Albany supporters event

Published 16 May 2013 
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Professor Hopper (far left) in conversation with local Noongar leader Eugene Eades.<br/> Professor Hopper (far left) in conversation with local Noongar leader Eugene Eades.
Supporters enjoying lunch yesterday at 'the little house on the prairie' - Bill and Jane Thompson's place at Yarraweyah Falls.<br/> Supporters enjoying lunch yesterday at 'the little house on the prairie' - Bill and Jane Thompson's place at Yarraweyah Falls.
Eddy Wajon of Chingarrup Sanctuary (far left) and Bill Thompson of Yarraweyah Falls in conversation with Justin Jonson and Lien Imbrechts of Threshold Environmental Ltd.<br/> Eddy Wajon of Chingarrup Sanctuary (far left) and Bill Thompson of Yarraweyah Falls in conversation with Justin Jonson and Lien Imbrechts of Threshold Environmental Ltd.
Live music and local art provided the perfect backdrop for the evening.<br/> Live music and local art provided the perfect backdrop for the evening.
Angela with Friends of the Fitzgerald's Anne Gadsby.<br/> Angela with Friends of the Fitzgerald's Anne Gadsby.
Artist Ellen Hickman's 'kangaroo paw dress'!<br/> Artist Ellen Hickman's 'kangaroo paw dress'!

We took a more upmarket approach to our supporters event this year, with over 100 guests gathering in the Kalyenup Theatre at the Albany Entertainment Centre on the city's waterfront on Tuesday night.

Before the formal presentations guests mingled for an hour or so in a space framed by artist Ellen Hickman's botanical drawings and nature photographer Barabara Madden's wonderful works, while musicians played and fine local wine flowed.  Dave Whitelaw welcomed our guests and MCed the event.

The big drawcard for the night was guest speaker Professor Stephen Hopper, recently returned to WA after 6 years as Director of Kew Botanical Gardens in London.  We were treated to a superb presentation by Professor Hopper outlining the extraordinary conservation significance of SW Australia and endorsing the value of our work here, setting the scene beautifully for a presentation by Angela and me on 'what we do and how we do it'.  We owe a debt of gratitude to Guy Grant for his tireless background work in getting the show up.

Angela was off with the Prof yesterday on a field trip with Federal bods from Canberra, supporting a Threatened Ecological Communities nomination for the proteaceous-rich mallee heath that comprises much of the vegetation across the FitzStirling.  Dave, Guy and I hosted a small group of supporters on a tour of our Monjebup restoration work, Bill and Jane Thompson's neighbouring Yarraweyah Falls, and a couple of potential acquisitions.  It was a perfect, windless day, with low late afternoon sunlight illuminating the subtle folds of our FitzStirling landscape like an Albert Namatjira painting - the angels were with us yesterday!  

Professor Hopper (far left) in conversation with local Noongar leader Eugene Eades.<br/> Professor Hopper (far left) in conversation with local Noongar leader Eugene Eades.
Supporters enjoying lunch yesterday at 'the little house on the prairie' - Bill and Jane Thompson's place at Yarraweyah Falls.<br/> Supporters enjoying lunch yesterday at 'the little house on the prairie' - Bill and Jane Thompson's place at Yarraweyah Falls.
Eddy Wajon of Chingarrup Sanctuary (far left) and Bill Thompson of Yarraweyah Falls in conversation with Justin Jonson and Lien Imbrechts of Threshold Environmental Ltd.<br/> Eddy Wajon of Chingarrup Sanctuary (far left) and Bill Thompson of Yarraweyah Falls in conversation with Justin Jonson and Lien Imbrechts of Threshold Environmental Ltd.
Live music and local art provided the perfect backdrop for the evening.<br/> Live music and local art provided the perfect backdrop for the evening.
Angela with Friends of the Fitzgerald's Anne Gadsby.<br/> Angela with Friends of the Fitzgerald's Anne Gadsby.
Artist Ellen Hickman's 'kangaroo paw dress'!<br/> Artist Ellen Hickman's 'kangaroo paw dress'!