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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18



The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)
Chapter 11 - The Family Walking Group

Rex and Sue Filson

When Tim, our second child, arrived in 1969 we found that we could no longer carry two children as well as tents, sleeping bags and all the other gear needed for weekend walking. The Club day walks were far too hard for young children so in December 1969 we developed an idea of running a family walk concurrently with the day walk. These walks, first programmed summer 1969-70, were in the same area as the Club day walk, so we travelled to and from the walk on the van. We knew of several families with children who wanted to get out into the bush and we invited them along. For some time we had been travelling on the van with our elder son, Matthew, and we had no trouble but as soon as there were several children riding on the van we ran up against all sorts of opposition. In March 1975 the Family Walking Group, as it was then called, decided that with the growing opposition from Club members, they would organise their activities around private transport. However they still considered that they should be under the umbrella of the Melbourne Bushwalkers. A proposal was drawn up and put to a general meeting of the Club in August 1975.

The proposal was that the Club should expand its programme to encompass a mid-week walking group, for those - usually retired - who wished to walk during the week, and a family walking group for children. The family walking group would be run separately: they would have their own walks secretary and programme and would organise their own transport to and from walks. All members of the group would be financial members of the Melbourne Bushwalkers. This proposal was defeated hands down at the meeting. Prominent members spoke strongly against it, saying that they did not want 'crying kids' on the van, and that it would add to the running expenses of the Club: more newsletters, etc. It was ironical that it was these very members, when they later