NewsHealth & Safety

First aid training vital for intrepid outdoor education students

For the past three years, Red Cross has delivered a blended ‘HLTAID003 Provide first aid’ and ‘HLTAID005 Provide first aid in remote locations’ to Year 12 students at Golden Grove High School.

Golden Grove is not in a remote location, but as part of the year 12 SACE course, outdoor education, students have some big adventures.

Students experience a range of outdoor activities, which develop skills that are transferrable to expeditions and day trips. The course has a strong emphasis on skilled-based learning, combining theory to practical scenarios. The course outline includes theory topics such as first aid, navigation and map skills, expedition skills (tenting, menu selection, camp cooking) and environmental studies.

Assistant principal, Mike Meredith, says the school conducts expeditions into remote outback locations, that require not only intrepid attitudes, but safety measures.

“The students kayak at Kataraptko National Park and bushwalk in Mt Crawford. The last of their journeys this year will be a ‘self-reliant’ trip, where students plan and conduct the expedition with minimal staff input. As they visit national parks and remote natural environments, they require first aid skills and Red Cross has provided an excellent training program for both teachers and students.”

“He said, these skills are vital for their safe travels in natural areas away from major metropolitan locations. The awareness of injuries and treatment, as well as the risk management process they are taught, develops good skills for avoiding incidents as well as the ability to deal with emergencies if they arise”.


Mr Meredith says it certainly puts parents’ minds at ease somewhat: “They are appreciative that students gain a recognised qualification, which can assist some in the workplace, as well as giving them skills for everyday life and their travels in the outdoors.”   

 “Our teachers who have undertaken the training similarly need this first aid certification to lead groups in remote areas. The program gives them the confidence and skill set to plan for and deal with emergency situations if they occur.”

Mr Meredith had no ‘life or death’ stories to tell, as he says the training is preventative as well as response-based: “Fortunately students who have completed the course have managed to avoid serious emergency situations. Students have always been able to apply their learning from the course to plan for and avoid hazards and associated risk.” 

Mr Meredith reports the Red Cross training has been of great benefit to his students. He says the sessions have provided targeted learning for their involvement in outdoor activities – and hopefully for lifelong engagement with natural areas. “Time spend in preparation is time well spent,” he advised. For more information, call 1300 367 428, or visit:

Photos courtesy of Red Cross. 

Suzy Barry

Suzy Barry is a freelance education writer and the former editor of School News, Australia.

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