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Our People

Our people are the difference.

A great programme is much more than a set of activities and a good timetable.  It’s about people, quality of support and service, and the synergy of values right across our organisation.

Our People are committed to the wellbeing and growth of our clients, encouraging participants in a managed environment to risk their best. As experiential educators they are highly trained in interpersonal, and group management skills as well as the hard skills associated with outdoor adventure.

Higher Ground is made up of a group of people committed to striving for excellence in the provision of safe, innovative and purpose driven experiences, in an environment that values the physical, emotional and spiritual safety of each person.

Meet the Team
Dylan Smith | General Manager


Background Story:

I started in the industry in 2013 with an internship program. From there, I progressed through the different roles associated with outdoor education. I was lucky enough to work in numerous locations in southeast Asia and throughout Australia and finally finished in southeast Queensland. I began with Higher Ground in mid-2021 during a stint as Head of Field Operation and from there I re-joined Higher Ground in In September as the General Manager.


Experiential/motivational advice:

Someone standing with a compass and map may not be someone that is lost, but rather someone who has found something worth finding. 


Higher Ground Speciality:

All-rounder: instructor, Coordinator, Manager, Technical Advisor, Trainer  


What was your most memorable Outdoor Education Experience?

 Sharing the countless sunrises and sunsets with all the people willing to get out there and try new things.

Coral Bailey | Head of Field Operations


Background Story:

I have been in the Outdoor Education industry for 10 years now. I started my career down south before moving back to my home area of the Sunshine Coast in 2019. I have been with Higher Ground for 4 years now.


Experiential/motivational advice:

The difference between adversity and adventure is attitude.


Higher Ground Speciality:

Keeping the ball rolling!


What was your most memorable Outdoor Education Experience?

Rafting down the Snowy River in flood with a few workmates, but just generally being in the middle of nowhere.

Dakota McBean | Full-Time Facilitator


Background Story:

I had the chance to study outdoor recreation at uni for 3 years and it was an absolute blast! Now as part of my role at Higher Ground, I get to share the knowledgeI learnt as a student with other students.

Experiential/motivational advice:

Opportunities don’t happen, you create them, and the outdoors is full of them!


Higher Ground Speciality:

Giving people the chance to experience the outdoors whilst learning something about themselves.


What was your most memorable Outdoor Education Experience?

 Hiking through Cooloola National Park along the sand dunes at sunrise looking out to sea, while whales were breaching.

we are our people



 We promote justice and equity and have the best interests of each other and our clients at heart.


We promote open, safe, effective and honest communication at organisational and client levels.


 We endeavour to live our ethical standards consistently within our practice; and make our services as accessible as possible without discrimination or judgement.  We do the right thing.


We value diversity in its various personal, cultural and gender expressions. We advocate relationships free from judgement, blame and abuse.  We value the responsible use of resources – people, money, time and technology.


We are stewards of our Clients and always operate with a mentality of “safety first”; never compromising the wellbeing of our clients or each other.


 We share a common vision and mission, watch out for each other and act as owners of the company with a bias for action and a can-do attitude. We understand the whole is be greater than the sum of the parts, without abrogating personal responsibility for our performance and development.


 We promote and embrace a process of Experiencing, Reflecting, Thinking and Acting, always within a Safe Environment that stimulates the learning process.

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