FRIENDS OF THE HEYSEN TRAIL & OTHER WALKING TRAILS INC
VOLUNTEER SUPPORT POLICY
Revised and Effective from 1 November 2023
The Friends of the Heysen Trail (FOHT) undertakes its trail development, promotion, walk program and
administration solely on the basis of dedication and goodwill from its member volunteers and
supporters. FOHT recognises that its members are enthusiastic about enjoying the trail and committed
to giving back through our volunteer program. FOHT appreciates and values every member that gives of
their energy, time and skill to assist the organisation. We also believe it is important to acknowledge
that commitment and recognise the ongoing goodwill among our members to contribute to walking and
RECOGNITION & THANKS
Golden Boots Card is provided annually at the commencement of the walk season to enable volunteers
to access the FOHT walking program without the need to pay a walk fee – it covers End-to-End,
Trailwalker, Trailstarter and Twilight walks.
Golden Boots is provided to the following FOHT volunteers for contribution of 40 or more hours during
the previous year:
➢ Elected office bearers and Council Members;
➢ Standing Committee Members: Trail Development; Walking; Office & Administration;
Promotion: Membership & Marketing; Finance & Audit;
➢ Committees: Reconciliation; TW Editorial; any other committee established by Council;
➢ Office team;
➢ Maintenance Section/Activity Leaders; and Trail Maintenance volunteers;
➢ E2E Walk Coordinator and E2E Walk Leaders;
➢ Walk Leaders that undertake at least 6 TW/TS in that year;
➢ E2E support vehicle drivers;
➢ Honorary Members; and
➢ Warren Bonython Heysen Trail Foundation directors.
Golden Boots will also be provided to new FOHT volunteer End-to-End Walk Leaders (not otherwise
eligible) prior to commencing as leaders for a new End-to-End Program.
National Park Pass. The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) approves an annual pass code
to Friends of Parks and similar organisations, such as FOHT, for use by volunteers who have contributed
40 or more hours. The pass, which rewards the valuable work of volunteers, enables free vehicle access
to most SA Parks and camping (subject to usual book-on-line requirements). DEW usually issues the
information in June for use on a financial year basis.
➢ FOHT provides Parks Pass details to its volunteers as listed above for Golden Boots.
Annual Volunteers Event. Each October the Friends invites all volunteers to attend a complimentary
meal and drinks to thank our volunteers for their commitment and to celebrate our achievements.
The Friends acknowledges that its volunteers carry out a significant amount of activity with goodwill and
do not seek financial compensation; however we also appreciate that some work along 1200km involves
travel-related expenses that justifies the option of claiming reimbursement. While FOHT understands
that some volunteers may choose not to make claims for their activity, the following guidelines are
applicable to assist in defraying costs that may arise.
TRAIL DEVELOPMENT & MAINTENANCE/GREENING EXTENDED TRIPS
Maintaining the 1200km trail often requires teams of volunteers to travel and stay in a region to deliver
an effective work program and to afford time to build relationships with landholders and relevant
FOHT registers its trail volunteers with DEW who are then covered by SAICORP insurance. In accordance
with the DEW Volunteers Safety Framework (VSF), or any successor, all work must be authorised by
DEW/FOHT prior to commencement to meet safety and auditing requirements. In addition to travel
expenses (see below), FOHT supports volunteers on approved Maintenance projects as follows:
➢ DEW provided VSF Training, safety inductions and skills training as needed;
➢ Accommodation subsidy up to $100 per person per night (usually shared) when the
Project requires Volunteers to stay overnight;
➢ Accommodation options in some remote areas may be limited so TDC Coordinator is
authorised to approve expense claims above that amount where a volunteer incurs a
higher rate. Activity Leader for Project must discuss this with TDC Coordinator in
advance of trip.
➢ TDC Project Dinner – during trips of 3+ days FOHT will pay for a meal and one drink for
volunteers. This may extend to community reps/landholders where an Activity
Coordinator is able to organise and which encourages engagement with local Heysen
Trail landholders and supporters; and
➢ Reimbursement for any tools, equipment or materials that need to be purchased during
Vehicle expenses may be claimed for travel from home to the activity, during the
activity and return home. Where Volunteers combine personal travel with a Heysen Trail project it is
expected that any vehicle expense claim will be adjusted to reflect the work activity period The
following activities are approved for vehicle expense claim purposes:
➢ Trail Development & Maintenance volunteers actively engaged in any DEW/FOHT
authorised/approved work (evidenced by completion of DEW/FOHT forms);
FoHT expects that vehicle expense claims arising from TDC Projects will be based on
shared travel and incorporated into project planning costs. .
➢ E2E Walks Support Drivers (1 vehicle per E2E programmed walk); and
➢ Elected FOHT Office Bearers attending formal events or meetings where Council
approves to the need to officially represent FOHT.
Vehicle expense claims should be made using the FOHT Claim Form and confirmed through the TDC
Coordinator or E2E Walk Coordinator. These are important steps for accounting/auditing and in the
case of maintenance may be claimed back from DEW.
Commencing from 1 January 2024, claims will be paid in accordance with the Australian Taxations Office
allowable deduction for “work related use of your car”: in 2023–24: use 85 cents per kilometre.
EXCEPT where the volunteer is using a hire vehicle as per below, and then reimbursement will be paid as
a dollar amount based on provision of fuel receipt(s) – volunteer should aim to commence with a full
tank and top up on completion of the activity.
FOHT has an arrangement in place for 4WD hire. It is important that TDC Coordinator or E2E
Coordinator is satisfied that the driver has the requisite 4WD experience or training prior to approving
TRAIL MAINTENANCE: Trail Development Committee/Coordinator approval for extended maintenance
trips will include review of the most appropriate vehicle use. This may prioritise use of 4WD to access
sections of the trail and/or it is not deemed suitable to use volunteers’ personal vehicles.
➢ The TDC Coordinator needs to approve use for trail maintenance activities.
E2E WALKS: It is acknowledged that the 2 weeks during E2E final year requires a much greater use of the
support driver’s personal vehicle, although in general most drivers are comfortable using their own
vehicle. In the event that a support driver prefers the option of 4WD hire in the final year then FOHT
will support that.
➢ The E2E Coordinator should advise the Walk Committee Chair during budget
preparation so that approval and bookings may be arranged well in advance.
E2E WALK PROGRAM
The E2E Walk Program has grown since its inception into a regular high-demand event that has the dual
function of attracting and involving more people walking in nature and generating revenue for FOHT to
put back into developing the trail. The E2E walk coordinator and walk leadership team are critical part
of the success of the program. FOHT acknowledges that their enjoyment of walking is also a significant
6-year commitment to organising, guiding and inspiring members to complete the trail and become part
of the Friends.
FOHT appreciates this commitment and provides specific support to each E2E Walk Coordinator/Walk
Leaders and Walk Leaders coordinating other Extended Program Walks (i.e. Lavender/Willunga
Basin/Walk the Yorke) as follows:
➢ Bus fee waived for E2E Walk Coordinator & leaders (4-6 per E2E generally 1 per 15
walkers), including final year*;
➢ First Aid kits are provided for each E2E group;Reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses for items such as printing, restocking First
Aid kits and occasional items for sustaining walkers;
➢ Walk Leader training provided by FOHT; and
➢ E2E Walk Coordinators/Leaders who wish to undertake the Bushwalking “Assistant
Leadership” course will be reimbursed for costs on successful completion.
➢ E2E Walk Coordinator (only) may choose to purchase “Zoleo” remote communication
for an alternative emergency response method and communication with a support
driver. Walk Chair will need to approve then FOHT will reimburse the purchase cost and
annual subscription during the time the E2E Coordinator is leading the FOHT E2E group.
*The number of walk leaders in the final year is likely to vary between 3 and 6 for each E2E depending on
the size of the walk group and whether there have been changes to the walk leader team over the 6
years; each E2E Coordinator should identify the walk leader team that this will apply to and discuss with
the Chair of the Walk Committee as it will need to be factored into a budget.
SAFETY ON THE TRAIL
Whether undertaking Maintenance or Walking the Heysen Trail, FOHT supports
and encourages all volunteers to be aware of safety issues. To that end FOHT provides the following:
➢ CFS detailed area maps – copies of relevant maps for walks or maintenance are available
by request to Office volunteers;
➢ First Aid Kits and reimbursement for First Aid Training costs, including any required
training to retain currency, on evidence of completion;
➢ Two-way radios are provided for use on all E2E Walks and Maintenance Trips;
➢ Satellite phone hire has been set up for all walks and maintenance undertaken in
remote areas where mobile phone coverage is unreliable – Walk Leaders and Trail
Maintenance Activity Leaders need to make that assessment as part of the preparation;
➢ Heysen Trail Maintenance Volunteer hi-vis safety vests are available and should be worn
when working on the trail;
➢ Heysen Trail Maintenance Volunteer vehicle dashboard signage is available for display
when carrying out authorised work.