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An innovative bushwalking leadership course, the Bushwalking and Mountaincraft Leadership Certificate (BMLC) was established in Victoria in 1969 by the Department of Sport and Recreation. This outstanding course built around experience-based learning and robust mentoring ran for over 30 years until 2004. It was initially aimed at teachers who were taking students into the outdoors. Outdoor education courses did not exist in those days. As the reputation of the course grew, many bushwalkers completed the course too.
Most of the instructors, advisors and assessors on the course were experienced bushwalking club members.
The courses embedded safer practices and substantial improvements in skills and leadership within the broader bushwalking community in Victoria.
In schools, the BMLC had effects lasting for decades as the young course graduates moved on to become school and education leaders.
Although called a bushwalking leadership course, it was also an advanced skills bushwalking course. The printed Handbook that was produced, across several editions and reprints, became the standard text for bushwalking in schools, universities, clubs and the wider community.
This Bushwalking Manual is based on content from the Bushwalking and Ski Touring Leadership Handbook, third edition 2000, published by the Bushwalking and Mountaincraft Training Advisory Board (BMTAB) in Victoria (ISBN 0 7311 8135 2), the final printed edition.
The third edition was produced by an editorial committee consisting of Vanessa Reynolds, (Convener), Monica Chapman, Rod Lingard, Stephen Manders and Julia Trenchard-Smith.
The following people contributed to the Bushwalking and Ski Touring Leadership Handbook: Colin Abbott, Greg Barras, Jennifer Brookes, David Burnett, Neville Byrne, Bronwen Campbell, Terry Cerini, John Chapman, Monica Chapman, Geoff Durham, Mark Francis, Ron Frederick, Jose Garcia, Rob Gatt, Gary Gibson, Sue Harris, Allan Hassell, Marg Hayes, Rik Head, Mike Heffernan, Peter Holmes, Andrew Kelly, Tony Kerr, Rod Lingard, Shirley McInnes, Ross McKinnon, Stephen Manders, Bob Manks, Euan Moore, Elaine Murphy, Mark Newnham, Joanna O’Brien, John Retchford, Chris Reynolds, Vanessa Reynolds, David Rimmer, Pam Scott, Jeff Swan, Julia Trenchard-Smith, Ian Veitch, Bruce Wharrie, Peter Martin.
The following people contributed photographs: Neville Byrne, John Chapman, Monica Chapman, Mark Jaffrey, Stephen Lake, Rod Lingard, Steven Lingard, Bev Manders, Stephen Manders, Bob Manks, People Outdoors Collection, Chris Reynolds, Vanessa Reynolds, Fiona Tweedie, John van Gemert.
The first edition was published 1978, reprinted with corrections 1981
The second edition was published 1986, reprinted with corrections 1994