Skip to content
Eliza and Justin in the field.

Eliza Herbert's happy place

Published 18 Jun 2021 by Eliza Herbert

I grew up near the Yarra River – the Birrarung, on Wurundjeri country, Melbourne. It was my playground. When I was younger, my brother and I would go for bike rides along the trail, speeding up through puddles on rainy days so that mud would splash up around us.

When I was older, I would go for walks alone to sit on the banks and reflect. My favourite places were areas where the understorey was dense, full of silver wattles and bottlebrush and tall gums in the canopy.

Eliza Herbert by the Yarra River. Photo Daniel Hartley-Allen.

I would lose myself in the fullness of the trees; the way they sprawled around each other, some long and slender, others curly, gnarly, knotted. The sky – whether tumultuous and stormy, or blue and sparse – always made me calm, as did the river.

The constant, subtle movements of the world around me made me feel still.

In the prolonged lockdown of 2020, I returned to the river. It kept me sane.

I would think about how it flows over 240km from its source at Mt Baw Baw to its mouth at Port Phillip Bay. Just as the river ebbed and flowed and stretched, so did the people who gathered around it.

It became a playground again, a meeting place, somewhere to explore. It was a place of reprieve and it felt good to see people reconnecting with nature.

While the world still faced many challenges, it gave me a sense of hope, rooted in a belief that when we come together, we are resilient.

More from BushTracks Winter 2021

BUSHTRACKS 18/06/2021

Our future in the field

Hayley Sime began her relationship with Bush Heritage wearing a ‘volunteer’ hat, but these days her hat rack is crowded – it now includes botanist, intern and strategic planner, such is the nature of collaborating with Bush Heritage.

Read More
ichard McLellan is monitoring Sandalwood at Hamelin Reserve. Photo Shayne Thomson.

BUSHTRACKS 18/06/2021

The Great Sandalwood Transect

Across a 1500km arc from the Gibson Desert to Shark Bay, researcher Richard McLellan is uncovering the ecological and cultural value of sandalwood.

Read More

BUSHTRACKS 18/06/2021

Learning two ways

In 2016, a desire to keep culture alive and maintain a strong connection to country led the Waanyi Garawa rangers to organise an annual biodiversity survey and culture camp. Five years on, the camps bring together over 100 participants and have a strong focus on the next generation

Read More
Waterbirds flocked to Yantabulla Swamp after flooding and  rains in March 2020. Photo by Kylie Fisher.

BUSHTRACKS 18/06/2021

Soundtrack of the bush

Australian scientists, in collaboration with Bush Heritage and other conservation groups, have built a world-first acoustic recording network that will change the nature of ecological monitoring forever.

Read More
{{itemsInCart}} Items - {{formatCurrency(grandTotal)}}