Duncan Brookes

The BTL editor put some questions to Duncan Brookes, Field Organiser with Bush Search and Rescue.

What was your introduction to bushwalking?
I grew up in an environment of bushwalkers as both my parents were keen bushwalkers.  I can recall going on VMTC family base camps from a very young age.  My first VMTC day walk was when I was about 8yo, up Mt Riddell.
How did you get involved in BSAR?
My father Stuart was a founding member of “The Search and Rescue Section”, as it was then called, and he was an FO.  As a youngster I recall him going off to practice weekends and searches so I always knew of “search and rescue”.  I joined when I was 18 in 1972.  My first search was in 1974 at Stevensons Falls.  Stuart was my group leader.  Peter Dunbar the FO presumably thought that was a good idea at the time.

Continue reading “Duncan Brookes”

Last Updated on February 17, 2021

Bill Brand, Victoria Police

Bill Brand in uniform
Bill Brand

Bill Brand was a foundation member of the Police Search and Rescue Squad, which was set up in the late 1950s as the specialist group to provide both searching expertise and search management.

Bill led the Police Search and Rescue Squad for many years and through his efforts this branch of Victoria Police built strong ties with the bushwalking fraternity and in particular with Bush Search and Rescue.

Through many searches and BSAR practices, Bill was highly regarded and popular with our members. Bill retired as Inspector in Charge of Search and Rescue in 1987.

Source: Behind The Log, October 2009

Bill Brand passed away on Monday 17th of September 2018.

Last Updated on August 7, 2021

John Chapman

John Chapman is an active searcher with BSAR.
John has produced bushwalking guidebooks and track notes over many years that have increased awareness of the quality and abundance of  bushwalking opportunities in Victoria and made bushwalking accessible to a wide audience.
He has also regularly written gear surveys which help create a greater understanding of bushwalking and the equipment necessary to enjoy the activity safely.  John is a member of Maroondah Bushwalking Club.
Source: Behind The Log, October 2009

Last Updated on February 17, 2021

Monica Chapman

Monica Chapman is currently a Field Organiser with Bush Search and Rescue, and is also managing the Bushwalking Victoria individual members who are active with BSAR.

Monica was Convenor for 11 years from 1998 to 2009.  During this period she played a key role in increasing the standards of how BSAR operates on many important searches.  Monica has had an active involvement in producing the new BSAR manual, changing the organisation’s name, logo and website, organising important events, arranging funding and allocating expenditure on the many items of new equipment, including all our stocks of radios and GPS units.
Continue reading “Monica Chapman”

Last Updated on February 17, 2021

Skier’s body found on Mount Feathertop, 24 August 2011 BSAR alert CANCELLED

Call-outA body of skier has been located on Mount Feathertop in the vicinity of Avalanche Gully on Wednesday 24 August 2011.

The BSAR Alert for a possible Steep Snow and Ice call-out has now been cancelled.

A police helicopter recovered the man’s body around 6.00pm.

Continue reading “Skier’s body found on Mount Feathertop, 24 August 2011 BSAR alert CANCELLED”

Last Updated on February 17, 2021

Peter Campbell

Peter Campbell, Mt FeathertopPeter Campbell joined BSAR in 1980 as a member of the Latrobe Mountaineering Club and he has participated in numerous searches and training weekends since. He served on the BSAR committee as LMC club delegate for 15 years and as a Field Organiser since 1993.  With the demise of LMC, he was one of our first individual members through Bushwalking Victoria.

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

Search for 13 year old girl at Mt Erica resolved, August 2011

Call-outThe missing girl has been found alive. The second callout has been cancelled. Thanks to all who have been involved or who had volunteered for the second callout.

Merv Trease, Police Liaison

Bush Search and Rescue teams with Police Search and Rescue located the missing girl on Sunday afternoon north west of Mt Erica, about 3 kilometers from Mushroom Rocks, after tracking her footprints though the snow for some time.  She was immediately evacuated by the Police Air Wing helicopter and is now recovering from her ordeal.

Peter Campbell, Field Organiser.

BSAR 2011 Mt Erica search
Bush Search and Rescue searchers at dawn after night searching

BSAR 2011 Mt Erica search
SES provided us with great vehicle and field support

BSAR 2011 Mt Erica search
Search group briefing as search base in Rawson

BSAR 2011 Mt Erica search
Police Search and Rescue search coordinators

BSAR 2011 Mt Erica search
Search base at Rawson

Above photos: Peter Campbell

BSAR Searchers at Mt Erica. Credit: Graham Bolton

BSAR Searchers at Mt Erica. Credit: Graham Bolton


View Mt Erica Search – August 2011 in a larger map

BSAR 2011 Mt Erica search
Track log of BSAR search group that tracked the missing girls footprints to locate her


Sunday 7/8/11, 4.30 pm.  The second callout is proceeding with departure scheduled for early Monday morning. If you can attend please respond to the sms or email messages.

Sunday 7/8/11, 3.00 pm. The search is continuing. BSAR searchers were in the field from the time of their arrival last night until about 7.00 am this morning. They then returned to search headquarters for food and a few hours rest prior to continuing the search.

Police have advised that a second callout is possible later today, Sunday, for early am departure on Monday morning.

Sunday, 7/8/11, 12.30 am. Searchers arrived at Rawson and headed out at 01:30 to search around Mushroom Rocks and Mount Erica during the night.

Sat, 06/08/2011— PLO. Bush Search and Rescue Victoria has been called to assist the Police Search and Rescue Squad with the search for a missing 13 year old girl in the Mushroom Rocks area near Mt Erica in the Baw Baw National Park. The girl, from Morwell, was part of a Scout group camping in the area. She is believed to have wandered off on her own this morning. The inclement weather and the age of the missing person necessitated a degree of urgency in the search call out. The group of 12 Bush Search and Rescue searchers departed Northcote at 9.00 pm tonight. There is every likelihood that they will begin searching upon their arrival later tonight.

Merv Trease, PLO

External links – News and Video


Last Updated on February 17, 2021

Peer support survey for members

We are undertaking a review of our Peer Support Program.  Following the review, a new training program for our BSAR Peer Supporters will be conducted.

An email has been sent to all members requesting their input and feedback on Peer Support.

Members are requested to complete this survey by Wednesday 10 August 2011.

Please also note that the email has been sent using a new email list facility that we are trialling for communication to members.

– Peter Campbell


Last Updated on February 17, 2021