About Us

HISTORY

OFFSEAS was founded in Singapore in 2011 with the purpose of promoting good practice and benefiting students studying at schools and colleges in the Southeast Asian region. It has grown to become the largest gathering of outdoor minds in Asia.

One of the primary goals of OFFSEAS has always been to promote outdoor and experiential learning throughout Southeast Asia by sharing resources, technical knowledge, and general good practice among its members. This continues to include ongoing dialogue between education institutions, and collaboration with third-party providers on activities and health and safety standards, including a variety of outdoor-oriented training seminars and workshops.

OFFSEAS has since its inception valued the annual gathering of members, which provides an opportunity for collaboration and resource sharing among participants. The organisation continues to work to engage positively with commercial providers and local governments and agencies to improve standards for the benefit of all students.

OFFSEAS has long been dedicated to promoting outdoor education and experiences with a central focus on improving standards, promoting collaboration, and fostering a positive and supportive community of educators and providers in the region.

CONSTITUTIONAL STATEMENT

As an organisation, OFFSEAS is committed to promoting and enhancing outdoor learning and education in South East Asian schools. We are committed to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in all aspects of our work. We uphold the highest standards of safety, sustainability, and ethics in all our outdoor learning programs and provide support, training, and resources for outdoor leaders and educators. We believe that by working together, we can create a brighter, more sustainable, and equitable future for all within the South East Asian outdoor education community.

COMMITMENTS

  • OUTDOOR STANDARDS

    OFFSEAS is committed to upholding and supporting its network to maintain the highest standards of safety, sustainability, and ethics in its outdoor learning programs. We are guided by the importance of maintaining a safe and supportive learning environment, respecting the natural environment and local communities, and promoting sustainable practices.

    We recognize that outdoor learning programs must be adapted to the specific needs and context of South East Asian schools, and we aim to develop our standards and best practices that reflect the unique challenges and opportunities of outdoor learning in this region. We also believe in continuous improvement and will work to ensure that our standards and practices evolve to meet the changing needs of our community.

  • SUPPORT FOR OUTDOOR LEADERS AND EDUCATORS

    OFFSEAS recognizes the critical role that outdoor leaders and educators play in delivering high-quality outdoor learning experiences. We are committed to providing support and facilitating training opportunities, and resources for outdoor leaders and educators in South East Asian schools.

    We are inspired by a commitment to professional development and lifelong learning for outdoor educators. We aim to provide a range of professional development opportunities, including training workshops and networking opportunities. We also aim to provide access to resources and support to help outdoor educators integrate outdoor learning into the curriculum and promote the benefits of outdoor learning to school leaders, parents, and the wider community.

  • SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND STEWARDSHIP

    OFFSEAS recognizes the importance of sustainable development and stewardship of the natural environment. We believe that outdoor learning can be a powerful tool for promoting environmental stewardship and sustainability by fostering a deep connection and respect for nature and inspiring individuals to take action to protect the environment.

    As an organisation, we are committed to promoting sustainable practices in all our outdoor learning programs. We also aim to promote sustainable practices in the schools we work with, encouraging the adoption of environmentally responsible policies and practices.

    We recognize that sustainable development and stewardship require a long-term perspective and a commitment to ongoing learning and improvement. As such, we aim to continually evaluate and improve our sustainability practices and to work with our community of outdoor leaders and educators to promote sustainable practices in outdoor learning and education. We believe that by working together with outdoor leaders, we can create a sustainable future for all and inspire future generations to become responsible stewards of the natural world.

  • COMMITMENT TO DEIJ

    At OFFSEAS, we are committed to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) in all aspects of our work. We recognize that access to outdoor education has historically been limited by systemic inequalities and biases, and we strive to address these issues by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in our policies, and practices.

    We are guided by a commitment to promoting social and environmental justice through outdoor learning. We believe that outdoor learning can be a powerful tool for promoting social justice by providing opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds to engage with nature and develop a sense of place, connection, and stewardship. We also recognize the importance of promoting environmental justice by protecting and preserving the natural environment and promoting sustainable practices.

OFFSEAS COMMUNITY

The community comprises several groups that form a strong and supportive group that is committed to outdoor education in the region. By working together, they are able to share resources, expertise, and best practices to ensure that outdoor education is safe, engaging, and effective for all participants. Through their collective efforts, the OFFSEAS community is helping to build a brighter future for the children and young people of Southeast Asia.

Schools and Associated Teaching and Leadership Staff: 

Individuals who are dedicated to incorporating outdoor learning experiences into their curriculum and school setting. They recognize the many benefits that outdoor education can provide, including improved physical and mental health, enhanced learning outcomes, and the development of important life skills.

Outdoor Activity Providers and Vendors: 

Providers offer a range of activity-specific experiences such as camping, hiking, kayaking, sailing and more. They work closely with schools and other organisations to ensure that their activities are safe, engaging, and aligned with the goals of the community.

Risk Management and Health Specialist Providers:

Companies that provide essential services and expertise to ensure that all outdoor activities are conducted safely and responsibly. They play a crucial role in mitigating risk and ensuring the safety of participants.

Individual Community Members: 

Individuals who are passionate about outdoor education. They may not have any company affiliation but are dedicated to developing their practice and may work with any of the organisations listed above in the future.

OFFSEAS COMMITTEE

The present OFFSEAS committee was formed by a group of founding members who came together with the shared goal of promoting outdoor education in Southeast Asia. These individuals were chosen based on their expertise in the field and their commitment to the organisation’s mission.

Over the years, the committee has added several delegates based on their experience and value to the organisation, with new members being asked to join in subsequent years since the founding of the organisation.

As a result, the committee now includes a range of individuals with a variety of skills and experience, all working together to support the growth and development of outdoor education in the region.

Martin Foakes

Martin Foakes

Board Chair

Martin is an experienced and respected Head of Outdoor Education presently working in Tanglin Trust School, Singapore. Martin has a long history of developing and delivering inspirational outdoor and adventure experiences for students of all ages in the international Outdoor Education arena.

Graham Wardle

Graham Wardle

Vice Chair

Graham is a seasoned professional with over four decades of experience in various organizations and educational sectors across the globe. He has worked with National Centers for Sport, National Governing Bodies and International Schools in Asia. Graham has been an instrumental figure in promoting industry best practices and providing a range of organizations with technical advisory services and outdoor education consultancy.

Rob Carmichael

Rob Carmichael

Hailing from Northern Ireland, Rob has spent his entire career working in the education, both in the classroom and outdoors. Rob is currently working as the Director of Outdoor Education at UWC Thailand where he employs his expertise in outdoor program design and delivery, including both inter-disciplinary outdoor learning and leading participants of all ages and abilities through challenging environments, including multi-day expeditions.

Sebastian Wong

Sebastian Wong

Sebastian is an experienced outdoor education specialist with expertise in safety and risk management. With over a decade of experience in the outdoor adventure industry, he has led wilderness expeditions for both youth and adults. Currently serving as the Campus Health and Safety Specialist at Singapore American School, Sebastian oversees K-12 educational travels.

Liam Warren

Liam Warren

Liam is an experienced operations manager with a history of working in the educational system. Liam has a wealth of experience in both onsite and offsite risk management, facility operations and health and safety. Liam also has a strong background in school trip management and water safety.

Jo Clark

Jo Clark

Jo has led and inspired students in over 20 countries on remote expeditions across six continents, with expeditions climbing to the top of Borneo, to trekking through Ladakh. Her expertise lays in teaching Languages and Outdoor Education, in settings that extended from the Caribbean Islands, across the Himalayas, to the jungles of Thailand.

PJ d’Rozario

PJ d’Rozario

Originally from the UK, PJ is a passionate teacher, coach, runner and adventurer and feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel much of the world. PJ is in his 3rd decade of teaching, having taught both in the UK and internationally. Currently serving as the Director of Co-Curriculum at Shrewsbury International School Riverside Bangkok, he oversees a myriad of roles including, co-ordinating both the outdoor week without walls curriculum and the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

Catherine Siew

Catherine Siew

Catherine is passionate about connecting with nature and the great outdoors. As a professional, she has a wealth of experience developing and guiding outdoor experiential programs for youth, with a focus on developing wilderness skills and transferable life skills. In her current role, Catherine organizes and leads outdoor education programs for K-12 students, including the Duke of Edinburgh International Award. Catherine enjoys traveling and has a particular passion for multi-day hikes in various parts of the world.