Just 100km north of Melbourne (near the town of Broadford) is the perfect setting for us to bring donors, staff and corporate partners to share ideas, collaborate, and inspire them with our work. The Round House Reserve is our very first engagement-focused reserve.
The property was generously gifted to us by long-term supporter and volunteer, Annelie Holden and her late partner George Dalton.
About two-thirds of the reserve is classified as ‘Grassy Dry Forest’, which is a threatened ecological community that’s important to protect – around half of all Grassy Dry Forests in the region have been cleared.
Echidnas and Wombats are a common sight and many birds frequent the area such as Grey Shrike-Thrushes, White-throated Treecreepers and Striated Pardalotes.
The architect-designed building, perched on the top of a ridge, blends in with its surrounds and features inspiring 270-degree views from Mount Buller to Mount Macedon.
It is the work of renowned architect Gregory Burgess who has designed a number of notable Australian buildings including the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre in the Grampians and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl refurbishment.
What the Round House Reserve protects
As our newest property, we're still in the process of learning about the residents. It protects a Grassy Dry Forest and Herb-rich Foothill Forest which is a threatened ecological class within the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA). It's also ideally situated to act as a steppingstone for species moving through the landscape from Tallarook State Park to Kinglake National Park.
Annelie and George's legacy
Annelie Holden, who has been a Bush Heritage supporter since 1991 (the very beginning), made the decision with her partner George Dalton to bequeath the entire property to Bush Heritage in their will. After George passed in 2014, she decided she’d like to see the impact of this donation in her lifetime, so she brought the gift forward.
When George passed away in 2014, Annelie began volunteering with Bush Heritage, mostly in our head office. She’s also a keen field volunteer, helping out at our Nardoo Hills and Charles Darwin reserves. Over the years she's also visited Boolcoomatta, Carnarvon, Fitz-Stirling and Bon Bon.
Now, Annelie and George’s legacy will benefit many people, for many generations.
“My vision for the Round House is for it to be a place where we welcome multiple generations to spend time with our ecologists and field staff learning how we can all care for the land.”
– Bush Heritage CEO, Heather Campbell
Annelie and George’s gift is an incredibly powerful gesture that speaks to their love of the environment, and each other.