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Penelope Hacker: Wildlife defender

Published 06 Dec 2016 

A childhood spent in Africa gave Bush Heritage supporter Penelope Hacker a deep love of wildlife that she brought home to Australia.

From lions in Africa to pademelons and Night Parrots in Australia, Penelope Hacker has always held a fascination for and a love of wildlife.

Penelope Hacker. Photo by Karen Hutt
Penelope Hacker. Photo by Karen Hutt
Penelope’s adventurous father packed up the family, moving from India to Kenya, with a brief interlude in Australia, where Penelope was born. Trips through Uganda, sailing in the waters off Mombasa and safaris through Tsavo National Park and Uganda were just part of growing up.

Penelope remembers a trip to the ‘Mountains of the Moon’, the famous Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda and the source of the Nile River.

“I remember seeing a chimpanzee just crossing the road as we were driving,” she says.

Penelope returned to Australia when she was 13, but her experiences in Africa had made a lasting impression. She developed a deep affection for wildlife, a passion she has continued throughout her life.

The first charity to gain Penelope’s support was the Wildlife Preservation Society in the 1980s. She then began spreading her support to a raft of wildlife hospitals and charities as she dedicated time, money and energy to protecting Australia’s wildlife.

A longtime admirer of Bob Brown, she was prompted to join Bush Heritage Australia 15 years ago and has been supporting us ever since.

Rafiki, a Red-legged Pademelon in Penelope's care, looking at home in a Bush Heritage beanie.
Rafiki, a Red-legged Pademelon in Penelope's care, looking at home in a Bush Heritage beanie.
Now living north-west of Brisbane, Penelope dedicates her time to wildlife care – particularly her favourite native animals: Red-legged and Red-necked Pademelons.

Penelope cares for these orphaned pademelons at her home and releases them back into the wild right on her doorstep.

In 2010 Penelope decided to take her commitment to Bush Heritage one step further and become a bequestor. The gift will ensure her love of Australia’s unique wildlife can be carried on in her name.

“Every effort we make, big or small, is vital to the survival of the planet. It’s up to us to conserve every little bit we’ve got left,” she says. “For me the bequest means that I can contribute to something ongoing after I’m gone. We need to continue preserving Australia’s landscape and you can’t do that without money.”

“Bush Heritage buys land of high conservation value and looks after it, making it better than it was when they bought it. What better thing could you do to help our wildlife?”

Your power to protect

A gift in your Will, no matter the amount, can make a real difference to the Australian bush and its precious species. Call 1300 628 873 or visit our Gifts in Wills page for more information.

Thank you

Thanks to the many supporters who've generously donated to our work.

In Celebration: Lesley Mcdonald, and Rosemary and Rhyl Hurley donated in celebration of Elisabeth Drake’s 70th birthday. Jill Borrett donated to celebrate Helen Sparrow’s birthday.

In Memoriam: John and Jo Hall donated in memory of Max Possingham. Pam Ray donated in memory of her husband Alan L Ray.

Bequests: We gratefully acknowledge the estates of Geraldine Nicoll, Donald Stewart Houghton, Jean Hopely, Barbara Joan Beeson, Winifred Hazel Abernethy, Marjorie Jean Lambert, Charles Henri Roussac, Maisie Alice Crowden, Nancy Kingsland, Richard Oertel, Anne Elizabeth Raymond, Gwendoline Clarke-Seiler, Alison Wynne Hearn, Brian John Donohoe, Judith Deuchar Bartram, Cecily Ann Dignan, Margaret Jill, Barry Kirtley, Michael Munro Salter, Isabelle Joan Burton, Margaret Tedder, John Nicholas Hutchinson, Joan Forest Eltham, Penelope Susan Taylor.