operation flinders

Operations Mission Statement:

Operation Flinders Foundation is to provide young men and women who have been identified as being at risk, with demanding outdoor challenges and support, to help them develop their personal attitudes and values of self-esteem, motivation, team work and responsibility so they may grow as valued members of the community. 

Contact Persons
Operations Coordinator Mr Jacob Ellidge


The Operation Flinders Foundation provide a safe, satisfying, enjoyable, and fun experience for the young people who participate in the program, respecting the rights, privacy and individuality of all people who participate in the program. Throughout the exercise Operation Flinders will provide a healthy and safe work environment for staff, volunteers and participants.

 The exercises involve participants walking a 100km circuit of the exercise area over a 8-day experience. The Operation Flinders exercises are held on Yankaninna Station in the far northern Flinders Ranges, approximately 585kms north of Adelaide and 50kms east of Leigh Creek. The country is classic to the Flinders Ranges terrain, which is the traditional land of the Adnyamathanha people. Both participants and adult leaders carry backpacks containing sleeping/camping equipment, personal items, water and a limited supply of food. Each day involves a cross-country hike to a designated night location (or stand). Each stand has limited facilities to support the team. It consists of trunks with sufficient rations for the team for dinner on the night of arrival, breakfast the next day and rations that are carried for lunch. A supply of water, camp equipment and cooking implements are located at these stands. Once the program commences, participants will be expected to complete it. There is no opportunity to ‘opt-out’, as students so often do so when faced with challenges in their daily lives.

 All team members are taught basic bushcraft, map reading and navigation under the guidance of the team leader.

Team members are responsible for campsite cleanliness, cooking the meals, building the fire, and other duties required to maintain the camp area. Over the 8 days the team walks in a pre-determined route around the property to finish in the vicinity of where they first started. The distance of the daily walk varies, generally between 10-15km. Each team is issued with a teddy bear that represents the team mascot. Once the team has completed the program, on the final morning they are individually presented with a T-shirt and a set of dog tags. Individual awards may also be presented.

 Through participation in the program, participants are also able to gain credit towards their South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) under the banner of Recognition of Community Learning

Operation Flinders Objectives

• Increase access to programs for young people at risk,
• Effect a positive life change for young people at risk by improving self-esteem and confidence,
• Improving the rate of return to education and encouraging young participants to seek employment,
• Engage students with a qualified, motivated, experienced, permanent, contract and volunteer staff to support student wellbeing
• Effectively respond to the needs of each student
• Increase the resource base of the program through support from the public, corporate, benevolent and private sector 

Student Achievement

Students will learn to:
• understand and have respect for the cultural diversity of our society.
• show respect for the environment in all of our activities and set an example for our participants
• provide an enjoyable work experience for staff and volunteers
• openly and regularly communication between staff, volunteers and management.
• have a commitment to total quality management.

SACE requirements and credits

Students are required to complete the following tasks to gain their 20 SACE credits:
• Pre Exercise Questions and Briefing
• Operations Flinders 8-day Expedition
• Post Exercise Follow Up Session 

Special Requirements

• Students are nominated by wellbeing staff, leadership and senior leadership for the program.
• Team is limited to 10 students and 2 staff per exercise.