By volunteering with the Foundation you can contribute to its growth and strength by participating in a wide variety of activities, such as Track maintenance, guiding, helping at community events and assisting in the Foundation’s office.
However, before undertaking any volunteer work with the Foundation you must be registered as a volunteer with the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC). We'll arrange this for you. The key roles are outlined below.
The Eyes on the Ground Maintenance Program is sponsored by Newmont Boddington Gold and administered by the Volunteer Coordinator at the Bibbulmun Track Foundation.
The Bibbulmun Track is divided into 147 maintenance sections, varying in length from 5-10km. Some sections include a campsite. Volunteers adopt a section of the Track and are trained to look after it. Their role is essential in ensuring that the Track remains well-kept and well-loved. Each section is maintained by a team which may consist of one person working on their own, a group of friends, family or work mates. Sometimes the responsibility for a section may be shared by more than one team.
A Field Day is held annually in each district as part of your training. It is expected that each volunteer will attend one Field Day each year. In addition to practical training, these days provide a chance to meet the Volunteer Coordinator, DEC staff and other volunteers.
Maintenance volunteers receive the newsletter, Maintenance Matters, four times a year to keep them up to date with maintenance issues.
Volunteers supply their own tools - secateurs, a small saw and a hammer are usually sufficient. If required, DEC will supply a rake hoe for the team which must be returned when the team retires.
What does a Maintenance Volunteer do?
- Undertakes a range of light maintenance tasks including pruning, clearing debris from the Track, replacing missing trail markers, installing water bars, removing litter and monitoring the campsite. All major maintenance tasks are carried out by DEC.
- Attends to their section at least four times per year (ie once every three months). In areas closer to Perth, or on sections that require a higher level of maintenance, more frequent visits are preferred. If four visits per year are not possible, the responsibility may be shared between two teams, enabling volunteers to attend their section less often.
- Attends a Maintenance Field Day each year. These are held annually in each DEC district.
- Submits completed report forms to the Foundation after each maintenance visit. These reports are vital in assisting the Foundation and DEC in dealing with immediate problems and in planning for the future of the Track.
- Records the number of hours contributed (including travelling time) on a time-sheet which is submitted to the Foundation at the end of each quarter.
Which section will I maintain if I volunteer?
- The Volunteer Coordinator manages the allocation of sections and will assist you in the choice of an appropriate section from those available.
- Some sections require a greater time commitment than others depending on the travelling time from the volunteer’s home location.
“I would suggest that anyone contemplating becoming a Maintenance Volunteer should do so without hesitation. You won’t regret it!”
P Evans, Maintenance Volunteer
A great way to enjoy the Track, meet fellow walkers, encourage new Track users and to develop a love of the Track in other people is to become a Volunteer Guide.
The Foundation conducts approximately 80 events each year. Each event is developed to target specific sectors of the community to encourage a wider use of the Track by people of all ages, socio-economic groups and fitness levels. One of the main aims is to attract people who have never bushwalked before and who might otherwise not venture out on the Track because of a lack of confidence, skills or motivation.
We aim to keep our events as affordable as possible so that the broadest range of people can participate and benefit from being introduced to bushwalking. Central to this objective is the role of the Volunteer Guide.
What does a Volunteer Guide do?
- Helps the BTF Events Manager to deliver a range of activities and events which cater for all ages. These may include leading day walks, overnight walks or multi-day walks on the Track for a variety of group types, leading activities designed for children to develop their skills in the outdoors or speaking to groups regarding the preparation and planning of activities, along with providing information about appropriate equipment. Weekend day walks are the most common type of event conducted by Volunteer Guides.
- Completes a log-book to record details of each volunteer guiding experience. If more formal guiding qualifications are sought at a later date, this log-book may be used to substantiate prior learning.
- Records the number of volunteer hours (including travel time to and from events) on a time-sheet which is submitted to the BTF Volunteer Coordinator at the end of each quarter.
- By completing the BTF Guide Training Program you will acquire the necessary skills, knowledge and ability to lead groups of participants on safe, informative and enjoyable bushwalks. As an experienced bushwalker, you may find that a great deal of the information is common sense of which you are already aware . However, the training will fill any gaps in your knowledge, ensure that all guides provide a consistent level of service to participants and provide you with support as you build your skills and confidence.
In addition to registering as a volunteer, trainee guides must:
- Be experienced, fit and healthy bushwalkers.
- Have walked a section or sections of the Bibbulmun Track for a minimum of two consecutive nights (three days), camping out at the campsites, in addition to other bushwalking experience.
All prospective Volunteer Guides are required to hold a recognised Senior First Aid Certificate which must be kept current. A bus drivers licence and a police clearance are added bonuses, but are not essential.
More specific information on volunteer guiding can be obtained by contacting the Events Manager at the BTF Office.
In the office
The Bibbulmun Track Foundation office is located on the first floor of the Mountain Designs Adventure Building (enter via the Mountain Designs store), 862 Hay Street, Perth.
We are open Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm.
If you have a good knowledge of the Track, and are a keen and experienced walker, you are welcome to become a regular member of the office staff assisting with a range of administrative and marketing tasks. The variety can be interesting.
What does an Office Volunteer do?
- Carries out a range of tasks relevant to the needs of the BTF. These tasks may include answering general phone and walk-in enquiries, attending to merchandise sales, taking event bookings, checking out hire equipment, assisting with mail-outs (eg newsletters), and providing your relevant skills where needed.
- Records the number of volunteer hours on a time-sheet which is collected by the Volunteer Coordinator at the end of each quarter.
If you are knowledgeable about the Foundation and familiar with the Track, and you like talking to people, then consider becoming a community events volunteer. The Foundation is often invited to provide a presence at community events which is a great opportunity to raise the general public’s awareness of the Foundation and the Track and what they have to offer. Promotion of the Track by enthusiastic members and users is very effective.
Examples of the type of community events that we attend include the Royal Show, Walk the Zig-Zag in Kalamunda, Senior’s Have-a-go Day, WA on Show, Trek the Trail in the Perth Hills and community fairs and festivals.
What does a Community Events Volunteer do?
- Assists in transport (if possible) and the set-up of promotional displays in a variety of locations and settings.
- Answers a multitude of questions about types and duration of walks, best walking season, attractions on the Track, most appropriate gear, terrain of different sections, Track towns, best types of food to carry, etc.
- Answers questions and provides information about membership, services and tourism products (eg Bibbulmun Breaks) provided by the Foundation.
- Talks to people! Listens to other people’s walking experiences! Shares Track tales with others.
- Has a great time!
- Records the number of volunteer hours on a time-sheet which is submitted to the Volunteer Coordinator at the end of each quarter.
Walker surveys are conducted every few years to obtain statistical data that is used for planning the ongoing management of the Track and funding applications.
What does a Research Volunteer do?
- Interviews walkers at designated locations on the Track.
- Surveys and records walker information.
- Has a great time talking to fellow hikers.
How do I benefit?
Volunteering for the Bibbulmun Track Foundation can be a source of great pride and satisfaction. The efforts of volunteers help to ensure that the Track remains a world class facility that is enjoyed by many people. Becoming a volunteer is a commitment. You will receive training and recognition. Volunteers are rewarded by both DEC and the Foundation, with the generous support of Mountain Designs. Rewards are given for hours accumulated during one financial year.
Why it’s good to become a BTF member
Volunteers are encouraged to become BTF members to ensure they are kept informed of all relevant matters regarding the Track and the Foundation.
If you would like to join our team please email Gwen Plunkett, our Volunteer Coordinator, or call 9481 0551, to discuss the opportunities currently available in your area of interest.
We thank you for your interest in supporting the Bibbulmun Track and look forward to meeting you soon!
Any other questions?
Check out our volunteering FAQs.