The Walk of Life Program: A Crime Prevention and Child Protection Initiative

  • Mark Cartner (Presenter)
  • Dobud, W. (Facilitator)

Activity: Engagement and professional developmentContent creation/deliveryAcademic


Youth anti-social behaviour (including criminal behaviour) and victimisation are significant issues for police, schools, and society in general. The Walk of Life is an outdoor bush adventure program that aims to engage at-risk young people to develop resilience and life skills through experiential learning in a wilderness-based expedition while connecting with police, school staff, and pro-social peers. This research aims to investigate whether this program, that links in with the school based police officer program with minimal additional costs, can benefit students in a holistic way and provide positive outcomes in terms of improved student behaviour, personal, and social development, and increased positive relationships between students, police, and teachers. The research uses a mixed methods approach to examine the Walk of Life program on a range of student outcomes relating to aspects like student development, school, and police contact. This presentation will discuss some of the findings from surveys of students before and immediately after the Walk of Life program conducted in 2019, as well as interviews with a variety of professionals involved with the Walk of Life program in some way (e.g., teachers, school leaders, support staff, police). Findings provide some indication that the Walk of Life program has a positive impact on the young people involved, particularly those at-risk of disengagement and anti-social behaviour, though some challenges are also identified. Ways to improve collaboration with disparate agencies, such as government, non-government, charitable organisations, Universities and traditional owners, will also be explored.
Period21 Jun 2022
Event title9th International Adventure Therapy Conference: 3rd Gathering for Adventure Therapy in Europe
Event typeConference
Conference number9
LocationKristiansand, NorwayShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • crime prevention
  • adventure therapy
  • outdoor education
  • Vocational Education and training