By: Michael Fox

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(clockwise) Mik Petter, Wayne Cameron, Ian Walker, Dr. Christian Rowan, Michael Fox, Sienna Harris

Our local MP Ian Walker gave us to opportunity yesterday to brief Dr. Christian Rowan, state Shadow Minister for Environment, about our restoration work around the mountain and the broader Brisbane catchment. We met at the Love Well Project … excellent coffee and an outstanding place to meet with a view over Brisbane City.
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Mik Petter – B4C President and Wayne Cameron – Catchment Manager, represented Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C). Sienna Harris represented Griffith Mates and Alan Moore, Photography Workshop leader, and I represented Mt Gravatt Environment Group.
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Mik and Wayne shared information on the history of Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee Inc. (B4C): established in 1997 as a community based social enterprise that provides coordination, support and specialised ecological services to protect, restore and maintain Bulimba Creek catchment in partnership with our members and wider community to build a web of green across the region.

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Particularly significant points were the business like management of B4C which complements grant funding and volunteer contribution with commercial projects across Brisbane and as far as Esk. This combination of financial strength and depth of on ground experience across both technical environmental areas and community engagement allows B4C to provide valuable support for groups like ours: technical advice, legal framework, insurance and bookkeeping.

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Explaining the value of interpretative signs.

The excellent support our five Bushcare groups receive from BCC Habitat Brisbane is complemented by B4C’s support that allows us to source grant funding for printing our popular Walking Mt Gravatt track maps and the interpretative signs which help create a real “National Park” experience for visitors to Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.
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Sienna talked about Griffith Mates, a Griffith University initiative that organises events for students, including Volunteering at Bushcare. A powerful partnership we find ourselves working with students studying engineering, international business as well as the expected environmental science. Listening to students talking about home in Hong Kong or Zimbabwe, seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter.
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(l-r) Ian Walker and Christian Rowan

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Alan told us about the 2017 Photography Workshop, our fifth year helping visitors “See the forest in a new way” through the lens of their camera. Each year Alan focuses of a new theme and many participants return each year … so it is important to book early as we have limited numbers.
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Time to get the politicians out to experience this special Conservation Reserve in the middle of the city.
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I explained that the butterfly sign was positioned at the entry to the Summit Track where the natural amphitheatre creates a speed dating site for dozens of butterflies of different species.

By: Michael Fox

Alan presenting crop

Alan Moore introduced contre jour

At our 2016 Photography Workshop Alan Moore introduced us to a new way of seeing the bush around us … contre jour: French for “against daylight”, a technique in which the view is directly toward a source of light. A form of photography artistry Alan related to French impressionists like Claude Monet.

Alan challenged participants to experiment with their camera’s manual settings like aperture and exposure before sending them out on assignment to see nature in a new light.

See ferns in a new light:

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Fiona

Katrina

Katrina

Playing with camera flair:

Kate 1

Kate

Dana - 15 May 2016

Dana

Lyn C

Lyn

Jude

Jude

Gregg

Gregg

Greg

Greg

Margaret

Margaret

Nat

Nat

Marie

Marie

Misting spider webs to catch the light:

Tricia

Tricia

Fiona

Fiona

X-ray view of leaves:

Tony

Tony

Maree

Maree

Forget contra jour and just meet the locals:

Toni

Toni

The 2017 Photography Calendar will be available in November ready for posting to family or friends overseas.

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Prof. Ian O’Connor with development team

By: Michael Fox

The invitation said business casual, however, it is a university …

… and these green leaves gathered around Vice Chancellor Prof. Ian O’Connor are justly proud to launch this year’s must have App – GrowsAtGriffith.

Primary and secondary teachers, kindergartens, bushcare group members, local government teams, libraries, anyone interested in Australian native plants should download this App today. It’s free but looks and works like a million dollars.

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Discussing Slender Hyacinth Orchid photos with Mark and Catherine

Mt Gravatt Environment Group provided many of the 500 plus photos on this first release of this excellent tool. So I was proud to represent our group at this launch and finally meet the two key drivers of this project – Assoc Prof Catherine Pickering, Griffith School of Environment and post-graduate student Mark Ballantyne.

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By: Michael Fox

I had lunch today with a room full of truly extraordinary people – Finalists and Winners of Pride of Australia Queensland.

As Finalists in each category were called up on stage their story was read out. Stories about individuals like Darrin Hatchman – Heroism Medal, who as a paramedic with

Environment Finalists

Careflight Rescue Helicopter, spends his time being winched down over seas or onto dangerous cliff ledges. One time he was lowered through the jungle canopy to treat a woman with life-threating injuries at a hinterland waterfall. He then gathered a team to carry her 11km through the night to a point where she could be rescued.

I had the honour to meet and talk with a number of Finalists in different categories.

Environment Finalists – (l-r) Chloe, Gill, myself

My wife and I particularly related to Harry Graepel, a teacher from Cairns, who with his wife, organises shipments of school equipment to remote PNG islands. Mostly used books, desks and even the simple pencil eraser, this stuff we throw away half used is highly valued at the remote schools in poor communities where it dramatically improves their education chances. Reducing waste and creating educational opportunities – initiatives close to both our

Pride of Australia Medal 2012 – Finalist Environment Category

hearts.

I also talked with Malwal Mywin, Fair Go Medal Winner, Janet Wright and Kelly McLaren, Winner and Finalist for the Outstanding Bravery Medal.

Meeting Gillian Brownhill, Environment Medal winner and environmental elder, and Chloe Tsangaris representing the future generation, was particularly special for me.

Gillian’s amazing compassion for both wildlife in her care and her late husband who died of motor neurone disease, is matched by her courage and clear focus on ensuring the future of Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Eyes sparkling as she talks about late night feeds for orphaned wildlife, flashing with anger she talks about the horror of motor neurone disease which took her life partner or misting with sadness as she recounts the statistics of died or euthanased wildlife, Gill is a person who carries you with her story.

Chloe combines a passion for wildlife with the Facebook generation’s confidence and ability to tell their story. Speaking with a confidence and quality well beyond her nine years Chloe also shows the humility to ask advice when unsure, a powerful combination. I will be watching and cheering this young person on as she takes the world by storm.

I could have spent a week listening to the stories of the thirty-three Finalists in the room today, however what is really inspiring is to learn that there were 630 nominations for Pride of Australia in Queensland. When I read to stories of the Finalists and reflect that there are another 597 individuals nominated by people who have observed their selfless contribution, I am filled with hope for the future of our state and country.

Awards like Pride of Australia Medal provide high value for individuals and organisations involved in community service. I can certainly tell you that it is a good feeling being up on stage as leader of an extraordinary group of community volunteers and partner organisations. However the real power of these awards is the awareness and credibility that helps build community support and, importantly, helps when we are seeking grant funding for projects.

I thank News Corporation and the Award team for this opportunity to represent our community. I also acknowledge Susan Jones who first introduced me to Mt Gravatt Environment Group and the excellent BCC Habitat Brisbane program, and Edd Cross, cartoonist, who not only designed out Pollinator Link logo, but also, nominated me for the Pride of Australia Medal.

Congratulations to all Medal Winners, Finalists and nominees. I am proud to be part our our Queensland community.

By: Michael Fox

I been selected as one of three Queensland finalists for the Pride of Australia Medal – Environment category. My nomination was made by one of our extraordinary team of volunteers so I feel doubly honoured to be representing Mt Gravatt Environment Group.

It was inspiring to read about all the finalists the various categories in today’s Sunday Mail.

Pride of Australia Medal – Environment – Sunday Mail 19 Aug 12

By Melindi Robertson

Mt Gravatt Kindergarten is collecting specially marked Pauls Collecta Caps from milk bottle containers (2 litre and above) for a fund raising project to provide new homes for gliders.

As the land next door to the kindergarten was cleared for the new unit development on Shire Rd (going up to the Mt Gravatt Lookout); Brushtail Possums Trichosurus vulpecula, birds and possibly gliders lost their trees and therefore hollows for nesting in, and we found dead possum joeys in the playground most likely as a result of territorial disputes as their habitat suddenly shrank.

We have been collecting the milk caps since last year, to purchase and install nesting Boxes from Hollow Log Homes.  Kindergarten families are donating their caps, but if anyone else from the  local community would like to donate theirs to our association, we would be very grateful.

The entrance to the kindergarten is next to 23 Gosford St, Mt Gravatt.

With thanks from Melindi Robertson & Sue Lewin (CoDirectors)

Editor’s Note:

Melindi told me about the fund raising project when I joined a nestbox monitoring trip organised by Queensland Glider Network

Mt Gravatt Kindergarten is a valued Mountain neighbour sharing a boundary with our Gertrude Petty Place Bushcare site.

Mt Gravatt Environment Group is proud to promote this fundraising initiative which aims to restore vital nest hollows for wildlife. Most trees of Mt Gravatt Reserve are relatively young having suffered from farming and tree felling. Nest hollows typically start forming once trees are 100 years old so there is s critical shortage of hollows within the habitat.

Thanks to cartoonist and naturalist Edd Cross for the glider drawing.

Michael Fox

“I remember seeing Koalas in the trees near the creek when I attended St Bernard’s primary school in the ’80s.” I talking with a volunteer at today’s BCC Community Tree Planting at Sunnybank. My informant was pleased to see the new signs on Klumpp Road and hear that Koalas are breeding on the mountain.

Cr Krista Adams organised installation of the signs after the death of a Koala hit by a car on Klumpp Road in December.

Our submission to Cr Adams was supported by our ongoing monitoring of Koalas on the mountain. We are now receiving regular reports from neighbours and people using the walking tracks. Edd and Hazel provided our latest report of a male, female and joey – read Hazel’s Brisbane Adventures for an amazing photo of mother and joey.

We use Google Maps to record sightings to help us understand their movements and argue for government support for our restoration work. We are also working with Griffith University researchers like Cathryn Dexter – see Koalas returning to Mt Gravatt in Koalas on Mt Gravatt: Who’d have thought it?

Koala Sightings Mimosa Creek Precinct - March 2012