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STEP OUT is an adventure therapy program that allows individuals to access Operation Flinders' core program in the northern Flinders Ranges. The core program of Operation Flinders involves a 100km trek over eight days in the northern Flinders Ranges, at Yankaninna Station. This is a challenging week, both physically and mentally, and places young people out of their comfort zones.

Previously, this program was only available to school groups, but now individuals are able to access the same program through the Step Out program.

STEP OUT allows individuals to access Operation Flinders' core program, an 8-day trek in the northern Flinders Ranges. The program is designed for a wide array of young people ranging from those presenting challenging behaviours from complex backgrounds to those who may just need some extra guidance and support.

As the young people in a STEP OUT team do not know each other, they come together for an 8-week program prior to leaving for the 8-day trek. During these weeks, made up of 5 sessions prior to the 8-day trek and 2 after, the team engages in outdoor activities and team building activities. Throughout the program, the team are supported by experienced youth workers and adventure therapists, who facilitate a positive and safe space within the Step Out teams.

The program is aimed towards young people aged 13-18 who are both physically prepared to undertake a challenging 8-day hiking expedition and voluntarily committed to participation in the full length of the program.

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The STEP OUT program accepts young people aged between 13-18 who are physically prepared to undertake a challenging 8-day trek, and voluntarily committed to participating in the full STEP OUT program.

Operation Flinders' programs are made for young people who face difficult challenges in life. Some examples may include:

  • Social and/or economic disadvantage
  • Low self-esteem
  • Withdrawn and isolated from life
  • Family dysfunction
  • Alcohol or drug misuse
  • Childhood trauma
  • Association with anti-social peers
  • Disengaged from school, training or employment
  • Anti-social behaviour (including community offending)

However, it may not be the right program for those who are experiencing the following:

  • Active psychosis or severe mental health diagnoses requiring frequent hospitalisations and medication
  • Those who require continuous supervision or more than one carer at all times
  • Those seeking individual or 1-1 based programs
  • Are substance dependent and require a medically supervised 'detox'
  • Are suicidal or actively self-harming
  • Are being forced to attend under Court or Supervision Orders
  • Require temporary housing/accommodation options
  • Do not have a fixed address and the support of a carer/parent/guardian
  • Do not live within the Greater Adelaide Region

If you believe one or more of these factors will affect your participation in the program, please reach out as we may still be able to help. If you would like to talk to us about getting yourself, or someone you know involved in the program, please fill in an enquiry form.


Download our Step Out information pack


At the conclusion of the last STEP OUT program, all of the young people in the team said they built positive connections with their peers and adult leaders, most said they now feel more confident to overcome challenges and are determined to make changes when they get home,  and all said they discovered new strengths in themselves and developed a new sense of gratitude.

Every young person who completes the STEP OUT program receives 20 Stage-1 SACE Credits, which is equivalent to one full year-11 subject. They are invited to engage with Operation Flinders’ Next Step program, where they will gain many more opportunities for adventures, like spending a week in Kangaroo Island, or returning to Yankaninna to complete some environmental work. They will find opportunities for training and education, for example first aid training, barista training or completing their Duke of Edinburgh Award. They will also be joining a community of young people who have the shared experience of Operation Flinders, and often have shared life experiences as well.

The outcomes from participating in the STEP OUT program will differ from person to person. Some of the goals and outcomes the program will address are as follows:

  • Improved self esteem
  • Improved emotional regulation
  • Improved stress management skills
  • Improved connection with community and peers
  • Discover new strengths
  • Develop a new sense of gratitude
  • Feel more confident to make positive, lasting change in life
  • More confident to overcome challenges
  • Improved relationships and communication
  • Improved social skills


All meals provided throughout program (including breakfast and lunch on single activity days) are included

All gear provided (to borrow from Foundation):

  • Hiking pack
  • Sleeping mat and hutchie set up
  • Cutlery and bowl
  • Raincoat
  • Sunscreen, hand sanitiser, all medical needs
  • Personal wipes
  • Sock protectors
  • Warm clothing can be borrowed if needed

Gear to keep includes (Kept by the young person):

  • Hiking boots
  • Sleeping bag
  • Hiking socks
  • Head torch
  • Operation Flinders hat

8 weeks of adventure therapy - all inclusive of gear, food and activities including

  • 5 single day activities
  • 1 overnight activity
  • 1 eight-day activity
  • 1 catch-up day activity

Also included

  • Transport to activities from Operation Flinders Warehouse at Edwardstown + transport support where possible
  • Duke of Edinburgh enrolment (free of charge)
  • Nomination for Next Step program (free of charge; enrolled until end of year in which you turn 19)
  • Liaising with school contacts / care teams to ensure consistency of support
  • Further follow-up and referrals when appropriate


If you would like to refer a young person to STEP OUT, please complete the inquiry form below. This form can be completed by any adult looking to refer a young person to the program. Someone from Operation Flinders will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your inquiry, and the next steps. Once you and the young person have decided you are interested in the program, you can complete an application profile for the young person, which includes some more information about the young person's current circumstances.

The program coordinator will the look to place your young person into an appropriate team, based on age group, gender group and who they are likely to get along with better. Currently, we are running three teams per year, so it is possible there won't be an appropriate team available right away. If you are on the list of future participants, we will be seeking to place you within a team within the year. It may take longer than this to find the right team, as it is important your young person is placed into an appropriate group. Please contact the program coordinator if you have any questions about that.

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Please note: Operation Flinders is not a crisis support service. We specialise in Adventure Based Therapy with our focus area being prevention. If the young person you are referring needs more immediate support, please email and we can provide you with a list of external referral options.


If you would like to speak to someone directly please contact:

Lauren Butler
Step Out Program Coordinator
P: 0459 358 911


General Inquiries
P: 08 8245 2666

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