operates two Links to Learning projects and has an overall focus on outdoor recreation as a means of engaging young people. Aspire delivers adventure-based learning programs to teach personal development to young people from all sections of the community, especially those who are disadvantaged.
OCTEC’s Youth Services expanded in 2011 with OCTEC assuming responsibility for the Aspire Cooperative outdoor recreation and education program that operates from Lake Canobolas near Orange. Renamed Aspire NSW as part of its integration into OCTEC’s operations, the program holds contracts for two Links to Learning projects funded by the NSW Department of Education and Communities.
Aspire provides outdoor recreation and education activities to youth from all sections of the community, especially those who are disadvantaged. There are two main target groups, year 7 to 10 students who are at risk of disengaging from education, and 15 to 24 year old young people who are not in school and not involved in full-time work or education/training. Aspire activities use an outdoor adventure framework to assist individuals and groups achieve educational, vocational, social and recreational outcomes, reduce barriers to community participation and increase quality of life. The activities include bushwalking, abseiling, rock climbing and canoeing, all of which help participants develop life skills through experiential learning including their capacity to work as part of a team.
Aspire worked with eight schools and a total of 86 young people across Central West NSW during 2011. The eight schools were Orange High, Canobolas Rural Technology High, Orange Learning Centre, Cowra High, Bathurst High, Kelso High, Oberon High and Portland High.