Australian Geography Competition


Geography’s Big Week Out

2023 GBWO

Geography’s Big Week Out is a mix of stimulating and hands-on geography activities, focusing on fieldwork, designed to challenge and extend high-performing senior students. Sixteen students are selected to participate from the Year 11 level of the Competition.

The 2023 Geography’s Big Week Out (GBWO) was held from 25 to 29 September in Darwin and Litchfield National Park. Sixteen Year 11 students from around Australia were invited to participate, based on their outstanding performances in the Australian Geography Competition: 




Annabel HallModel Farms High SchoolNew South Wales
Drew DavisonHale SchoolWestern Australia
Isla MooreCanberra Grammar SchoolCombined Territories
James SnelPembroke SchoolSouth Australia
Lara HunterDenmark Senior High SchoolWestern Australia
Liam RasenbergerCannon Hill Anglican CollegeQueensland
Manuga EgodageSydney Boys High SchoolNew South Wales
Nic LawranceCanberra Grammar SchoolCombined Territories

Oliver Walsh

Otto Middleton

Barker College

St Patrick’s College

New South Wales


Penny TassickerMarist Regional College BurnieTasmania
Peter XuMelbourne High SchoolVictoria
Rachel QuahCherrybrook Technology High SchoolNew South Wales
Rutvi AminSt Norbert CollegeWestern Australia
Sophie ChangCamberwell Girls Grammar SchoolVictoria
Sophie ParaviaTrinity College – GawlerSouth Australia
Will WatterBrigidine CollegeQueensland

Students spent three days carrying out fieldwork in Litchfield National Park. They were investigating whether Litchfield NP was being managed sustainably as a tourist attraction while still maintaining the values of a national park. Activities included: taking various stream measurements to assess popular swimming sites; recording numbers and demographics of visitors; interviewing visitors; mapping tourist infrastructure; and, discussing park values and threats to sustainability with a national park ranger. 

There was also time for fun activities, such as swimming under waterfalls and a campfire with marshmallows. 

Throughout GBWO students worked in groups, splitting tasks between the groups and then sharing their data and uploading it to a common website. 

On the last day the students sat a test from which we selected the team to represent Australia at the 2024 International Geography Olympiad to be held in Dublin, Ireland. Congratulations to: 

Drew Davison

Hale School 

Isla Moore

Canberra Grammar School 

Oliver Walsh

Barker College

Sophie Chang

Camberwell Girls Grammar School

The activities were led by Steve Hawkins and Julie Hearnden, from the Geography and History Teachers’ Association of the Northern Territory, and Shane Albertson and John Tasker, from the Australian Geography Competition Committee.   

Geography’s Big Week Out and Australia’s participation in the Olympiad are supported by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment, the University of Melbourne, the University of New South Wales, Monash University, the University of Queensland, Curtin University and the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience. 

Students participating in the 2024 Australian Geography Competition will have the chance to represent their state/territory at the next Geography’s Big Week Out and their country at the 2025 International Geography Olympiad in Bangkok, Thailand.

Geography’s Big Week Out is supported by the Australian Government through the  Department of Education, Skills and Employment. Costs or participating (airfares, accommodation, meals and activities) are met by the organisers.