The Brisbane Catholic Bushwalking Club Inc is one of the principal bushwalking clubs in South-East Queensland. We conduct bushwalks throughout this area and, sometimes, further afield. Most walks occur on weekends, although some are held on weekdays. The Club was established in 1958 and incorporated in 1992. We offer a diverse walking programme, to cater for all abilities. It is supplemented by our active social programme.

Aims and Values

Our primary aims are to respectfully access wilderness areas and to promote the appreciation of nature. Our friendly bushwalking club welcomes and values connection. Lasting friendships are formed in the club. The sharing of walking experience reflects the spirit of generosity in our Club. We seek to nurture the spirituality of our members, primarily through encounters with the beauty and wonder of the natural world and through the simple joy of walking. Our three annual religious celebrations are in the Catholic tradition and we try to operate according to the Christian values of inclusiveness and kindness.


General Meetings are held on the third Monday of each month. Leaders provide details about upcoming walks and members can nominate for them. At some meetings, guest speakers offer presentations on a variety of relevant topics. The Annual General Meeting is held each February. Meetings commence at 7.30 pm and are held at St Michael's Parish Hall, 250 Banks St, Ashgrove. The hall is in the lower carpark behind the church and is accessed via the driveway ramp on the left.


The Club Magazine, Jilalan, is provided electronically to all members each month. Some members opt to purchase printed copies as well. The magazine contains details of upcoming walks, as well as the contact details of the walk leaders and the committee members. Jilalan is an aboriginal word for walk.

The Club Badge

equipment The Club Badge represents Mt Barney, a campfire and Mary. The Latin motto, Duce Maria, means Mary, Our Leader. The Club’s patron saint is Our Lady of the Way.


Visitors are welcome to participate in three walks before joining. Children are permitted to participate in walks at the discretion of leaders and under the supervision and responsibility of parents or guardians. All visitors need to print out and complete the Visitor’s Form,and hand it to the Leader before leaving the meeting point.


equipment Membership is open to bushwalkers over the age of 18 who support the Club and its values. It is not necessary to be a member of the Catholic faith. Two walks need to be completed before a membership application. can be submitted for the consideration of the Management Committee. Members pay an annual subscription fee in addition to the cost of each Club event they attend. Catholics apply for Ordinary Membership while others apply for Associate Membership. Associate members do not vote or stand for committee positions.

Membership Fees in 2020

  • • $20 - Ordinary Members
  • • $16 - Associate Members
  • • Pro-rata rates apply to new members who join during the year.
  • • Fees cover the period 1st January to 31st December. Renewals are due and payable by the end of February each year.
  • • There is an additional $25 cost for members who elect to receive a printed Jilalan. Life Members and Honorary Members receive complimentary copies.


equipment One of the aims of the Club is to provide for the spiritual welfare of its members. The Club also comes under the umbrella of the Catholic Church. General Meetings include prayer. Two Club Masses are celebrated each year. The Annual Mass occurs in February in a church in Brisbane and is followed by a meal. The Mt Barney Mass occurs near the summit of that mountain on Exhibition Wednesday each year. There is usually a Club Retreat each year. It is not necessary to be a member of the Catholic faith to attend the Club’s religious events.


Socials are held regularly and can include dinner outings, movie nights, Friday drinks, country pub visits, theatre nights, museum and art gallery visits and strolls, which are late afternoon short walks in the suburbs.



Training sessions are held from time to time to provide skills in areas such as map reading, compass reading, abseiling and safety.

Our Story

The Club was started by Father Willie Hayes and Raoul Mellish in January 1958 and incorporated in March 1992.

In 1957, Father Hayes was assigned to the Brisbane Parish of Yeronga, where he met Raoul Mellish, an experienced bushwalker. In September 1957, while Willie and Raoul were climbing one of Raoul’s favourite mountains, Mt Beerwah in the Glasshouse Mountains, their conversation turned to the idea of a Catholic bushwalking club to cater for both the spiritual and physical needs of bushwalkers. One aim was to have a club that catered for Sunday 's Mass attendance.

On the last Sunday of October in 1957, a notice appeared in The Catholic Leader, inviting interested people to contact Fr Hayes.

Proposed Catholic Bushwalking Club for Brisbane

In recent years, bushwalking has become a popular pastime for many Australians. Brisbane already has two bushwalking clubs, providing, in various ways, an outlet for people who have felt the urge to really get out into the open, and discover the beauties of mountain and bush in their natural and unspoiled states.

For some years now, Sydney has had a variety of bushwalking clubs, including a vigorous Catholic Club. It is felt that a similar Catholic Club should be formed in Brisbane.

There are many places within easy distance of the city which would be suitable for one day trips. Properly organised, full weekend trips could also be arranged in such places, for instance at Lamington Plateau, where Sunday Mass is often provided.

Having received His Grace’s approval for the formation of a Catholic Club in Brisbane, it is proposed, a sufficient number of interested people forthcoming, to hold an inaugural meeting in early January of next year.

If anyone interested would contact Father Hayes of Yeronga and leave with him the necessary personal details, he or she will be advised in due course of the date and place for this meeting.

In the meantime, arrangements could be made for a preliminary outing, so that prospective members may get to know one another. (

A follow up notice appeared on 5th December on page 15 of The Catholic Leader advising that the first outing would be to Mt. Tibrogargan on Sunday 1st December 1957.

First Outing of Catholic Bushwalking Club

On last Sunday, 1st December, Father W. Hayes and twenty-six other prospective members of the proposed Brisbane Catholic Bushwalker's Club went for a day’s outing to the Glasshouse Mountains. This was the first outing of the new Club.

The site chosen for lunch was a spot beside a pool near the foot of Mount Tibrogargan. In the afternoon a group of twelve, including six of the girls, succeeded in reaching the top.

Visibility from the top was poor owing to the amount of bush-fire smoke in the atmosphere. The only commanding features of the view were the delicate spire of Mount Crookneck and the graceful mass of Mount Beerwah standing out like ghostly silhouettes.

On returning from the hot, parched slopes of the mountain, the most welcome feature of the day was the long, refreshing swim in the shaded pool. In the cool of the evening. The pleasantly tired party rounded off the day’s activity with a leisurely walk to the station to catch their trains.

It is proposed to hold the inaugural general meeting of the Club on Thursday, 16th January, 1958. All those concerned note time and venue of this meeting.

Plans are being made for the first official weekend outing which will be held at O'Reilly’s Lamington Plateau, on the long weekend at the end of January, where Mass will be provided.

In the meantime others interested may leave personal particulars with Father Hayes, Yeronga, phone JW 2134. (

The trip was attended by 27 people and could be viewed as the day on which the Club began. The first meeting was held on Thursday 16th January, 1958 and the Brisbane Catholic Bushwalking Club was officially founded. The Club’s constitution was modelled on the Catholic Bushwalking Club of Sydney and its patron, Our Lady of the Way, was adopted by the Brisbane Catholic Bushwalking Club.