As the guardian for students in your care, you are responsible for ensuring appropriate risk management strategies have been put in place prior to a visit and that these strategies are followed during the visit.
Safety starts with good planning
The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has developed comprehensive guidelines for planning outdoor activities for use by all Victorian schools. This includes a step-by-step process to risk management including a range of proformas to be used in your school’s excursion approval process.
Guidelines are also provided for the safe conduct of a range of outdoor activities that are often included in school programs such as abseiling, bushwalking, canoeing and overnight camping.
Ensure your students are informed
Prior to any visit, please make sure your students are aware of the type of environment they will be entering and how to respond to any hazards they encounter.
Ensure your students wear appropriate clothing and footwear or have this packed prior to leaving for your excursion. You could be held liable if you take students without appropriate clothing, footwear or equipment on an outdoor activity and an incident occurs.
On arrival at the park, please reinforce appropriate safety message with students such as staying on marked tracks and following all park signage.
Stick to the limits
The larger size of many school groups can have a significant impact on the environment. To reduce the impact of visitation, most parks have limits on the size of groups that can use areas like trails and campgrounds.
Each site will have its own group size limit based on a range of factors like toilet and washing facilities, how close the site is to sensitive environmental areas as well as safety factors such as the ability to respond to emergency situations at that site.
To find out the maximum group size at various sites call the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963.
Always stick to the limits as advised by Parks Victoria. Exceeding the limits breaches the DEECD Safety Guidelines and potentially opens the organising teacher up to liability for negligence in the case of an incident.
Keep informed about park conditions
As the organiser of a school excursion it is your responsibility to keep up-to-date with the current conditions in the park and be aware of any closures or hazards that may be in the park. Please refer to the following immediately prior to your visit. For further information please call the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963. Details of your visit should also be discussed with the local park office. If they are aware of your whereabouts, they will be better able to contact you if conditions in the park change.
- Change in park conditions - any change of conditions will be listed on the individual parks’ page.
- Code red park closures - information about park closures due to Total Fire Ban.
- Traveller Safety - a pre-visit checklist as well as information about what to do in case conditions change during your visit.
- Tree risk - information about the risk of falling trees and limbs.
- Bureau of Meteorology - view the latest forecasts and warnings for Victoria.
12 Mar 2014
The Grey-headed Flying-fox is the largest flying-fox (also known as a fruit bat) species in Australia. Each month the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology conduct the monthly bat count at Yarra Bend Park at dusk on the Wednesday evening closest to the risen full moon. This data is critical…
15 Mar 2014 9:00am - 16 Mar 2014 5:00pm
The Back to Steiglitz community art group will have an exhibition in St Paul's church, Steiglitz. There will be 4 artists displaying their works in a variety of mediums and styles. Historic buildings will be open to the public. The Back to Steiglitz group will provide food and drinks for…
23 Mar 2014 9:00am-3:00pm
Help create koala habitat and learn about koalas. Enjoy a day helping Koalas in the wild. Search for koalas, monitor their behaviour, remove weeds from their habitat and take records of all other wildlife seen, all in the company of a highly experienced Koala Researcher. Part of the day is…
23 Mar 2014 11:00am-3:30pm
Live.Grow.Explore. Community Day brings community together to explore their broader backyard and to learn more about sustainable lifestyle choices in one of Melbourne's most extensive landcare and reinvigoration corridors. This FREE family event and BBQ lunch showcases many sustainable education stalls. The day includes Vasili Kanidiadis of Vasilis Garden to…
Happy International Women’s Day! Photo: Ranger Deb Cross at the Gil Groggin Fir...Happy International Women’s Day! Photo: Ranger Deb Cross at the Gil Groggin Fire north of Buchan.View post | Sat, 08 Mar 2014 09.42
The Mt Zero area in Grampians National Park has re-opened in time for the long w...The Mt Zero area in Grampians National Park has re-opened in time for the long weekend to provide visitors with a walking experience in the Northern Grampians. Many areas in the park are now open after the fire in January. Full details here http://ow.ly/ukBMTView post | Fri, 07 Mar 2014 17.11
Thanks to all our Facebook friends who have sent in their favourite park photos...Thanks to all our Facebook friends who have sent in their favourite park photos this week to help inspire your next park visit. Enjoy your local parks and beyond this long weekend to help celebrate the end of Parks Week.Friends Parks Week photosThanks to all our Facebook friends who have sent in their favourite park photos this week to help inspire your next park visit. Enjoy your local parks and beyond this long weekend to help celebrate the end of Parks Week.View post | Fri, 07 Mar 2014 13.45
Introducing the newest recruit to join the Werribee Park horticultural team, See...Introducing the newest recruit to join the Werribee Park horticultural team, See Me. He is from the Karen people of Burma and lived for 15 years in a refugee camp before coming to Australia. See Me is being sponsored by Matchworks and will be working with us for the next 11 months while he completes a Certificate Three in Horticulture. We’re celebrating the many park connections with Victoria’s rich multicultural community during Parks Week. http://ow.ly/ui2jQView post | Thu, 06 Mar 2014 16.14
Clean Up Australia Day events at Kalimna Park and Golden Point Reserve last week...Clean Up Australia Day events at Kalimna Park and Golden Point Reserve last weekend resulted in 4 cubic metres of rubbish being removed from the bush in and around Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park. We would like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers for their efforts on the day. http://ow.ly/uhMnvView post | Thu, 06 Mar 2014 11.43