community conservationists

A wild year: Wild Melbourne's year in review

It's difficult to summarise all that the Wild Melbourne team and their supporters have achieved this year, but I'll definitely try my best. Whether it was creating our own schools program, celebrating National Eucalypt Day, or getting involved in Amellia Formby's Wing Threads project, it's safe to say that from our publications, productions and social media teams, through to the community operations, PR, and admin staff, we've been kept very busy.

Thanks to funding supplied by the Wettenhall Environment Trust, the Wild Melbourne productions team began work on the Community Conservationists video series this year. This initiative aims to bring some well-deserved attention to five community conservation groups around our state through five short videos. Back in April, we were delighted to announce the winners of the application process: Friends of Brisbane RangesConnecting Country, Friends of Bats and Bushcare, Hindmarsh Landcare, and Wildlife of the Central HighlandsStay tuned in 2018 for the release of the videos that will tell the amazing stories of these important conservation groups.

Image: Robert Geary

Image: Robert Geary

We are also very excited to be working with Amellia Formby on her incredible project, Wing Threads: Flight to the Tundra. Amellia is setting out to fly along the same migratory path that our shorebirds fly every year to promote urgent action for shorebird conservation. It’s a 12,500km journey from Australia to Siberia that will take her around three months to complete in a microlight aircraft. Wild Melbourne is helping Amellia tell her story, as well as the stories of the shorebirds and those working so hard to preserve them across Australia, and internationally. Make sure you stay up to date with the Wing Threads project but checking out any news, photos and videos on the Facebook page.

Our biggest achievement of 2017 was by far the launch of the national nature engagement charityRemember The Wild (RTW), in October. We have been privileged to receive an immense amount of support from those of you who already follow Wild Melbourne, as well as from new supporters who are just now learning who we are. We hope to continue to engage the Australian public with the nature around them through our wide range of services, which can be found on our website. Whether it's promoting other groups through online content and video productions, or unlocking the wonder of the natural world through professional development and place making, we offer an array of services that allow people and communities to benefit from increased engagement with nature. 

This year, we have also had the pleasure of publishing a diverse range of articles from local, interstate, and international writers on Wild Melbourne. See below for some of our article highlights of 2017. If you'd like to write for us in 2018, we are always looking for stories of local significance for Wild Melbourne, and stories of national significance for RTW. Email us at info@rememberthewild.org.au and pitch us your idea - we'd love to hear it! 

Lastly, we have also reached over 600 subscribers to our Wild Melbourne newsletter, and we couldn't have done it without you! If you're not yet subscribed, make sure you do so here.

On behalf of the entire team at Wild Melbourne, I'd like to thank you sincerely for your continued support for the work that we do. Whether you are a regular reader of our articles, you keep an eye on what we're up to through social media, or you simply open our monthly newsletters when you see them in your inbox, we are immensely grateful that so many of you have seen the value in what we do. 

We're incredibly excited to see what 2018 brings, and would love for you, our supporters, to continue to follow us, whether through Wild Melbourne or RTW (or both!), as we continue to engage the Australian public with nature. In 2018, we hope to release the Community Conservationists video series, complete work on our eucalypt documentary (funded by Eucalypt Australia), unveil an exciting ecopoetry project happening at Point Leo, publish more unique and engaging content on both the Wild Melbourne and RTW websites, and much, much more.

If you'd like to know more about upcoming projects or get involved with us in some way, please feel free to contact us at info@rememberthewild.org.au to have a chat. In the meantime, have a safe and happy New Year, and don't forget to get outdoors and get wild!


This article was originally published in the Wild Melbourne newsletter. If you'd like to be the first to hear about Wild Melbourne news and events, plus receive article recommendations and fantastic nature photography straight to your inbox, then please subscribe here.

Community Conservationists: Five Successful Applicants

Wild Melbourne is delighted to announce the successful applicants for our Community Conservationists video series, supported by the Norman Wettenhall Foundation. The application process yielded 36 fantastic applications that demonstrated the breadth and diversity of conservation work being done by the Victorian community.

As you can imagine, choosing just five stories to film out of so many amazing applications has been no easy task. We considered a number of criteria in order to guide our decision-making, including subject, location, conservation value, funding, profile and, of course, the story itself.      

In no particular order, our winners are:

Friends of Brisbane Ranges

The Brisbane Ranges are just west of Melbourne, in box-ironbark country and are home to a very rare marsupial - the brush-tailed phascogale. The Friends of Brisbane Ranges have been working in this unique region planting trees, installing nest boxes for phascogales, and conducting ecological monitoring. This has fostered a collaboration with many organisations, including the involvement of a local high school in the building of nest boxes, with the students also learning about conservation in the process. 

 

 

Connecting Country

This year, Connecting Country celebrates their ten year anniversary. Over the past decade, they have been working in Central Victoria, taking a landscape-scale approach to conservation over a wide region. Much of their work focuses on the conservation of woodland birds in the region through tree-planting and pest control, culminating in an ambitious aim to restore 7,000 Ha of woodland habitat by 2023. 

Connecting Country

Connecting Country

Friends of Bats and Bushcare

Melbourne's Friends of Bats and Bushcare work to conserve one of the city's most iconic, yet misunderstood, animals - the grey-headed flying fox - mostly through public education. This species is one of the few that can live in an urban environment, typified by the Yarra Bend Park colony, but they are still in decline overall. Friends of Bats and Bushcare hope that by teaching the public about flying foxes and maintaining their urban habitat, Melburnians can continue to share the city with the flying foxes into the future. 

Friends of Bats and Bushcare

Friends of Bats and Bushcare

Hindmarsh Landcare

Project Hindmarsh began with an idea - to reconnect the Big Desert with the Little Desert through corridors on roadsides and private land. Twenty years later, after planting 750,000 trees and 3,000km of direct seeding, Hindmarsh Landcare achieved their aim - creating the Little Desert-Big Desert biolink. Through this, Hindmarsh Landcare has also engaged people from the city with the Wimmera region, with hundreds of volunteers participating in the project over its two decades. 

Hindmarsh Landcare Network

Hindmarsh Landcare Network

Wildlife of the Central Highlands

WOTCH WATERMARK.png

Wildlife of the Central Highlands (WOTCH) was formed in 2014 by community members and environmental science students who wanted to document the wildlife in the Toolangi State Forest. Since then, they have been conducting citizen science in the Central Highlands by searching for species such as the Leadbeater's possum and the greater glider. Their work has had some very direct conservation outcomes. 


Thank you so much to all our applicants and to the Norman Wettenhall Foundation for their continued support of our organisation and the work that we do to engage Victorians with our natural world.

Cover photo courtesy of Connecting Country.