Ontrail OnTrekThe ‘OnTrek’ program was established with Woree State High School in 2015. This expedition based program works with smaller groups of identified secondary students. It needs to be implemented as part of a targeted and holistic program, provided by the school. The ‘wilderness trek’ merely provides the contextual medium for the desired change in students to occur.

There are a number of rigid parameters that are established to ensure the success of these programs:

  • The trek route needs to be long enough and arduous enough to challenge all students
  • The staff involved all need to have a similar philosophical understanding of why the program is occurring
  • The trek needs to be embedded in a broader program
  • Students on the program undertake it on a voluntary basis (there can be no coercion) 
  • The processing of the experience is critical – facilitators need to have a good understanding of this aspect

The wilderness trek is conducted in an environment in which participants must persist and challenge themselves to complete each day’s walking. The environment, by its nature, is impartial and provides immediate feedback and natural consequences for behaviours. This allows the participants to take full responsibility for their actions without feeling that they are being judged for their actions and, that anything is being imposed on them. 

Like all the specialist programs run by the centre there needs to be a highly motivated and enthusiastic teacher in the base school to drive it.

Feedback from this program has been positive:


“The program has really helped me and my fellow friends that are also doing the program. It helps us with teamwork, talking to each other and helping each other. The other things I liked about the program is that we did some fun and creative things such as building a raft, hiking, cooking and seeing new places. I think this program is really helping me with my schoolwork and my self-development — Michael (Year 9) 

In 2020

TEEC will be working with the FNQ Regional office, as part of the "#Whatever_It_Takes" strategy.  A series of remote schools will be invited to be involved in "OnTrek".

OnTrek 1: Kowanyama SS and Northern Peninsula State College (Bamaga)

  • Camp 1: 30 March - 1 April 2020, at Holloways Beach EEC.
  • Camp 2: 11-15 May 2020, Expedition at Tinaroo EEC.

OnTrek 2: Aurukun SS and Lockhart River SS

  • Camp 1: 9-12 March 2020, at Holloways Beach EEC. 
  • Camp 2: 8-12 June 2020, Expedition at Tinaroo EEC.

OnTrek 3: Cooktown SS and Ravenshoe SS

  • Camp 1: 26-28 May 2020, at Tinaroo EEC.
  • Camp 2: 3-7 August 2020, Expedition at Tinaroo EEC.

Planning documents for schools are below:

For more information contact - 

  • EJ Matheson at Holloways Beach EEC or
  • Bret Crosby at Tinaroo EEC.
Last reviewed 18 February 2020
Last updated 18 February 2020