Rottnest Volunteer Guides Association to mark 30 years with lunch


Front: Wendy MacGibbon, Pam Ghirardi, Beth Duncan and Sue Fox. Back: Elizabeth Rippey, Ken Keesing and Richard Fox.
Front: Wendy MacGibbon, Pam Ghirardi, Beth Duncan and Sue Fox. Back: Elizabeth Rippey, Ken Keesing and Richard Fox.

SEVEN inaugural members of the Rottnest Volunteer Guides Association (RVGA) marked the group’s 30th anniversary with a lunch this month.

Wendy MacGibbon, Pam Ghirardi, Beth Duncan, Sue and Richard Fox, Elizabeth Rippey and Ken Keesing, who are still guiding, reminisced about the early days of the RVGA at Aristos.

The lunch was the first of several events that will mark the anniversary this year.

President Brian Gunn said the anniversary marked the years of dedication by hundreds of guides who aimed to make a visit to Rott-nest memorable.

“In October we will have a display in the Salt Store on the island of our guiding activities over the years and also celebrate with an official dinner,” he said.

Ms Fox said it had been a privilege and delight to share visitors’ enjoyment of Rottnest Island.

Professor Fox said it had been an interesting journey watching the association develop and flourish.

“We have gone from a group giving six tours during school holidays only to providing a multitude of tours 364 days per year,” he said.

Ken Keesing said he had many happy memories of weekends with the guides at Kingstown Barracks, eating together in the army mess and planning environmental education activities.

“Rottnest Island is a wonderful educational treasure and I have enjoyed learning so much from other knowledgeable members and passing it on to tourists and children,” he said.

“I have a close attachment to Rottnest having been fortunate enough to attend Army Reserve training with the University Regiment at Kingstown Barracks in the 1960s.”

The RVGA, which now has 300 guides, was established in 1986 to promote an increased awareness and appreciation of the natural environment and historical significance of Rottnest Island.