Teachers, students happy campers

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Lenore Lyons
Camera IconLenore Lyons Credit: Picture: Shannon Smith

The region’s rich heritage, culture and landscapes are about to become the centre of a marketing plan to bring more students on school excursions to the Great Southern.

The Great Southern Centre for Outdoor Recreation Excellence has created a website targeting teachers and principals, compiling an impressive list of the educational opportunities for students.

Now with $20,000 in funding from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, the Great Southern Learning Adventures website will be marketed to Perth schools.

GSCORE executive director Lenore Lyons said they had created a network of business owners, community organisations, not-for-profits and service providers for the school-camp or excursion market.

“The whole idea is to drive education visitation,” she said.

“If you think about our region as a whole, we have some amazing assets that suit that school-camp market.

“Where else in the State is there that combination of amazing landscapes, cultural and heritage assets and businesses and groups that can provide all the different activities that would support school camps and excursions?

“We designed the website so that the businesses themselves are the first point of contact and our role is to bring it all together.”

She said the next stage of the marketing plan was to develop itineraries to make it easier for teachers.

“We have to be realistic that a lot of schools have made decisions, so a we really need to give them a compelling story to make them change their mind,” she said.

“The easier we can make it for them, with things like itineraries and linking it back to curriculum, the easier, hopefully, it will appear.”

The National Anzac Centre, Albany’s Historic Whaling Station, Tree Top Walk and the Tone-Perup Nature Reserve are some of the highlights already on the website.

Teachers can access whichever of these activities are suited to a curriculum.

Training co-ordinator Wendy Triplet has a background in education and has been brought on board to make the project more attractive for schools.

She said for schools, the decision could come down to cost and value for money.

“This destination gives value for money because it gives all the different things in an almost compact area,” she said.

“I can see a lot more things that can be put on the list in all the different areas, too. The more links we can have to curriculum and the more value adding we can do to an excursion, the better, rather than they are just going down there for fun. That link to educational outcomes makes it easier for teachers to go to their principal and say, look, what we can do here and it is all in this region.”

Visit www.greatsouthernlearningadventures.com.au.

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