Training to be a Rottnest Voluntary Guide

2024 Training applications have closed.  You can now apply for 2025.

The Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association (RVGA) conducts an annual training course for Trainee Guides commencing in April each year. To be eligible to attend the training course the applicant must be at least 18 years of age at the commencement of the training course and an application form must be submitted to the RVGA’s Training Coordinator.

To access a Trainee Guide Application Form click on the ‘Trainee Guide Application Form’ button above and follow the on-screen advice.

The number of available trainee positions varies each year, and is based on the number of guides required to meet the Association’s guiding obligations over the following eighteen months. It is expected that 30-36 new Guides will be trained in 2024.

Members of the Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association are required to abide by the RVGA’s Rules of Association and Regulations, which may be accessed by clicking on the preceding underlined text

2024 Training Course Details

The training course equips trainees with the knowledge and skills required to be an effective guide on Rottnest Island. The course covers topics related to the history, military history and the environment of the Island, as can be seen by examining an outline of the Training Course. This can be seen by clicking on the ‘Training Course Details’ button above.

In addition there are two weekend training sessions on Rottnest Island. These are particularly important parts of the program, as they provide essential practical experience.

The 2024 Training Program will run from 9 April – 16 July 2024.

In 2024 the two weekends will be:

  • Friday 12.00pm 3rd May – Sunday 4.00pm 5th May 2023 inclusive; and
  • Friday 12.00pm 7th June – Monday 4.00pm 10thJune 2023 inclusive.

 Prospective trainees need to be able to commit to both of these weekends in order to be accepted for training. It is also very important that trainees are able to attend most if not all of the Tuesday training sessions that commence at 6.15pm.

Most of the training sessions are held at the WA Ecology Centre, near Perry Lakes, in City Beach.

At the completion of training in mid-July, trainee guides are required to undertake three supported tours with an experienced guide followed by three assessment tours. It is an expectation that these supported tours and assessments will be completed by the second week of September  in preparation for graduating as a Rottnest Voluntary Guide at the Awards and Graduation Evening which will be held on Tuesday 24 September 2024.

A large amount of material about all the tours offered by the RVGA is available on the RVGA website. The ability to access and print material from the Members Only section of the RVGA website is considered to be essential. Internet access can be from home, a local library or through friends, relatives or colleagues.

2024 Training Course Costs

The cost of the 2023 training course was $425. The course fees for 2024 will be similar and will be required in full, by mid-March 2024.

The training course fee covers:

  • RVGA membership fee to 30 June 2025;
  • 13 weeks of Tuesday evening training including presentations, small group work and supper;
  • some hard copy reference materials;
  • access privileges to the RVGA’s secure Members Only web zone;
  • two weekends (5 nights) on Rottnest Island –  including ferry fares and accommodation; and
  • on graduation, an RVGA polo shirt and name badge.

Guiding Commitment

The minimum guiding commitment is ten days of guiding on Rottnest per year. However, most guides commit to one or two rostered guiding days on Rottnest per month. The roster is set a month in advance so there is ample time to prepare for a rostered tour.

All guides trained in 2024 will be required to make themselves available for the full range of rostered daily guiding duties.

In addition to rostered tours, guides may choose to undertake holiday guiding activities and special request guiding activities which usually involve taking tours for school aged children.

Working with Children Card

All RVGA guides undertaking duties on Rottnest Island are required to have a current Working with Children Card (WWC). Applications for the WWC card will be arranged during the training course. Further information can be obtained from the WWC website by clicking on the ‘Working with Children Card’ button above.

If arranging your WWC application through the RVGA, the WWC volunteer application fee is to be paid by the applicant. On receipt of the Card, applicants will receive a reimbursement from the RVGA’s Treasurer.


Any enquiries can be addressed to the Training Coordinator, Vanessa O’Brien by email to or by phone on Mob 0407 199 470.