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Bibbulmun Track volunteers recognised by DBCA

Staff and volunteers accept the organisation’s award from Darren West MLC
Staff and volunteers accept the organisation’s award from Darren West MLC

The Foundation was well represented among the latest recipients of the DBCA ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Awards, during a ceremony held yesterday morning at the Department’s Kensington office.

Along with volunteers for a wide variety of Departmental projects – such as landcare and rehabilitation, wildlife rescue and care, campground hosts and herbarium technicians – the work of our volunteers in supporting the Track and walkers was prominently recognised.

The awards were announced by Peter Sharp, Director of Parks and Visitor Services, DBCA; and presented by the Hon. Darren West MLC, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Reece Whitby MLA.

The Foundation was one of two organisations who were awarded ‘Outstanding Service by a Community Group’. The other was the Friends of the Cape to Cape Track, indicating the current strength of volunteer contribution within the trails industry in WA.

Ross and Mark in the field
Ross and Mark in the field

In a wonderful surprise, our own Ross Simpson was named the 2023 DBCA Volunteer of the Year. Fellow leading Support Volunteer Mark Davidson was recognised with an ‘Outstanding Service’ award.

The nominations for both Ross and Mark, as well as the citation for the Foundation’s group award, follow.

We congratulate Ross and Mark, and are very proud of all that our volunteers achieve to support the Track and walkers!

Ross Simpson – Volunteer of the Year

  • Ross has been a dedicated volunteer since 2010, supporting DBCA in managing the Bibbulmun Track, where he takes on two vital roles.
  • Ross is involved in primary track maintenance by consistently caring for a section of the Track east of Dwellingup, and he is also a founding member of the Bibbulmun Track Support Volunteers, focusing on specialist maintenance and upgrade projects since 2014.
  • Over the last 13 years, Ross has contributed approximately 4,500 volunteer hours.
  • Leveraging his background as a Senior Engineer, Ross brings a wealth of professional project management, and organisational skills to the realm of track maintenance, where he plays key roles in trail stabilisation, including coastal environments in the Frankland District and preservation measures for historical timber structures.
  • Ross’s recent contributions are particularly noteworthy.  Ross was instrumental in the planning, technical design, and completion of a major project. He was responsible for the detailed design of more than 50 discrete sections of track stabilisation and, after monitoring trails, was instrumental in determining and sourcing the best type of materials to use. He then prepared a materials take-off comprising 10 tonnes of track pad, timber, coir mesh and ancillary items. Ross calculated how many nuts, bolts, washers, star pickets, risers, logs, track pads, coir mesh, tools, staples, etc. were required.
  • Ross also designed and led the installation of the Track rehabilitation, working in collaboration with Parks and Wildlife District staff and the Binalup indigenous rangers. Ross’s skill, planning, coordination, project management and commitment to the stabilisation work were essential to its successful completion.
  • Ross is a true asset to DBCA and the Bibbulmun Track Foundation.

Mark Davidson – Outstanding Service

  • Mark, a dedicated volunteer for the Bibbulmun Track Foundation since 2009, plays a vital role in leading the Bibbulmun Track Support Volunteers, a team specialising in maintenance, remediation, and track upgrades since 2014.
  • Under Mark’s leadership, the Support Volunteer Team has been exceptionally active, implementing significant projects and accelerating track improvements, including realignments, new trail sections, and erosion control campaigns, showcasing his strategic planning and logistical skills.
  • Mark’s dedication to the ongoing maintenance and conditioning of the Bibbulmun Track, his commitment to volunteer safety, willingness to learn and share knowledge about DBCA systems and processes, and his effective coordination with DBCA staff and volunteers make him an invaluable asset to DBCA and the Bibbulmun Track Foundation.

Bibbulmun Track Foundation volunteers – Outstanding Service (Community Group)

Thank you to all our volunteers and congratulations again to our winners!