An environmental officer by trade and Bush Heritage volunteer in her spare time, Heike Erberhard explains why the work of Bush Heritage is vital to Australia.
How did you become involved in Bush Heritage Australia’s work?
I first heard about private conservation reserves when I was in high school, but the idea to become actively involved as a volunteer sprang from a family vacation we had in Queensland, when we visited Bush Heritage’s Reedy Creek Reserve.
Have you always had an interest in the environment?
My desire to help protect the environment came when I was a little girl. My family was very outdoorsy – we did lots of camping and bushwalking. And we were environmentally friendly, so caring about the environment has always been in my nature.
What projects have you worked on?
I started weeding at Yourka Reserve, but am currently managing a little group caring for the bush at Currumbin Reserve in Queensland. We are managing weeds there and replanting four hectares of native bushland.
What are your fondest memories from volunteering with Bush Heritage Australia?
One of the funny things about working at Currumbin is that there is a creek at the bottom of the reserve. It’s not a huge reserve, but every time we do go down there we try to actually find this creek. It’s very difficult!
Every time we try we get lost and end up in the neighbouring national park – it has happened so many times! After a while we just give up and have to walk back up the hill. It’s very steep.
What’s the most rewarding part about being involved in Bush Heritage Australia’s work?
Being a part of something greater than yourself. Standing in the middle of the bush, or reserve, and feeling pulled into the present moment. It’s such a simple, unique and life-altering experience.
Any words of advice to Bush Heritage Australia’s supporters?
Australia is a very lucky country. It’s time we all rediscover just how amazing it is. Get out there and explore it!