The Federation of Victorian Walking Clubs is the peak organisation of walking clubs which promotes interest in safe and enjoyable bushwalking and conservation of the bush.
In 1949, a walker, Ambrose Howie, was lost at Wilson’s Promontory. There was no Police Search and Rescue Squad and the search operations were under the control of the local Police at Foster. Several experienced members of the Federation attended the search area and offered their services. Howie was not found, but the Police were impressed by the professionalism of the walkers. A report was made to Police Headquarters which resulted in an invitation being extended to discuss the formation of a Federation Search and Rescue Unit and this duly occurred.
Since then, the Federation has developed a soundly based administrative structure that has the capacity to support its considerable operational expertise in the areas of bushwalking, mountaineering, cross-country skiing and associated search and rescue skills.
Victoria is fortunate to have a diversity of natural terrain and an abundance of National Parks for the public to enjoy. Inevitably, the use of these facilities will lead to the inexperienced and, at times, the experienced adventurer finding themselves in difficult and often life-threatening situations.
Since its foundation, the Federation Search and Rescue Section has assisted inmost major searches conducted in Victoria. In that period, they have established an excellent rapport with the Victoria Police and, in particular, the Search and Rescue Squad.
The support of the employers of members of the Search and Rescue Section has been an essential component of the successful work of the Federation.
In 1989, I had the pleasure to present the Section with a Chief Commissioner’s Certificate in appreciation of its 40 years service to the public of Victoria. This Manual is indicative of the continuing professionalism of the Unit, and I commend it to you.
Kelvin Glare, Chief Commissioner of Police