West Gippsland Bush Walking Club celebrates 25 years
On 31st January 2023, West Gippsland Bush Walkers Inc celebrated 25 years of its incorporation. The celebration, which was held at Mt Worth Moonlight Picnic Ground, was attended by over 70 people including current and former Club members, representatives of Baw Baw Shire, Friends of Mt Worth, Parks Victoria and Warragul and Drouin Gazette. One of the highlights of the event were presentations of two long standing members who reminisced on the Club beginnings. The formal part of the celebration was followed by sharing of a designer cake decorated with the Club logo.
West Gippsland Bush Walkers Inc was formed on 10th February 1998 after an adult education organization, Warragul Proceed, was disbanded. The members of the informal group decided to continue walks as part of an autonomous organization affiliated with the Victorian Federation of Bush Walking Clubs. Some of the original members of the Proceed group still remain as active members today. The Club uses the same logo that was designed 25 years ago “ADVENTURE, FRIENDSHIP, FITNESS” which perfectly describes the spirit of the organisation.
Every fortnight West Gippsland Bush Walkers Club offers three levels of walks with about 45 members attending. The Ramblers generally walk 7 to 10 kilometres on well-formed tracks at a slower pace than the other two groups. The Hikers walk 10 to 14 kilometres at a faster pace, usually on more challenging terrain than the Ramblers. The Trekkers generally walk 15 to 20 kilometres and engage in more challenging walks, with steeper terrain and elevation changes of up to 600 metres.
Apart from regular walks, every year Club members organise two weeks away, a bus trip, a Club BBQ and Christmas dinner. Past locations of weeks away have included Mornington Peninsula, Apollo Bay, Mallacoota, Jindabyne and New Plymouth in New Zealand.
Some of the significant Club achievements include receiving, in 2019, the Victorian Senior of the Year Award in the Age Friendly Victorian Award category, as well as securing several government grants to help fund its activities.
The Club co-operates with Friends of Mt Worth, Parks Victoria and DEECA, and takes part in clearing and maintenance works at Mt Worth and Bunyip State Parks.
More information about West Gippsland Bush Walkers Inc activities can be obtained through the Club website https://wgbwc.clubexpress.com/