The VSA currently has 5 types of membership; Introductory Members, Associate Members, Full Members, Life Members and Foundation Members. Prospective members are encouraged to take up an Introductory Membership which will allow them to explore their personal interests over a 12 months period (or until the current year’s AGM, whichever is earlier). The Introductory Membership is offered at an attractive discount which includes insurance as well as a monthly newsletter, the quarterly VSA magazine (Nargun) and the quarterly ASF magazine (Caves Australia).
Recognised recreation groups are also encouraged to join VSA as they can become official affiliated groups of the VSA and participate in co-organised activities.
Of these 5 types of memberships, 3 are available for a prospective individual to apply for:
Introductory Members shall be persons over the age of 18 years approved in the following manner:
- Download a form from the website (see below page for forms) and
- Submit the form with the appropriate fee to your trip leader on your first cave trip.
- The term of membership is limited to a maximum of twelve (12) calendar months, commencing on any day of the month, as specified on the application form, after which the person may apply for Associate or Full Membership.
- The person may apply and be approved for an unlimited number of terms of an introductory membership.
- Come to a VSA general meeting which is held on the first Wednesday of every month. Check out the website calendar for dates and details.
- Contact us to let us know you are coming so we can set you up with a buddy caver to get you started.
Once an application for an introductory membership has been accepted by the Committee, it is usual practice to announce the acceptance at the next general meeting. This membership enables anyone to participate in VSA caving trips and events for 3 months without going through the full formalities and cost of a normal full-year Associate membership. It includes the mandatory ASF insurance coverage.
Associate Members shall be natural persons over the age of 18 years nominated and approved in the following manner :
- be proposed and seconded by two (2) Full Members who are familiar with the person and his/her abilities.
Once an application for Associate Membership is accepted by the Committee, it is usual practice to announce the acceptance at the next general meeting. This membership is similar to the introductory membership except that it lasts for one year and allows you to nominate for the committee.
Full Members shall :
- have attained the age of 18 years, and
- have considerable caving experience from a number of caves and different areas developed over a period of at least 12 months, either as an Associate or Introductory Member of this Association or as a Full Member of any other approved speleological body and to have participated in VSA activities, and
- be conversant with the ASF Code of Ethics and ASF Safety Codes, and
- show a responsible and safe attitude towards caving, and
- be able to competently use and maintain their personal equipment and have developed proficiency in a range of caving skills.
In special cases, the Committee may recommend for Full Membership a person not satisfying all of these requirements.
Note that Rule 3A (b) in VSA Statement of Purposes and Rules requires that a majority of Full Members present at a General Meeting approve a person for Full Membership.
Members also have access to the Association’s extensive library of caving books and journals, and also access to the extensive collection of cave records, reports and maps.
Membership for Associate members and Full members shall be deemed to lapse if the relevant membership fee amount remains in arrears for six months from the due date for payment, unless the Committee sees fit to waive this provision due to perceived special circumstances. Introductory Associate membership lapses automatically at the end of the 12 months period or AGM, whichever is earlier, for which it applies.
VSA has developed a process to approve cave trip leader qualifications within the association, as described in VSA Newsletter number 12 (March, 2005).
Two documents have been created to describe the leadership scheme and to assess the abilities and suitability of prospective cave trip leaders.
Membership Application Forms
The Application For Associate Membership and Application For Full Membership will be updated shortly to include the new membership requirements and Privacy Statement for VSA Members and the option to elect to not have some personal details published in Nargun and the Annual Report.
The following fees apply for the VSA membership year 1st July 2018 to 30th June 2019:
|Category||VSA Component||ASF Component
|Individual 12 month
(Associate and Full)
|Individual (Associate and Full)||$45||$55||$100|
Complete payment of fees are due at the Annual General Meeting in June. The VSA Committee may accept pro-rata payment of fees for new members on a case-by-case basis.
A subscription to the Nargun journal is available to non-members for $25 per year (4 issues) and also includes regular VSA newsletters and internet forum access. Postage is included for Australian residents with overseas residents needing to add an additional $10.00 to cover postage costs. The publications page has more information regarding the Nargun journal.
(The above information concerning the membership categories, non-financial members and leadership requirements has been adapted from the VSA Administration Guidelines, with alterations which were passed at the General Meeting of the Association on 2nd March 2005, and as published in the VSA Newletter, No. 13, April 2005)
*All prices are in Australian Dollar (AU$)