Find out the latest news about the Track and the Foundation before you set off for your next walk.
14 June 2021
Walkers travelling between Denmark and Albany frequently consider using an alternative route across the sandbar between Ocean Beach and the Nullaki Peninsula. While popular and efficient, this route has never been formalised and is currently discouraged by DBCA and the BTF.
We are only recently aware that the northern shoreline near the end of the peninsula is covered by a Priority 3 Threatened Ecological Community (coastal saltmarsh). In trying to find an informal path along the shoreline, walkers risk damaging the TEC. Skirting the TEC to the north by wading for an extended period is obviously not a preferred option. Until an alignment south of the TEC can be approved and formalized, walkers are asked to avoid this area. This part of the peninsula is a reserve vested in the City of Albany (see map).
In addition, there are reports of hikers trespassing onto private properties to the east of the reserve. Some walkers are using the beach on the ocean side of the peninsula for a short distance, then cutting up through the private property to find the west end of Nullaki Drive. The property owners are concerned for walker safety, as they employ shooting to control feral animals and use vehicles on the narrow, winding farm tracks without expecting to come across hikers. Understandably, they ask that this trespassing cease. There are signs at various points on the property boundary prohibiting entry, and CCTV footage of trespassers is collected and has previously been provided to Albany police.
The route across the sandbar is not officially part of the Bibbulmun Track, although it has been indicated as an alternative route in the past. The path along the southern shore of the inlet is a public access way which uses the Wilson Inlet foreshore reserve (City of Albany) and borders the private property. It has not been marked nor maintained by either DBCA or the BTF, and walkers should note that any coverage of the route by mapping apps (Guthook, etc.) is not authorized by DBCA nor endorsed by the BTF. Information on our website for the current options to get across/around the inlet can be found at https://www.bibbulmuntrack.org.au/trip-planner/track-sections/denmark-albany/s-crossings/.
The BTF are currently working with the Nullaki landowners, City of Albany and DBCA to develop the most practicable solution for this part of the Track. The official route of the Track between Denmark and Nullaki campsite has previously been the subject of a review prepared for DBCA.
3 June 2021
For National Reconciliation Week 2021, our Kindergarten children donned their hats and shoes and set out on a Bibbulmun adventure. We decided a walk to Albany might be a bit much to begin with (though anyone with a four-year-old knows they would have given it a crack!) Instead, we decided to bring the experience to our centre's yard.
Our educators, taking turns lugging a pack and poles, set off from the classroom door with 20 eager walkers in tow. Laminated trail markers led our way. The Waugal beckoned us through grassy fields and mulchy forests. It took us clambering over huge rocks and making daring leaps into the valleys below. We didn't rest there long. The Waugal was coaxing us to the heights of our wooden fort to enjoy panoramic views rivalling the old fire tower on Mt. Wells. We even teetered along narrow logs and garden boarders to avoid dropping into the lava below (some artistic license was taken regarding the perils of the Track...)
We weren't here for an idle stroll though; there was learning to do! Our adventure had us bouncing like a Yonga (kangaroo), slithering like a Waugal (snake), and swimming like a Djiljit (fish). Through our play we discovered these animals held different names to different groups of people. This might seem like a small detail, but it plants a seed that will grow with our young learners. After all, it's not just the names of animals that change between people; narratives change too. Narratives of who we are, of how we conserve our incredible landscapes, and how we see and care for one another. It’s such a delight to hear our children using the Noongar language before their own as they call out, "I found another Waugal!"
All this hopping and clambering was hard work - for us adults, at least - so we decided to make camp. We were in the nick of time, too. The sound of rain began thundering out of the Bluetooth speaker and we all ran for cover under the wooden climber. An old curtain became our tent while we enjoyed a quiet moment together. But the children's enthusiasm meant we didn't camp for long. They had spotted another Waugal marker. In no time we were crawling under old logs and hopping across steppingstones to ford running rivers.
This has been a wonderful experience to share with our Kindy class, both for them and for me. I often reflect on how incredible - and improbable - the Bibbulmun Track is. Its origins seem to me so happenstance. Its continued existence is no foregone conclusion. For the Bibbulmun to persevere it needs ongoing appreciation and understanding. Appreciation is the easy bit— each of us discovers that just by setting foot on the trail! But appreciation alone is not enough. To protect the trail requires understanding and understanding is inseparable from the aims of National Reconciliation Week. The countries that the Bibbulmun passes through were cared for and valued by Noongar cultures for thousands of years. Their understanding of the land and human beings place among it remains just as vital for keeping the Track healthy and accessible today. I have every hope and confidence that our young walkers, hopping joyfully around like a Yonga at present, will be among the people who help carry that knowledge, and this spectacular Track, forward far into the future.
By David Delaney, Kindergarten Teacher at Edgewater Goodstart
27 May 2021
The Bibbulmun Tack winds its way through Nyoongar Boodjar and we are continually astounded at the beauty and wonder of this incredible country.
The Bibbulmun Track Foundation is committed to the protection of the natural, cultural and heritage values of the Track, encouraging community participation, and developing opportunities for tourism, employment and education.
We recognise that we have an important role to play in reconciliation and we are committed to working through an appropriate reconciliation planning process.
Our interpretation committee is seeking ways to progress our reconciliation plan. As a start, we are working on:
- Learning about Noongar culture and history.
- Providing cultural awareness training for staff and volunteers.
- Examining our systems and processes through a reconciliation lens, and, for example, incorporating acknowledgement of Country in all our activities.
- Identifying opportunities for cultural interpretation along the Track.
This year in National Reconciliation Week May 27-June 3 we view reconciliation as more than a word, and we commit to action.
Dr Kathleen Broderick
Chair, Bibbulmun Track Foundation
Bibbulmun Track Foundation
National Reconciliation Week
27 May to 3 June
More than a Word. reconciliation takes action.
‘Reconciliation Australia’s theme for 2021, More than a word. Reconciliation takes action, urges the reconciliation movement towards braver and more impactful action.
Reconciliation is a journey for all Australians – as individuals, families, communities, organisations and importantly as a nation. At the heart of this journey are relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.’
25 May 2021
About 80 Bibbulmun Track Foundation volunteers gathered at the Mundaring Weir Hotel on Saturday, May 22 for an afternoon tea in celebration of National Volunteer Week.
National Volunteer Week is an initiative of Volunteering Australia. Held in May every year, it is a time to celebrate the significant contribution made by volunteers to social, cultural and environmental activities.
We were very grateful to Lotterywest for the funding to hold our event, through a grant made possible by Volunteering WA.
Volunteer Manager, Helen Grimm, recognized that gratitude for what the Track has given them might be a large part of volunteers’ motivation to ‘give back’. However, the staff of the Foundation are just as grateful for the volunteers’ role in the maintenance, marketing and management of the Track. The contribution of the sectional Track Maintenance Volunteers and Support Volunteers was recognized by Helen. Office Manager, Ce Kealley, then paid tribute to the Office Volunteers and the Guides. Executive Director, Linda Daniels, thanked the Board, the data entry volunteers and the committee currently working on the Indigenous recognition project. Finally Marketing Manager, Ashley Gibson, acknowledged the volunteers helping with community events, marketing and brochure distribution.
Board Member Tristy Fairfield then spoke about her appreciation of all the services provided to walkers by the Bibbulmun Track volunteer community. She noted that on one level the contribution is practical and tangible – delivering the priorities of administration, maintenance, guiding and governance. But, she said, at another level the practical stewardship is really a bridge to something much deeper and more profound. The gifts of connection that volunteers provide to the community – to themselves, each other and nature – are unique and special. Experiences of connection don’t have to be big, showy or grandiose to be life-changing and life-affirming.
Special recognition was given to long-term volunteer, Jim Freeman, who had been nominated for the Volunteering WA 2021 Volunteer of the Year awards in the category of Lifetime Service to Volunteering. Unfortunately, Jim didn’t make the finalists (there were a great number of nominations and stiff competition), but we were pleased to take the opportunity to acknowledge the many ways he has contributed to the Track over the years. You can read more about Jim’s contribution here.
Leading up to the event, volunteers were asked to provide photos of themselves in action. Here are some of them…
17 May 2021
Our Office Volunteers are a key group of people who commit to one day per week to support the Foundation staff in keeping the organisation running.
As well as processing memberships and merchandise, they assemble, dispatch, and check-in our range of hire equipment for both, event participants and individual hires. Some will process end-to-end registrations, keep track of the log-book comings and goings, process maintenance reports and verify volunteer hour submissions; and others will answer the many questions we get about the Bibbulmun Track either on the phone, in person, or via email enquiries. There are also a core group of experienced end-to-enders who provide our members with the free Trip Planning Advice service, sometimes in the office, and other times via email (for interstaters and overseas members). There are also phone conversations when they are able to reorientate walkers who have become ‘geographically embarrassed’ while out on the Track. There are a myriad of tasks – some challenging, and some not so, but vital to the running of the office all the same.
But, who are they?
They are people who have worked all over the world in all sorts of careers. We have pilots, submariners, teachers, nurses, engineers, scientists, administrators, accountants and managers, to name but a few. We also have uni students joining us to assist with marketing projects and, on occasion, work-experience students. All bring their own unique value and contribution to the team. Such a variety ensures interesting lunch-time discussions and the telling of fascinating tales. It’s such a delight hearing everyone’s different life experiences and seeing how they enrich our fabulous little office. We are so grateful for their contribution to the Foundation, and especially so in this National Volunteers Week.