QCCC’s Senior Supervisor of Outdoor Education, Neil Robinson, has received the recognition and accolade he’s due from his industry peers, taking home the Queensland Government Outstanding Achievement Award (Individual) from the annual Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation (QORF) Awards on Friday night.
Queensland Conference and Camping Centres (QCCC) won the Outstanding Organisation Award in 2013 largely off the back of the successful team Neil has assembled over more than two decades of service with the organisation. Neil is a trusted pioneer of Outdoor Education in Queensland, joining the staff at QCCC Mapleton in 1994 to start a one-man operation. From humble beginnings QCCC is now one of the largest providers of Outdoor Education programming in Queensland, catering to nearly 20,000 participants annually.
The Bunya Tree has a special place in the history of the Blackall Range. They’re a symbol of abundance and were the catalyst for the tri-annual Bunya Festival – a relational corroboree where stories and skills were exchanged, conflicts resolved and stories told. Explorer Tom Petrie wrote in the early 1800s about the importance of the Bunya Tree to aboriginal life, documenting how the women would congregate around trees felled by “settlers” and mourn each tree for weeks.
Petrie was so moved by the love the Aboriginal people had for their Bunya trees that he prevailed on the government of the day to declare a large swathe of land north of Brisbane a protectorate, arguably the first attempt at a nature reserve in the world. Sadly one of the first acts of Parliament for the new Colony of Queensland was to reverse this legislation and allow felling to re-commence. However, majestic examples of the Bunya tree still remained, none more so than the twin Bunya peaks in the grounds of Mapleton State School. Sadly one of these was lost to a lightning strike a few years ago.
QCCC’s Outdoor Education programs commenced in 1994 with the employment of Neil Robinson – one of the pioneers of Outdoor Education in Queensland, and a finalist in the Queensland Outdoor Education Federation Awards last year. Applying exacting standards to QCCC’s Outdoor Education programs, Neil has been instrumental in developing QCCC’s reputation as one of Queensland’s leading providers of innovative and best-practice programs.
Some of the things said about Neil and QCCC’s Outdoor Education programs in the QORF Awards last year include:
“Two decades after he commenced Neil trains and operates his Outdoor Education to an exacting standard, never being satisfied with anything less than industry best-practice. Many instructors who work for him have been with the organisation for ten years or more, an extraordinary statistic in an industry with significant turnover.”
This week one of Sunshine Coast’s larger Outdoor Education facilities, Queensland Conference and Camping Centres (QCCC) Mapleton, commenced work on new accommodation facilities to cater to a growing waiting list of schools attempting to access their award-winning Outdoor Education programs. In the first significant redevelopment of the site in twenty-five years, the Baptist Union of Queensland is investing $300,000 to create a third accommodation block of fully ensuited rooms, a renovation of existing amenities blocks...