From Doug Humann, Bush Heritage Chief Executive Officer.
Doug Humann and Bob Brown. Photo: Peter Morris
On a beautiful autumn day in April, I found myself in a reflective mood, surrounded by neighbours and locals celebrating a milestone at the Nardoo Hills Reserves: we were there to celebrate Bush Heritage's 20th birthday.
I hadn't been to Nardoo since the discovery of the presumed extinct robust greenhood orchid last spring but I could see all around me why an orchid might come back to life here – the property is in terrific condition.
Our management activities have allowed us to take full advantage of the abundant summer rainfall and, together with our wonderful volunteers, reserve staff have successfully restored the property's cover of native vegetation.
2011 is a big year for reflection. Our birthday celebrations started in March when I stood proudly under the shadow of Tasmania's Drys Bluff and accepted Bob Brown's gift of Oura Oura, his home of 40 years, on behalf of Bush Heritage supporters, as our 33rd reserve.
In April, Nardoo was just one of the reserves in NSW, SA, Vic. and WA, that hosted BBQs for reserve neighbours, locals and others who have had a special part to play in each reserve's success.
At Nardoo, I particularly enjoyed the commitment of guests to Bush Heritage's work. Most telling for me was a neighbour commenting on the respect we had earned from him for the work we are doing.
Accounts from other reserves confirm our generally good standing in the communities in which we work. As relative newcomers to the places in which we operate, this is a hard-won but very important step in Bush Heritage's work for landscape-scale change.
The BBQs gave us an opportunity to thank some of those communities closest to us for their support. As someone who has shared our first 20 years, you and your fellow Bush Heritage supporters also have cause to celebrate.
As you may know, Bush Heritage started in 1991, when Bob Brown took a punt on the generosity of his fellow Australians to save a patch of beautiful forest.
I'm so pleased to say that his hunch was right: for 20 years, Australians have come to the rescue of the places which they hold so dear. We have come a long way. Just imagine what we can do together in the next 20 years.
Doug Humann, CEO