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Attention Climbing Community: Progress on a Peak Body for Outdoor Climbers

Representatives from eight climbing organisations have been working together to address the need for a peak body that represents the diverse voices of the Victorian outdoor climbing community. With a working title of Climbing Victoria Advisory Council (CVAC), this group originated as an offshoot from the Founding Council that was originally formed to interact with Parks Victoria’s climbing round table, and to work on a future governance framework for the climbing community in Victoria. The need for CVAC to work towards a Peak Climbing Body has continued to be driven by the need for Parks Victoria and Traditional Owners to work with a single climbing body that is representative of the broad outdoor climbing community in Victoria in the development and execution of the Greater Gariwerd Landscape Management Plan (GGLMP), but we expect it to have benefits for the climbing community beyond that.

This group has been doing the groundwork over the past year to establish a framework for effective and meaningful representation of the outdoor community with clearly defined boundaries, objectives and values. There are still some formalities around the Association that we need to complete, but we hope this body will be incorporated with the title of Climbing Victoria.

As a peak body, Climbing Victoria will not take on the work or roles of existing climbing organisations or individuals. Rather, it will be focussed on supporting the climbing community and collaboration within it as well as representing its work and points of view to government bodies, Traditional Owners, the public and media where that is of benefit. We hope that this will lead to better policy development outcomes, better relationships and better opportunities for resources.

The organisations that have been contributing to developing the framework for Climbing Victoria are:

  • Western Victoria Climbing Club
  • Gariwerd Wimmera Reconciliation Network
  • Victorian Climbing Club
  • RMIT Outdoors Club
  • Crag Stewards Victoria
  • ClimbingQTs
  • Outdoors Victoria
  • Sport Climbing Victoria

In addition, the group has included an independent climber representative. Other education and training providers and Licenced Tour Operators will also be approached and invited to participate.

Key to the success of this organisation will be the adherence, by all of its members, to the following set of values that supports constructive collaboration and fair and inclusive representation:

  • Respectful partnerships – We agree to work in ways that foster trust and respect for one another. We make decisions through clear communication, collaboration, and we always aim to avoid surprises.
  • Courage – We speak up about the things that matter to us in ways that are kind and constructive. We support one another in challenging conversations.
  • Listening & Learning – We recognise when we don’t know and seek to learn. We value learning together and from one another. We make time to listen and learn before taking action.
  • Diversity and Inclusivity – All voices matter and must be heard, respected and considered fairly. We commit to actively represent the diversity of the climbing community.
  • Integrity – We are aware that our actions are visible to the community and we do our best to uphold trust and integrity in all that we do.

Since the release of the GGLMP, Parks Victoria has sought to engage with this group regarding aspects of the implementation of the plan that are associated with climbing. There is an imminent need for the climbing community to work together to provide input on a range of issues including:

-Engaging respectfully with Traditional Owners
-Clarification of designated climbing areas (DCAs) and policies
-Planning and prioritisation of further climbing site assessments
-Restoration and maintenance requirements in the currently available DCAs

CVAC and Parks Victoria are currently working on a Letter of Collaboration that will guide this working relationship.

CVAC will be seeking input from the climbing community, on these and other issues, via the above organisations and representatives over the coming months. If you want to learn more, please reach out to the most appropriate organisation for you.