Bendigo Orienteers would like to acknowledge and pay respects to the traditional owners, the Dja Dja Wurrung people, whose country we are on and extend our respect to their Elders, both past and present.

Mount Kooyoora Update

As foreshadowed in a previous message advice and concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic have changed markedly in the last few days. With great disappointment, Bendigo Orienteers Committee has decided on significant changes to our Local Event programme for 2020. The changes are significant but in the best interests of public health, in these difficult times. The changes are:

Bendigo Bush Classic #1: Mt Kooyoora, Saturday March 21

Orienteering will be provided this Saturday at Mt Kooyoora, but in a modified format.

The timing system (SIME) will be available only for people doing Courses 4 and 5 on the east side of the road, from 12:30 – 3:00pm. No drinking water will be provided for people attending. All participants are expected to bring their own water to be used whilst running and after running. To support social distancing during this pandemic, people re not being encouraged to congregate. Despite this, there will be a friendly volunteer to greet newcomers and provide them with support and guidance so they know what to do.

There will be 3 hard navigation practice courses (Courses 1, 2, & 3) with stands and flags only. These will be out in the terrain from Friday (20/3) to Tuesday (24/3). PDF versions of the maps for courses 1, 2, and 3 are available from the links below. If you wish to run these courses you should print out maps yourself. There will be no maps for these courses at the event. This means that experienced orienteers can visit Kooyoora at any time from Friday to Tuesday (inclusive of those days) and complete a course in their own time, using their own timing system.

Kooyoora Course 1
Kooyoora Course 2
Kooyoora Course 3

If printing maps is a problem for you, contact Julie Flynn before Friday:

Please remember that much of Kooyoora State Park is remote; if you go out on a course on your own, you are advised to let someone know where you are going and which course you are doing, then let that person know when you have finished. It is recommended that you take a mobile phone with you. Please remember to take your own water with you; there will be no water out on the courses.

Frederic Tranchand’s training sessions on Saturday at Mt Kooyoora and Sunday at Korong Spur will continue as advertised.

Bendigo Bush Classic #2: Mt Alexander, Saturday March 28
This event has been cancelled. The courses will be used during the 2021 season.

Local Events after March 28
All Bendigo local events after March 28 have been cancelled. Members will be advised when events are reinstated.

Orienteering is something that we are all passionate about however Bendigo Orienteers believe these changes are a minor inconvenience in the current situation.

Craig Feuerherdt, President
Peter Searle, Secretary

Coronavirus Update

Dear Bendigo Orienteers,

No doubt you have all been watching the circumstances surrounding coronavirus. Things have been escalating for a few weeks and it is a forgone conclusion that the situation will get worse before it gets better. Recent interviews from several medical experts indicate that authorities aren’t doing enough to curb the spread of COVID19. While the Federal Government has implemented a ban on gatherings of 500+ people, in Austria, gatherings of 5+ people have been banned. The possibility exists that there may be a tightening of restrictions at orienteering events (some Orienteering Associations in Europe have either a 100-person limit or a total ban).

The events being held over the next two weekends at Kooyoora/Mount Korong (March 21/22) and Mount Alexander as well as Autumn Series #2 at Mount Tarrengower (March 28/29) will go ahead as planned (unless tighter bans come in to play from the government).

Given medical advice is changing almost on a daily basis, for April events and beyond, the club Committee will review the situation and make a decision at the April 6 meeting. After March 28, Bush Classic #3 is the next event and is not until April 18. Be advised that cancellations may have to be made at short notice, so keep an eye on both your email inbox as well as the Eventor site.

In the meantime, organizers are encouraged to continue as normal, planning courses and events. Although disappointing, if events need to be cancelled, the work is not lost as they can be transferred to the 2021 calendar. Orienteering Australia has developed useful guidelines for competitors and organizers that I have reproduced below. Keep in mind that some of the points listed will be relevant to large events only.

Guidance for Competitors

You must not come to any Australian orienteering event or activity if you fall into one of the following categories.
· If you are unwell with a cough or fever or other respiratory symptoms. This is particularly so for people who have recently travelled from overseas.
· If you have been a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 until 14 days after having contact with a confirmed case even if they are completely symptom free.
· If you have returned from or transited through a listed higher risk country (currently mainland China, Iran, Italy, South Korea), until 14 days after leaving the country.
· If you are undergoing COVID-19 testing until you have received your results
· If you have been advised to stay at home by a health professional.

Risk Management
Event organisers should look at opportunities to reduce the risk of close contact for orienteers, officials and volunteers:
· No drinks controls or water at start or finish for competitors. Any drinks at controls must have a volunteer stationed to ensure good hygiene or ask competitors to carry water.
· Asking competitors to bring their own hand sanitisers.
· Providing hand washing or sanitising facilities at the assembly area if possible.
· Asking all that attend to follow good hygiene practices.
· Providing refunds to those that absent themselves for health reasons
· Checking first aid kits have thermometers and emergency local contact information is known.
· No results (make available on line) or presentations at events.
· Maps will be kept by competitors following finish at all events.
· Providing some protective equipment, disinfectant and briefing to event volunteers.
· Arranging starts and finishes to allow 1m distance between people

Event organisers should draw attention to the Competition Guidance (above). And they should provide information in advance (e.g. about the personal hygiene facilities available at the event) to help people in make an informed decision as to whether to compete.

Peter Searle
Bendigo Orienteers


An invitation to a General Meeting of the club on Friday, 21st February, 2020. The sole purpose of the meeting is to discuss the crisis caused by the lack of nominations for the positions of President and Vice-President at the AGM held on February 2nd.

This is an important meeting in the life of our club and the views of all members are sought in our attempt to solve the problem and continue as a viable organization. Only a few years ago the club celebrated its 40th anniversary. After a proud history of involvement in school activities, mapping, technology, and organizing events large and small, it would be a disaster for the club and orienteering in Victoria if we ceased to exist.

Date and Time: Friday 21st February, 7:30pm
Venue: Strathdale Community Centre, Crook Street, Bendigo
Item of Business: To consider the vacancies on the Committee of President and Vice-President
Quorum: A quorum of 10% of eligible members (viz. 2020 members who are aged 18 or above) is required
Background: The lack of nominations for President and Vice-President at the 2020 AGM means that we cannot function as an organization under the rules of our constitution.

The purpose of the meeting is to either:
(1) receive nominations for President and Vice President and confirm their appointments, or,
(2) failing (1) above, to consider other options for the future of the club.

I would be delighted to receive nominations or expressions of interest for President or Vice-President before February 21.

Peter Searle
Bendigo Orienteers

Bendigo Orienteering Fixture for 2020

The 2020 season fixture has been finalised; several members have already volunteered to organise and help run some of these events. We are relying on members to look at the fixture (it can be viewed in the Events Tab), decide which event they will organise or help with and send Julie Flynn an email at so your name can be added to the document. The club relies on members to volunteer and organise our events.

There is a change to the collection of controls policy for 2020. No longer are people expected to collect controls at the previous event. Organisers will put out and arrange for their controls to be collected, so they do not have to attend events on 2 consecutive weeks. This has been adopted because the trailer is used regularly and members can access this at the Bendigo Woollen Mills site at 4 Lansell Street.

The club finished our very successful 2019 season with a short sprint event inside the Victoria Hill Diggings reserve and a barbeque in the adjacent park. Trophies and medallions were awarded to those people who finished the season in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each of our categories.

The Noodle award was decided by popular vote and the winner was Peter Forbes, for his performance at Mt Kooyoora.

The Golden Leg award for the best course setting was also decided from the members’ vote, and this was awarded to Clare Brownridge, for her courses on Sedgwick.

This year there were no officially nominated members for the Black Crow, despite many great efforts at stuffing up.

On Friday 6 December, the Regional Primary Schools Orienteering Championships event was held at Hanging Rock. Two of our members, Hugo and Josh each won 1st places in their classes, and two schools we have supported this year placed in the Loddon Mallee schools category: Maldon Primary School won 1 st place and Eppalock Primary School won 3rd place.

The club is planning for and looking forward to March 2020, when the Coach in Residence, Frederic Tranchand will be spending 2 weeks in Bendigo to provide training for members and working in local schools to bring the joys of orienteering to children and their families.

Julie Flynn

Ian’s 91st birthday event

This sprint O event was held in very cold weather conditions at Black Jack Gully near Castlemaine. The courses were set by Ian Johnson, our club’s oldest member, and organised by Colin Walker and John Wilkinson. The area contains old gold mining features with erosion gullies and relatively flat bushland. It is suited to a sprint style event.

Competitors had three courses to choose from: hard (3-4 km), moderate (2.5 km) and easy (1.5-2 km). A small field completed the courses with only one or two showers dampening conditions. Everyone enjoyed the event as well as the variety of cakes to celebrate Ian’s 91st birthday. Ian was on hand to offer advice (thanks to Derek Morris for bringing him from Melton). It was great to see him looking so well. He appreciated the opportunity to visit controls, having a break in between. Thanks to Lorraine, Alison, Sue and Jenny who brought sweet treats. Thanks also to those who helped collect the controls at the end.

A really good social day.

John Wilkinson
Jenny Ball


Bendigo Bush Short 1 – Prince of Wales – 6 April 2019

The club season has begun with the first of 3 bush short events, where we have just 3 courses on offer in smaller sections of Bendigo’s bushland. This series of events started many years ago as an opportunity for people who are new to the sport to have a go. Back then we offered only an easy and moderate course, but over the years, experienced orienteers have wanted a harder course in addition to the others.

It was a warm autumn day, and 36 people participated. This map has many tracks, so most people found themselves navigating the track system in the very dry forest. Some names aren’t listed because they were part of a group. Unfortunately the IT complexities were too hard for the organiser on the day so we the results were not uploaded onto the Eventor website. The results are presented here, in a more manual format:


C course: 1.9km
1 Tim Turnbull 00:18:03
2 Jack Barianos 00:25:51
3 Sue Davidson 00:34:11
4 Akira Hill 00:50:21


B course: 2.4km
1 Tony Bird 00:21:00
2 Nigel McGuckian 00:22:00
3 Peter Searle 00:22:20
4 Peter Hill 00:22:25
5 Alison Radford 00:24:05
6 Paul Elam 00:25:39
7 Sheila Colls 00:26:46
8 Tim Turnbull 00:28:25
9 Louise Hall 00:28:26
10 Jenny Ball 00:29:26
11 Anne Garvie 00:30:29
12 Lorraine Leversha 00:30:36
13 Xavier Ough 00:36:23
14 Charlotte Ough 00:40:26
15 Ross and Leon Slater 00:40:58
16 Dick and Margaret Barker 00:44:02
17 Prue Dobbin dnf


A Course: 5.6km
1 Ben Goonan 00:33:18
2 David Brownridge 00:38:08
3 Shayne Hill 00:35:55
4 Jim Russell 00:38:28
5 Ilka Barr 00:45:46
6 Neil Barr 00:46:10
7 Andrew Cameron 00:46:36
8 Andrew Wallace 00:59:17
9 Tony Radford 01:05:48
10 Terry Davidson 01:28:05

Victorian Relay Championships – A fun day out

Each year, the Victorian Club Relay Championships is a chance for club members to run in a relay team with other club members and compete against other clubs.

This year the event is on April 7th, close to Bendigo (Eppalock). Bendigo Orienteers pays the entry fee for Bendigo club teams.

We usually have a lot of teams. If you are new to orienteering, not to worry, we aren’t playing for “sheep stations” and it is a good chance to get to know other orienteers.

Details are on the attached flier (right-click to download).

If you would like to enter, contact Darren Eenjes via email letting him know which course you would like to run by 25th March.


2018 President’s Report

The past year has been another good one for local orienteering. This wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of many of our club members. I will now detail some of the achievements for 2018 and acknowledge the people involved:

For many years there has been a push to get the club its own storage space. Club members had always stored the club’s equipment and trailers on their own properties. Most notably, Nigel McGuckian had given his shed space to the club for many years. Getting a shed built on public land proved to be very difficult due to various issues. These included available building sites being unsuitable and council red tape. After a proposal to build a shed at the Quarry Hill Golf Club was abandoned due to many difficulties, Colin Walker very generously offered the club a site at his business the Bendigo Woollen Mills. This site was great in terms of location, vehicle accessibility and security. Peter Creely’s enthusiasm for this project was vital in getting it underway and after a few months of preparation the shed was constructed. The last big task was moving all the club’s gear from Nigel’s shed into the new shed. This was carried out by Peter and Dianne Searle, and Peter Galvin. During their time as presidents, Jim Russell, Richard Goonan and Julie Flynn put a lot of effort into getting a shed for the club. Their work made it very easy for me.

During 2017 and early 2018 Nigel McGuckian worked with the leaders of the Dja Dja Wurrung on a memorandum of understanding. The Dja Dja Wurrung aboriginal people are the original inhabitants of the land in central Victoria. The memorandum allowed orienteering to continue on Dja Dja Wurrung country by ensuring that the participants respected the aboriginal heritage. This MOU is thought to be the first in Australia between a sporting club and an aboriginal tribe and has provided a great example for other sporting and recreational clubs to follow. The memorandum of understanding was signed at the Victorian Orienteering Middle Distance Championships in Spring Gully on the 19th May.

Jim Russell was the course setter for the Middle Champs and Alison Radford was the controller. The club was fortunate to have permission to hold this event inside the fence around the Spring Gully reservoir, a very special area that is normally closed to the public. Many volunteers from the club were required to plan the event and help on the day. I was really pleased with the willingness of club members to help. This event was successful due to the experience and dedication of those members.

On the 29th April the Bendigo Orienteers held its 2nd annual Wheel Cactus Eradication Day at Mt Kooyoora. This is a fantastic area for orienteering so it is important that orienteers take some responsibility to ensure that it is not overrun by noxious weeds. It was great that there were some new volunteers from the club along with some returning for a second go at the cactus. This year the surviving cactus plants had become harder to find so with persistence I’m sure we can keep these weeds at bay. Thanks to club volunteers Julie Flynn, Neil Barr, Peter and Dianne Searle, Lorraine Leversha and Jim Russell.

Andrew Cameron and Darren Eenjes located a new local supplier for our Bendigo Orienteers O-Tops with a much better price than the previous overseas supplier. They also worked with the local supplier on a smart new design, incorporating an orienteering map into the background. Darren and Andrew ran stall at many of our events to sell the new O-Tops to club members and had plenty of happy customers.

Neil Barr pioneered the BendigO-Ringen events weekend last year. This involved events in five small mining areas around Bendigo over one weekend in July. The Sunday event required competitors to combine foot orienteering with (untimed) driving between each mapped area. I really enjoyed Neil’s event concept and was impressed by the attention to detail in his planning. Neil also completed a comprehensive update of the Peter the Great Gully map.

Young orienteer Archie Neylon was a first-time course setter for our local event series in 2018. He was ably assisted by his family and Terry Davidson. Archie’s fun and challenging score event at Ironstone Hill was a fine season finale. It is very pleasing that Archie has volunteered to course set again in 2019.

I was very fortunate to have a supportive committee for the past year. Along with some members continuing from previous years we welcomed new recruits Jenny and Lorraine. Jenny has been a fantastic secretary and diligently prepared very detailed meeting minutes. Lorraine has been a very reliable, responsible and capable treasurer. Both these ladies were valued contributors to the club’s committee, and regularly volunteered for committee and event tasks. Peter Forbes has been obtaining the club’s event permits for the past couple of years. This can be a very frustrating and tedious task but Peter has obtained all the permits without appearing too stressed. We were really amazed that Peter managed to get a planned burn off postponed by a couple of days so we didn’t have to cancel one of our events. Julie Flynn prepared that club’s child safe policy. This involved extensive consultation with our junior members and their parents. This policy is very important for the club and Julie is to be commended on all the effort she put into it. Jacqui Knee has continued the good work of other members by engaging with schools and getting the students involved in orienteering. Jacqui worked with Eppalock primary school. We were really impressed that Jacqui managed to encourage so many of the students and their parents to attend the Lyell Forest event on the 30th June to raise money for their school.

Thank you to all the members who helped with our local events during 2018. I am always amazed that our club can hold so many events week after week. We have a lot of good workers in this club and I hope that they can keep up their efforts whilst encouraging our newer members to increase their involvement.