Project history

Prior to the Australian Adventure Activity Standard (AAAS), the States – NSW, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA – all maintained their own State Adventure Activity Standards (State AAS).

In 2015, the Steering Committee member organisations (see below), came together and agreed to develop a National Adventure Activity Standards. Recognising the national importance of this, a ‘Meeting of Sport and Recreation Ministers’ of Australia agreed to support a national approach.

Since then, 98 volunteer members volunteered on Technical Working Groups to build upon the existing State AAS to create the Australian Adventure Activity Standard (AAAS) and associated Good Practice Guides (GPGs).

The official release of the AAAS and GPGs was in 2019.


The AAAS and GPGs project was funded by a ‘Meeting of Sport and Recreation Ministers’ of Australia, which was announced on 5 October 2015 .

Recognising the national importance of the AAAS and GPGs, the Ministers requested the Committee of Australian Sport and Recreation Officials (CASRO) – listed below – to support the outdoor sector complete the project:

  • ACT Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate
  • Australian Sports Commission
  • NSW Office for Sport
  • Northern Territory Department of Sport and Recreation
  • Office for Sport, Australian Government Department for Health
  • Qld Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing
  • SA Office for Recreation and Sport
  • Sport and Recreation Victoria
  • Tasmania, Department of Premier and Cabinet
  • WA Department of Sport and Recreation

The initial development work for a national Australian AAS was supported by work completed during the proposed updating of the Victorian AAS. The Victorian AAS update was funded by The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.


A summary of the project process follows:

  • a Letter of Understanding between the Steering Committee member organisations was signed
  • a proposal and project plan was developed and submitted to all the State governments which they agreed to support
  • Terms of Reference was established for the Steering Committee
  • the Steering Committee reviewed strategic issues and developed processes and mechanisms to address them
  • the Steering Committee agreed on a process to recruit TWG members for the various activities, including nomination process, selection criteria, TWG Terms of Reference and decision making consensus model
  • the Steering Committee agreed on a process to conduct public consultation on the initial drafts
  • nominations were sought from the outdoors community for TWG members
  • TWG members were selected based on the selection criteria and TWGs were formed
  • TWGs reviewed existing guidance in State AAS and from other relevant sources, then developed a public consultation draft
  • draft documents were released for public consultation
  • the Steering Committee reviewed any strategic level and non technical consultation feedback and addressed items where necessary
  • the Steering Committee amended the strategic outcome in response to consultation feedback – an Australian Adventure Activity Standard and separate Good Practice Guides rather than a number of activity standards was developed
  • TWGs reviewed the technical consultation feedback and developed a final release version
  • documents completed were pre-released for providers to begin to start using
  • official release documents release at project completion.

Steering Committee members

Steering committee members from 2015 to 2019

Member organisationMemberPrevious members or representatives
ACT Sport and Recreation Services, Economic Development, ACT GovernmentRebecca Kelley
NSW Outdoors NSW (Previously Outdoor Recreation Industry Council of NSW (ORIC))Liz Horne
NT Department of Sport and Recreation, Northern Territory GovernmentShane McCorkellMarlene Renton, Naomi Hirst, Andrew Atfield, Zelma Collins
OCA The Outdoor Council of Australia (OCA)Andrew Govan
QLD Outdoors Queensland (prev. QORF)Dom Courtney
(Deputy Chair)
Mark Squires
SA Recreation SAStu FerenciNick Takos, Anthony Bates, Peter Vandepeer, Rebecca Deans
TAS Communities, Sport and Recreation Department of Premier and Cabinet TasmaniaHelen Langenberg
VIC Outdoors Victoria Andrew Knight (Chair) Chuck Berger
WA Outdoors WA Jamie Bennett

Technical Working Group (TWG) members

The Steering Committee wishes to thanks all of the 98 Technical Working Group (TWG) members for volunteering in assisting complete the AAAS and GPGs. Over 127 TWG meetings were conducted during development of the AAAS and GPGs.

All TWG members are listed in alphabetical order by surname.

Members where selected based on their individual experience and expertise. As the organisation’s at which they may have been with at the time may have changed (either during the TWG or after), this has not been included. Members that had to withdraw from the TWG at any stage are included in the list of members.

Other than the common content TWG all the other TWG are listed in alphabetical order of the activity name.

Common content TWG – AAAS & Core GPG

The common content TWG worked on the the Core GPG and the AAAS “Standard”.

  • Julien Atherstone
  • Bobby Broadhurst
  • David Chitty
  • David Clarke
  • Clare Dallat
  • Phil Harrison
  • Margot Hurrell (Chair)
  • Peter McKenna
  • Graham Sharpe
  • Dave Simpson
  • Peter Vandepeer

Abseiling and Climbing TWG

This TWG worked on the Abseiling and Climbing GPG.

  • Phil Box
  • Scott Braithwaite
  • David Chitty
  • Tim Gill
  • Peter Holmes
  • Dylan Jones
  • Marcel Muller
  • Graham Sharpe
  • Glyn Thomas (Chair)
  • Colin Walker
  • Simon Wilson

Angling TWG

This TWG worked on the angling GPG.

  • Paul Carter
  • Mik Ewin
  • Kate Sewell
  • Tim Williams (Chair)

Bushwalking and Camping TWG

This TWG worked on the Bushwalking GPG and the Camping GPG.

  • Frank Barr
  • Daniel Byrne
  • Chris Day
  • Gavin Dale
  • Luke Duncan
  • Sharon Ferguson
  • Bill Gehling
  • David Marsden (Chair)
  • Nicolas Scharm
  • Liam Sullivan

Canyoning TWG

This TWG worked on the Canyoning GPG.

  • Dylan Jones
  • Paul Imbree
  • Anthony O’Hern (Chair)
  • Graham Pilling
  • Liam Sullivan
  • Colin Walker
  • Tim Williams
  • Simon Wilson

Caving TWG

This TWG worked on the Caving GPG.

  • David Chitty
  • Jeff Cohen
  • Alan Cummins
  • Alison Fenton
  • Deb Hunter
  • Stephen Jacobs
  • Steve Milner
  • Andy Spate
  • Susan White (Chair)

Challenge courses TWG

This TWG worked on the Challenge courses GPG.

  • Nick Atkin
  • Bill Behrend
  • Dan Coathup
  • Fred Heckeroth
  • Kerry Houston (Chair)
  • Craig McDowell
  • David Mulcahy
  • Paul Baker
  • Luke Willersdorf

Cycling and Mountain Biking TWG

This TWG worked on the Cycling and Mountain Biking GPG.

  • Ross Armstrong
  • Rob Cummins (Chair)
  • Peta Demidenko
  • Evan James
  • Andrew McKinnon
  • John McTier
  • Roger Newton
  • Tony Scott

Enclosed and coastal waters paddlecraft TWG

This TWG worked on the Enclosed and coastal waters paddlecraft GPG (Sea Kayaking).

  • Phillip Doddridge
  • Peter Fidler
  • Garry Goodey
  • Peter Gould (Chair)
  • Craig Kappes
  • Rohan Klopfer
  • Sandy Robson
  • Mark Thurgood
  • Josh Waterson

Horse Trail Riding TWG

This TWG worked on the Horse Trail Riding GPG.

  • Nina Arnott (Chair)
  • Claire Bourke
  • Barton Lawler
  • Elissa Page-Hilder
  • Geoffrey Pannell
  • Mary Quirk
  • Sheila Tait
  • Alex Watson

Inland water paddlecraft TWG

This TWG worked on the Inland water paddlecraft GPG.

  • Rosalie Evans
  • Brett Fernon
  • Travis Frenay
  • Peter Gould (Chair)
  • Andy Loxton
  • Ian Neville
  • Shannon Obrien
  • Mark Thurgood

Snorkelling TWG

This TWG worked on the Snorkelling GPG.

  • Ash Belsar
  • Monique Bregman
  • Samantha Carmody
  • David Ciavarella
  • Travis Lee
  • Greg Lowry (Chair)
  • John McTier

Project manager

Outdoors Victoria hosted the AAAS project.

Outdoors Victoria CEO Andrew Knight and previous CEO Chuck Berger acted as Steering Committee Chair.

Murray Irwin, Policy Coordinator with Outdoors Victoria acted as the project manager and secretariat for the Steering Committee and all of the Technical Working Groups.

Traditional owner acknowledgment

The Outdoor Council of Australia and the Australian AAS Steering Committee would respectfully like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, their Elders past, present and emerging, for the important role Indigenous people continue to play in Australia and most especially on the land and waters used for outdoor activities and recreation.