Genevieve Simpson remembers her mother as a woman who loved the bush. Now, a gift in her mother's memory reminds us what a difference Bush Heritage supporters can make.
|The FitzStirling section of Gondwana Link traverses the 70-kilometre gap between the Stirling Range and Fitzgerald River National Parks. Photo: Peter Morris
Judy Wheeler treasured her memories of growing up
on the Central Coast of New South Wales. Her family had a huge vegetable garden
fringed by wattles and blackbutts, where she played on a swing tied to a wild
apple tree. She loved the Hawkesbury River with its huge expanse of water,
islands shrouded in mist and small inlets. But now much of the local bushland
she explored with family and friends has been destroyed.
|Chereninup Creek, Chereninup Reserve.
Photo: Chinch Gryniewicz
That's why when Judy passed away in 2010 the
Simpson family decided to donate a significant sum to Bush Heritage as an In
Memoriam gift. "She always talked about wanting to preserve a parcel of land in
the area," says Judy's daughter Genevieve. "Every time she went back to the
Central Coast there was less and less of what she had once loved about the
A decision to protect the bush
Judy's family decided to donate to Bush Heritage
because we do exactly what Judy had always dreamed of - buying important pieces
of land and keeping them in their natural state. "Mum wanted to make sure
future generations had the same opportunities to enjoy what she had enjoyed,"
Judy's husband and two children decided on an open
donation, giving Bush Heritage the ability to spend the money where it is most
needed. On top of this, their untied donation was matched in full by the David
Thomas Challenge, a program set up to encourage private environmental
philanthropy in Australia.
|Revegetation area at Cherininup Reserve.
Photo: Keith Tuffley
Genevieve sees her family's gift as a continuation
of Judy's work. "I grew up sitting on the floor of committee rooms listening to
my mum talk. She was involved in heritage, the arts, local council and school
committees - she was all about contributing to the community and she never
sought to be paid for it. That's why we didn't hesitate in making quite a large
A visit to Gondwana Link
To see the kind of projects the Simpsons' donation
might fund, Genevieve visited the reserves that make up Western Australia's
Gondwana Link nature corridor.
The highlight was the view from an old farmhouse on
Beringa Reserve. "It was great seeing land that had previously been paddocks
now rehabilitated with vegetation, and behind that, seeing bushland fenced off
“You could clearly see the different work that Bush Heritage was doing rolling down the landscape.”
Genevieve sees conservation as the perfect way to
honour her mother. "You know the land has been purchased and will be kept in
this state for perpetuity. It's recognising lasting memory. I know the family
made this decision, but I see the gift as a bequest because this is what Mum
A lasting memory
thanks the Simpson family for their generous gift to the Australian bush and to
future generations. If you would like to honour a family member or friend by
protecting the kinds of places they loved in their lifetime, visit
www.bushheritage.org.au or contact us on (03) 8610 9157.
Page Last Updated: Thursday 21 June 2012