Hawkweed is a highly invasive pest plant species which could cause major environmental damage in alpine and sub-alpine areas of Australia if not eradicated early. For several years there has been an annual volunteer program held on the Bogong High Plains. Volunteer recruitment for the 2018/2019 season of the Falls Creek Hawkweed Eradication Program Volunteer Surveys is now open.

From Parks Victoria:

Participating in the Falls Creek Volunteer surveys is a great way to help protect the Victorian Alps from this dangerous weed, as well as a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the magnificent alpine environment during the green summer months.

The dates for the 2018/2019 Season are provided below and a maximum of 15 volunteers per session:

Session 1: Monday 10th – Friday 14th December 2018

Session 2: Monday 17th – Friday 21st December 2018

Session 3: Monday 7th – Friday 11th January 2019

Session 4: Monday 14th – Friday 18th January 2019

Session 5: Monday 4th – Friday 8th February 2019

Session 6: Monday 11th – Saturday 16th February 2019

What is involved?

Volunteers will be required for one week and need to make their own way to Falls Creek and arrive between 1pm to 3pm on the Monday of the session start date, with an Induction presentation at 4pm on Monday and departure at 10am on Friday (except for Session 6 where departure will be Saturday).

No experience is required, all training is provided. Volunteers will just need lots of enthusiasm, a moderate fitness level and a good eye for detail to find every last Hawkweed plant. Volunteers will need persistence to survey for at least 5 hours per day walking through sometimes challenging terrain, steep uneven surfaces and dense vegetation in the peak of summer.

What is provided?

There is no cost for being a volunteer on this Project. Bunk style accommodation has kindly been provided by Falls Creek Resort Management. Transport will be provided to and from the survey areas each day. Parks Victoria will be providing standard condiments, hot drink provisions and dinner on the last night.

What will participants need to bring?

An information pack about the surveys and what to bring will be sent a few weeks before the Survey session starts. In brief – Hiking boots are a must, gloves, broad brim hat, sun glasses, sunscreen, long sleeve tops and pants, wet weather gear, drink bottle, bedding and food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, cold drinks, fruit and snacks.

How to join the program through Park Connect:

Parks Victoria is using an online system called Park Connect to register people on volunteer programs (see attachment). If you are interested in helping to eradicate this alpine invader and would like to apply, you will first need to:

  1. Register as a volunteer at www.parkconnect.vic.gov.au.
  2. Once you’re registered, login to apply for upcoming programs listed here or copy and paste this link into your web browser https://www.parkconnect.vic.gov.au/Volunteer/group-details-public/?id=5c4fbcb0-de2e-e711-8184-f0921c124e44  and select the Hawkweed Eradication Program you would like to join.
  3. Once you have signed up to a Hawkweed Session on Park Connect, this ensures you are covered under the Parks Victoria Insurance Policy and you will receive an automated Park Connect email.
  4. I will be in contact with you following your signup on Park Connect and will send out further information about the program before your Session starts. If you do not receive an email from me confirming your signup a week after you have registered, please contact me via email: yohanna.aurisch@parks.vic.gov.au as your signup may not have been successful.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me via email: yohanna.aurisch@parks.vic.gov.au.

Thank you so much for your continued support and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yohanna Aurisch

Volunteer Officer I Hawkweed Eradication Project