This unit aims to increase students understanding of upper catchment geomorphology, river health, hydrology, and catchment management within the unique upper river environments of the Great Dividing Range of Australia. Students will develop the knowledge and skill to live, travel, and lead safe journeys on white-water rivers. As well, students will develop an appreciation of the physical, mental and social demands and benefits of these activities.
Off campus field laboratories in this unit may require a levy for incidental fees for accommodation, transport and camping.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Investigate the upper catchment geomorphology, river health, hydrology, and catchment management specifically relevant to the rivers of the Great Dividing Range visited in the unit of study;  
  2. Exhibit the unique theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to live, travel, and lead safely in remote upper catchment river environments;  
  3. Demonstrate the skills of raft guiding whilst integrating a place based approach to environmental and cultural interpretation relevant to the location;  
  4. Apply strategies to safely manage and lead groups in lower catchment river environments; and,  
  5. Demonstrate the skills of self-rescue and river rescue.  


Due to risk management and professional/industry requirements to demonstrate knowledge and skill within both simulated and workplace environments, graded attendance and hurdle tasks apply to laboratory work and practicums.
Assessment type Description Grade
Presentation Environment Presentation (Group work) 15%
Practicum Practicum A - Practical skills and field work (WIL equivalent) 25%
Practicum Practicum B - Practical skills and field work (WIL equivalent) 25%
Assignment Written assignments – Guides Workbook 35%

Required reading

River Rescue: A Manual for Whitewater Safety 4th ed
Bechdel, L., & Ray, S. (2009).
CFS Publishers, Ashville, NC,

Where to next?

As part of a course

You can choose to study this unit as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to structure your course to include this unit.

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