4 people who’ve made the outdoors their office (& how you can too!)

Does the thought of spending 40 hours a week seated at a desk between four walls make you overwhelmed with excitement? Thought not!

Well, how about swapping the office for white water rafting, abseiling or mountain biking through lush wilderness? Here are four people who have done just that!

If you need no more convincing, scroll down to the bottom of the page to find out how you can start your outdoors career now.

Casie: sparking young minds through adventure

A proud Bundjalung woman, Casie Chalman is head of innovation at Indigicate. She designs innovative outdoor programs to offer authentic Indigenous education and bridge the gap between young Indigenous and non-Indigenous school children. Casie also operates Kindling: Light the Fire Within, her own outdoor education program that inspires young people to awaken their potential by teaching essential life skills that are missing from the school curriculum.

“I wanted a job where I could make a difference, impact young people positively while also having fun myself, exploring the world and nature.

Most of your life is spent at work, so you have to ask yourself, how do you want to spend your days? Locked behind a desk or inside a box? What legacy do you want to leave behind?

If you are thinking about a career working in the outdoors, just get in touch with Victoria University and they will answer any questions. It’s never too late – and it's the best career going round!”

Geoff: whitewater rafting king

Geoff Wallace is the owner-operator of PacKraft, a company that designs and supplies ultralight adventure boats (called packrafts) which are used for whitewater rafting and recreational paddling.

I really love being able to combine my work with my passion. The river is an amazing place to be, and to be able to enjoy it with friends, colleagues and students is so special. 

The outdoor recreation course I studied at VU was fantastic. It combined essential theory with plenty of practical experience – from whitewater rafting, to canoeing, mountain biking, bushwalking, and wilderness first aid.

It’s incredible to be able to work in some of the most beautiful natural environments, with great people. Sometimes you do have to pinch yourself because it’s hard to believe you’re actually getting paid to take people whitewater rafting!”

Samantha: inspiring in the outdoors

Samantha Carmody is the head of outdoor education and geography at Flinders Christian Community College, as well as the director of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

“I run camps and excursions full of paddling, snorkelling, caving, bushwalking and hiking, rock climbing and exploring different ways to interact with the environment. I am able to form great connections with my students and help them expand their minds and develop physical skills.

The outdoor recreation education I received at Victoria University taught me about the importance of enjoying what’s on our door step and appreciating our incredible ecosystems. The teachers’ passion for teaching in the outdoors was infectious.

Why pass up on the opportunity to be immersed every day in what nature has created for us? Even if you are not sure what you want to do in the future, start outside where you will learn more about yourself and your surroundings. It will change your life!”

Michael: building mountain bike adventures

Michael McCallum designs and builds mountain bike trail networks and is currently constructing a mountain bike path around an apple orchard and cidery in Harcourt, Central Victoria.

“I love being my own boss and working outside, doing something I am passionate about. The creativity and freedom that I have in how I interpret the landscape into mountain bike trails is what I enjoy most about my work.

My study of outdoor recreation at VU was a powerful journey of personal discovery and development. The rest of my life was about to become an adventure!

Since completing my studies I have worked as a classroom teacher at an Aboriginal school in remote NT, an outdoor group leader, a mountain bike guide and now a mountain bike trail builder.”

Ready to start your own outdoor career?

Discover our exciting new program in outdoor leadership - it's the only course of its kind in Australia and could lead you to the career of your dreams in the great outdoors:

  • Bachelor of Outdoor Leadership: In partnership with the Outdoor Education Group, this unique hands-on course includes extensive paid workplace learning experiences. With valuable practical skills and priceless industry networking opportunities during your degree, you'll have everything employers are looking for in an outdoor leadership graduate.

“The right course will put you on a great trajectory for work,” says Peter Borvino, VU graduate and now teacher of outdoor recreation, education and adventure sports at the University.

“In our program, students learn how to mountain bike ride, rock climb, and develop healthy teams through outdoor activities. Travelling through natural environments and having your own experiences will help you develop important skills and experience to draw on when working in the industry.”

With the outdoors industry rapidly expanding (and currently valued at a whopping $7.4 billion per annum in Victoria alone) there's never been a better time to make your outdoors dream a reality!