August was women’s month and the College is proud of all the women deployed in various roles within the organisation. One woman stands out for her role in training, assessing and mentoring guides. Julie Bryden has worked in the conservation and field guiding sector for nearly twenty years, and we are privileged that she has brought her unique experience as one of the most highly qualified female field guides to the fore of our FGASA-endorsed training.
From Tanzania, South Africa and Rwanda, Julie has explored and guided in a massive variety of conditions, primarily interested in trails on foot in dangerous game areas. Her FGASA qualifications speak for themselves; Advanced Rifle Handing, Professional Field Guide, Tracker L3 and Trails Guide. Her long association with the College in instructing, assessing and moderating training programmes has been a key factor to the success of many of the students.
Julie Bryden is one of the few women instructors that is qualified in nature conservation (BTech degree), in wildlife law enforcement (field ranging) and as a field guide (professional field and trails guide). As the College, we’re proud to be playing a role in transforming the field guiding sector, which has been dominated traditionally by men.
Julie still works as a trails guide, environmental monitoring specialist and as an instructor. Our first group of Apprentice Field and Trails Guide students have learned from her experience.
Julie also recently worked with Ashwell Glassen on honing the Apprentice Field Guide students through intensive applied learning in the field.
“To see Julie sharing her passion for tracking and wildlife has been an absolute pleasure. Her deep experience and appreciation for Africa’s wild places and matched by her joy in developing people is part of her success as a professional trails guide. The guide students were introduced to the basics of tracking, game-drive techniques, approaching wildlife safely in a vehicle, knowledge of wildlife behaviour and the ethics of guiding. These include professional communication and working with groups. A great start to the students learning experience.”
This comes off the back of the College’s recent endorsement by the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA).