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Mobilising the outdoors community

The Victorian backcountry festival will be happening soon at Mt Hotham (September 1, 2, 3). Now in its 6th year, the festival offers tours, workshops, a demo village, ski in outdoor bar on a hilltop, repair cafe, avalanche safety courses, an opening night party, films and a speakers program.

You can register for the festival here. The full program will be posted on the backcountry festival home page shortly.

As part of the speakers program, there will be a great event at The General in Mt Hotham village, with presentations on how to turn concern for the mountains into meaningful action.


Saturday September 2

Mobilising the outdoors community

2 – 4pm, upstairs at The General


Outdoors people can see the changes that are coming to the mountains and wild places we love. How can we act effectively to protect these places?

Come along and hear from a range of outdoor groups and to learn about how they are mobilising the outdoors community and achieving lasting change.




Omar Elkadi, Protect Our Winters (POW)

Omar.jpgOmar will introduce the POW Australia community and what the team of volunteers is up to as they grow out ambitiously to address the effects of climate change to our Australian snow. He will provide an overview of what POW has achieved this year and what is coming up for the rest of the season, whilst reaffirming the strategy of the group to tackle climate initiatives in our own backyard.

Omar is the current Head of Events and resident climate nerd at POW Australia, working as a Climate Strategist in his day job. He is a passionate skier with seasons under his belt at home and abroad, with Falls Creek being his snowy spiritual home. He enjoys skins out into the Snowies or across the high plains, a cheeky brew or two and a good laugh with like-minded powder hounds.  



Hilary McAllister. For Wild Places – trail running group

Hilary_McAllister_Headshot.jpgFor Wild Places’ goal is to empower trail runners to become sports activists and help protect the wild places we love to explore.  Although FWP’s focus is on the trail community, they are hoping to build a model that can be adapted and utilized by all trail users and outdoor enthusiasts.  In this session, Hilary will share some of the initiatives and learnings experienced by FWP during their three years of operation, including insights into what has worked, what hasn’t, and the future aspirations of this small but growing not-for-profit. 

Hilary is a co-founder and CEO of For Wild Places, as well as an experienced yet accident-prone outdoors woman, often unmotivated ultra-runner, political wannabe and activist in training.  Through her adventures and advocacy work, Hilary hopes to grow awareness of the threats that face our natural world and guide people to take meaningful action to protect these wild and wonderful places.


Patagonia – outlining their support for effective grassroots campaigns

[details to come]


Melinda Quick, Winter Wildlands Alliance.

Melinda-Quick-cropped.jpgThe USA based WWA runs a series of programs, from SnowSchool to the backcountry film festival, to engage, motivate and inspire outdoors enthusiasts.

Melinda will talk about the WWA and how they seek to translate people's love of winter/ skiing/ riding/ backcountry into taking action to protect the environment.


Finishing with the film Steep Reflections, with a Q&A with one of the producers, Cameron ‘Woody’ Wood.

I was raised in the mountains of the Scottish Highlands, this is where my obsession began. Like many we all have that place we call ‘Home’, the place where our deepest memories lie, and where our passion came to fruition. My passion is skiing. A culture rich sport which provides a way of life, and a community that speaks the same language wherever you go. Scotland is where it began for me, but skiing has led me on a journey to recognize this planet is our ‘Home’.

1-woody.JPGMy love for skiing has taken my life on twists and turns, from competing in freestyle and freeride, to pursuing a career as a Backcountry Ski Guide. Grateful for my opportunities, I look towards creating a future where people get to enjoy the same. After witnessing the effects a changing climate has on our ecosystem and the sports we live for. I realise the urgency for change, now more than ever. We all have a connection to this environment, let’s turn our connection into action. POW gives us all a voice in fighting for the things we love.

You can find out more about the film here.


MC: Mel Clarke


Presented by the Victorian backcountry festival with the support of Patagonia and Friends of the Earth North East Alps.

September 02, 2023 at 2:00pm - 4pm
The General Store,
1 Great Alpine Rd
Hotham Heights, VIC 3741
Google map and directions
Cam Walker · · 0419338047
Anna Langford Cam Walker
Who's RSVPing
Anna Langford
Cam Walker

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