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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)

that it was going well but had we noticed how quiet it was. If we were looking for people lost in the snow, shouldn't we be shouting or making some other kind of noise? After that we all rather self-consciously tried to make a bit more noise, but it never really got off the ground.

We had just been moved to another section when the shout went up that the 'victims' had been found (there was always somebody told off to be the 'bait' for the searchers to find on any Search and Rescue practice). Having the 'victims' found so early in the piece was definitely not the intention in fact they were not supposed to be found until Sunday. We had been instructed to individually take what we thought we would need to have with us in order to survive in the snow overnight if it came to that, but still be mobile enough to he able to search effectively during the day. The 'victims' said we'd all been much too fast coming up the mountain behind them (they'd left the base not that much ahead of us) to give them time to get to where they were supposed to hide out for a full 24 hours.

So that only left the last phase of the planned exercise. One of the 'victims' was supposed to have a broken leg, and we had nothing but skis, tree branches and whatever we were carrying to tie it all together into a stretcher to get the casualty out. Quite an effective stretcher was made out of skis and stocks and octopus straps. We were all pressed back into service when it came to hauling the casualty, trussed up rigidly, back to base. It was rather a struggle to get him up over the steep crest of the first ridge, and he rebelled at the rough treatment and uncomfortable conveyance upon which he was being dragged over the snow, and refused to let us take him any further. Thus, rather prematurely, finished our Search and Rescue ski search.

By the time a real ski search took place, proper ski stretchers had been procured.

Graham, like many of us, was involved in other searches as well. In October 1980 he helped search for two intellectually disabled teenagers in the Lerderderg area. This is his account.

Twenty-one Search and Rescue members were taken by the police bus to Blackwood that evening and briefed for the morrow. We were told the 18-year old boy had been found, but the 15-year-old girl was still missing. She was an epileptic and not likely to talk to us, in fact she was just as likely to run away as come to us if we found her.

We were up at 4.45 a.m. and breakfasted and ready to go by 5.50 a.m. We were taken to the Lerderderg River and on to Yankee Creek where the boy had been found. We were put into groups spread right across Yankee Creek gully and started moving upstream at about 7.00 a.m. We had been going for about an hour when I saw something off to the side. I investigated and saw it was a piece of nylon - it looked like a hood of a parka which had been ripped off. Then I saw a very wet brown Adidas-type shoe. We'd been told to look for 'black school shoes', but that didn't stop me yelling for a halt. The line stopped and we radioed our find to base. We were told not to move as they would send in the dog squad. Two policemen and two dogs eventually turned up. One of them