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Our Bibbulmun Track Guides

Not long after the inception of the Bibbulmun Track Foundation in 1997, a program to get urbanites back to nature and onto the Bibbulmun Track began. This program is still underway today – you would know it as the Calendar of Events.

Since then we have held over 1000 events (not including our corporate walks, 8-day tours and the Bibbulmun Team Challenge). These events would not have been possible if it were not for our fabulous volunteer guides.

Some of our current guides have been with us since the first event but we are pleased to have welcomed many more over the years. Currently we have 23 volunteer guides, some of whom are still in the training phase.

The Guide Training Program is sponsored by Western Power. Guides are trained in-house in accordance with the WA Adventure Activity Standards (AAS) and the National Training Package. Guides who undergo the training must pass a number of assessments and re-qualify every few years to stay current.

A manual provides guides with practical information, including scenarios and examples of situations which may arise, to enable guides to make professional judgements and decisions when guiding an event. Guides are required to attend events and observe experienced guides out in the field no less than three times. They then lead a group whilst supervised on two separate occasions. On all events they complete detailed checklists of observed or demonstrated skills and actions. These two stages show the dedication of our volunteer guides as it may take up to six months to get to this point.

The next step is to lead a walk whilst being assessed. At some point during their training, guides must also successfully complete a Rogaine. A Rogaine is a cross-country navigation sport and is done through the WA Rogaining Association. Guides attend from Friday afternoon through to Sunday afternoon to hone their skills, with a particular focus on off-track navigation with a compass. After some training and a practice they are assessed across a range of competencies – not getting lost is one of them!

Guides are also required to complete an online written assessment and enter every walk they do into a log book. Once all the components have been completed successfully guides are deemed as competent to lead day walks. If they wish to lead overnight walks, guides undergo further training and assessment.

A sincere thank you to all our guides for the outstanding job they do in leading our walks; and thank you to the new guides currently undergoing their training for making this commitment. We are extremely fortunate that these people are willing to donate their time and energy to the training program so that they will be able to lead future walks and encourage more West Australians to ‘go bush’ on the Bibbulmun Track.

Steve Sertis
Events Manager & Lead Guide

Thank you to our fabulous Bibbulmun Track Guides:
Julie Bessant (trainee)
Trish Bird
Isabel Busch
Karen Dowling
Dene Edmunds
Jim Freeman
Colin Gee
Elsie Grygiel
John Hardman
Charmaine Harris
Bonnie Hennessey
Angela Hine
Emma Jack
Tony Jennings
Ce Kealley
Wendy Nelson
Chris Piggford
Valerie Preston
Patrick Tremlett

‘I volunteer for the BTF because I enjoy sharing the wonderful experiences I have enjoyed on the Bibbulmun Track and love the opportunity this gives me to share my knowledge and experiences with other people, hopefully encouraging them to use and enjoy this great facility.’
Elsie Grygiel

A small sample of the feedback we receive about our Guides…

“The guides were absolutely entertaining and full of knowledge at the same time. Group dynamics were taken into account and situations that arose were handled well.”

“Exceeded expectation of a volunteer guide due to the guide’s specific personal historical knowledge of the Track as well as maintaining a lively spirit to the event for the benefit of all participants”

“The guides, although different personalities, blended well. Their differing levels of experience helped me personally get the information I needed to continue hiking. The track that was chosen was challenging enough for the children and the walk itself was beautiful.”