Revised 11 October 2019

The role of the Event Organiser is to make the event a success. This includes:

  • liaising with the course planner and the OACT Office Manager with respect to assembly area arrangements and event approvals;
  • getting the equipment to the event and properly set up;
  • displaying the notice board with the General Risk Warning;
  • organising the members to assist at the event; and
  • packing up afterwards.


This policy applies to all events. Prior to the event, the organiser should familiarise her/himself with Document 14, Safety and emergency procedures, and consult with the course planner and controller to agree on an emergency contact number to be printed on the map. The event organiser has the discretion to require all competitors to carry a whistle for safety reasons.


1. Event Planning Information. In addition to the general information on the website, here are two sets of information on specific areas which are available to assist the organiser, course planner and controller in the planning of events:

    1. Event Planning and Management Guidelines. These location-specific guidelines are being prepared progressively for all areas used for OACT events and, if available, are provided electronically (or in printed form if necessary) from the OACT Office or through Google Drive (see Document 1 for further information). They contain information such as location of suitable assembly areas, directions to assembly areas, parking arrangements, landholder contact details, comments on map quality and reliability, safety and environmental factors to be considered in planning and conduct of events, and other conditions which are normally specified by the land owner or manager.
    2. Event Planning Kits. These are available for most areas and contain most of the above information, plus courses and results from some previous events, which may be useful in providing course planning ideas and identifying typical running speeds for the area. They are large folders which need to be collected from the OACT Office, and returned after the event.

2. Event Notification. For some Metro and Twilight event maps, the assembly area is at the same location for each event, while for others there is a choice of assembly area. You, as event organiser, or the course planner must check whether there may be any problems or special requirements in relation to the assembly area and parking, and inform the OACT Office of the assembly area location before it applies for approval, normally 6 to 8 weeks before the event. Advise the OACT Office if vehicle access is required through a locked gate.

If it has not already been done through your club, notify the Office as early as possible that you are the organiser and provide the names of the course planner and controller/vetter. The Office will publish these names in the event details on the OACT website events schedule. This will then enable the organiser of the previous week’s event to contact you about collecting the equipment. Check who is the organiser for the event following your event so you can contact them about collecting the equipment from you.

At least one week before the event, check that the event information on the website is correct, and consider posting a news article advertising the event. This should be done through the OACT Office, which may be able to assist if necessary.

3. Event Approvals. If the event is in Canberra Nature Park, urban parks or pine forests, all of which are managed by ACT Government Transport Canberra and City Services, or in Stromlo Forest Park or land managed by the National Capital Authority, the OACT Office arranges approvals. The Office Manager uploads the approval to Google Drive and provides a printed copy with the course maps. If the event is held on private land or a campus, such as ANU, CIT, or a school campus, then you, as organiser, or alternatively the course planner, arrange permissions with the land manager. Note that many weeks’ or months’ notice may be necessary. Note that occasionally special conditions may be imposed with the approval that affect the course planning or assembly area, or require warnings to be issued to competitors.

Take a copy of the approval to the event, in case there are any issues with authorities or local residents. For Canberra Nature Park areas, the approval usually includes a mobile number for the duty ranger in case this is needed in an emergency.

At most Metro and Twilight events, vehicular access to Canberra Nature Park is not necessary and so usually no access keys need to be collected from ACT Government land managers. Should a key be required, for example, for access to the parking area or to put out drink controls, it is the responsibility of the organising team to collect it and check before the event that it works.


4. Event Roster. Organise club members to help. This includes the hour before the event in setting up, during the event at the registration table or assisting the computer operator with SI registration and timing, and after the event in packing up and collecting the controls. Your club should have processes in place to facilitate finding the helpers so that this is not left solely up to you.

The OACT website has a facility for managing rosters and recording who volunteered. The roster template can be copied from the website and pasted into an email for direct communication with club members if required.

5. Collecting and Checking the Equipment. The equipment used is listed in the checklist in Document 5. The equipment will usually be in the custody of the person who organised the previous week’s event. If possible, arrange to collect the equipment at that event, when it is being packed up. If this is not possible then arrange to collect the equipment from the previous week’s event organiser (probably from their home) during the week preceding your event.

Occasionally the equipment may need to be collected from the OACT storage shed at Giralang. This is located at the old Parks Depot in Coree Place, off Tucana Street. Keys can be collected from the OACT Office or from Pat Miethke (0428 830 201, ) or Anita Scherrer (0457 584 459). There is no lighting in the shed, so a torch is needed if visiting at night.

The computing and timing equipment is stored separately, along with the EFTPOS machine, and is normally brought to the event by the person operating the computer.

Arrange with your course planner how they will collect the flags, any stands and SI units from the previous week’s event. Otherwise, you as event organiser may need to collect these items and arrange to pass them to the course planner during the week before the event.

Check the equipment, particularly supplies of consumables. If any items of equipment are wet, please dry them out. Check supplies of drinking cups and registration cards. Stocks of cups are kept at Giralang. Stocks of control cards are available from the OACT Office. Check that there is a float of $100 in the cash box, with change in the correct denominations as listed on the cash box lid.

The equipment (excluding controls and computing equipment) required should just fit into the boot and back seat of a medium to large car, but be prepared to seek assistance in transporting equipment if necessary.

6. Role of the Course Planner. The course planner plans the courses and puts out the controls, organises and collects the maps and control description lists from the OACT Office, and delivers them to the event. Check with the course planner that he/she will be doing these things and offer any assistance if necessary. Check in particular that the maps and control description lists will be at the event before registration starts.

Check with the course planner exactly where the Start and Finish will be, so that you can set up the assembly (i.e. the equipment) accordingly.


7. Setting Up for the Event. Organise other club members to help you – suggest at least two members plus you for setting up and putting out direction signs. Allow at least one hour before course opening to set up the equipment. Allow longer if the weather is poor and tents need to be erected. Setting up includes the tables and chairs for the registration tables and computer, the dome tent if necessary for sun, rain or wind protection, banners, the Clear/Check, Start and Finish SI units (brought by the computer operator), the brochures box, displaying the sample maps in the map boards, completing and displaying the whiteboard (see below), and putting out the drinking water, cups and waste receptacle. If it is necessary to manage the parking, organise helpers to do this. The assembly area should be laid out to provide the efficient flow of competitors through the area to the start, and to allow for the cake stall, coffee van and ‘Welcome Officer’ as applicable (see Item 8 below). Where possible, display the ‘Orienteering’ banner where the general public will see it (e.g. at the road turnoff to the event) to provide publicity for orienteering.

Instructions for setting up the dome tent are kept with the tent, and also in the concertina file in the organiser’s box. It is important to follow these instructions, especially in locating the corners of the tent.

Whiteboard for legal and other notices. For legal reasons, ensure that the whiteboard (with the General Risk Warning) is prominently displayed. Use a marker pen or attached notices to provide information on the following:

  • Today’s organising club and key volunteers.
  • Upcoming events (e.g. training camps, social functions).
  • Special warnings or advice for today such as out-of-bounds rules at Sprint events, hazards (e.g. road crossings, UXO, mineshafts) and significant map changes (e.g. new construction fences).

8. Event Registration. During the event, the main organising responsibility is operating the event registration table. The registration table should be manned in two shifts – the first shift will require at least two persons plus the computer operator, and not you. The registration procedure is explained in Document 12, ‘Taking Event Registrations’. That includes arrangements for season passes and the use of the EFTPOS machine.

There should be two queues at the registration table – one queue for season pass holders, who do not pay entry fees on the day, and the other queue for all those paying cash, including teams, newcomers, those hiring SI sticks or compasses, or buying extra maps. Monitor the queues at the registration table and try to alleviate any very long queues. This may include checking people’s registration cards to ensure they are correct and issuing hired SI cards while people are still in the queue, so these things are done before they get to the registration table.

After paying their entry fees or being checked off the season pass list, it is important for all competitors to register with their SI sticks on the event computer or, for those hiring SI sticks, to hand their registration cards to the computer operator. This is the only way of ensuring that there is a reliable record of all competitors registering for each course. The current practice also requires competitors to clear and check their SI sticks at the same time. The registration system should be set up to make this procedure obvious to competitors. Newcomers should be instructed in the procedure when they enter (or beforehand).

At the present time, OACT arranges for a person to be the ‘Welcome Officer’ who is available to answer questions and assist newcomers. Also OACT arranges for a person to operate the computer system and that person will bring the computer(s), printer, battery, Clear/Check, Start and Finish SI units, and other associated items to the event. Therefore as event organiser, you do not normally need to be concerned about organising these two functions, although you may be required to provide helpers. It is advisable to confirm during the week before the event that the computer operator is available for the event.


9. Missing Persons. At course closure, check that all competitors have returned. Very occasionally a competitor fails to return to the Finish by course closure time. This can usually be verified by checking the finishers recorded in the computer. A list in the expanding file in the organiser’s box contains phone numbers and car registration numbers of regular competitors, while new competitors who fill in a registration card should include this information on their card. By looking for their car, this may indicate if they are still on the course or have gone home without reporting at the Finish. In case a search is required, ensure that at least 6 people remain at the event site until all competitors have finished their courses. Please see further advice in the Safety and Emergency Procedures on the OACT website under Event Management (Document 14).

10. Control Collection and Equipment Pack-up. The event organiser is responsible for packing up the equipment (suggest at least 2 helpers) and for providing 2 to 4 helpers for control collection, which is usually organised by the course planner or controller. If the course planner or controller is not available to organise control collection, the organiser should find another experienced person to do this. The SI units need to be turned off using the purple stick attached to the carrycase. Someone should remain at the assembly area until all control collectors have returned (see also Document 4).

Check against the registration cards that all hired SI sticks and compasses have been returned. Packing up also includes collecting any orienteering litter. Hopefully next week’s organiser will be present to collect the equipment, including flags and field SI units. If not, take the equipment home and next week’s organiser will collect it from there. If any items are wet, dry the items before placing them in storage or passing them to the next organiser.

If your event is the last event of the series, check for any damage or missing items and advise the OACT Office if necessary. The equipment is returned to the Giralang storage.

11. Registration Cards, Event Takings and Unused Maps. The event takings and left-over maps will be collected by the OACT Office Manager, the Secretary or the Executive Director. A float of $100 in the correct denominations should be left in the cash box, which is passed on to next organiser. The results will be processed by an OACT official who will download the event details from the computer into a USB stick and will take the registration cards. The paid computer person will pack up the computer system, check all items and take those items.

12. Event Folder. If an event folder has been borrowed, this should be returned to the OACT Office soon after the event, together with a master map showing the location and description of all controls used, a set of maps and/or control descriptions for each course and any relevant new information.

REMEMBER – If not sure, ask someone. For clarification of any of the above points, don’t hesitate to contact the relevant Series Co-ordinator or the event controller, or alternatively the OACT Office at 6182 1815. There are also many experienced members in your club who are able to give you advice and help.