You are currently viewing The Buzz – Bushflyers News August 2023

The Buzz – Bushflyers News August 2023


With the winter (AL) season and the Junior League almost completed, and the ACT Championships (Middle and Long) held last weekend, a number of us are looking forward to the Australian Championships in Western Australia, only a few weeks away, and then to the coming Twilight season for us all.

We have been fortunate to have continued to enjoyed a full program of orienteering this year, of course including the regular Metro, Classic and Mid-Week series and the MapRun Street Orienteering series.

Championship Events – ACT

  • ACT Sprint Championships, 19 August, Canberra Girls Grammar. Results included:
    2. Ryan Stocks (M20A); Josh Mansell (M16A); Susanne Harryson (W55A); Nina Davis (M/WOpenB); Ruth Morrison (M/WJunior B)
    3. Ben Mansell (M14A); David Poland (M55A); Michael Mitchell (M65A); Valerie Barker (W65A)
  • ACT Middle Championships, 19 August, Collector Hill. Results included:
    1. David Stocks (M21A); Ian de Jongh (M21AS); Matt Stocks (M50A); David Poland (M60A); Chris Stocks (W50A); Alison Inglis (W55A); Valerie Barker (W70A)
    2. Susanne Harryson (W55A); Max Johnson (M20AS); Nina Davis (WOpenB)
    3. Paul de Jongh (M21A); Josh Mansell (M16A)
  • ACT Long Championships, 20 August, Foxlow Flats. Results included:
    1. Paul de Jongh (M21A); Ian de Jongh (M21AS); Matt Stocks (M55A); Ross Stewart (M60A); Susanne Harryson (W55A); David Penton (M35AS); Nina Davis (WOpenB)
    2. David Stocks (M21A); Robert Hembrow (M21AS); Justine Hobson (W20A) Alison Inglis (W55A)
    3. Chris Stocks (W55A); Birgitta Hembrow Gersey (W21AS)

Congratulations to all place-getters, whether it was on an individual day or overall.


In June we were very pleased to acknowledge the several young orienteers who were selected to represent Australia in international competition this year, including JWOC, WOC, the World Cup and a trans–Tasman Test Match. These included Caitlin Young, David Stocks, Justine Hobson, Natalie Miller, Toby Lang and Paul de Jongh.

A number of those of us at home were able to tune into the live broadcasts of these events, especially JWOC and WOC, to cheer our club-mates on. These broadcasts are always so exciting to watch! Several families also travelled to Europe in July, to be in-person support for competitors (especially at JWOC). And then, of course, many of these orienteers (both representatives and family members) enjoyed the wonderful experiences of major European competitions, such as the Swiss O-Week, and O-Ringen. I know that all of them are very keen to share their experiences and show you their maps, often of terrain so very different from anything we have here in Australia. Do ask!

The ACT team to compete in the Australian Schools Orienteering Championships (ASOC) in Western Australia (30 September to 8 October) was also recently announced.
Congratulations to the following young Bushflyers in the team:

  • Senior Girls – Katherine Maundrell
  • Senior Boys – Max Johnson, Josh Mansell, James Tailby
  • Junior Girls – Naomi Penton
  • Junior Boys – Ben Mansell, Matthew Maundrell

Places in the ASOC teams are keenly sought, and it is exciting to note that we have new Bushflyer faces in three of the four classes. Bushflyers are certainly very well represented in this year’s ASOC team!
We also acknowledge and thank the team officials, especially those who are Bushflyers: Tom de Jongh (Manager) and Paul de Jongh (Coach).

Bushflyers Events

Bushflyers have been organising and presenting a number of events over the past few months, in both the Metro and AL (Classic) series.

Thank you very much to the following club members for setting courses and organising the events, and also to their teams of helpers who set up and pack up the event, manage the registration desk, and especially assist with control collection. In some cases this has proved quite demanding, especially when key personnel have had nasty injuries. In particular, we wish Toni Brown a strong recovery from her broken leg, sustained when controlling the Isaacs Ridge event.

It has been encouraging to note a number of our newer members enthusiastically taking on critical organisational roles as well. Thank you all.

  • Metro Series: Junior League #7, Saturday 19 July, Stringybark Hill
    Course–setter: Peter Antcliff Organiser: The Penton Family
  • Metro Series: Junior League #10, Saturday 22 July, West Stromlo North
    Course–setter: Naomi Penton/Alison Inglis Organiser: the Mansell family
  • ACT Sprint Championships ACT League #3, Sunday 25 June, Canberra Girls Grammar
    Course–setter: Silke Speier Controller: Matt Stocks Organiser: Valerie Barker
  • ACT League #4, Sunday 30 July, Isaacs Ridge
    Course–setter: David Poland Controller: Toni Brown Organiser: Scott Wilkinson

Coming Events

Australian Championships, Western Australia 30 September – 8 October, 2023

Note that entries close on 31st August.

Travelling to WA is a major commitment for us from the eastern states, whether we go as ACT representatives or as individuals and support crew! At present at least 19 Bushflyers have entered, across a range of different classes, including the ASOC events. I am really looking forward to going to WA again; while I shall not have not the Bushflyers flag with me this year, I am sure that we shall be meeting up at the various events, including those wonderfully exciting ASOC events, to cheer everyone on! Do join us all.

We wish all competitors, at whatever level of competition, good luck, clean runs, wonderful orienteering experiences, and opportunities to renew and develop friendships with our interstate competitors.

Club events in the next few months

You will notice that on the OACT website and in Eventor that the following events are scheduled for the current Metro and Classic series, and then later in the 2023/2024 Twilight season.

  • Metro Series: Junior League #14 (incorporating the ACT Secondary School Championships), Saturday 19 July, Cooleman Ridge
    Course Planner – Josh Mansell/Ari Piiroinen, Organisers – the Penton family
  • ACT League #4 Sunday 3 September Picaree Hill
    Course Planner – Ross Stewart, Organiser – Chris Andersen

Bushflyers are also responsible for:

  • Twilight #1, Oakey Hill, 25 October 2023
  • Twilight #4, Gossan Hill, 15 November 2023
  • Twilight #7, Mt Jerrabomberra, 6 December 2023
  • Twilight #8, Commonwealth Park, 14 February 2024
  • Twilight #12, John Knight Park, 13 March 2024

Before too long you will receive a request from Jo Hobson for your assistance with the events in the 2023/2024 Twilight Series.

I am sure that course setters, organisers and controllers/vetters will all be needed. Don’t worry if you haven’t taken on any of these roles before as we have lots of people who would be happy to help you out with the practicalities. Watch for Jo’s email, and consider how you might be able to support our club.

Bushflyers Finances

You are probably aware that each of the Orienteering ACT clubs has its own funds in the form of a club trust account within the broader OACT financial structure. For many years, the Bushflyers account has been quite flush, and we have often been asked about how these funds might be used to support our club members. You may not know that our income is generated by tithes that are paid to clubs after they have organised and presented an event. Note that currently tithes are set at $150 for an ordinary event, and $250 for a Championships event.

This year, we have made a determined effort to support Bushflyers in a number of ways, and I am almost embarrassed to report to you that our account is now at an all-time low – we really have almost completely depleted our funds. This year we have made sponsorship payments of up to $400 for our international athletes, and $250 for our ASOC representatives – this has been a recognition of the post–COVID costs of travel, not only overseas, but also within Australia (the cost for our ASOC representatives is high, and there are several families with two children travelling too). This year, of course, we have had such a large number of younger Bushflyers achieving national and state selection. There is a long history of providing this sort of financial support – ask many of our older members whose sons and daughters have had their JWOC and ASOC selection supported by Bushflyers. My daughter was certainly one of those very appreciative and grateful recipients.

In previous years, our occasional Swarms and get-togethers have been self-catered, with everyone contributing to the food; however, over the past year or two, the club has provided pizzas and fruit – sometimes for up to 40 people. You know how hungry orienteers are, and the cost of pizzas these days! As well, we have purchased uniforms (this is usually in bulk), so I do have several hundreds of dollars worth of stock to hand. Bushflyers also buys the badges that we award annually, and of course, we provide other awards and prizes to recognise the achievements of our members. As you can see, it has not been difficult to support so many of our members so generously.

I do acknowledge, of course, that our funds are going to have to build up again, and that this will not be done within just a few months and on the strength of the 2023 tithes. However, I do still want to be able to continue to support our representatives next year. In thinking ahead, I am proposing that we tap into the recent fund-raising experience and success of the ACT Blue Lightning Squad; they ran one of the regular Bunnings BBQs (the staple of weekend visits to Bunnings) and made a considerable amount of money to support the ASOC team. We have immediate contacts and a clear organisational structure for such an event. My suggestion is that we book a date in perhaps March/April next year, outside the main part of the orienteering season, and commit Bushflyers to one day’s effort. Of course, most of us would need to commit to only a few hours work too! This would significantly boost our funds at the start of the year.

Please let me know your thoughts on this; and if you have any other ideas about possible fundraising, I’d be very keen to hear them. We do hope to have a Swarm towards the end of the year, using the home of one of our members (and we have already had an offer of a venue too – more details later). I think that this one will revert to our ‘bring a plate to share’ format. They have been very successful in the past, of course, and will be easy to manage in these more relaxed post–COVID times.

Other news

  • Do you subscribe to the OACT weekly e-bulletin? What about the Orienteering Australia monthly e-bulletin? Find recent OA e-news, June 2023 here. This edition featured an interview with our own Justine Hobson too.
  • I encourage you to subscribe to each of these bulletins, to enable you to keep up-to-date at both a local and a national level. They have so many links to interesting and inspiring articles, news items, YouTube videos, health and fitness advice…
  • And I continue to remind you that I have a range of Bushflyers’ clothing (O-tops and jackets mostly) for sale. The range of sizes is becoming a little limited, but we will still be able to meet the needs of quite a few of our members. Please check with me if you would like wear our Club colours, especially if you are competing in major interstate events.

Keep safe; keep well; and keep moving.

Valerie Barker (Club Convenor)

6251 5459 / 0410 151 554

For Bushflyers Orienteering – where no-one gets left on the bench!