Sandy Allen-Craig

Senior Lecturer

Sandy Allen-Craig

Areas of expertise: outdoor leadership; outdoor education; gender equity and diversity; nature connectedness and wellbeing; risk; resilience and adventure therapy; sports coaching for community wellbeing; physical education

Phone: 03 99533036


Location: ACU Strathfield Campus

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-1342-4307

Sandy is a senior lecturer in Outdoor Leadership and Exercise Science in the School of Behavioural and Health Science. She has developed and implemented courses and curriculum in Outdoor Education and Outdoor Leadership at national and state levels over the past 35 years. She has also worked with preservice Physical Education students and Exercise Science students delivering units in sports coaching and Physical Education.

Sandy is a published academic in the areas of diversity and gender equity within the outdoor profession; threshold concepts for Australian university outdoor education programs; coaches empowering people in developing nations; outdoor program outcomes; risk management and bush adventure therapy. Throughout her career Sandy has undertaken numerous positions across a wide range of committees and coordination roles including the Australian Catholic University (ACU) academic board; course coordinator; Chair of the course development committee for the Bachelor of Sport and Outdoor Education; national course implementation committee member; Harassment and Discrimination officer, alongside many other diverse roles and committee memberships.

Currently Sandy is an executive member of Outdoor Education Australia; the Australian Tertiary Outdoor Educators Network; a board member of Outdoors Victoria and an associate editor of Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education.

In recognition of her teaching and community engagement Sandy has been awarded an Australian Learning and Teaching Council citation, for outstanding contribution to student learning and the ACU Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Community Engagement, for her work in Timor Leste. As an acknowledgement of her ongoing contribution to her profession over many years she has been inducted as a fellow of the Australian Council of Health Physical Education and Recreation and Outdoor Education Australia.

Select publications

  • Gray, T., Allen-Craig, S., Mitten, D., & Charles, R. (2021). Widening the aperture: Using visual methods to broaden our understanding of gender in the outdoor profession. Annals of Leisure Research, 25(3), 314-334. doi:10.1080/11745398.2021.1899831
  • Allen-Craig, S., Gray, T., Charles, R., Socha, T., Cosgriff, M., Mitten, D., & Loeffler, TA. (2020). Together we have impact: Exploring gendered experiences in outdoor leadership. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 12(1), 121-139. doi:10.18666/jorel-2020-v12-i1-9937
  • Quay, J., Gray, T., Thomas, G., Allen-Craig, S., Asfeldt, M., Andkjaer, S., Beames, S., Cosgriff, M., Dyment, J., Higgins, P., Ho, S., Leather, M., Mitten, D., Morse, M., Neill, J., North, C., Passy, R., Pedersen-Gurholt, K., Polley, S., Stewart, A., Takano, T., Waite, S., & Foley, D. (2020). What future/s for outdoor and environmental education in a world that has contended with covid-19? Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education, 23(2), 93-117. doi:10.1007/s42322-020-00059-2
  • Thomas, G., Grenon, H., Morse, M., Allen-Craig, S., Mangelsdorf, A., & Polley, S. (2019). Threshold concepts for Australian university outdoor education programs: Findings from a Delphi Research Study. Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education, 22(3), 169-186. doi:10.1007/s42322-019-00039-1
  • Allen-Craig, S., Gray, T., & Charles, R. (2019) Reviewing a Gendered Landscape; exploring outdoor journeys through creative reflections. Education Outdoors Conference, Diversity, Inclusion & Care in the Outdoors. VIC.
  • Gray, T., Mitten, D., Loeffler, T. A., Allen-Craig, S., & Carpenter, C. (2018). Defining moments: An examination of the gender divide in women's contribution to outdoor education. Research in Outdoor Education, Special Edition, 7th International Outdoor Education Research Conference. 2017, Vol. (15), 47-70.
  • Allen-Craig, S., & Carpenter, C. (2017). Outdoor Education: Threaded pathways to belonging. In Gray, T. & Mitten, D. (Eds.). The Palgrave International Handbook of Women and Outdoor Learning, 55-73. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-53550-0_4
  • Mitten, D., Gray, T., Allen-Craig, S., Loeffler, T., & Carpenter, C. (2017). The invisibility cloak: Women's contributions to outdoor and environmental education. The Journal of Environmental Education, 49(4), 318-327. doi:10.1080/00958964.2017.1366890
  • Gray, T., Allen-Craig, S., & Carpenter, C. (2017). Selective hearing: The unrecognised contribution of women to the outdoor profession. Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education, 20(1), 25-34. doi:10.1007/bf03401000
  • Allen-Craig, S. (2016) Coaches: educating people: The education of coaches for the development of community. International Seminar: Pontificium Consilium Pro Laici. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Rome.
  • Allen-Craig, S. & Ronalds, L., (2015). A Wilderness based Therapeutic Intervention at Risk of Homelessness and Educational Disconnection. In Norton, C., Carpenter, C., & Pryor, A. (Eds.). Adventure Therapy around the Globe: International Perspectives and Diverse Approaches. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Publishing. doi:10.18848/978-1-61229-774-3/cgp
  • Raw, K., Allen-Craig, S., & Smith, R. (2015). The Future in Youth sport program, Timor-Leste: Impacts on youth, coaches, and community. International Sports Studies 37(2).
  • Webb, H., Allen-Craig, S., Ford, R., Williams, P. & Goodwin, V. (2014). Digger's Trail Wilderness Exercise: A work-integrated experience for paramedic students. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 7(2), 33-40.
  • Ford, R., Webb, H., Allen-Craig, S., Goodwin, V., D'Antonio, J., & Lofts, C. (2014). A simulated wilderness exercise: The development of relational competence in Paramedic Students. Journal of Paramedic Practice, 6(11), 574-583. doi:10.12968/jpar.2014.6.11.574
  • Allen-Craig, S., Nicholls, V. (2014) Outdoor Environments and therapeutic interventions: an adventure in Learning. Proceedings of the 18th National Outdoor Education Conference. Adelaide, SA.
  • Raw, K., Allen-Craig, S. (2014) Youth Sport in East Timor. Proceedings of Sport Matters 2nd International Conference. Brisbane, QLD
  • Allen-Craig, S., Schade, D. (2013) Does Outdoor Education have a role to play in introducing and connecting students to the natural environment? Proceedings of 6th International Outdoor Education Research Conference, Future faces: Outdoor education research innovations and visions. Dunedin, NZ.
  • Allen-Craig, S., Ronalds, L. (2012). A wilderness based therapeutic intervention for young people at risk of homelessness and educational disconnection. In Pryor, A., Carpenter, C., Norton, C., & Kirchner, J. eds. International Adventure Therapy: Emerging insights. Proceedings of the Fifth International Adventure Therapy Conference Edinburgh. Czech Republic: European Science and Art Publishing. Prague. ISBN: 978-80-87504-15-4
  • Allen-Craig, S., & Hartley, C. (2012). Exploring the long-term effects for young women involved in an outdoor education program. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 4(2), 88-91. doi:10.7768/1948-5123.1153
  • Saunders, J., Maschette, W. & Allen-Craig, S. (2009) Personal development as a contribution to professional development: activity-based learning, graduate attributes and student learning outcomes. In T. Rossi, P. Hay, L. McCuaig, R. Tinning, & D. Macdonald (eds) Sport Pedagogy Research, Policy and Practice: International Perspectives in Physical Education and Coaching. Proceedings of the 2008 AIESEP World Congress. Sapporo, Japan.
  • Gillespie, E., & Allen-Craig, S. (2009). The enhancement of resilience via a wilderness therapy program: A preliminary investigation. Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education, 13(1), 39-49. doi:10.1007/bf03400878
  • Allen-Craig, S. & Ronalds, L., (2008) Preventing family and educational disconnection through wilderness-based therapy targeting youth at-risk. ACHPER Healthy Lifestyles Journal. Vol 55 (2), 5-14.
  • McLeod, B., & Allen-Craig, S. (2007). What outcomes are we trying to achieve in our outdoor education programs? Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education, 11(2), 41-49. doi:10.1007/bf03400856
  • Allen-Craig, S., & Miller, J. (2007) Can outdoor educators make a difference? The effect of outdoor educators on achieving program outcomes. ACHPER Healthy Lifestyles Journal, 54 (2), 5-12.
  • Allen-Craig, S., & Miller, J (2006) The outdoor educator's effect on achieving program outcomes. A cross section of Australian schools. Proceedings of the Third International Outdoor Education Research Conference. Widening Horizons, Diversity in Theoretical and Critical Views in Outdoor Education. Division of Outdoor Education University of Central Lancashire, England
  • Allen-Craig, S., & McLeod, B. (2005) What outcomes are we trying to achieve in our outdoor programs? An examination of Outdoor Education and Experiential Education programs effect on Life Effectiveness skills. Proceedings of the 14th National Outdoor Education Conference. Outdoor Council of Australia. Gold Coast, QLD
  • Allen-Craig, S. (2003) Insurance, risk management development and new initiatives in the outdoor profession. Proceedings of the 13th AOEC National Outdoor Education Conference. Relevance: Making it Happen. Adelaide, SA.
  • Allen-Craig, S., & Moonen, B. (2002). Wages and conditions of the Victorian outdoor education profession. Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education, 6(2), 37-43. doi:10.1007/bf0340075


  • 2012 ACU Faculty of Health Sciences Teaching Development Grant. Out of the ambulance and into the field: The impact of field exercise on paramedic students' clinical learning.
  • 2006 ACU Deans Initiative fund. Investigation of therapeutic interventions for youth at risk.

Accolades and Awards

  • 2012 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Community Engagement:
    Future in Youth, Timor Leste: a program from the School of Exercise Science, Faculty of Health Sciences. Future in Youth in Baucau is an innovative community capacity building program that engages children and youth through sport.
  • 2011 Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC)
    Australian Awards for University Teaching-Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
  • 1994 Inducted as a FELLOW of the Australian Council of Health Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER)
  • 2022 Inducted as a FELLOW of Outdoor Education Australia (OEA)

Appointments and Affiliations


  • Executive member - Outdoor Education Australia
  • Executive member - Outdoor Education Australia (OEA)
  • Executive member - Australian Tertiary Outdoor Education Network
  • Outdoors Victoria (OV) - Board member
  • Health and Physical Education Tertiary Alliance of Victoria - Member
  • OV - Outdoor Education Sub committee
  • ACHPER -Tertiary Advisor Group

2021-2019 Deputy Chair - Outdoors Victoria

2014-2011 Office for Learning and Teaching Higher Education: Assessor for the Awards Unit for the Division, Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

2014-1988 Australian Council for Health Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER)

2014-2008 ACHPER Tertiary ACU Representative

2005-1996 ACHPER Victorian Recreation State Co-ordinator

1996 ACHPER 20th National/International conference organising committee

1994-1991 ACHPER Victorian Recreation State Co-ordinator

2012-1988 Victorian Outdoor Education Association (VOEA)

2012-1996 VOEA Tertiary Advisory Representative

2012-2005 VOEA council member

2009 VOEA State Outdoor Education conference organising committee

1992-1988 VOEA council member

2003-1990 Bushwalking Mountain Craft Training Advisory Board (BMTAB)

2002-1990 BMTAB advisor and assessor

Editorial roles

  • Associate Editor - The Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education

International journal review panels

  • The Journal of Experiential Education.
  • Journal of the International Society for Comparative Physical Education and Sport

Public engagement activities

Keynote Panel Addresses

  • Allen-Craig, S. (2019) Women in Outdoor leadership - The office of Women in Sport and Recreation. Sports House MSAC VIC
  • Martin, P., Allen-Craig, S., Clay, T., Grenon, H., & Hall, A. (2018) Enduring and creating a future in OE, Purpose-Passion- and the Profession. Education Outdoors - Your Future in the Outdoors Conference. Footscray, VIC.

Keynote Addresses

  • Allen-Craig, S. & Carpenter, C. (2016) Enhancing wellbeing. H2R-Catalyst Happiness - Happiness - Health and Resilience in Victorian Outdoors. Outdoors Victoria State Conference. Ballarat, VIC
  • Allen-Craig, S. (1992) Processing and debriefing the outdoor experience. Victorian State Outdoor Education Conference, Melbourne University. Melbourne, VIC

Featured presentations

  • Allen-Craig, S., Thomas, G., Polley, S., Allen-Craig, S., Morse, M., Munge, B., (2021) Threshold Concepts for Australian university outdoor education graduations. International Outdoor Education Research Conference. Webinar.
  • Allen-Craig, S., Charles, R. (2019) Careers in the Outdoors: When the student becomes the master. Outdoors Victoria Education Outdoors Conference: Diversity, Inclusion & Care in the Outdoors. Footscray, VIC.
  • Allen-Craig, S., & Quay, J. (2018) How teaching outdoor education makes a contribution to helping people and the planet. ACHPER, Health, Outdoor, Sport and Physical Education conference. Clayton, VIC.
  • llen-Craig, S. (2015) International Models: Spotlight on community engagement. Presidents' Roundtable: 'Leading International Collaborations'. Melbourne, VIC
  • Allen-Craig, S. (2015) The Future in Youth Program: Sport Outreach East Timor. Australian Catholic Youth Festival. Adelaide, SA.
  • Allen-Craig, S. (2015) Coaches: educating people: The Future in Youth sport program, Timor-Leste. The education of coaches for the development of community. International Study Seminar of the Church and Sport Section: Pontifical Council for the Laity, Rome, Italy

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