1. Duty of care has been described as the responsibility to refrain from causing other persons injury or loss.


2. In terms of bushwalking clubs, the test of an activity leader’s or participant’s duty of care could be:


What a reasonably prudent person would do to take reasonable care to avoid exposing fellow participants (having regard to their knowledge, age,experience and skill) to unreasonable risks of injury or loss.


3. Furthermore, in the case of bushwalking clubs there is normally a high level of expectation on the part of club committees and activity leaders that participants will take responsibility for their own welfare and safety in a manner consistent with their knowledge, age, experience and skill. Therefore all participants and leaders need to take reasonable care to avoid exposing any person including guest participants to unreasonable risk of injury or loss.


4. Liability occurs when a duty of care was owed and that duty was then breached. Public liability is when the loss, injury or damage is to person or property although these are decisions for courts to make.


Duty of Care - Responsibilies of Parties


MVB Inc Reponsibilities


Remind members of their duty of care; each and every club member has a duty of care to other club members, guests and the public at large


Event Leaders


  1. Assess risks relating to their activity and comply with the club’s risk management requirements and operating procedures
  2. Ensure visitors undertake suitable activities and are aware of club procedures.
  3. Club members and guests need to take responsibility for their own safety
  4. Exercise a duty of care to all participants
  5. Ensure they have health and/or fitness levels and equipment suitable for the activities they undertake
  6. Follow club operating procedures.


Temporary members (Guests/Visitors)

  1. Must sign an acknowledgement of risk form and comply with club procedures
  2. Take responsibility for their own safety
  3. Exercise a duty of care to all other participants.


Visitors are covered under Bushwalking Australia’s current public liability insurance policy as “temporary members” of a club as long as they submit an acknowledgement of risk that is part of the MVB event booking enquiry system and which complies with the proforma provided by Bushwalking Australia. The main aim of this is to ensure that visitors are aware of their responsibilities and the possible risks associated with the activity they are undertaking.


Our responsibility is to promote to members and guests the importance of managing risk with a primary focus on developing a culture of care within the club so that members can enjoy activities in a reasonably safe manner whilst acknowledging the risks of injury inherent in their club’s activities.