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Mike Wood appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia

The Bibbulmun Track Foundation (BTF) is delighted that long-term Board Member, Mike Wood, has been appointed as a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List on 8 June 2020.

Mike was nominated to recognise his long association with the BTF and his outstanding contribution to raising the profile of outdoor recreation and outdoor education in WA.

When asked to comment Mike said “I am extremely honoured to receive this award in recognition for my work with the recreation and trails community in WA, and specifically for my great passion, the Bibbulmun Track.”

“In being recognised for my volunteer work it also gives me a platform to draw attention to the amazing amount of work that all trail volunteers and workers devote. The trails that we have in WA, including the Bibbulmun Track, would not be available and accessible to the community without the passion and enthusiasm of many hundreds of devoted trails people in WA. Volunteers on the Bibbulmun Track devoted over 33,000 hours of work just last year alone. Maintenance work, office work, advice to new walkers, guiding, the list goes on.

“It is my belief that if we provide the means for people to access our wild places that they will then learn to appreciate them and realise that they need protection. It is difficult for people to value things they have not seen and experienced for themselves. By encouraging people to access our WA wilderness, safely and sustainably, through our trails network we are protecting and conserving the environment. Whether that be walking trails, mountain bike trails or even horse trails, it is important to resource people so they can visit our wild places and commune with nature.

“One of the main reasons for the success of the Bibbulmun Track has been the relationship that we have built between the Community and the Parks & Wildlife Service of the department of Biodiversity, Conservation & Attractions. We have shown that by working together, the Government land manager and the trails community, we can deliver a world class trail that benefits the community, the tourism industry, regional centres and the wild places of WA. I applaud the management and staff of the Parks & Wildlife service for their commitment to work with the BTF volunteers and staff, from the executive level to the local rangers and teams in the regions.

“Lastly, I would like to acknowledge and thank my fellow board members, the staff and volunteers of the Bibbulmun Track Foundation under the leadership of our new Chair, Kath Broderick and our long servicing Executive Director, Linda Daniels. Along with our energetic Head Guide, Steve Sertis, and the other team members, they have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the Bibbulmun Track will be there for many hundreds of years to come.”

Mike’s involvement with the Track started around 1993 when he joined a steering committee that oversaw the Building a Better Bibbulmun Track Project that resulted in the current alignment and the construction of the campsites. He was instrumental in establishing the Bibbulmun Track Foundation (as the Friends of the Bibbulmun Track) in 1997 and chaired the Board for 21 years.

In addition, Mike, personally and through his businesses, has been, and continues to be, extremely generous in sponsoring and supporting the BTF and other outdoor recreation organisations.

For over 30 years in Western Australia Mike has done an enormous amount to connect people with the outdoors and nature and inspire them to be a part of it. He is a passionate advocate for outdoor recreation and outdoor education and has been on numerous boards, panels and government committees.

In the BTF’s opinion, Mike’s service and contribution to outdoor recreation and to the outdoor industry has been huge and very influential and beyond that of most others in WA.

Listen to his interview on ABC radio here.

After 21 years as BTF Chair, Mike passed the baton to Kath Broderick in October 2019.