Bushwalking Victoria representatives were extremely pleased to welcome members to the annual Leadership Forum & AGM on 18 June. It was wonderful to meet face to face after two years of enforced Zoom activities.
The 43 participants included representatives of 23 member clubs, along with six individual members. All contributed to a day of networking, sharing of ideas and discussion on issues facing our organisation and its members.
President Mike Grant opened proceedings with an update of BWV activities throughout the year and acknowledgement of all the volunteers who support Bushwalking Victoria, its members and the wider bushwalking community.
The Keynote speaker was Matt Ruchel from the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA), which is celebrating 70 years of service. Matt provided an informative and interesting update on current conservation issues in Victoria, focussing on the threat to protected areas, threatened species and other wildlife caused by development and logging activities in our parks.
Conveners of our Bush Search & Rescue and Bushwalking Tracks & Conservation volunteer teams provided an update on their valuable activities. The program also included interactive workshops, with participants encouraged to join in discussions on three key areas:
- Safety and Risk – working through issues which affect club safety practices
- Club Development – how to attract and retain members, develop leaders and support committees
- Engagement in Conservation – using the online consultation platform Engage Victoria to keep abreast of planned developments that could impact bushwalking activities.
After lunch, an open forum allowed members to raise issues for discussion. These included: succession planning and getting involved with BWV; the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing project; Covid-19; dual club memberships; who pays for helicopter rescues; and future hosting of the Federation Walks event.
The day concluded with the Bushwalking Victoria AGM. The Annual Report was presented to members and a new Board elected. A number of Board members are continuing their service and one new member has joined the team. The Board looks forward to continuing to support our bushwalking community during the coming year.
If you would like to find out more about joining Bushwalking Victoria as a member club, or getting involved with our volunteers, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org