Bush Search and Rescue Victoria is a dedicated volunteer search and rescue group active in the state of Victoria, Australia and is a division of Bushwalking Victoria Inc.

Bush Search and Rescue participates in land-based search and rescue activities for persons lost in bush and alpine areas under the direction of the Victoria Police Search and Rescue Squad.

The group was formed in 1949 when several volunteer bushwalkers were involved in an extended search at Wilson’s Promontory.

Bush Search and Rescue has assisted Police with search and rescue for over seventy years as a community service.

Over 200 volunteer members are available for call-out to search for lost people missing in bushland areas or snowfields. All our searchers are highly experienced bushwalkers/cross country skiers who have had specialist training in search and rescue. They are capable of operating independently in the field, for several days if necessary.

Bush Search and Rescue volunteers are often asked to participate in searches at short notice, in adverse weather conditions and in rough and extreme terrain. Bush Search and Rescue has the ability to send out small, self-sufficient search groups that can navigate accurately without landmarks and stay out overnight.

Bushwalkers, ski tourers and other outdoors people, experienced and comfortable in a bush environment, are always needed for this role.

Our Mission

Our mission is to assist Victoria Police with searches for lost people in bushland areas and the snow fields of Victoria. We respond at short notice and provide small, self -sufficient search groups for overnight searching on foot in rough terrain and in any weather conditions.

Our short mission statement is “we search the scrubby gullies”.


Victoria Police is the Responsible Authority and Control Agency for searches for missing people. The Police Search and Rescue Squad call on BSAR’s assistance when needed and coordinate BSAR’s field operations. In north-east Victoria, there is a local arrangement with Police and BSAR members resident in the nearby communities.  

BSAR is administered by the Board and a Standing Committee of Bushwalking Victoria.

BSAR’s funding is provided by Bushwalking Victoria and the Department of Justice and Community Service Victoria, with additional support from donations.

How to join

To join Bush Search and Rescue Victoria you must first be a member of Bushwalking Victoria or a member of a club affiliated or associated with Bushwalking Victoria.  Bushwalking and mountaineering clubs endorse members who they deem suitable to join Bush Search and Rescue.

Bushwalking Victoria members with the appropriate skills and experience may also apply directly for individual membership of Bush Search and Rescue.

More information on joining Bush Search and Rescue is available here.

See also