Parks get by with a little help from their friends
The 31st Friends of Parks Forum was held recently at Stenhouse Bay Hall in Yorke Peninsula’s Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, with the theme ‘Preserving our Past and Protecting our Future’.
More than 150 people attended the forum, which ran from the 14th to the 16th of September, including the Member for Narungga, Fraser Ellis MP who opened the event. Narungga man Chris Angove and his family gave a traditional Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony and led the delegates on a cultural bus tour.
Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National ParkRanger in Charge Mark Davison said the biannual forum was a culmination of two years of planning by the Friends of Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Parkand Natural Resources Northern and Yorke staff, with support from the Friends of Troubridge Island and the Friends of Althorpe Island.
"The Friends of Parks Forum was a highly successful, well run and popular event which not only showcased the natural beauty of Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Parkbut also highlighted the culture, history and biodiversity of both the park and southern Yorke Peninsula," Mr Davison said.
"The impressive range of speakers covered everything from the Windara Reef Project near Ardrossan to the conservation of whales and dolphins, the Rewilding Southern Yorke Peninsula Project and heritage restoration works that have been undertaken across Yorke Peninsula."
Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Volunteer Support Officer Carly Dillon said the event included an awards ceremony that recognised and celebrated the incredible contribution of Friends of Parks groups. For a full list of award winners, please see below.
"Five groups from across the Northern and Yorke region were acknowledged by Friends of Parks for their impressive efforts," Ms Dillon said.
"The works undertaken by the groups ranged from habitat and species restoration and protection to pest plant and animal control and the preservation and restoration of heritage buildings."
President of the Friends of Parks group Duncan McKenzie OAM congratulated the organising committee on a successful event.
"To my mind, this was the best forum I have attended and will be extremely difficult to match," Mr McKenzie said.
"It was a perfect time of year to hold the forum; the vegetation was in full flower, birds were in abundance and there was a wonderful atmosphere to be enjoyed by all."
Habitat Restoration and Protection
Winner: Friends of Clements Gap Conservation Park – Biodiversity Rehabilitation and ProtectionSpecial Commendation: Friends of Spring Gully Conservation Park – Protecting the western most stand of Red Stringybark and Re-establishing an endangered Spider orchidSpecial Commendation: Friends of Coffin Bay Parks – Restoration of native vegetation and wildlife habitat in the Coffin Bay National Park
Wildlife Protection and Recovery
Winner: Friends of Newland Head Conservation Park ‘Possum Magic’ – Size Doesn’t Matter
Winner: Friends of Black Hill and Morialta Inc. – Engaging Off-Road Vehicle Clubs in ParksSpecial Commendation: Friends of Belair National Park – ‘Bush Buddies’ becoming young champions of Belair National Park
Cultural and Structural Heritage
Winner: Friends of Burra Parks – Preserving our Structural History with Traditional Stone MasonrySpecial Commendation: Central Hills Four Wheel Drive Club Inc. – Helping to Maintain the Pastoral and Structural Heritage at Balcanoona in the Vulkathunha - Gammon Ranges National Park
Winner: Friends of Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park – Development of the ‘Discover the Flinders Ranges’ appSpecial Commendation: Friends of Shorebirds SE Inc. – Delivering 8 years of ‘Dogs Breakfasts’ across the limestone coast – people and their dogs learning to share the beach with shorebirds
The McLaren Shield
Winner: Friends of Newland Head Conservation Park for their outstanding ‘Possum Magic’ – Size Doesn’t Matter projectSpecial Acknowledgment: Friends of Telowie Gorge