivery to students.

Roger Blackwell has completed his first full year as assistant principal. As a result of his efforts, there has been outstanding development of technology to support the operational organisation of program delivery to schools. We now have a schools' data base which provides us with accurate information related to bookings and provides valuable financial information to us and to our Visiting Schools.

The Catering delivery continues to be excellent. The decision to move from a contractor and to appoint an SSO to this position has proven to be highly successful for over two years now. Reports from students and visiting teachers continue to indicate that the quality and quantity of our food is greatly appreciated and that we provide a model of healthy eating for students.

Works planned for 2003 include:

  • Building a student recreation area next to the student dormitory following recent demolition of sheds. This has been on the agenda for three years, but could not proceed until our lease was signed by the Minister of Education, Minister for Conservation and Land Management, and Southern Hydro. This occurred in March 2002.
  • Possible purchase of the old Bogong Primary School and upgrade of the building. This will allow additional student recreation area, of which we have very little.
  • Redesigning the staffroom and administration storage area for greater space and provision of a student sickbay in the administration area to allow for supervision of students who cannot go on program.
  • Renovation of dining room to allow for extra VCE students in winter
  • Renovation of Q store to allow for 20 extra students in winter.
  • Upgrade of sheds for Maintenance Manager and storage
  • Rockwall for extension to rock climbing program
  • Continued upgrade of buildings and grounds

A major review of the school camps with Nino Napoli from DE&T Finance Division in Melbourne was done in December 2001. Further information was given to Ian Maddison from DE&T Program Division in Melbourne early in term 1, 2002. Many issues such as staffing, utilities, etc. were discussed, with a view to have a funding model similar to other schools. As a result of this review, we were allocated an additional ongoing staff member
Two new full-time teaching staff were appointed: Jim Gargan and Jarrod Paine. Jarrod is the Environmental Studies co-ordinator while Jim chairs the Curriculum Committee.
Steve Curtain was again employed three days per week during term 1 to complete the Main Room of the Environmental Studies Centre.
 
Paul L'Huillier gained an on-going teaching position in November after having worked on contract full-time since 1999.

Craig Chapman who had been teaching at the centre since 1994 resigned in December and moved with his family back to South Australia to pursue other career options.

There were 35 camp weeks, with 1,907 students from 84 schools. There were also 696 outside users who used BOEC for a variety of reasons.

Highlights and Achievements

  • Completion of stage 3 of the Ian Ryan Environmental Studies Centre.
  • The Bogong 5 day Summits Walk was again a great success
  • VCE programs for winter provided again
  • Catering arrangements highly successful
  • Staff induction package successfully used
  • Duke of Edinburgh programs consolidated into programs for 2002
  • Somers School Camp hosted the first ROSA (Residential Outdoor Schools Association) conference which was highly successful.
  • Display at VASSP statewide conference prior to bookings opening
  • $10,000 grant for the Bogong Village Footsteps project
  • $75,000 grant from DE&T for a Strategic Partnership Program. This is a 3 year project allocation and BOEC will work in partnership with Parks Victoria and focus on environmental education for students and visitors to Bogong Village.
  • An additional ongoing staff member allocated to BOEC making a total of 9.
  • Hydronic heating was installed in the student dormitory as a safety measure. The strip heating in bedrooms was considered unsafe as student use was unsupervised.
  • A new fleet of mountain bikes and canoes purchased after extensive research
  • The 5 day Bogong High Plains Summits Walk was again conducted in December.Jarrod Paine and Michelle Forrer were the staff involved.

2003

Bushfires: Of great significance to the operations of the centre were the bushfires which ravaged Victoria in January and February of 2003. These fires affected almost the entire area around the centre and the fires came within metres of the building. The centre's only loss was of six elements on the high ropes course. The Rocky Knobs area of the Bogong High Plains which the centre uses for rogaining was closed by Parks Victoria until sufficient regrowth occurs.

As a result the centre was closed for term one of this year. Schools were not permitted to attend until the area was declared safe. This involved fixing road infrastructure, cutting down and clearing trees and improving poor water quality. This closure gave the staff time to review practices, audit and repair equipment and to assess the future needs of the centre in relation to this disaster.

The school and senior staff were involved in dealing with the fires and working with other government departments on fire control and the cleaning up operations. The centre received recognition from the Minister for Education for its efforts.

Staffing: Extra staff were employed in term three to assist with the year 9/10 and VCE ski programs. These were Steve Curtain (0.5) and Ian Arbuckle (0.5), Glenn Hobday (1.0) Craig Chapman (1.0) and Lisa McMahon on 6 month contract.

School Council President: Christine Walker (AGL Energy).

Special Schools: The centre continues to encourage and support enrolments from Special Schools and each year a number of schools send groups. These groups are usually paired with a secondary college that sees value in having its students interact with students with impairments and disabilities. Special arrangements are made to ensure that special school students can participate in many of the available activities. These groups stay in the self contained units - Kiewa and Nelse Lodges, but eat with students from the main camp.

Student integration: In summer the students are, where possible, integrated into groups with students from regular schools. This arrangement has positive outcomes for all students. In winter it is necessary to conduct separate programs for both groups. However for all other aspects of the centre's operations the students are integrated.

Service Agreement: BOEC is situated in Bogong Village. Southern Hydro has the head lease, BOEC and Bogong Alpine Village (BAV) each have subleases. There is a Service Agreement between Southern Hydro, BAV and BOEC. This came under intense scrutiny in 2002, and payment by DE&T to BAV for provision of services was withheld. The Properties Division, at the request of the principal, sought accountability for funds provided. It appears that this has had an effect and BAV have agreed to an audit of their accounts and have agreed to allow scrutiny of the 2004 budget by 21 January 2004.
Highlights, Achievements and Plans

  • Opening of stage three of the Ian Ryan Environmental Studies Centre by Governor John Landy on 22 May 2003.
  • The replacement of the old workshop and garages next to Kiewa Lodge with a much larger workshop and double garage and the building of a double garage next to House 25.
  • The placement of the Bogong Footsteps Project signs around Lake Guy by BOEC staff and other community members in November 2003.
  • A new High Ropes Course is planned to be operational in term four 2004 at a cost of $80,000 to replace the course that was partially destroyed in the January 2003 bushfires. Russell Bellingham is co-ordinating this project.
  • The annual 5 day Summit Walk was conducted in December. Leaders were Jarrod Paine and Lisa McMahon.
  • Rogaining on the Bogong High Plains in the Rocky Knobs area not permitted following January Bushfires. Able to use the lower Cope area.
  • 2nd annual ROSA Conference was held at Rubicon Outdoor Centre.
  • All staff attended a 5 day Wilderness 1st Aid Course.
  • An Electronic Weather Station was purchased. It is linked wirelessly to a receiving console and computer located in the dining room for easy student/staff access.
  • Work was done to remove trees and elements from High Ropes Course following the bushfires.
  • Triennial Review completed.
  • BOEC's Emergency Management Plan was updated.
  • The Strategic Partnership Program was given permission to employ an Education Officer full-time in 2004 (funded 50/50 DE&T and BOEC).
  • Bogong Village Footsteps Project completed by year's end. Steve Curtain was the co-ordinator.

2004

Curriculum, Programs and Activities

  • DE&T's Strategic Partnership Program (SPP) i.e. an environmental education program conducted out of BOEC and centred on the Victorian Alps. It was funded by DE&T 0.5 for 2003 and 1.0 for 2004. Steve Curtain was appointed the Educational Officer and worked out of BOEC.
  • BOEC hosted the 3rd annual ROSA conference.
  • An extensive review of assessment and reporting options, use of student journals and an outcomes generated curriculum was carried out by Jim Gargan through a DE&T teacher professional leave program.
  • Summits Walk conducted.
  • Student telephone interviews initiated on the local community radio station 'Alpine Radio 92.5 FM'. These were conducted on Friday mornings and students could listen to the interview during breakfast.

Facilities

  • Project Adventure (Qld) approved to construct new High Rope Course at a cost of $80,000. Work started 13 May 2004. Operational by term 4.

Staffing

  • Mary Cole (Principal) on leave for terms 2,3 and 4. Roger Blackwell was Acting Principal during this absence with Jim Gargan taking over the week to week running of programs.
  • Jarrod Paine and Steve Curtain take leave for part of March and April to go on their self-organised Australian Geographic Kamchatka Ski Mountaineering Expedition to Russia.
  • Carol Bartholomew (Falls Creek) took over Cheryl Jarem's role in the office while Cheryl was on leave in terms 1 and 2.
  • Zoe Black appointed on a 6 month contract.
  • Lisa McMahon appointed on a 6 month contract.
  • Lynton Hill  appointed on a 6 month contract.
  • Ian Arbuckle (0.5), Jenny van der Ploeg (0.5) and Steve McMurtrie (1.0 - exchange from Rubicon OC) appointed as winter staff.
  • Maria Schubert and Gary Potter offered the Catering Manager and Catering Assistant positions for the next two years.
  • Ken Gilmore appointed to the maintenance position.

School Council President

  • Christine Walker (AGL Energy)

Administration and DE&T requirements

  • Application to be accredited with the Camping Association of Victoria submitted.

2005Steve McMurtrie, Principal, 2005-2011

2005

Curriculum, Programs and Activities

  • Two one-day Buddy Camps conducted in October. Year 6 students are matched with older year 9  students during a day of outdoor activities designed to assist the transition to secondary school - a Upper Kiewa Cluster initiative.
  • Two Mitta Mitta River rafting programs conducted in term 4.
  • Summit Slide and Summit Ski programs offered for the first time. These are extension downhill and cross country ski programs open to past attendees at BOEC who can apply.
  • The Summit Walks program was conducted again with 10 female

students applying. This is an extension bushwalk program.

Facilities

  • Proposed to purchase helmets for downhill skiing in 2006.

Grounds and Buildings

  • Development of a Master Plan for BOEC drawn up by Karoline Klein, Bendigo.
  • Building of the retaining wall behind the main dormitory.

Staffing

  • Steve McMurtrie appointed as only the fourth principal of BOEC since it was established in 1969. 
  • Kate Blackwell appointed to a 0.3 contract position.
  • 4th annual three day ROSA conference held at Somers School Camp.
  • Paul Cooper appointed as the centre's inaugural trainee. He will be doing a Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation as part of his placement.
  • Roy Clarke from Rubicon OC took up the ROSA teacher exchange option at BOEC for the winter.
  • Zoe Black employed for the winter term.

Administration and DE&T requirements

  • 2006 School applications - 103 schools for 79 spots.
  • Redesign of the centre's website <www.boec.vic.edu.au> which will lead to schools being able to apply online in the future.
  • The Learning Bridge Program offered by the Hume region was adopted - a school assessment program focusing on schools with a performing and developing culture. It is a research based program that will prepare the centre for accreditation by the end of 2007. We signed on to undertake the Learning Bridge Program in 2005. One of the key challenges for Bogong Outdoor Education Centre is to successful complete the accreditation process before the end of 2008
  • Four Year Strategic Plan will start in 2006.
  • Implementation of DE&T Blueprint.
  • Teacher Professional Leave introduced by DE&T.
  • Approximately 2,000 students from 79 schools visited Bogong in 2005.

School Council President

  • Christine Walker (AGL Energy)

The Bogong Village Environment

  • The Alpine Shire commissioned the preparation of an Urban Design Framework for Bogong Village.

Anything else of note

  • Bogong staff assist the UKV Lions Club to man checkpoints during their annual Mt Bogong Conquestathon (March Labour Day Weekend).
  • Congratulations to staff members Jim Gargan and Jarrod Paine who receive awards for being part of the team that rescued skiers off Mt Bogong in August 2004.
  • Planning for the construction of the Bogong Power Station by AGL-Energy progresses.

2006

Curriculum, Programs and Activities

  • Summit to Sea Program (21 days)  - An annual Partnership Program with Rubicon Outdoor Centre. BOEC and ROC have formed a partnership to deliver a 21 day Summit to Sea Program. The Program provides students an opportunity to undertake an extended adventure beginning at the top of Australia, Mt Kosciusko, and finishing at the mouth of the mighty Snowy River at Marlo.

Leaders: Tim Esnouf and Zoe Black.

  • Successful application of two Bogong staff (Jarrod Paine and Michelle Forrer) in gaining 40 days each of Teacher Professional Leave (TPL) as part of the Department of Education initiative. They researched environmental sustainability in outdoor education venues.
  • Summit Walk program conducted under the leadership of Tim Esnouf (Group Leader) and Zoe Black (Assistant Leader). A Summit Ski Program was also conducted.

Staffing

  • Zoe Black for term 2, and Tim Esnouf for the year.
  • Natalie Mitchell appointed as a trainee for the year.
  • Ian Arbuckle employed on a 0.5 contract for term 3.
  • Paul Hartley employed on a 1.0 contract for term 3.

Administration and DE&T requirements

  • Implementation starts on the four year Strategic Plan (2006 to 2009).
  •  "Friends of Bogong - Alumni Association" established on Centre's website.
  • BOEC is a 'Camping Association of Victoria Accredited Campsite'.
  • BOEC has in place an Emergency Management Plan as part of the Camping with Confidence Accreditation Program.
  • As part of the process, we continued the Learning Bridge Program offered by the Hume Region. The program provided with a large range of research-based tools to reflect and evaluate our organisation to better inform the future directions.
  • 2006 saw the continued development and utilisation of the website and ICT, with the creation of a more extensive Bogong data base. It is anticipated that the FilemakerPro platform will be attached to our website and be online and in operation for all schools to use early in 2006

School Council President

  • Christine Walker (AGL Energy)

The Bogong Village Environment

  • Bogong Power Station Project by AGL begins. It is a 3 year project by AGL Energy.

2007

Curriculum, Programs and Activities

  • The annual ROSA conference was conducted in August at Bogong where staff engaged in an 'Alpine Experience'.
  • 21 day Summit to Sea program conducted.
  • Annual Summits Walk program conducted.
  • Introduction of student self-assessment tools.

Facilities

  • A new Radio Network system was investigated. Idea is to set up as a private network using radios that would give far greater coverage and include higher levels of safety and security. A repeater located at Falls Creek would be used.

Staffing

  • Paul Hartley appointed in a full time teaching capacity. Paul has a family connection to Bogong and brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to the organisation.
  • Tim Esnouf, Zoe Black and Kate Blackwell have been successful in gaining part-time 1 year contracts.
  • Congratulations to past staff member Tony Keeble who has been appointed Principal of Mt Beauty Primary School from 2007.
  • Michelle Forrer was on exchange in Queensland for term 2.
  • Peter Beames came from Queensland on exchange for Michelle Forrer for term 2.
  • Cheryl Jarem (business manager) resigned at the end of term 2.
  • We have been able to attract two very capable teachers for the Winter Programs. Tim Esnouf (currently 0.5) has accepted an extra 0.5 term 3 offer, while Aaron Knight will be taking up a 0.5 term 3 contract. This will bring our total term 3 staffing to 10.5.
  • New business manager - Kathy Panozzo - Tuesdays and Thursday.
  • New office manager - Lisa Ranton - Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
  • Facilities manager - Erik Veikkanen - full time.
  • Teacher - Aaron Knight - full time for term 4.
  • Teacher - Peter Beames - exchange with Michelle Forrer for term 2.
  • Teacher - Tim Esnouf - increase to full time.
  • Teacher - Zoe Black - increase to full time.
  • Catering - Helen L'Huillier has filled in when Maria was on leave.
  • Trainee - Mark McInnes.
  • Trainee (Catering) - Racquel Cooper.

Administration and DEECD requirements

  • The Department of Education has reviewed its policy on the use of accredited campsites (Camping Association of Victoria) and has advised BOEC that it is exempt from requiring accreditation in future.
  • Two new ICT website innovations: 1. An extensive Bogong data base with Online applications developed by Roger Blackwell and 2. A 'Friends of Bogong' section developed.
  • 2,021 students from 73 schools.
  • A number of staff presented at conferences in an effort to promote the work being done at BOEC.

School Council President

  • Christine Walker (AGL Energy)

Anything else of note

  • Development of the Zero3 Concept - Zero3 envisages a self-sufficient community emerging from the pivotal question "what would nature do here?" A purpose built Zero3 school will provide an innovative, sustainable learning community and environment that empowers us all to be "switched on" in taking action that reduces our ecological footprint.

2008

Curriculum, Programs and Activities

  • Development of a joint Curriculum Framework to support ROSA programs.
  • Michelle Forrer appointed as Sustainability Co-ordinator - targets and goals have been set within operational and educational areas.
  • Summit to Sea (21 day) expedition conducted. Leader Paul Hartley.
  • Development started on BOEC curriculum to the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS). These apply to all DEECD students up to the end of  year 10. Jarrod Paine is the co-ordinator.
  • Schools visit program trialled - Pre-information parent and student information nights were conducted with staff visiting some schools.
  • ROSA conference was held.
  • Summits walk conducted.

Facilities

  • Radio Network - Radios ordered and network was up and running in July. AGL have kindly donated permission for the use of their repeater.

Grounds and Buildings

  • Extensive landscaping of area around the dormitories undertaken.
  • New volleyball and associated areas grassed. Road fencing erected.
  • Replacement of Fireboard Panel.
  • Building of retaining walls.
  • New centre entrance designed.
  • Proposal to remove House 18 to provide more space for students and House 22 to be used for bus parking.

Staffing

  • 2007 departures: Cheryl Jarem (business manager - retired), Lisa Ranton (office assistant), Paul L'Huillier (teacher - retired) and Kate Blackwell (teacher), Tony Keeble (appointed principal of Mt Beauty PS), Mark McInnes (outdoor trainee), Racquel Cooper (catering trainee) and Ken Gilmour (maintenance officer - retired).
  • New staff for 2008. Nikki Graham (outdoor trainee), Brylee Green (catering trainee) and Jarrod Quinn (teacher). Both Zoe Black and Paul Hartley were successful in gaining ongoing positions. Also Ben Tierney has been appointed for terms 1 and 2. Tim Esnouf has been employed for terms 2 and 3.
  • Jim Gargan retired after 35 years in teaching and Anita Mamers resigned.
  • Edwina Austin took up a 6 month exchange from Somers School Camp.

Administration and DE&T requirements

  • Approval of BOEC's Emergency Management Plan and Crisis Response Plan and Action Cards.
  • Performance and Development Culture Accreditation gained via the external accrediting body Mercer Human Resource Consulting in association with the University of Melbourne. Paul Hartley was the co-ordinator for this project.
  • Parent satisfaction survey - Bogong surveyed 100 parents from selected schools with a 30% return rate.
  • 1,900 students participated in the centre's programs from 68 schools.
  • Continued development and utilisation of the BOEC website and ICT with the Bogong database going on-line.
  • Plans are in place to engaging a marketing firm to guide BOEC through a Marketing Strategy process.

School Council President

  • Ben Derrick (Falls Creek Resort Management) elected as president. New Board policies and operational procedures put in place.

Anything else of note

  • Zero-3 Project is underway with a concept document and brochure in production.

2009

Curriculum, Programs and Activities

  • Due to the February 2009 bushfires in the area, early term 1 camps were cancelled.
  • A remodeling of the existing High Ropes Course was done in such a way that the person at height is not responsible for their own safety. There will be a running ground belay system for the students to use.
  • A Sustainability Program is being trialled where students are educated through carbon footprint sessions by calculating how many black balloons are created to produce different meals, etc.
  • Annual Summits Walk was led by Ronice Goebel.
  • Sea to Summit 21 day trip. Jarrod Quinn (leader), Ian Arbuckle (assistant leader) and Tim Esnouf (trip organiser).
  • The Bogong Kitchen Garden developed through the efforts of Michelle Forrer (sustainability co-ordinator).
  • Student telephone interviews, conducted each Friday morning, on local community radio 'Alpine Radio 96.5 FM' were reintroduced after a few years' absence. Other students listen to the interview during breakfast.

Facilities

  • A video conferencing system was purchased.
  • Investigations ongoing regarding the lease or purchase of buses.

Grounds and Buildings

  • Installation of a solar hot water system.

Master Plan implementation:

  • House 18 demolished and House 22 moved to another site in Bogong village. 
  • Retaining wall at the old House 18 site. 
  • Parking area for buses on the old House 22 site. 
  • General office redevelopment.
  • Re-roofing and ceiling insulation to the administration building. 
  • Re-stumping of Nelse Lodge and the dining room. 
  • Re-stumping of administration building.

Staffing

  • Staff not returning: Nikki Graham (outdoor trainee) and Brylee Green (catering trainee).
  • New staff: Jarrod Quinn's 2008 1-year contract was rolled over for 1 more year; Ronice Goebel has moved from Bright P-12 College to join the Bogong team for 2009; Rob Blake was successful in the gaining the newly created Maintenance/Kitchen Hand position while the new outdoor trainee was Jenni Frank.
  • Returning: Tim Esnouf for terms 2 and 3 and Ben Tierney for term 3.
  • Aaron Knight took up a teaching position for term 3.
  • Ronice Goebel retires from teaching after 31 years.

Administration and DE&T requirements

  • Marketing strategy taken up by BOEC only, and not in conjunction with other ROSA centres (Rubicon and Somers) as originally proposed.
  • BOEC approached by the DEECD with a request to investigate the possibility of 15 Mile Creek becoming a campus of BOEC.
  • Main focus for the future will involve: school visit programs, marketing, sustainable living and research.
  • Proposal put forward to review the BOEC name.
  • Bogong has been placed on the bushfire at-risk register. Inclusion on the register is a trigger for pre-emptively closing in the event of the Bureau of Meteorology issuing a Code Red Fire Danger Rating warning for the weather district in which our school is located.
  • Rob Gell appointed as BOEC Patron.

School Council President

  • Ben Derrick (Falls Creek Resort Management)

Anything else of note

  • Zero3 Business Plan presented to Minister for Education Bronwyn Pike for approval. There is 'in principle' support for the project.

2010

Curriculum, Programs and Activities

  • ROSA Conference hosted by Rubicon OC. Theme "In Their Shoes".
  • Summit Walk leader Zoe Black assisted by trainee Jenni Frank. Marty Eriksson organised the trip.
  • Summit to Sea (21 days). Conducted by Rubicon OC with support from BOEC's Jarrod Quinn.
  • 'Bogong in Schools' - trial with Latrobe University Bendigo - encourage greater connection with student teachers/schools/Bogong Campus and Alpine environments
  • 'Bogong on Air' student telephone interviews, conducted each Friday morning on local community radio 'Alpine Radio 96.5 FM' were reintroduced. Other students listen to the interview during breakfast.
  • Program aims were developed to align with VELS (Victorian Essential Learning Standards)
  • Introduced a program with Grade 5 and 6 future student leaders from the Alpine Network Schools

Facilities

  • Because of the increased travel between BOEC and 15 Mile Creek Camp by the principal, a car was purchased.
  • A new telephone system purchased to link BOEC and 15 Mile Creek Camp through a network which includes a software program to run video-conferencing between three computers using the network (not using the internet).
  • New digital radio system is being investigated - would include newer features such as tracking radios through GPS. 

Grounds and Buildings

  • New student outside area developed above Nelse Lodge (old House 18 site). Comprised large possum, frog, lizard and native mouse.
  • New bus shelters constructed.
  • Major renovations to office and staff room areas.

Staffing

  • Shae George appointed to a Leading Teacher position.
  • Robert Blake was successful in gaining the ongoing 'Outdoor Adventure Activities Maintenance Officer and Gardener' position.
  • Outdoor Trainees for 2010: Heidi Kelly and Hayden Sullivan.
  • Eric Veikkanen was successful in gaining the ongoing maintenance position.
  • Martin Eriksson appointed on a one year teaching contract.
  • Lynne Short appointed as a part-time Assistant Catering Manager.
  • Noel and Di West (Kiewa Valley Cleaning Services) successful cleaning contractors for the year.
  • Term 3 staff appointments: Ronice Goebel, Ian Arbuckle and Kate Blackwell.

Administration and DE&T requirements

  • Following a Residential Schools Review by DEECD, Bogong will become a P12 school - 15 Mile Creek Campus is mainly primary students. Roger Blackwell has been appointed Campus Principal for the Bogong Campus and David Cavicchiolo has been appointed Campus Co-ordinator for 15 Mile Creek Campus.
  • Marketing plan - The 15 Mile Creek website and email address are being decommissioned and the old addresses being directed to the BOEC website and email.  The BOEC website has been updated with 15 Mile Creek Campus information. In the marketing plan a new website is being designed which will incorporate both campuses.
  • Recommendation made that BOEC name be changed to Bogong School and a marketing plan developed to 'launch' the name change.
  • The Departments Ultranet was taken up by the centre which included staff in-servicing.

School Council President

  • Ben Derrick (Falls Creek Resort Management)

The Bogong Village Environment

  • Some land slippages in and around the village.
  • House fire at entrance to Bogong Campus in August.

BOEC would like to thank the following people for contributing to the history: Brian Woinarski, Jim Crebbin, Piers Hartley, Mary Cole, Steve McMurtrie, Paul L'Huillier, past and present staff.