Our informal mission statement is to "encourage and enable people to go bushwalking in wonderful places".
Bushwalking Victoria represents all bushwalkers and bushwalking clubs in Victoria, Australia. We consist of 60 bushwalking clubs, 8 associated organisations and approximately 240 individual members, advocating on bushwalking and conservation issues in Victoria. Collectively, we represent 8,000 members and 250,000 bushwalkers actively engaged in outdoor recreation.
Bushwalking Victoria is a not-for-profit organisation run by a dedicated band of volunteers. Our funds are generally derived from membership and subscriber fees. We also receive grant funding from the state government to undertake specific projects.
We are an Incorporated Association, governed by a Board of Management comprising four elected officers and five general Board members. The day-to-day management of the organisation is carried out by the office bearers, conveners of standing committees and other specialist officers, assisted by an Office Manager.
We are a member of the national peak body Bushwalking Australia.
Bushwalking Victoria's advocacy efforts aim to proactively influence decisions that impact on bushwalking and bushwalkers in Victoria, by engaging with key decision makers and land managers such as Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to ensure that bushwalking issues and opportunities are understood and considered when policies and decisions are made that impact on the bushwalking community in Victoria.
Bushwalking Victoria participates with the Bushwalking Advisory Committee along with representatives from DELWP and Parks Victoria.
Bushwalking Victoria is committed to good corporate social responsibility.
Our Vision: Better Bushwalking For Victoria
A large and diverse bushwalking community enjoying world class walking opportunities across a wide range of Victorian landscapes.
Our Mission: To inspire more people to walk in natural areas for enjoyment, health, wellbeing and appreciation of the Victorian environment.
- Promote safe and environmentally responsible recreational bushwalking and its benefits to the community
- Maintain for the benefit of the community as a whole, a volunteer Search and Rescue Group to assist in land based searches for persons lost in Victoria
- Promote and actively work for the conservation and effective management of the natural environment including national and state parks, wilderness, coastal and other public land areas to enhance their bushwalking value to the community
- Work to assist with the development, maintenance and protection of the integrity and accessibility of walking tracks, so as to enhance their recreational bushwalking value for all
What we do
- Engage in environmental advocacy with local and state government authorities
- Conduct Bush Search and Rescue (BSAR) operations at the request of Victoria Police
- Undertake conservation work utilising the skills of our Bushwalking Tracks and Conservation (BTAC) volunteers
- Develop and conduct training programs in bush skills, leadership and Search and Rescue
- Assist member bushwalking clubs by providing advice and resources such as the Bushwalkers Code and Risk Management documents
- Research and prepare reports on bushwalking and conservation issues
- Represent the interests of Victorian Bushwalkers to Local Government and Victorian State Government Authorities through reports, submissions, meetings and discussion with key agencies
- Provide information on our website to assist bushwalkers to enjoy the natural environment
History of Bushwalking Victoria
From the time of our early explorers, men and women were drawn to the natural environment and walked the wild country and sea side. Then came miners, timber getters and cattlemen, and their tracks served the walkers well. Australians did not escape the world-wide obsession to walk, the "hiking boom" of the 1930s, and clubs sprang up everywhere. The fad had hardly caught hold before it waned, but curiously, in 1934, as its popularity faded eight walking clubs in Melbourne founded a Federation, to promote the activity as a reasonable form of recreation, and to lobby for political recognition.
In 1939, World War 2 demanded everybody's efforts, and along with a million others, the young walkers of the country joined the Armed Forces and the Federation fell into decline. However following the war it fired up again and continued to operate under the name and organisational structure until 2006.
At the end of 2006 the name of the organisation changed its name to Bushwalking Victoria and the governance model changed from a council of club delegates to a board of management.
Our history is described in the book "The Scroggin Eaters: A History of Bushwalking in Victoria, to 1989" by Graeme Wheeler (1991).