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Small blessings

From a 'large scale program' to all our friends, a photo reminder from Amanda of the immense beauty and magic that is at the small scale. This cluster of Banksia flowers has had a visitor, part of the immense swarm of life that pulsates along the Gondwana Link. Let's all count our blessings this holiday season, there is so much that is wonderful about the world we live in.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
It's amazing what a few years can do!

They are starting to get lost in all the rapid restoration underway between the Stirling Range and Porongurup National Parks. Hope they find their way home for Xmas.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Recognition of Norseman as the heart of the Great Western Woodlands

Congratulations to the Shire of Dundas, and a big thank you to Minister for Regional Development Terry Redman.  Minister Redman has just announced a $1.6 million investment, through the Goldfields-Esperance Revitalisation Fund, for a new cultural, visitor and community precinct in Norseman.

According to Minister Redman: "re-inventing the visitor centre will showcase the Great Western Woodlands and indigenous culture of the Norseman area through a number of interpretive elements."

The Minister added that the new precinct would provide a valuable cultural asset to Norseman and deliver an enhanced visitor experience that would support social and economic benefits for the region into the future.

This is a great example of how recognition of the beauty and importance of the Great Western Woodlands and Ngadju culture provides tangible benefits to the region.

As the Shire of Dundas proudly proclaims, Norseman is "The heart of the Great Western Woodlands".

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Two way learning at Nowanup with Curtin University

Two way learning at Nowanup got a lovely boost yesterday. Curtin University staff and Noongar Elders met at Nowanup to plan out a program of learning from and supporting each other. Curtin University is expanding its program of bringing groups of students to Nowanup to camp on country and learn about Noongar culture and land management. In return these students will use their skills and knowledge to assist the Noongar people with specific projects in the Fitz-Stirling section of Gondwana Link. For example the students could assist with the design of walk trails and interpretive signage, undertake specific business plans or plan the repair and management of special places. This will involve Curtin University students from a number of faculties camping at Nowanup and contributing to Noongar aspirations across the area while they learn about Noongar culture.

Associate Professor and Curtin University Elder in Residence Simon Forrest stressed that it would be ‘the Noongar way of thinking and doing driving the things that happen here’ to support the University ‘being engaged with another world view’ underpinned by a recognition of the need to see ‘the old ways becoming the new way’.

Simon told the gathering how his students have been 'transformed' by their time at Nowanup with Eugene Eades. Being on country, sleeping in a tent, visiting special Noongar places, finding bush foods and medicines, hearing the Noongar songs and stories and just talking around the campfire is a very effective way for the students to explore and have insight into Aboriginal values, culture and spirituality.
Bring it on Curtin University!


Posted by: Amanda Keesing
Ngadju Conservation at the Indigenous Desert Alliance

Proud to be involved with the Indigenous Desert Alliance - where the people looking after the living heart of Australia come together. Ngadju Conservation Coordinator Les Schultz attended their annual workshop in Perth, along with key Gondwana Link staff Mike Griffiths and Peter Price. Ngadju Conservation are a founding member of the Alliance, which now involves some 20 ranger groups from the central desert and surrounding areas. Les updated his colleagues on the Ngadju Ranger program and the good work underway, and heard lots of good news from elsewhere. It is so wonderful to see Traditional Owners able to continue the land management work of the past 50,000 years.

Posted by:
Elder speaks about Bungalbin (Helena and Aurora Range)

On 13 November 2016 Brian Champion (Elder, Traditional Owner of Kalamaia Kapurn People) speaks for his people from Helena and Aurora Range, Bungalbin. The Range, known as Bungalbin to his people, Brian says that the beauty of Bungalbin needs to be "left alone" - to leave it as it is for all generations, of all peoples, to enjoy long in to the future. Don’t destroy Bungalbin by mining it

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Glen Steven wins Greening Australia's New Leader Award

Congratulations to our colleague Glen Steven who has won Greening Australia’s New Leader Award. Glen helps to manage three of Greening’s properties in the Fitzgerald to Stirling section of Gondwana Link and is a leader in direct seeding technology and the use of Geographic Information Systems. Glen is also the on-ground person implementing their Gondwana Link 20 Million Trees project, which is restoring some 800ha on numerous properties across the central Zone of the Link. When we heard Glen had won a leader award we were intrigued as Glen often works on his own, even when the tractor is bogged. So who is Glen leading? This significant recognition is because Glen is leading in the development of his craft – large scale biodiverse restoration. Glen is a very easy going chap, a delight to work with – helpful, resourceful and capable. With his self-help approach, ability to problem solve and unwavering good humour, Glen is leading by example. Well done Glen.

Posted by: Amanda Keesing
So what is killing these trees?

There are extensive areas of dead Salmon Gums adjoining the State Barrier Fence between Lake Deborah and Koolyanobbing, also a report of similar down by the Lake Varley Gate. Has anyone noticed this elsewhere, or have ideas on what is causing it? It does seem to be mainly Salmon Gums that are dying. We've sent a query on this to our colleagues at the Department of Agriculture, who manage the Fence and may have seen other occurrences.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Cape to Cape Catchment Group seeks broader role

Congratulations to our friends and colleagues at Cape to Cape Catchments Group for a successful AGM and the addition of some wonderful new Board Members. One to keep an eye on, as they are assembling a fair bit of grunt and have some big plans. The Cape-to-Cape Catchments Group is intent on rebadging itself to make good on its position as the region's premier environmental defender. Full story at http://www.amrtimes.com.au/?33182796

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Flashback to 2003 at Chingarrup Sanctuary

Flashback. For those enjoying our previous post on all the good people with good will doing good work on and around Chingarrup Sanctuary at present, we dug these out of the (now extensive) archive. A slightly younger Eddy and Donna Wajon relaxing in their newly renovated quarters, plus some of what the front paddock looked like in 2003 (this is where their interview in the 'Giving back to country' video was filmed) and the north paddock at the start of planting by Greening Australia in 2005. Our congratulations and admiration to Eddy and Donna and all of you who have been involved.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Margaret River Bioblitz 2016

Another Cape to Cape Catchments Group BioBlitz - this time around Mammoth Cave and the surrounding karri forest. The Cape to Cape group hold these events regularly and it gives locals and visitors the opportunity to learn more about the plants and animals they live with. There are activities for school groups, wildflower walks, spotlighting, talks and more.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
A freshwater gem in a naturally saline landscape

A lovely photo essay by our friends the Janickes featuring one of the, surprisingly, lesser known parts of the Great Western Woodlands. In its south-west corner (north east of Ravensthorpe) is some amazingly diverse bushland, and an important reminder that, even in the naturally saline landscapes of south-western Australia, freshwater and breeding frogs once featured in the waterways. This section of the Woodlands has the 'largely pristine' headwaters of three important south coast rivers - the Oldfield, Young and Lort. Lovely, lovely places, where the quiet is almost deafening.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
The world's vanishing wild places are vital for saving species

No, this article published in The Conversation isn't about Gondwana Link. Yes, the article below is about the most fundamental ecological objective of Gondwana Link - maintaining evolutionary processes for the long haul. It is not enough to save, for now, the last few of any of the multitude of rare species here. This article is about the critical need for abundance in nature. "We are not just losing wild places with clean air and water and beautiful vistas. We are losing the raw fuel of evolution and adaptation that has taken life millions of years to accumulate." In south-western Australia that raw fuel took an almost globally unprecedented 250 million years of continuous, and still rapid, evolutionary change to accumulate into the bewildering richness we can still see today.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Ngadju Dancers at the Sydney Opera House

James Schultz and the Ngadju dancers are performing at the Sydney Opera House Sunday 9th October in the Homeground National Indigenous Dance Competition. Enjoy yourselves and meeting other dancers, artists and musicians from First Nation peoples from round the world. Go Ngadju Nation, protectors of the Great Western Woodlands!

Posted by: Keith Bradby
BioBlitz at Chingarrup Sanctuary

A week-long Bio-blitz has just finished at Chingarrup Sanctuary, in the Fitz-Stirling section of Gondwana Link. Owners Eddy and Donna Wajon have hosted a procession of studious visitors, with great knowledge gained across a range of disciplines - cultural sites recorded and mapped, even more orchids recorded, river pool bathymetry mapped, aquatic ecology benchmarked, wildflower surveys and even more orchids recorded, again. Some highlights of the week have been captured on film by Craig Carter and Basil Schur from Green Skills, including a focus for Basil's 'Living Lakes of Gondwana Link' program. This will be available on YouTube soon (did we mention Eddy and Donna found even more orchid species on the block?).

Posted by:
Exploring the interaction between SW Australia's earliest human inhabitants and its flora.

Here's one of the many inspiring people who are doing great work across the biologically richest corner of the Australian continent. 

Alison Lullfitz is a PhD student in the field of ethnobotany, based at the UWA - Albany Centre.

"By working collaboratively with Noongar Traditional Owners and archaeologists on a range of investigations, my ethnobotanical research explores interactions between South West Australia’s earliest human inhabitants and its flora.

It's focused in the Esperance and Pallinup River areas, country of the Esperance Nyungar, Menang and Goreng people, and involves on country consultation with Elders and archaeologists, plant DNA analysis, and field-based experimentation and survey."
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Gondwana Link helping renew age-old relationship between Indigenous people and the land

Great story on the ABC from last Thursday's Bush Heritage Australia's event celebrating their involvement in Gondwana Link. Well done all.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Celebrating restoration success in the Fitz-Stirling region

So great to be out there celebrating the transformations from paddock to growing woodlands at Monjebup (Bush Heritage) and Yarraweyah (privately owned) properties. The whole mob were there hosted by Bush Heritage, welcomed by Eugene Eades and Elders, sponsors, supporters, Greening Australia, Green Skills, scientists, volunteers.... You name them they were there - more than 130 of them!! The Fitz-Stirling Link is a great showcase for the whole Link - inspiring for what we can achieve together right across Gondwana Link.

Posted by: Louise Duxbury
Albany Wildflower Society at Chingarrup Sanctuary

Seems that there is something good happening every day in the Fitz-Stirling section of Gondwana Link. The Albany Wildflower Society have been out there recently as part of a whirlwind of activity happening on Eddy and Donna Wajon's Chingarrup Sanctuary. Kath Gray from the Wildflower Society wrote:

"Wonderful 2 days spent at Chingarrup and Nowanup properties, learning about how to sample for Macro-invertebrates from local river systems, creeks and rock pools. After various grades of sieving, the water is poured into a tray, and little critters are sucked or spooned into vials for study under the microscope.The Corackerup Creek had freshwater shrimps, mussels, tiny fish, aquatic beetles, midgie larvae, amphipods, copepods and Caddis Fly larvae. Thanks to Eddy and Donna Wajon for welcoming us onto their Chingarrup property and to Eugene Eades for welcoming us to Nowanup. Thanks also to Geraldine and Steve Janicke for sharing their knowledge with us".

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Campout at Bungalbin (Helena and Aurora Range)

Big gathering of good people at Bungalbin (Helena and Aurora Range), all determined to save this jewel from imminent mining. For more information on Bungalbin here.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Coolgardie kids write book on the Great Western Woodlands

Coolgardie kids get their book out on the Great Western Woodlands! Fantastic effort supported by key locals and driven along by Catrina and the Millenium Kids crew. Great to see.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Barrier fence under Public Environmental Review

A small win for better environmental process in WA. We welcome last week’s brave decision by WA’s Environmental Protection Authority to undertake a Public Environmental Review (PER) of the State Government’s proposal to extend the current State Barrier Fence (adding some 660kms to thethe old Rabbit Proof Fence from just east of Ravensthorpe to Cape Arid). Royalties for Regions funding for fence construction was jointly announced by the Ministers for Agriculture and Environment in 2010, apparently intending that construction would start almost immediately, with minimal consideration of ecological or cultural values. We have consistently argued for a more informed and balanced approach, and in 2013 the Department of Agriculture finally relented and commissioned some initial surveys along the proposed fence-line. While the narrow transects for these provide useful additional evidence of how globally significant the wildlife and plants are across the southern Great Western Woodlands, and have been submitted to the EPA already.

It is expected that the PER process will extend into the middle of 2017. While PER assessment is welcomed, we remain concerned that large scale and long term ecological factors, such as impact on connectivity in a time of climate change, may not be fully considered. We also remain concerned at the dodgy economics used to justify the cost, which has now blown out to at least $13million for construction alone. It’s also our understanding that the Esperance Nyungar and Ngadju communities do not support the fence.

We do recognise the significant need to better manage the interface between the Great Western Woodlands and farmland, particularly in the area east of Ravensthorpe where the existing Barrier Fence funnels kangaroos, emus and dingos for some hundreds of kilometres onto a few existing farms. Rather than see more investment in outdated and cruel barriers to wildlife movement, it seems to us that the taxpayer would get much better value by investing in Nyungar and Ngadju Ranger programs to actively manage the Woodlands and their interface with farmland, providing not only long term integrated management of species that are of concern to farmers, such as dingos and emus, but also able to tackle the spread of weeds and feral animals, protect important sites and provide ongoing fire management.


Posted by: Keith Bradby
Wildflower season is underway

It's one hell of a wildflower season now underway right across Gondwana Link. Thanks to Peter Luscombe from Ranges Link for this little reminder to those of us stuck in an office this week. Peter says "Hakea oldfieldii, one of the rare Hakeas native to our farm & the southern sector of the Ranges Link zone. Flowering now."

Posted by: Keith Bradby
2016 WA Scientist of the Year

Congratulations to Kingsley Dixon for being named WA's Scientist of the Year. Incredibly well deserved. We have had the pleasure of working with Kingsley over many years. Amongst his many significant roles and achievements, Kingsley is Curtin Professor at Kings Park and Botanic Garden, the foundation Chair of the Society for Ecological Restoration Australia, and one of the modern botanical pioneers who have elevated our knowledge of south-western Australia so that it now sits high on the world stage as a global hotspot. Amongst his many pithy quotes, this one when taking a group of international ecologists on a study tour of the south-west "You will see many things here that contradict your knowledge of life on Earth". 


Posted by: Keith Bradby
'This Visceral Landscape' exhibition

‘This Visceral Landscape’ exhibition opened last night at the Vancouver Arts Centre in Albany. A big crowd was there to see Keith Bradby open the exhibition of photographic images and video-sound works by Louise Allerton and Julian Knowles. Visceral means instinctual, primitive or gut. But my reaction to the works was from the heart and emotional. Perhaps these reactions are visceral – I’m still thinking about it. Louise’s gentle images of familiar landscapes created with a polaroid camera are soft and moody giving rise to emotive responses. And Julian’s soundscapes are motionally evocative too. We all know a movie producer uses sound to set the scene. Julians’ use of the local weather information to create a musical score was fascinating. 

Thank you Louise and Julian for giving us a new ‘look’ at our very old landscape.


Posted by: Amanda Keesing
Welcome to Ngadju Country entry signs

Wonderful to see these new signs in place recognising Ngadju country. Congratulations to Ngadju Conservation and the Shire of Dundas for working together on this initiative. A great start to NAIDOC week for Ngadju. Yalunya Ngartawarri ngalba yungah Ngadju wamu indeed! (Welcome tree bushland big)

Posted by: Keith Bradby
A flourishing program thanks to your help

From the weird and whacky world of south western plants, we bring you the 'eucalypt' version of where we have got to with Gondwana Link. This Eucalyptus lehmanni bud has one delightful flower out, another on the way, and lots more just needing some sunlight. When they are all out together it is an amazingly beautiful sight. Well, we reckon all the wonderful people and groups working across Gondwana Link also have their first efforts flowering, and lots more starting to emerge. That's also wonderful to see.

Our eucalypt trees and mallees are tough, and flourish wherever there is sunlight, some rain and soil. Gondwana Link is also pretty tenacious, and the program celebrates its 14th year this August. This year we are doing OK for sunlight and water, but we do need money to keep going, and we don't often ask you to help. Your contribution would be greatly appreciated, will make a big difference in meeting our very low overhead costs, while also helping the biologically richest part of Australia remain biologically rich. Details on where to send your donation, and how to get your tax-deductable receipt, are at: http://www.gondwanalink.org/Donate.aspx. Thank you.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Call for comment of Barrier Fence extension

Oh dear! We do try and work to the positive, but . . . The WA Environmental Protection Authority have just called for comment (by 30 June) on whether to formally assess the WA Department of Agriculture's proposal to extend the current Barrier Fence (the 1902 Rabbit Proof Fence) for a further 660kms, so as to totally enclose South-western Australia. Needless to say, it goes at right angles to the Gondwana Link pathway, and does seem a pretty blunt instrument for managing the interface between wildlife and agriculture. At least the proposal is starting to be documented - there is a pile of papers at https://consultation.epa.wa.gov.au/seve…/state-barrier-fence if you can get them to open (software problems have arisen). 

And please excuse the reminder below of what barrier fences do to migrating emus.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Balijup: A Jewel in Gondwana Link

'Balijup: A Jewel in Gondwana Link' is a great ~6 minute film on Balijup Farm available on YouTube. Balijup is a special property in Western Australia’s Great Southern region. Today it is a shining example of landcare. Settled by the Hordacre family in the 1920s, this unique farm comprises over 700 hectares of lakes, wetlands, bush and plantations, as well as 120 hectares of cropland. This film shows how community group Green Skills is partnering with the owners on an exciting range of nature restoration, citizen science, eco-art and Noongar cultural projects. This includes the Balijup Fauna Sanctuary where bandicoots have been released. Balijup forms a vital link in the Gondwana Link program. Well done to everyone involved especially Craig Carter who filmed and edited the video.

Posted by: Amanda Keesing
Bill and Jane Thompson's restoration work

The wonderful Bill and Jane Thompson have also just featured in a great story in the Albany Advertiser which notes that Carbon Neutral Fund executive director Ray Wilson said "the Thompsons and Albany planting contractor Justin Jonson [Threshold Environmental] had created the Fund’s most successful carbon farming project in Australia, in terms of the number of plant species."

Here is the full story from https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/regional/great-southern/a/31843408/future-face-of-farming-in-great-southern/

When Queensland couple Bill and Jane Thompson moved to a property in an area recognised internationally as a biodiversity hotspot chasing a tree change, they ended up with more than 800,000 of them.

Mr and Mrs Thompson’s Yarraweyah Falls property, between Stirling Range and Fitzgerald River national parks, is situated along one of Australia’s largest conservation projects, the Gondwana Link, which aims to connect 1000km of bush between Margaret River and the Nullarbor .

Almost three years after the first seeds were sown as part of the Thompsons’ bid to restore 100ha of unproductive farmland to native vegetation, their tireless efforts are evident.

As well as providing crucial habitat for native animals, their restoration project helps reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions through carbon sequestration.

About 180,000 plants will provide an estimated 26,500 tonnes of carbon over the next 30-40 years, which can be bought as carbon offsets by businesses and households through not-for-profit organisation Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund.

Fund executive director Ray Wilson said the Thompsons and Albany planting contractor Justin Jonson had created the fund’s most successful carbon farming project in Australia, in terms of the number of plant species.

Mr Thompson said they were set to exceed 300 plant species this year, and had more than 800,000 individual trees and shrubs.

“We have identified over 600 species in our bush (section), so it’s a very diverse area we are trying to replicate in the revegetation site,” he said.

Seedlings propagated by the Thompsons on site and at two nurseries are planted by hand, while other seed hand collected by the couple is direct seeded.

Mrs Thompson also documents a specimen of each plant species with a photograph and illustration in their herbarium.

Mr Thompson said it had been a steep learning curve but rewarding work.

“It’s amazing the way things grow out here,” he said.

“You can feel like you’re in the desert, but everything has been growing like crazy.

“It’s looking really good.”

Mr Thompson said challenges included replanting areas that had been unsuccessful, battling prolific weeds and emus trampling seedlings.

The Thompsons, who are in their 70s, have also installed 30 bird perches and 25 nesting boxes to attract wildlife to the property. 

Mr Thompson said the highlight of the experience so far was seeing firsthand what could be achieved in a relatively short timeframe.

“When you think it is all getting too much, you go and have a look and think ‘it is looking pretty good — there is hope for the planet yet,” he said.

Posted by: Amanda Keesing
'Living Gondwana: A Sense of Place' exhibition currently in Albany

Pleased you have a second chance to take in the 'Living Gondwana: A Sense of Place' exhibition that is now hanging at the Vancouver Art Centre in Albany. This exhibition showcases the artworks inspired by two Eco-Art retreats at the Balijup Homestead (Tenterden, WA). Exhibition finishes 23 June 2016

Posted by: Amanda Keesing
Happy third birthday for this (new) bush

We were fortunate to be on Bill and Jane Thompson's Yarraweyah property (in the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link) three years to the day from when the work of restoring their latest 100ha planting started. Yep, that bush behind us is only three years old, and so far has over 270 species in it, all local provenance. Congratulations to Bill and Jane (centre of photo) seen here with Alison Goundrey and the ecotourism team from University of Western Australia Susan, Moira, Peter and on the far right Reza (more on their projects coming soon).


Posted by: Keith Bradby
Release of the 'Birds of the Great Western Woodlands' report by BirdLife Australia and The Nature Conservancy

Late May 2016 saw bird enthusiasts and others come together at the University Club, University of Western Australia, to celebrate the release of the 'Birds of the Great Western Woodlands' report by BirdLife Australia and The Nature Conservancy.

Although the Great Western Woodlands (GWW) covers 16 million hectares little was known about the region’s birds. In 2011 BirdLife and TNC established a project to address this knowledge gap. Over the next 3 years, hundreds of skilled volunteers conducted 4,374 bird surveys from 231 sites across the region. As a result, 182 species of bird were recorded, which is 85% of the 214 bird species ever recorded in the GWW region. Even more impressively, the surveys showed that for most species, bird populations of the GWW appear to be abundant, resilient and stable. This is attributable to the size and relative intactness of the GWW. With large, relatively undisturbed tracts of mature woodland across the region, bird populations have the ability to move across the landscape in response to the conditions.

 This project has built a solid foundation for ongoing, long-term bird monitoring in the GWW. Congratulations to all involved, particularly Liz Fox and Shapelle McNee. The work was supported by The Nature Conservancy’s David Thomas Challenge and individual supporters from BirdLife Australia.

 Summary and full reports are available from http://birdlife.org.au/p…/great-western-woodlands/gww-report

Posted by: Amanda Keesing
Geoff Bastyan wins the 2016 GSDC medal

Congratulations to Geoff Bastyn, who through his efforts (independent of ours) has demonstrated what a wonderful centre of restoration effort we work from. A world leader in seagrass restoration indeed! Its great to be surrounded by such committed (sea) grass roots luminaries. Well done Geoff. 

Article on Geoff Bastyan's work from Science Network available here.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Opening of the 'Living Gondwana: A Sense of Place' exhibition

Great opening of the 'Living Gondwana: A Sense of Place' exhibition last night at the Old Buttery Factory Studios in Denmark. Joey Williams gave a welcome to country and explained the story behind the large canvas that many were involved in painting. Jessie Gloede read some beautiful poetry inspired by Balijup farm and Marie Limondin accompanied the reading on violin. Then we watched the short film created by Craig Carter 'Balijup Farm: A Jewel in Gondwana Link'. Will be on YouTube soon.

 Was a pleasure to finally meet one of the members of the family that own Balijup - Alan Hordacre. The family are extremely generous in letting people visit their farm and are very supportive of conservation management work.

 Exhibition was full of great artworks - prints, sculptures, paintings, fabrics. Well done to everyone and special thank yous to the ever innovative and energetic Nikki Green and Basil Schur.

Posted by: Amanda Keesing
Cultural art camp at Balijup

“We have met here on the same page that we call art and the thread of creativity has drawn us together” said Nikki Green last weekend at the ‘Living Gondwana’ Eco-Art Camp. Basil Schur from Green Skills facilitated the camp at Balijup Farm in Tenterden, in the middle of the Forest to Stirlings section of Gondwana Link. Eager participants, from budding to experienced artists, were joined by Carolyn and Cheryl Narkle from Mungart Boodja Art Centre in Albany, Joey Williams of Denmark based Poornarti Tours and Nikki Green and Janine McCrum from Denmark’s Old Butter Factory Studios and Gallery.

We all responded to the bushland, views, skyscapes and lakes of Balijup in different ways. Carolyn and Cheryl painted the landscape as their mother, Bella Kelly, had before them. Joey designed a huge canvas based on an aerial view of the property and we all knelt on the canvas and joined in the painting. There was lino cuts, dying silk and paper with leaves, drawing, rubbings on all the marvellous old farm equipment and of course photography – that was me!

Evenings by the fire gave us opportunity to exchange cultural knowledge as well as talking while we worked.

The camp also gave me more insight into all the work Basil Schur, Green Skills and others do in the area. Fencing to protect bush, work to maintain lake health, revegetation, predator proof area with bandicoot release and relationships with landholders….. Very impressed.  

Posted by: Amanda Keesing
Crunchy leaf litter underfoot is the quintessential Australian bushwalking experience.

Right? Well, No actually, that's only in recent years. The first time I walked through an area with lots of Woylies I found myself walking on moist compost like material, the result of frenetic soil scratching and food searching by the Woylies. So its been great to see this very important and impressive data and analysis on litter accumulation when a more complete suite of Australia's pre 1788 native mammals are present. To quote the article "24% less fuel for wildfires within the fenced areas than outside of them. Then, . . . a mathematical model . . . predicted a 74% reduction in flame height and a 33% reduction in the speed at which a fire would spread within the fenced-in areas, thanks to the reduction in fuel." While bringing back the mammals is a massive challenge in itself, part of the answer to better fire management in a changing climate has to be more sophisticated consideration of these sensitive ecological factors, rather than blanket prescriptions applied across vast areas.

Could biodiversity protect against wildfires? - ConservationMagazine.org

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Consuming Eden in the Esperance Bioregion

Great to see the Esperance folk running this event on the importance and beauty of the land that makes up such an important part of their Shire. It's on for two weeks from Friday and being opened by Peter Price, Project Manager, Great Western Woodlands, Gondwana Link.

With many thanks to the exhibition sponsors: Esperance Community Arts, The Wilderness Society WA, Shire of Esperance, Esperance Honey, South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc., Freehand Natural Wine, Cannery Arts Centre (Inc).


Posted by: Keith Bradby
Cooking up a storm at the Bush University.

The Elder in Residence at Curtin University’s Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Associate Professor Simon Forest, has brought a group of mixed-course students to Nowanup. With little idea of what they were in for, the cohort left Nowanup on Thursday deeply moved and inspired by the Gondwana Link and Nowanup story. Several are keeping in touch and plan to return to Nowanup’s Bush University to further explore Noongar culture, issues, our incredible natural wonders and the ongoing work of achieving Gondwana Link.

Students spent time with seven different Noongar Elders during their trip and were welcomed to country at Nowanup, in language, by Aunty Eliza Woods (shown here tackling the food side as well). Under the leadership of Eugene Eades the group travelled from Nowanup to a number of important areas, including the massacre site at Kukenarup, and also Point Anne. Students worked together with the Elders to share our “two stories on the one land”, supported by additional knowledge from Ron Richards and Nathan McQuoid. Bush foods and medicines were well explored, with Jasper Trendall from Sea Dragon Botanicals demonstrating some of the modern uses for the ancient plants. It was exciting to see the power of cross-cultural dialogue in action around the fire at Nowanup, as deep learning became more than just a concept for these students.

We look forward to further such exchanges with Curtin University.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
What difference do tracks make?

Many thanks Keren Raiter for making time during your Easter break to give Albany folks a rerun of your final PhD presentation on the enigmatic effects of linear infrastructure on the Great Western Woodlands. Through your work you estimated that there are 150,000 km of roads/tracks in the Great Western Woodlands with 74% of these unmapped. Impressive work to quantify linear disturbance and the effects it is having.


Posted by: Amanda Keesing
Plan-do-review-expand - - then fly?
A good few days in Norseman with Ngadju Conservation, where the Ranger team joined with Elders and planners to review progress and talk about some ambitious plans to secure ongoing funding. We had a refresher look at the Ngadju Conservation Action Plan, developed by Ngadju with Paula Deegan last year, had planner Nic Gambold share his experiences with Ranger groups in northern Australia, and then had ‘Drone Master’ John Chandler demonstrate the effectiveness of drones as a conservation and communication tool.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Ngadju Rangers build capacity to boost nationally significant conservation
A good round up of recent progress by Ngadju Conservation is in this Month's issue of Rangelands NRM news - including the new premises and the quarantine fence established around the Noogoora Burr infestation. Great to see everyone working together so well.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
‘Creative Environmental Immersion’ - the Living Gondwana Eco Art camp

This camp held at Balijup farm, in the Stirlings to Forest section of the Link, has been a great success. Held over three days, the 23 participants found their inspiration in the bush and wetlands conserved on the property, and explored all manner of mediums to express what their eyes and minds saw. 
The event was coordinated by Nikki Green and Green Skills, with Janine McCrum and Robyn Lees being the other art tutors. Funding came from the Community Arts Network WA and the Catalyst Community Arts Fund. The 2016 Gondwana Art Camp program was also supported by: the Butterfactory Studios Denmark, Gondwana Link Ltd, Green Skills and individual volunteers.


Posted by: Keith Bradby
'South-west WA loses its Mediterranean climate'

'In effect, that means less rain in the growing season over May-October, less winter waterlogging of land and more summer rains'.

My goodness - the farming community are now measuring this massive change, and they are not the only ones affected. Looks like we'd better hurry up and finish this here Gondwana Link - the bush needs it.


Posted by: Keith Bradby
Celebrating in style!

Cape to Cape Catchments Group have just had their annual celebration and supporters night, and what a great night it was. Spectacular surroundings, hospitality and wine for all the guests - courtesy of Voyager Estate - plus inspiring stories and distinguished company. WA Minister for Regional Development, pictured here between Capes Deputy Chair Stuart Hicks and Chair Boyd Wykes, gave a great talk (and a short one, well done Terry!) congratulating the group for their achievements and outlining the importance of landcare in the fabric of rural Western Australia. Other guests included long standing local member Barry House, WA NRM Director John Holley, South West Catchment Councils CEO Damien Postma and two of the groups founding members, Sally Hays and Margaret Moir. Gondwana Link Ltd was represented by CEO Keith Bradby.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Nowanup: Healing country, healing people.

The ongoing restoration work at Nowanup, in the Fitz-Stirling section of Gondwana Link, has been highlighted in a short article published on-line today by the journal Ecological Management and Restoration. The map shows the ‘Karta-Wongkin-Jini’ (place where people come together) area, planted last year. It was designed and implemented by Noongar leader Eugene Eades and restoration ecologist Justin Jonson. The design represents Noongar communities across the region. ‘The planting is only a year old, but the integration of cultural values and the sites biophysical conditions into one inclusive design is a powerful and innovative step forward.”

Article available from Ecological Management and Restoration.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Fabulous sculpture awarded

Belated congratulations to Gondwana Link’s friend Kim Perrier, who recently won the ‘Allens Peoples Choice Award' at Bondi’s ‘Sculptures by the Sea’. Kim’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’ is a dead Marri stump, from a tree believed to be over 400 years old, with 65 faces - every face in a state of contentment or meditation. As one onlooker said "Everyone in the tree wants to be there". Seven cultural groups of people are represented. Aboriginal, Indian (India), Indonesian, North American Indian, Maori, African, Chinese.

Kim has been a great friend of the Noongar program at Nowanup in the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link, and has posted many videos and photos of the ongoing work there. He has also helped our Ngadju friends in the Great Western Woodlands (see some of the photos).

Well done Kim. See more at http://www.perrier.com.au/ashes-to-ashes.htm

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CSIRO canteen with Peter Brenton and friends

We are tackling the big (and slightly scary) question of what makes for good data management to demonstrate trends, priorities and outcomes (across a thousand kilometres or two). Cooperation with our Great Eastern Ranges Initiative (GERI) colleagues continued after our recent Board meeting. We travelled to Canberra with GERI’s Gary Howling to meet with Veronica Doerr, from CSIRO’s Ecosystems and Biodiversity section, and Peter Brenton from the Atlas of Living Australia. Veronica and colleagues have worked closely with GERI and other scientists on the underpinning science that validates and guides their work, and we see considerable opportunities to join with them in our ongoing development of ecological principles and targets across both the Link and GERI. But efficient and scientifically sound data collection and management is essential, so we were delighted when Peter showed us through the Atlas’s new ‘BioCollect’ web portal and tools. Not only does this seem technically superb, but we remain very impressed by the Atlas’s commitment to transparency and public good sharing. All their software is now open source and designed to ensure all data with ALA is shared publicly. We were particularly delighted to note that a number of the ‘early adopters’ already using BioCollect are in the Gondwana Link area - our colleagues from Denmark Environment Centre’s Weed program, Cape to Cape Catchment’s BioBlitz program, and Conservation Council of WA’s numerous Citizen Science programs. 

We thank Veronica and Peter for their incredibly generous sharing of time, expertise, insights and software.


Posted by: Keith Bradby
Black Mountain Laboratories

Public good research no longer valued? Overshadowing Gondwana Link and Great Eastern Ranges wonderfully productive visit to CSIRO’s Black Mountain facility was the widespread concern about ongoing redundancy’s and their impact on the ‘public good’ work that CSIRO has a global reputation for. While announcement of major redundancies amongst climate change scientists has hit the media, there has also been steady attrition underway across many of the other Divisions, most particularly their hard hit ecologists. Staff meetings on the impact of the redundancies were happening while we were at the Black Mountain Laboratory, and the impact on staff morale was pretty noticeable, even in the canteen. Our countries scientists deserve much better than this!

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Healthy country – Healthy people.

Ngadju Conservation’s Les Schultz talks on national radio about the importance of Ranger programs, and the incredible value they provide for outback communities. Link to interview.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Photo monitoring burnt-out malleefowl nest mounds

Work to monitor recovery from last November’s devastating fires in the Great Western Woodlands is well underway. Ngadju Rangers have already located and established photo monitoring points at a number of burnt-out malleefowl nest mounds. A simple GPS mapped star picket is set up as the camera base for photos to be taken at regular intervals for the next 10-15-20 years, or however long it takes for leaf litter to build up and enable the return of these marvellous birds.

The photos shows David Graham and Eric Wilson establishing photo point M4.

Photos by Mike Griffiths.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Working together across Australia.

Gondwana Link’s Board met this week with key members of the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative (GERI), our main ‘equivalent’ organisation in Australia. GERI is supporting on-ground efforts in three states, Victoria, NSW and Queensland, and was established by the NSW Government, who continue to fund parts of the program. Despite our totally different origins (GERI grew as a government program, and Gondwana from the private sector) we have long recognised we have much in common, and wrestle with very similar issues. Discussions this week ranged across the best management structure, options for cooperative fundraising, the scientifically complex issues of demonstrating outcomes across a thousand or two kilometres, and how to ‘maintain the brand’ at a high standard while ensuring the groups we both work with have the maximum freedom to be innovative. GERI is at a critical stage of development, one that we passed in 2009, and we understand it will shortly be established as a legal entity with a Board of Management. We enjoyed sharing our experience on that journey, hope we have helped, and look forward to cooperating together more in the future.


Posted by: Keith Bradby
Visit by WA Environment Minister Albert Jacobs

A big thank you to WA Environment Minister Albert Jacobs, Minister Jacobs dropped into the Gondwana Link Albany office on Thursday with key staff. CEO Keith Bradby, Information Manager Amanda Keesing, Board member Louise Duxbury and Lucia Quearry from Ranges Link met with the Minister. We really appreciated his time and the opportunity to outline the overall program, and shared his enthusiasm for what can be achieved given the compression of eco-tones in parts of the Link (Lucia did a great job talking to the transition from wet karri forest to sun baked mallee in just 6kms north of the Porongurups). We also discussed how to strengthen links with the State Government, particularly at overall program level. And yes, he has been invited to visit the work on the ground and meet with more of the wonderful communities and groups we have the pleasure of supporting.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Waterfall flows after recent south coast rains
It has been a while since the waterfall on Bill and Jane Thompson's property 'Yarraweyah Falls' has thundered down the rocks like this. The land received 3 soaking days of rain (totaling 44mm) then another 43mm during a storm the following day. The restoration plantings as well as the bushland will be enjoying a drink.
Posted by: Amanda Keesing
'Invisible Country' book launch in Margaret River.

For those who can't make the Albany launch of Bill's book, down in Great Southern wine country, here's an opportunity in Margaret River wine country.

Margaret River BookShop will celebrate the release of author and Radio National broadcaster, Bill Bunbury's Invisible Country, South-West Australia: Understanding a Landscape at 6.15pm Thursday 21st January in great style with Dr. Carmen Lawrence, Chair Australian Heritage Council, doing the honours.

Award winning, local organic Peacetree Estate wines will perfectly complement this great occasion.. All welcome. Free event but bookings essential for catering purposes.

21 January at the Margaret River Bookshop, Margaret River.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
‘Invisible Country’ - Bill Bunbury’s new book on south-western Australia
‘Invisible Country’ - Bill Bunbury’s new book on south-western Australia, was released last week by UWA Press, and it’s a ripper. To quote the blurb ‘Invisible Country is a reminder that the land owns people, not the other way around, and marks the beginning of a conversation about understanding and care for a land we are all lucky to live in’. Buy the book now, and spend your Xmas with a number of the people working in Gondwana Link, along with key locals who have been part of the long journey that has brought us from the earlier clearing times to this great era of large scale repair and restoration. We’re all there, squeezed into the pages of some key chapters. Please join us and Bill for the Albany launch of the book on the evening of January 12th at the WA Museum - Albany.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
National Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration in Australia
In time for your Xmas reading! SERA (Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia) has just released their Draft ‘NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR THE PRACTICE OF ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION IN AUSTRALIA’, which are open for comment until February 15 2015. For the last 3 years, the Society and 12 partner organizations (including Gondwana Link) have been collaborating on the development of these Standards. We’re excited to now see them ‘out there’, - a national approach recognising the fundamental ecological principles that underpin all restoration programs. The Standards will provide clarity for restoration practitioners and funders on where projects sit – will they achieve valuable restoration, or are they just hopeful tree planting in a declining landscape? We like the five star rating system, and think the restoration wheel (pictured) could work well. Gondwana Link first developed our Restoration Standards for the Link in 2010, in order to provide clarity across the loose language then being used on what works contributed to achieving the Link. That early effort was led by Paula Deegan, who then worked with SERA developing the business case for the national standards. A key driver in and contributor to development of both the Gondwana Link Standards and the National Standards has been SERA Board Member Justin Jonson, from Threshold Environmental, who has designed and implemented many high standard restoration works in the Central Zone of Gondwana Link. Member groups Greening Australia and Bush Heritage Australia also contributed as partners to the project. The National Standards can be downloaded from seraustralasia.com.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Good news for Christmas.

Good news for Xmas – we are making a difference, there is cause for hope and joy. Here’s the ever smiling personification of good news, good will, good work and Gondwana Link, Amanda Keesing, showing off some of her photography. This year we have had, once again, the pleasure and honour of proudly showcasing the outstanding work done by so many groups, businesses and individuals to achieve Gondwana Link at the only place it really matters – on the ground. These photos show but one example from many: change on Yarrabee Wesfarmers Reserve, adjoining Stirling Range National Park, where Greening Australia is restoring 600ha of very sandy ex-farmland. Time lapse photos are from April 2006, July 2010 and March 2015 (and you can work out which is which!) and there is lots of wallabies and other wildlife back already. 2015 was another significant year for us, on lots of fronts, spiced by the joy of seeing lasting change for the good. We thank you all for your support and interest, and look forward to sharing a rip-roarer of a 2016 with you.


Posted by: Keith Bradby
CSIRO and Ngadju tackle bushfires in the Great Western Woodlands

Some good recognition for Ngadju traditional knowledge, and for the work the wonderful Suzanne Prober from CSIRO and others have done helping Ngadju document their knowledge. BLOGS.CSIRO.AU


Posted by: Keith Bradby
Well done to the Norseman Rural Bush Fire Brigade

With November’s terrible fires now over, and as communities continue to deal with the lasting damage and heartache they caused, we’d like to give our heartfelt congratulations and show our respect to the Norseman Rural Bush Fire Brigade. Only really established this year, as part of the Ngadju Conservation program and under the leadership of David Graham, this was truly a testing time for them. Very well done, all of you.

The Brigade has come out stronger, and with a much greater appreciation of the need for their fire-fighting skills. We understand training for new members is being planned for early 2016.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Bush Heritage monitoring results

More important inventory and monitoring by Bush Heritage of their properties in the Fitz-Stirling section of Gondwana Link, and a revealing commentary on the weather conditions being experienced during November. Great work (and perseverance) by all involved! See the results of the monitoring work in Bush Heritage's blog article Fitz-Stirling fauna.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Kiwi in Gondwana Link?

No, but over the last couple of years we have helped our colleagues across the Tasman establish their ‘Reconnecting Northland’ program, with four visits as a guest of the Tindall Foundation, and more than a few phone and skype conversations. Trevor Gray, Special Projects Manager with Tindall has reported in: “. . . the photos bear witness to the inspiring day we all had last week visiting Reconnecting Northland with some of our trustees. Ngaire Tyson, Todd Hamilton and their passionate locals wowed us with the community engagement that has dramatically increased kiwi numbers at Whangarei Heads - nationally they’re dropping by 3% pa, here they’re up from 200 to 675 in 10 years. We were also joined by an iwi group from up North to talk about the amazing Warawara pest eradication collaboration. Mixing indigenous concepts with agency smarts has come up with a potent new way to tackle pests where previously there was confrontation and inertia.

While both projects were inspiring in their own right, they all paid tribute to RN for pulling together people, agencies, resources and communities in ways that didn’t happen before. Several people mentioned Gondwana Link’s part in getting things started, which was nice. As our new manager John said in his thanks speech, finally we understand what a large landscape approach is all about.”

Music to our ears!



Posted by: Keith Bradby
A Restoration Dialogue

This week Gondwana Link was represented in a major forum of restoration researchers, practitioners, lawyers and students. Held in Hobart, and hosted by University of Tasmania, the forum was two days of presentation, review, structured discussion and reflection on what we’ve all learned about restoration and the emerging challenges.

The programs reviewed were as diverse as remediating polluted sites in Antarctica, restoring kelp forests, the legal interplay across farming landscapes and supporting Traditional Owner land management. Along the way we chewed through topics such as the role of apex predators, impact investing, fire management and plastic pollution. Very intense yet we were such a cohesive group it was enjoyable as well!

Keith Bradby and Curtin University’s Grant Wardell-Johnson presented on connecting people, landscapes and livelihoods in south western Australia, which will become the focus of two papers being prepared for a special issue of the journal Restoration Ecology.

Co-organiser for the forum was UTAS’s Professor Ted Lefroy, a distinguished academic whose first landcare job (1988) was with Keith and the original Fitzgerald Biosphere Project in Gondwana Link’s central zone.

Photo’s show the whole group on the wharf at Hobart, a core Gondwana Link crew of Grant, Stuart Cowell who led Bush Heritage’s program in Gondwana Link through the early years, Amanda, Keith and Bush Heritage ecologist Jim Radford. Plus a Tassie Devil seen on the field trip to our colleague program Tasmanian Midlandscapes, which involves Greening Australia, Bush Heritage and the Tasmanian Land Conservancy.


Posted by: Keith Bradby
Bushfires near Esperance

Our thoughts and best wishes are with the people of Esperance, Scaddan, Salmon Gums and Norseman areas.



Posted by: Keith Bradby
Jane Hutchinson is named Tasmania's Australian of the Year
Gondwana Link congratulates our valued friend and colleague Jane Hutchinson on being named Tasmania's Australian of the Year. Jane is CEO of the Tasmanian Land Conservancy and we have had the great pleasure of working with her for a number of years on national approaches to supporting ecological change over large landscapes.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Indigenous rangers launch Working for Our Country report in Parliament

The full Pew Report launched in Canberra today (with a little bit of help from us) countryneedspeople.org.au


Posted by: Keith Bradby
Margaret River BioBlitz

 Any G Linkers in the Capes area this weekend should head to this. Fun and learning!


Posted by: Keith Bradby
Ngadju go National!
Ngadju Conservation Convenor Les Schultz and Gondwana Link’s Peter Price are in Canberra as guests of the Pew Charitable Trusts. This morning at Parliament House, they joined with other key indigenous leaders, members of parliament and senior departmental figures to launch a major report by Pew outlining the economic and social benefits of Indigenous Ranger and Indigenous Protected Area programs. Rick Wilson MHR, the member for Ngadju Country (sometimes known as the Federal Seat of O’Connor) received the report on behalf of the Federal Government was. And Les excited to make page 8 of today’s Australian.
Main photo shows Paddy O’Leary from Pew, Rick Wilson MHR, Les and Peter.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand’s (EIANZ) annual conference
Challenging the Status Quo - what, us? Gondwana Link’s Keith Bradby spoke in Perth on Friday at the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand’s (EIANZ) annual conference, which was indeed themed ‘Challenging the Status Quo’. Keith told the Gondwana Link story while speaking to the topic “Defiantly Ambitious: is that the best way forward” and, unsurprisingly, came to the conclusion that it was, given the global importance of WA’s biodiversity. While at the conference he caught up with old colleagues Bryan Jenkins (former CEO of WA’s Department of Environmental Protection, now University of Canterbury) and Paul Vogel, current (retiring) Chairman of WA’s Environmental Protection Authority. During the 1990’s Keith worked with Bryan and Paul to end large scale clearing for agriculture in south-western Australia, another defiantly ambitious exercise that (largely) worked.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Post-Mine restoration, the Gondwana Link, and SER Australasia – helping Australia transition towards a restoration culture.

An article by restoration ecologists James and Thibaud Aronson. Good reading, and with a wonderful quote from Paul Hawken 'If you look at the science that describes what is happening on earth today and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t have the correct data. If you meet people in this unnamed movement and aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a heart'.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Cactus control at Rawlinna
A team from Ngadju Conservation have been out on the Nullarbor at Rawlinna, working to control invasive cactus. The work, which was organised and funded through the Goldfields-Nullarbor Rangelands Biosecurity Group, involved spraying the bigger cactus clumps, then extensive grid walking to ‘detect and destroy’ small seedlings hidden amongst the grass and shrubs. Apart from dealing with a hazardous plant, the week marked the beginning of a new phase for Ngadju Conservation, as they start building income streams by taking on contract work that employs them to manage their country.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
A home near the Range!

Cockatoos on the Ranges Link section will shortly have a better choice of accommodation, once these six new nesting hollows are installed. The artificial hollows are needed as the area supports lots of good feeding habitat, but many of the old trees with hollows have been cleared (and it could be a few centuries before recent plantings get big enough). These hollows were made by the Carnaby’s group at Moora, and very kindly donated (and delivered to Twin Creeks Community Conservation Reserve!) by Nathalie Casal, seen here unloading the new homes with Lucia Quearry from Friends of the Porongurups. There is a lot of discussion on at present on mystery of why Cockies settle down in one type of house rather than another, and these will be closely monitored to determine their use. They have a mesh climbing ladder inside and open top with chains attached to the outside so they can be attached to a tree or a metal pole.

Thanks Nathalie!!

Posted by: Keith Bradby
A week on the road
A week on the road across the Link with noted restoration ecologist James Aronson and son Thibaud. A chance for Justin Jonson (pictured with James) to guide them across farmland restoration in the Fitz-Stirling and Ravensthorpe sections of the Link, then off to Norseman to spend time in the woodlands with our Ngadju colleagues. We were impressed with James and Thibaud, and they were impressed enough with the key Gondwana Linkers they met and the work they saw to start planning an ongoing collaboration. More details coming! Pictures also show Ravensthorpe’s Christine Rowe talking bush with Thibaud, and Keith Bradby, Thibaud and James with mine host in Norseman, Therese Wade at the Norseman’s Railway Motel (aka Enviro Centre).
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Restoration – more like raising children
Having used this quote from Andre Clewell & James Aronson’s 2007 book on Ecological Restoration in our Ecological Guide, it was good to spend time with the Aronson father and son team. His ingenuity seems to have worked well!
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Launch of ‘The Southwest – Australia’s biodiversity hotspot’
Keith Bradby and Vicki Laurie at Monday’s launch of Vicki’s wonderful new book ‘The Southwest – Australia’s biodiversity hotspot’. It was a great night, MC’d by the Kwongan Foundation’s Hans Lambers, and with the book formally launched by WA Environment Minister Albert Jacob (fresh back from a family holiday in the Stirling Ranges). A great crowd celebrated the book with Vicki, including Chingarrup Sanctuary’s Eddie Wajon, iNSiGHT Ornithology’s Simon Cherriman and botanists Greg and Bronwyn Keighery.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Infill plantings at Yarrabee
Yarrabee has probably been the most difficult site yet for restoration plantings in the Fitz-Stirling section of Gondwana Link. Water repellent sandy soil, some perennial grass weeds and wind tunnelling from the Stirling Ranges being part of the problem. Greening Australia has now completed this year’s planting of infill seedlings, with a great team pulled together by Eugene Eades, second from right here with fellow planters Chayse Eades, Marlon Hart and Dean Bolton. A larger team has also spent two weeks planting on Greenings Peniup property. And then it rained!
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Miss you both
It’s a bit lonely in the Gondwana Link office this week. We miss the company of Ben McGowan and Francesca Ciantar, who have been with us for the past three weeks - a delightful couple doing significant work. Ben’s PhD is on ‘The Political Ecology of Australia’s National Reserve System – the political and economic context under which private protected areas have developed and the relationship between private protected areas and protected area policy’ – with Gondwana Link and Bookmark Biosphere Reserve in South Aust. as his two case studies. Lots of interviews squeezed into his three weeks here (more to come) and lots of trawling into archives and reminding us of our evolution. Francesca is the community lawyer on her way to becoming an environmental lawyer, via a Masters thesis on ‘how are environmental offsets meant to work, and how do they really work’. It seems to be a very large gap between the two, and her work in WA has reminded us what a tangled system it is, and how much it underachieves on meaningful environmental benefit. Thanks to all who have helped their work, and to those who are about to.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Bring on the rain!
Lot's of plantings happening across the Link at the moment. At Twin Creeks in Ranges Link they have scored the help of an energetic bunch of nine visiting Senior Scout Rovers, who spent the day planting Melaleuca seedlings into rip lines. The Friends of Porongurup have been fortunate to receive two grants, one from the ‘Biodiversity Fund’ through South Coast NRM plus a ‘25 Years of Landcare Grant’. By combining these and adding some of their own funds and lots of volunteers the Friends are restoring the low lying and slightly saline 60ha old paddock that had been cleared (by previous owners) on the western side of the reserve. Once restored, this will not only be another important piece of habitat in their Link, but also protect Gaalgegup Creek, which is fresh by the time it leaves the reserve. A number of the scouts had been cubs under former Scoutmaster Ian Barrett-Leonard, and were visit Ian and Rosie at Zarephath Wines. Doesn’t take long to get roped into planting work down here at present (though we hear they also managed to enjoy the views from the top of the Porongurup's Castle Rock Skywalk).
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Does our restoration work really nudge evolution along and strengthen ecological resilience?
In another new initiative for the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link, an Australian Research Council Linkage grant of $400,000 has been awarded to a consortium led by Professor Steve Hopper, from the University of WA Albany, along with Dr’s Dave Coates, Margaret Byrne and Melissa Miller from Department of Parks and Wildlife, and Dr Sieggy Krauss from the WA Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority. We are delighted that these leading researchers will be focusing on the great restoration work that has been undertaken over the past 12 years. This project will compare reproductive output, pollinator behaviour, mating, genetic diversity and pollen dispersal between restored sites and existing habitats. This work will move our measures of restoration success beyond that of population establishment and survival to incorporate the evolutionary processes that provide long-term resilience and functional integration of restored populations.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Phoenix Risen!
Congratulations to our friends and colleagues in Denmark on the opening of their brand new, very swish and super sustainable new Environment Centre building. A big step forward and up from that horrible night six years ago when the old building burnt down. Really well done! And check the smile on Louise Duxbury’s face as she accepts the key to the spacious new office space that our member group Green Skills is moving into.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
From the Pope

Some very welcome words on connectivity conservation tucked away in the latest Papal ENCYCLICAL LETTER ‘LAUDATO SI’ - ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME

“35. In assessing the environmental impact of any project, concern is usually shown for its effects on soil, water and air, yet few careful studies are made of its impact on biodiversity, as if the loss of species or animals and plant groups were of little importance. Highways, new plantations, the fencing-off of certain areas, the damming of water sources, and similar developments, crowd out natural habitats and, at times, break them up in such a way that animal populations can no longer migrate or roam freely. As a result, some species face extinction. Alternatives exist which at least lessen the impact of these projects, like the creation of biological corridors, but few countries demonstrate such concern and foresight. Frequently, when certain species are exploited commercially, little attention is paid to studying their reproductive patterns in order to prevent their depletion and the consequent imbalance of the ecosystem.”

Thanks Charles Roche for sending in this excerpt, which had indeed escaped our attention. 

Posted by: Keith Bradby

We’re delighted to announce that Mike Griffiths has joined Gondwana Link’s Great Western Woodlands Program. Mike, pictured here (on the left) with his Program Manager, Peter Price, started work this week as Woodlands Operations Manager, based in the ‘heart of the woodlands’ at Norseman. Mike’s work program has a strong initial focus on supporting our Ngadju Conservation colleagues, as they move from their planning and training phases into extensive on-ground operations. Mike comes to us with a strong ecological background, including working in the World Wildlife Fund’s Wheatbelt program for eleven years, as a Biodiversity Officer with Wheatbelt NRM for 18 months, and as a volunteer Threatened Species Field Assistant with the Dept. of Parks and Wildlife since 2007 (easy to see why we are so delighted with this appointment!). Mike also has a strong interest in languages, and is reasonably fluent in five so far, including Noongar, and hopes soon to be proficient in Ngadju as well. Mike can be contacted and congratulated on mgriffiths@gondwanalink.org.

Meanwhile Peter, who has been solely supporting the on-round Ngadju efforts to date, is now about to have a few well-earned week’s holiday. Then his work will be re-focused into providing strategic level support for Mike and Ngadju Conservation as well as a broader Woodlands effort.

We acknowledge the ongoing support for these positions from the Pew Charitable Trust.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Vale Phillip Toyne


Gondwana Link, and landcare across southern WA, has lost a long standing colleague in the death of Phil Toyne. We first brought Phil to the south coast early in 1989, in a visit hosted by then Minister for Agriculture Julian Grill. The Minister was supporting development of what became the National Landcare Program, and was keen to ensure that the dynamic growth of landcare in WA, and its ongoing needs, were well understood nationally. Phil, in conjunction with senior figures from government and the environment movement, (including Rachel Siewort, now a WA Senator) visited a number of farms at Esperance and Jerramungup, and heard first hand of the progress being made. At the Gairdner Hall he officially launched the joint Fitzgerald Biosphere Project/EPA publication “The Bush Comes to the City”.

Later that year I had the privilege of representing WA in some of the national meetings, though can claim no credit for the fact that we did well out of the National Landcare Program when it emerged. Phil and Rick Farley were superb negotiators and had a mighty vision firmly in their sights. A few years later Phil became Deputy Secretary in the Commonwealth Department of Environment, where a good dialogue continued with him and his colleague Andrew Campbell on protection of WA’s remaining bushland. In 2001 Phil took over as Chair of Bush Heritage Australia, just as it became involved in Gondwana Link. His last visit to Albany was as Director of Integrated Tree Cropping, then one of the larger plantation companies in the region, and the one that gave Gondwana Link free office space and lots of support in our establishment years.

In all that time I only got to meet Phil’s wife Molly and his sons once, when somehow we all bumped into each other, at San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Chocolates (where else?!). It was an absolute treat to meet the people closest to this very significant Australian, and enjoy a Saturday afternoon ice-cream together. Our hearts go out to you, in this loss of a wonderful man, far too soon.

Keith Bradby

CEO, Gondwana Link.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Pass the jam please
Scones and Cream based Conservation Action Planning continues. We’re now into the ‘next final’ stage of helping groups revise the wording and content of plans across the Link. Amanda Keesing and Paula Deegan have developed some standard terminology which ensures groups are talking in the same language.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Word about our hotspot is hotting up!
UWA Press has just released Victoria Laurie’s wonderful book on the biodiversity hotspot that is south-western Australia. She writes wonderfully and warmly about the places we work for, and features more than a few of the people who are making Gondwana Link happen. Congratulations Vicki, been a delight to help this happen. (If your local bookshop isn’t stocking this book yet, they are missing sales (or you live in Alaska?). Copies of THE SOUTHWEST: AUSTRALIA'S BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOT can be ordered direct from UWA Press.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Opening the gate that needs to stay closed
A great day in the bush with a great mob of people and a great achievement. The Balijup Fauna Sanctuary has now been officially opened by Terry (Tuck) Waldron MLA, ably assisted by Alan Hordacre, representing his family. The 111 hectare sanctuary is now fully enclosed with a 4.3km fox, rabbit and cat proof fence, and all such critters have already been chased out in a massive community drive. The Hordacre family own 919 hectare at Balijup, which is managed for both agricultural production and wildlife conservation. 600ha of the property is bush, and a further 100 hectares are wetlands. HORDACRES ARE HEROES!! Balijup is one of a number of initiatives along the Stirlings to Forest section of Gondwana Link, and the Sanctuary was largely funded by LotteryWest. Basil Schur from Green Skills has worked closely with the Hordacres on this and other initiatives popping up all over the property, and Basil has given me a list of 23 organisations and well over 100 individuals who deserve acknowledgement and thanks. Can’t do all that here, but CONGRATULATIONS EVERYBODY!
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Another 800 hectares to be planted
Congratulations to our colleagues in Greening Australia, and especially to Barry Heydenrych. Greening have been successful tenderers for the Australian Government’s 20Million Trees program, and through this will be supporting planting programs in key locations across Australia over the next three years. As the tender was coming together Barry burnt the midnight oil to get the site and planting details together for Gondwana Link’s Central Zone, and as a result the area now has some 800hectares of funded planting to work through. Well done Greening, we look forward to standing in the shade of more of your plantings.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Another day, another planning session?
Bit more than that this time actually. This group of stalwarts have just spent two days reviewing and revising the long standing ‘Functional Landscape Plan’ for Gondwana Links Fitz-Stirling section. The plan was first developed in 2004, revised a number of times since, and has guided many millions of dollars worth of land purchase, restoration and management. Six groups involved in this session, and they were still game to turn the plan upside down and give it a good shake on the basis of recent experience and research. So next time someone waffles on about ‘adaptive management’ and integration, make sure you tell them it does happen here!
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Balijup Sanctuary tour
Fences are up, citizen science training is underway, the ferals have been removed – now for the party! Balijup Sanctuary, Friday 22nd May at 2pm. Anyone who can get there is invited to the official Launch of Balijup Sanctuary - 707 Nunijup Road (7km south west of Tenterden off the Albany Highway). Your chance for a tour of the Sanctuary, talks and afternoon tea back at the homestead (aka Field Station and Study Centre). “The Sanctuary is a significant step forward for conservation in Gondwana Link. We know that the Quenda and other marsupials are really under the hammer due to feral animals. The Sanctuary gives them a chance to build up numbers so we can reintroduce Quenda successfully into other areas protected from ferals,” says Basil Schur from Green Skills. Our congratulations to Basil and owner Alan Hordacre for the imagination and energy.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
So rewarding to surveying Monjebup’s bush

And you would be laughing too, if you’d just worked out that, per area, the patch of bush behind you was at least as rich in plant species as the Stirling Range and Fitzgerald River National Parks! Albany based botanist Libby Sandiford (pictured here with Bush Heritage ecologist Angela Sanders) has recently completed a major plant survey of Bush Heritage’s main Monjebup Reserve, recording ‘570 native taxa occurring in an area of less than 1200 hectares’. The list includes, we gather, some that may prove to be new to science and await further taxonomic work.

When the Gondwana Link program started we were all focused on connecting important natural areas. Through the work of Bush Heritage and others we are increasingly confirming that the small bits in-between the major national parks are at least as important as the parks themselves. Holly Moley!

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Gondwana Link Ride
Green Skill's unstoppable Basil Schur has just pioneered the first stage of a three part Gondwana Link Ride, doing the section from the Indian Ocean near Margaret River to Denmark in an enjoyable five days. Basil is keen to make these rides a group event, and a fundraiser for Gondwana Link projects. So who among you is going to join him in that???
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Training in land management
With their Conservation Action Plan all but completed, Ngadju Conservation is increasing their on-ground program. Training in weed identification, mapping and control was undertaken this Thursday and Friday, in a delightfully shady ‘classroom’. Training turned to action pretty fast when a nasty patch of Noogoora Burr was found during the initial weed survey at Bromus Dam. A few hours later the patch had been mapped onto the database and killed! Here Philip Coghlan and Ian Abdullah learn the CyberTracker mapping system, then Philip sprayed one of the infestations while Shealene Coghlan mapped it. Gondwana Link’s Peter Price tells us he is delighted with how the team is progressing. Formal Land Management training is part of the ongoing Malleefowl and Invasive Weed program run by Gondwana Link and supported by Rangelands NRM.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Finalising the Ngadju Conservation Action Plan
Big progress being made by Ngadju Conservation. This week saw a two day workshop to finalise their Conservation Action Plan, which covers the Ngadju Native Title area in the Great Western Woodlands. Gondwana Link’s Plan Facilitator Paula Deegan worked through and confirmed key decisions in the draft Plan with the group, and got additional direction on changes to be made before the Plan is finalised. Then it was time to visit Fraser Range, one of the important areas targeted for conservation actions, with an early priority being the Ten Mile Rockhole (pictured). Thanks to Fraser Range Station for a much appreciated lunch, which was followed by a trip to the top of the Range and an important discussion on how Ngadju takes the next steps together. Great input from the effervescent Jane Bradley and Bevan Gray, of Rangelands NRM, whose ongoing support has been invaluable.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Ngadju Conservation at Australian Rangelands Society Conference
A big gathering for the Outback in Alice Springs this week, with the Australian Rangelands Society Conference in full swing. We were delighted to support a strong Ngadju presence, with Ngadju Conservation's David Graham (on the right of the picture) presenting on their land management program, and trainees Eric Wilson and Matt McKenzie (centre) able to meet with Traditional Owners running similar programs across Australia. Gondwana Link's Peter Price (on the left) was there to help, along with co-sponsors of the Ngadju trip from Pew Charitable Trusts and Rangelands NRM.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Gondwana Link finally makes Facebook!
Today our Facebook page goes live, and from now on we aim to make regular posts on the key events and achievements of all the groups and individuals working on various bits of the Link. And we have included some retrospective posts here back to 2002, though not every event by far. Stay tuned for the Blog page we are hoping to establish in the next few months on www.gondwanalink.org, where a more comprehensive history will be steadily developed (we apologise for the key events and people who haven’t made this initial version).
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Looking forward and looking back!

Over the past year a lot of work has been undertaken to collate key information on how the overall Gondwana Link effort has grown. Margaret Robertson (pictured) donated some months of her busy life to help us establish a history built around photos and short descriptions of key events from the past 14 or so years, with over 500 so far identified and at least partly recorded. Unfortunately, Margaret has been dragged off into some paid work, and the work of checking and finalising all the entries has faltered (and would derail the rest of the program if Keith or Amanda took it on).

Some of Margaret’s entries now form the Timeline for this Facebook page (and we apologise for all that has been left out). We hope to have these into a Blog page, searchable by keywords, by the end of May, and to then steadily add events as they happen. We are also looking for funding that will enable completion of a comprehensive event based record stretching back to when discussions with The Nature Conservancy started in 1999.

Building an accurate record of how Gondwana Link has grown and developed is an important task. We were the first large landscape connectivity program to establish in Australia, and are often held up as an inspiring example for others to follow. So what is that example? What have been the critical ingredients? And who was there? While there are some published papers, perhaps reflecting different views, an events based history tells it how it actually happened, and people can then form their own views as to what were the critical ingredients.

An easy on the eye history can also help us all to stay inspired and motivated in the long task we have undertaken. Being able to refresh our memories of good times and great achievement, celebrating the achievements and recognising the long line of people who have made them possible seems a worthy exercise in itself.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Order of Australia Medal for Keith Bradby
Gondwana Link CEO Keith Bradby, and family, were at Government House Perth today for his formal investiture into the Order of Australia. Keith is pictured here with Governor Kerry Sanderson, wife Margaret Robertson, younger son Jack Robertson and sister Helen Amos. Fellow recipients of the OAM included Ngadju elder Sonny Graham (pictured with Keith), Eucalypt expert and author Malcom French (who in his role with Elders has advised on a number of property opportunities in Gondwana Link). At the investiture Keith also caught up with former colleagues David Hartley (previous Commissioner for Soil and Land Conservation and Director General of the Forest Products Commission) and Alex Errington (pictured), property guru from Dept. of Parks and Wildlife, who both received the Public Service Medal.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Kwongan Foundation tours Fitz-Stirling
Today Gondwana Link’s Amanda Keesing took some key visitors into the Fitz-Stirling section of Gondwana Link. The group included University of WA Professor, and key driver of the Kwongan Foundation, Hans Lambers, along with Dr Marion Cambridge and Geoff Bastyan, sea grass experts who can tell an amazing story of successful restoration in Albany’s harbours. First stop was Chingarrup Sanctuary, where Birdlife Australia’s Nick Dunlop was busy with bird surveys to see the use of the revegetation by various bird functional groups. Nick took a break to give the visitors a tour of the property, with Han’s constant refrain being “Whats happening here?” as the subtle changes in soil, topography and aspect resulted in changes in structure and species diversity, and every new Banksia was greeted like an old friend. Next a visit to Nowanup and talk with Eugene Eades who gave an insight to the cultural connections and psychological gains that are achieved by the traditional owners having access to country. Several stops were made on the way home to look at the response of Proteaceous rich heath to clearing and fire. Great day, but shame about the freeloaders that caught a lift home (pepper ticks!). We look forward to ongoing cooperation with the Kwongan Foundation, who have launched an ambitious plan to gain World Heritage listing for Australia’s south western biodiversity hotspot.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Wildlife enclosure at Yongergnow
A delightful afternoon with friends and colleagues of Gondwana Link at the launch of the Yongergnow Malleefowl Centre’s new Wildlife Enclosure. Pictured at the opening are, from the right, Yongergnow Board members Susanne Dennings, Ken Pech, Project manager Vicky Bilney, Board Member Jan Savage and Member for Wagin Terry Waldron MLA, who opened the Enclosure, which sits adjacent to the Malleefowl Centre on the edge of Ongerup townsite. Bush Heritage Australia have helped with the initial survey of the 5 hectare site, and located Pygmy Possums persisting in the small remnant. It is hoped to reintroduce some of the areas small mammals to the enclosure, giving visitors a chance to see them.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Balijup Farm predator proof fence
Construction has nearly completed on the 4.3km predator proof fence to create a 111 hectare conservation enclosure on Balijup Farm, in Gondwana Link’s Stirlings to Forest section. Once completed, and emptied of foxes and cats (now there’s a job!) the enclosure will immediately provide safer breeding habitat for a number of birds and then be used to build up numbers of mammals lost from the area – a critical step in a wider recovery.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
What a shocker
Despite the local emphasis on firm and decisive ‘rapid response’ to fires in the Great Western Woodlands, a lightning strike between near Lake Hope, between Hyden and Norseman, has now burnt for almost two weeks, blackening some 120,000 hectares of woodland, heath and mallee. The local teams were on the job pretty smartly, and consider the fire was almost contained within its first four days. They were then instructed to pull back as it was considered the fire would put itself out when it ran into previously burnt areas. Unfortunately, the winds shifted, as they do, and the fire raged again. It has now apparently burnt over 112,000 ha. in a broad arc over 50kms wide. Our support and sympathy for the frustrated fire-fighters.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Ngadju Native Title determination

Congratulations to our Ngadju friends and colleagues for gaining legal recognition of their Native Title. An historic day, with many more to come as they resume authority over their country.

ABC story  'Native title claim for Ngadju people in Western Australia's Goldfields recognised after 18 years'.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Bush Regenerators Restoring Ecosystems seminar

Proud to be watching Justin Jonson from Threshold Environmental tell his story of restoration in part of Gondwana Link, in Sydney at the Bush Regenerators Restoring Ecosystems seminar. Big plug for Bush Heritage and Greening Australia.

Justin Jonson. Large scale reconstruction of semi-arid ecosystems in south-west Western Australia video.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Fire and Biodiversity planning around Margaret River
An important and incredibly informative day held by the Capes to Capes Catchment Group, as a first step in development of their ‘Fire and Biodiversity Plan’. Highlights included the moving and insightful Welcome to Country by Wayne Webb, the detailed scientific perspective provided by Prof. Grant Wardell-Johnson and the practical and very bush friendly words from Gordon Temby and Ian Dowling of the local Volunteer Brigades. The very difficult and sensitive planning issues involved in managing fore and biodiversity in a rapidly developing area were well explained by Shire, Fire and Emergency Services and Planning representatives. Development of the Plan is one of the strategies being pursued by Capes to Capes to implement their Conservation Action Plan, as developed with Gondwana Link support.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
What’s Happening-2014 Gondwana Link forum
Not the whole mob by a long shot, but from amongst those I have the great pleasure of building the Gondwana Link with, here's the ones who could get to last week's 'What's Happening?' Forum. Quality people doing quality work!
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Focus on intact temperate woodland
‘This is the last opportunity on Earth for anyone to look at the ecology of an intact temperate woodland’ – strong scene setting words from Professor Harry Recher when a large group of researchers gathered at the WA Ecology Centre for a Birdlife Australia/Nature Conservancy workshop on bird research and management in the Great Western Woodlands. Liz Fox presented the results from three years of survey work across the area, which has mobilised hundreds of volunteers, while Harry spoke to his study of foraging behaviour at key sites since 1997, noting that ‘heavy episodic rain drives the whole system’. The Birdlife Survey work led by Liz has provided a comprehensive ‘bird benchmark’ for the area, but clearly needs to be continued before the long term trends and needs are clear. The work has confirmed the chilling fact that habitat decline elsewhere makes the Woodlands the main remaining occurrence of some birds, such as Gilberts Whistler and the Shy Heath Wren. And exciting to hear that continental scale connectivity continues, with birds from some species, such as grey fantails and purple crowned lorikeets, travelling thousands of kilometres to spend time in the Great Western Woodlands.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Ranges Link in north Queensland
With much appreciated support from The Nature Conservancy, Mark Waud was able to join a training course for Conservation Coaches outside Cairns. Mark was introduced to Open Standards and CAP through his work as Co-ordinator with the Oyster Harbour Catchment Group, and has been involved in development of Conservation Action Plans the Ranges Link and Stirlings to Many Peaks sections of Gondwana Link. Always quick on the uptake, he now adds formal training to his innate ability to use the planning tools. Mark was joined in the training by delegates from Traditional owner groups across northern Australia and from Mongolia, Micronesia, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Gondwana Panorama exhibition opens in Denmark

An inspiring opening of the second Gondwana Panorama Exhibition, this time at the Butter Factory Studio in Denmark.

Focused on the Gondwana Link landscape and the human connection to it, the exhibition showcases photographic, film and art works. The eight Butter Factory Studio artists collaborated to produce a range of artworks inspired by their time at the Hordacre’s ‘Balijup’ farm near Tenterden, located in Gondwana Link’s Forest to Stirlings area. Alan Hordacre spoke of his emotion when seeing the farm portrayed through the artists’ work. Denmark Shire Councillor Ian Osborne opened the exhibition and Gondwana Link’s Keith Bradby spoke about the power of landscape and the importance of heart and vision.

Congratulations to Basil Schur of Green Skills, Nikki Green and the Butter Factory Studio Artists for a wonderful event.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Red rocks helping men roll with the punches
Lovely story making some important connections in the Australian today. Journalist Victoria Laurie has picked up on some important points: “Nowanup is a unique property, jointly run by Greening Australia, Gondwana Link and other environmental agencies as a base for revegetating native bush. But Nowanup has also become a place for spiritual reconnection with country. It offers a timely alternative to headline-grabbing calls by the state’s Police Commissioner Karl O’Calloghan for delinquent Aboriginal youth to be removed from their families. ‘We don’t get heavily involved in the politics, we let the magic of the land work on us,’ says Mr Eades, the cultural facilitator for the Gnarjl Aboriginal Corporation.’
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Ngadju Conservation’s program support from Rangelands NRM

Gondwana Link has just announced its next program with Ngadju Conservation, with this stage funded through support from Rangelands NRM. As the ABC’s WA Country Hour reports, “A program aimed at conserving the traditional land management practices of the Ngadju people is underway near Norseman. The program is a collaboration between Rangelands Natural Resource Management, Gondwana Link and the local indigenous community.

The five year project will include fire mitigation, invasive species surveys and mallee fowl preservation in the Great Western Woodlands on the edge of the Nullarbor.”

Listen to Les Schultz and Peter Price interviewed on the ABC’s WA Country Hour.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Wallaby Gates field day
A Wallaby Gates Field Day to promote the installation of ‘Wallaby gates’ into ringlock fencing. The gates, which are visible on the left side of the photo, allow Brush wallabies, a key conservation target species, to move across the landscape between bushland ‘islands’. These gates make it possible to exclude Grey Kangaroos from areas while allowing access to wallabies. Well done to Green Skills, Gillamii Centre and Oyster Harbour Catchment Groups for co-ordinating the event.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Paddy Woodworth’s new book ‘Our Once and Future Planet

Restoring the World in the Climate Change Century’, which looks at the global ecological restoration movement, has just been launched in Dublin by the venerable Mary Robinson. Paddy has used his skills as a hard-nosed investigative journalist to dig deeper than most into the issues that confound us all. Gondwana Link gets his scrutiny in Chapter 9, but the issues we wrestle with are clearly there in many of the chapters about programs in other countries. Don't take our word for it though, buy and read! And here’s a link to some reviews of the book.

View Paddy’s October 2009 article in the Irish Times, following his research tour of Gondwana Link.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
The Big Garden?
Delightful segment on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia show this weekend, featuring work in the central zone of Gondwana Link. Bush Heritage’s Simon Smale and the Ranges Link’s Peter Luscombe joined with presenter Josh Byrne to broadcast a delightful vignette (despite what was obviosuly some lousy weather during filming). Click this link to the Gardening Australia website, where you can view Linking the Landscape segment.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Sandplains spectacular flowering
The good winter rains have resulted in spectacular flowering in the Great Western Woodland's southern sandplain heath. Verticordias, grevilleas, melaleucas, petrophiles, isopogons, stylidiums, calytrix and many more vied to be the most prolific. Nearby woodlands were full of birds and flowering eucalypts, while many orchids were flowering around the granite outcrops.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Gondwana Link wins a Banksia Award
A strong showing for connectivity conservation in this year’s Banksia Awards. The collective effort by groups across Gondwana Link is a finalist in the ‘Land and Biodiversity’ category, and South Australia’s NatureLinks is a finalist for the ‘In Collaboration’ category. Winners are to be announced at a Gala Dinner in Melbourne on 9 October. WA’s Department of Water will also be there, for work freshening up the Denmark River, and Keith Bradby’s old mates from Serpentine Jarrahdale and North Dandalup are also finalists. Should be a good night!
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Decision Point
Gondwana Link features in the September edition of Decision Point, the monthly magazine of the Environmental Decisions Group. The article by Kerrie Wilson and Hugh Possingham of University of Queensland is entitled 'Gondwana Link & decision theory: Reflecting on the fruits of collaborative research'. The researchers note that “We were humbled by the many on-ground complexities that presented themselves". Article available here.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Sharing what we have learnt, and learning more
Keith Bradby has just spent a day in Edenhope Victoria, where he was guest speaker at the 16th Wimmera Biodiversity Seminar. As part of the trip he saw work in Zone 2 of Habitat 141, which includes three degraded farming properties purchased by Bank MECU for restoration to ecological health as part of the larger Conservation Plan for the area. Keith had some long chats with friend and colleague Andrew Bradey, President of the Kowree Farm Tree Group that is driving the restoration program in partnership with other key groups. Discussions included how to get some 'practitioner to practitioner' exchanges happening on key topics such as restoration techniques and achieving big changes through locally-based arrangements.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Emus go global!
The Ecological Society of America has recently published a powerful bit of writing on emus, Barrier Fences and Lewis Machine Guns. Subscribers will find it here, the rest of us can download a version.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Innovation to improve restoration
Restoration work is well underway on Bush Heritage's Monjebup North property. When completed, and grown up, over 400 hectares will be returned to the bush, making a critically important link between all Bush Heritage's Monjebup Reserves and the Corackerup Nature Reserve. A big step forward for connectivity in the Fitz-Stirling section of Gondwana Link. The restoration work builds on previous experience on Peniup and other properties, and the direct seeding machine developed, but also introduces some innovative techniques, such as the in-situ burning of dryandras and banksias to release seed directly into freshly graded rows (Bush Heritage's Simon Smale and Justin Jonson from Threshold Environmental shown here in the heat of the moment).
Posted by: Keith Bradby
'Granite & Woodlands Conservation Plan'
The latest Conservation Action Plan within Gondwana Link is now done (at least until we revise it!). The 'Granite & Woodlands Conservation Plan' covers 1.2 million ha of the Great Western Woodlands. The Plan took an important step forward this week when Shire of Kondinin representatives on the planning team met in Hyden with the Ngadju Conservation Group spokesperson, Les Schultz and Gondwana Link’s Paula Deegan and Keith Bradby, to endorse the plan and start working on how we'll implement it. Rain, while welcomed by our farmer members, prevented us getting out into the woodlands and meeting on site with other planning team members from Western Areas Ltd and the Shire of Dundas. We're excited to have a conservation plan prepared by an alliance of local governments, mining companies, traditional owners and conservation groups. Now the hard work begins!
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Exchanging knowledge
Ngadju young leaders joined the Millennium Kids 'Project Explore' program in the Kambalda Nature Reserve, Great Western Woodlands, with the kids learning how to use binoculars whilst teaching the scientists a thing or two about bushtucker!
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Out amongst it
Gondwana Link’s Amanda Keesing and Board of Directors Chair Virginia Young recently travelled through some of the beautiful country of the Great Western Woodlands. Virginia was delighted to find a creek flowing into Lake Johnson (and how often does that happen?!). There is, apparently, no truth to the rumour that they nearly got bogged.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Gathering footage to tell the story
Nature Conservancy videographer Jane Prince has been busy in central and eastern Gondwana Link, interviewing key drivers of the Ranges Link and Fitz-Stirling programs, and recording the work of the Hyden community, Birds Australia and the Ngadju Conservation Committee as part of the Link’s Great Western Woodlands effort.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
The spectacular wildflowers of the Great Western Woodlands
Looks like it’s going to be an early, strong flowering in the sandplains of the Great Western Woodlands, with many Verticordias and Grevilleas and this Eremophila already putting on a beautiful show. ‘Landscope’ (Spring 2012, Vol. 28 (1)) has a good article by botanist Andrew Brown about ‘The spectacular wildflowers of the Great Western Woodlands’. If you’re thinking of a spring drive through the GWW, you’ll find Andrew’s article an enjoyable introduction to the wonderful array of Eremophilas, orchids and native lilies, including where to find them.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Sharing ideas
Great discussions this week with Geoff Wescott and Victoria Marles, on their way through to the coastal conference in Esperance. (Geoff is Prof with Life Sciences at Deakin Uni, and co editor of the Linking Australia's Landscapes book, Vic is CEO of Trust for Nature in Victoria). Then a walk in the Stirlings
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Monjebup Reserve restoration up in lights

What a thrill to open ‘The West Australian’ and find a prominent story about Bush Heritage's ecological restoration of a critical bit of farm land in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area. The purchase and replanting of this property, exciting in its own right, connects a number of key Bush Heritage acquisitions, known collectively as Monjebup Reserve, with Corackerup Nature Reserve. It’s a big step forward for this section of Gondwana Link, and great work by Bush Heritage’s Simon Smale and Angela Sanders, with the revegetation plan and implementation by Justin Jonson of Threshold Environmental. Over 120 local species went into this planting!

The ‘Bush Telegraph’ show is available at on ABC Radio National.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Well done Bill and Jane
Bill and Jane Thompson’s wonderful on-ground support for Gondwana Link received front page recognition in the 11 July 2013 edition of ‘The Great Southern Weekender’. Their replanting of 100 ha of paddock back to bush is an inspiration to us all. Bill and Jane are aiming to put over 200 species into this planting, all selected from the 720 ha of natural bush they look after on their Yarraweyah property, south of Ongerup. And good support here by Carbon Neutral, whose customers provided the bulk of funds for the plantings; the Biodiversity Fund which supported enrichment with an even greater array of local plant species; and Threshold Environmental who undertook the main planting.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Showcasing groups work
Together with a range of colleagues, we've had the pleasure of showing Bob Debus, a key architect of the National Wildlife Corridors Plan, and partner Leela Smith around some of the country we're working in. Here they are in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area with Bush Heritage's Simon Smale and David Whitelaw, along with Lien Imbrechts and Justin Jonson from Threshold Environmental. Highlights of the trip included a well attended reception at the Rats Bar in Albany, an overview of some of the other key areas within the Gondwana Link program (Lindesay Link and Forest to Stirlings), and time on the ground in Ranges Link and Fitz-Stirling.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
‘Gondwana Link: 1000 kilometres of hope’
‘Gondwana Link: 1000 kilometres of hope’ is the title of a chapter in the new publication ‘Linking Australia’s Landscapes: lessons and opportunities from large-scale conservation networks’. Keith Bradby writes “The deliberate strategy of starting the program and building momentum through tangible achievement, rather than through developing an overall prioritised plan, has established Gondwana Link.” Also featured is a chapter by Angela Sanders, Bush Heritage Australia ecologist working in the Link, titled ‘Fitzgerald Biosphere Reserve: a framework for achieving ecological and community sustainability... or is it?’ These two chapters are followed by 18 other examples of good work from Australia and NZ. Book available for $90 from http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/20/pid/6898.htm.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Ngadju representation at the World Indigenous Network Conference
Here's the Ngadju Conservation team (James Schultz, Les Schultz, David Graham and Daniel Graham) visiting Darwin for the World Indigenous Network Conference. Ngadju land straddles the Great Western Woodlands and the Nullarbor. Gondwana Link’s Peter Price organised the trip and we feel really proud that, together with the Pew Environment Group, we have helped these Ngadju men connect with like-minded colleagues from northern Australia and around the world.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
WA Barrier Fence

The State Government’s proposed WA Barrier Fence extension, from east of Ravensthorpe to Cape Arid, received front page coverage in The Australian’s ‘A Plus’ features section (11 April 2013). Gondwana Link’s Keith Bradby is quoted: “How can I work on a nationally recognised connectivity program and not get annoyed about a proposal to build a Berlin wall at right angles to it?”

View the article.

The Wilderness Society, Birdlife Australia, the Conservation Council of WA and Pew Environment Group are also expressing opposition to the extension.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
‘Innovation for 21st Century Conservation’ features Gondwana Link
Gondwana Link has contributed a chapter to ‘Innovation for 21st Century Conservation’, published by the Australian Committee for IUCN Inc. Keith Bradby’s chapter, entitled ‘Gondwana Link: process or plan, movement or organisation?’, includes the statement “We are not seeking to have control over other organisations, nor sit at the top of a hierarchy or pyramid-shaped power structure, nor claim to be a representative ‘umbrella’ organisation. We are focusing on a number of core collective functions, all of which sit under the broad heading of ‘enabling and guiding’ rather than ‘directing’.” Rob Lesslie from ABARE contributed a chapter on the early use of MCAS-S to spatially prioritise work in the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link, and there are chapters from colleague organisations around Australia. The book can be downloaded free from here.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Launch of Millennium Kids book ‘Project Explore’
Great launch at the University of WA of the Millennium Kids book for their ‘PROJECT EXPLORE’ program in the Great Western Woodlands. The book showcases all the programs to date, and how clever these guys are at getting very flash materials produced fast. The book was launched by Environment Minister Bill Marmion, following some inspiring words by WA Chief Scientist Lynn Beazley. Project Explore is a Citizen Science Initiative supported by BHP Billiton Nickel West.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Welcome to Bill and Jane Thompson
An exhilarating and important arrival today – we welcome Bill and Jane Thompson who, after lots of phone calls and visits, have made the plunge and shifted from Queensland’s Glasshouse Mountains to their new property, Yarraweyah, 720 ha of great bush and a lot more paddock, all in a critically important part of the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area. This purchase consolidates the ‘Monjebup cluster’ of properties, which Bush Heritage is currently connecting to Corackerup Nature Reserve. We salute the dedication, foresight and energy of Bill and Jane and look forward to many years of purposeful fun together.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Combining knowledge on assessing vegetation condition
Amanda Keesing and Gondwana Link colleagues have had a hard working three days at University of Queensland in Brisbane, working with a range of scientists and the Australian Centre for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis (ACEAS). The focus was on analysing data from the Great Western Woodlands section of the Link to work out better ways of remotely sensing vegetation condition.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Kalgoorlie Museum features GWW
Great Day at the Kalgoorlie Museum, which has opened a revamped set of displays, including on the Great Western Woodlands area. Here WA Museum CEO Alec Coles, Minister for Culture and the Arts John Day, Kalgoorlie Museum Director Zoe Scott and Gondwana Link’s Great Western Woodland’s Program Manager Peter Price. Location of the display had special significance for Peter, as it sits in the old Poppet Head of the Big Bell mine, which was originally located on his family’s pastoral station near Cue.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Busy birds in revegetated areas
It's springtime across Gondwana Link, and birds are doing what birds do in spring. Over the past few years there have been very encouraging results coming in from Bush Heritage's Ecological Outcomes Monitoring on restored sites within the Link. Many small bird species are returning to the revegetated areas including the threatened Western Whipbird.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Healthy Land-Healthy People
Earlier this year Gondwana Link was approached by the Environmental Officer of the Western Australian Medical Students' Society (WAMSS) about 6th year medical students undertaking plantings to support Gondwana Link. WAMSS purchased trees and seeds and then a group of students undertook the planting and direct seeding for the Ranges Link team just north of the Porongurups, along the Galgajup creekline (in full hospital kit!). WAMSS has arranged to have a permanent site where they can come and plant each year and watch the progress of their restoration. What a great crew! My heart feels better already for this happening.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Gondwana Link moves to new office
The last of the team who have been working together from the Gondwana Link Office on Middleton Road, Albany, just before we go into separate offices and Gondwana Link Ltd sets up independently to focus more on the whole Link. From left it’s Barry Heydenrych (Greening Australia), Angela Sanders, Simon Smale (Bush Heritage), Keith Bradby (GLL), Eugene Eades (Gnarjl Corporation), Justin Jonson (Threshold Environmental), Amanda Keesing (GLL).
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Pillar of Wisdom
Good to see Eugene Eades's work with Noongar youngsters at Nowanup, and the pairing of this work with Gondwana Link, feature in the Weekend Australian Magazine.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Bush Heritage Bash – A Barbecue with Neighbours
Simon Smale and Angela Sanders have hosted their neighbours of our properties to come and enjoy a lunch-time barbecue, followed by site visits to look at the restoration results on Peniup, one of the Bush Heritage/Greening Australia properties in the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Restoration Standards Review
A set of agreed Restoration Standards has been developed to guide work in Gondwana Link, with the initial pilot being the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link. Today we subjected the Standards to a pretty rigorous Peer Review, with the generously provided input of Richard Hobbs (UWA), Ric How (WA Museum), Jan Henry (Ninox Consulting), and Sarah Comer (DEC).
Posted by: Keith Bradby
This is the site for a flourishing habitat?
A gathering of the Ranges Link Conservation Action Planning team - Mark Ward, Barry Heydenrych, Judy Hunt, Heather Adams, Peter Luscombe, and Lucia Quearry - at a rock shelter near Lake Kayermindyip on another scouting trip looking at fencing and revegetation sites near the lake.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Gondwana Link filling the gaps
An appropriately warm story on Gondwana Link work in the Travel section of The Australian newspaper. Thanks Virginia!
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Forest to Stirlings planning well underway
Conservation Action Planning is well underway in the Forests to Stirling section of Gondwana Link. The program is led by Green Skills and the Gillamii Centre, with planning support provided by Gondwana Link through Greening Australia’s Barry Heydenrych.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
The Time Lord of biological systems

Prof Dale Roberts from UWA has presented brilliantly on how even supposedly ‘fragile’ frog species have persisted in the south west for over 25 million years, so far, and how a number of frog species are adapting and evolving within a small number of years to cope with human induced changes to the ecosystem. This was happening in the biodiversity section of a South Coast Climate Change conference yesterday, organised by South Coast NRM. There was a range of important discussion on the durability of the south western Australian ecological systems, how they have coped with the human onslaught so far, and the practicality of micro-managing their future species by species (Nah!).

Gondwana Link’s Keith Bradby spoke to the strengths of an ecological system that has a continuous biological history stretching back over 250 million years, and the ongoing tragedy of mammal loss, while other speakers talked to the genetic robustness of the flora and the benefits and difficulties of modelling the future for individual species. While no-one underestimated the current human induced stresses on the ecosystems and the species, it was wonderful to see the robustness of our Gondwana heritage recognised, with Dale’s talk being the icing on the conservation cake! It was a great day, well done all.

Pictures of the Time Lord of Frogs, south-western Australia’s Sunset Frog, courtesy of Dale Roberts.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Recipes for success
The Ranges Link team have a reputation for incorporating scones, jam and cream and great sandwiches into their planning workshops. But this is only one of their strategies for success, decades of knowledge, years of work and astute judgement calls have helped as well. The team is now implementing their Conservation Action Plan (CAP) through replanting, mapping particular vegetation systems to build their knowledge-base, strategic fencing that excludes stock but incorporates wallaby gates, and monitoring wallabies. CAP guru’s Paula Deegan (left in photo) and Barry Heydenrych have been funded by Gondwana Link program to help with Ranges Link. As in this planning session with group members Peter Luscombe, Lucia Quearry, Judy Hunt and Heather Adams.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Creativity abounded!
Another great week for at Nowanup, with art students from schools across the Great Southern coming together for a Gondwana Youth Arts Camp. Congratulations to Nicki Green and Basil Schur for initiating and running this great event.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Forum on linking landscape and people
Green Skills have just run a great Adult Learners Workshop, which includes this session on the top of Mount Lindesay, in the Walpole Wilderness Area. This Gondwana Link Forum and Seminar focused on 'Linking Landscapes and People across the south west'.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Old shed becomes new homes
Bush Heritage Australia’s Angela Sanders and Simon Smale are loading old wooden planks and corrugated iron ready for the Jerramungup Bush Rangers from Jerramungup High School to recreate reptile and small mammal habitat in the revegetated area at Yarrabee Wesfarmers Reserve. Yarrabee is in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area, adjoining the east end of the Stirling Ranges.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
An overview of Chereninup plantings
The 2003 plantings on Bush Heritage's Chereninup Creek Reserve in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area continue to grow and thicken, but as this photo shows, there's still a long way to go before they'll have the same density and ground cover as the adjoining bush. In the background are the existing protected habitats of Chereninup Creek Reserve, and then the 900 ha of covenanted bushland owned and managed by Brian and Janet Penna. In the foreground is the strip of bush that connects Chereninup Creek Reserve through to Peniup Nature Reserve.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Collaboration in action pays off!
These plantings on Eddy and Donna Wajon's Chingarrup Sanctuary, in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area, are but one result. The Wajon’s interest in supporting Gondwana Link was initially fostered by The Wilderness Society; the property was found and initially surveyed by Keith Bradby, the plantings were undertaken for Eddy and Donna by Greening Australia’s Jack Mercer, as part of their Reconnections program, funded by Shell. Bush Heritage Australia assist with ongoing management through a formal partnership arrangement. Additional science support is being provided through the Conservation Council of WA's Citizen Science program.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Secured in the nick of time!
Natural regeneration is progressing well on Bush Heritage's Beringa Reserve in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area. The land in the foreground is former paddock, tragically cleared and cropped after 1998. Purchase of the property in 2006 was timely, with sufficient seed bank left in the ground for the bush to steadily return under its own steam, helped by some careful management to remove a few weeds left from its brief period under agriculture. The different density of regeneration, showing up as bands, reflect the number of times strips were ploughed and cropped.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Yarrabee restoration progress report
Despite two difficult planting seasons, results from the restoration work on Yarrabee Wesfarmers Reserve is starting to show up from the air. Some 550 hectares of this important property in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area were tackled with biodiverse plantings, and despite windstorms, dry seasons and locust plagues, the work is a valuable contribution to the program. An additional 50ha plantation of sandalwood was added to the southern portion of the property. While still early days, sandalwood growth rates are already exceeding expectations.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Those marvellous megapodes
Those marvellous megapodes, the mallee fowl, are coming to the end of another breeding season, with nest mounds starting to have that 'emptied out' look.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Gondwana Link groups get together
A major gathering at the Denmark Sustainability Centre of lead groups involved in Gondwana Link - the first time we have all been together! Great ‘show and tell’ of efforts underway across the whole 1000 kms, and lots of joint planning and plotting. To quote Margaret Moir from Cape to Capes ‘I thought I was coming to a meeting of strangers, instead I found I was part of a big family’.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Stunning Hibbertia found on private land
This quite stunning plant is Hibbertia selkii. Lucia Quearry from the Friends of the Porongurups groups reports that it was found by Tim Saggers, the Ranges Link fencing contractor, while fencing off bush in their section of the Link. It was an overcast day and the colours were luminous, which increased the excitement. Only a few plants were initially found so the group has raced around looking for more of them. Peter Luscombe, also of Ranges Link, says that although it’s not on the rare and endangered list, prior to finding this population on private land, it had only been known from the Stirling Range National Park.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Water sampling
Paula Deegan sampling a pool in Chereninup Creek Reserve. Creeks are an important target in the Fitz Stirling Functional Landscape Plan, yet we have barely any baseline data on their condition. That is changing.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
The Ranges Link group now has its foot firmly planted on the accelerator
Ongoing sponsorship from Mt. Barker Free Range Chicken, organised in conjunction with Landcare Australia Ltd, is adding significant horsepower. Here, Judy Hunt from Ranges Link and Mark Rintoul, General Manager for Milne Agri Group (owners of Mt Barker Free Range Chicken), proudly pose in front of another truckload of fencing material on its way to protect valuable habitats across the Link.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Cultural Corridors Schools Week
What a great week has just been had at Nowanup, in the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link. Greenings Eugene Eades and South Coast NRM’s Natasha Moore have pulled together another fantastic ‘Biodiversity Week’ for students from all the local schools, which, as the photos show, included a great immersion into Noongar culture, led by a fantastic dance group down from Ballardong country. Everyone got to learn some Noongar words, and hear some great Noongar singing.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Monitoring – an ongoing job
Bush Heritage Ecologist Angela Sanders is well into their Ecological Outcomes Monitoring for this season, with sites being checked on all of the main properties across the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area. In the photo Angela is weighing a honey possum that was captured in a pitfall trap on Greening Australia’s Nowanup Reserve.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Waratah and Elders support fencing in Ranges Link
Ranges Link is doing a fine job of rounding up extra support for their program. Waratah fencing and Elders has been very supportive of the Ranges Link fencing program by helping to provide posts and wire, at a well reduced price. Here David Williamson, Chairperson Oyster Harbour Catchment Group on the left, with Heather Adams of Ranges Link, Tim Saggers, fencing contractor (crouching) celebrate the partnership with Waratah and Elders representatives.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
A magnificent surprise!
Numbats are returning to Ravensthorpe. Heading back from Yallobup Creek at Jerdacuttup, Justin Jonson, Keith Bradby, Aaron Soanes (from CO2 Australia) and young Jack Robertson took a slight detour at Cocanarup, and were delighted when this young Numbat ran across the road, and then posed elegantly for 10 minutes. Turns out this is the offspring of translocated animals released into the area by DEC's Tony Friend. Congratulations Tony, great to see all the hard work paying off.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
ARC funding focuses on Gondwana Link
Hugh Possingham and Kerrie Wilson from the University of Queensland have been successful in gaining Australian Research Council Linkage funds for a program focused on what we need to achieve Gondwana Link, with The Nature Conservancy contributing significant funds to make this possible. We’ve just had a solid ‘start-up’ meeting on the campus in Brisbane with, from the left, Michael Looker (TNC), Ayesha Tulloch (UQ), Trudi Nicki Markus (BHA), David Freudenberger (Greening), Paula Deegan (G Link), Rob Lambeck (Greening), Kerrie Wilson (UQ), Keith Bradby (G Link), Hugh Possingham (UQ).
Posted by: Keith Bradby
'Restoration Ecology' course based in Albany
Albany now not only has its own University, but that University is running a full 'Restoration Ecology' course. Great to be able to support this! This year we have been able to have Keith speak with the students for an hour in the classroom, and then Amanda took them bush for the day, to see restoration underway in the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link. Here a group of second year Restoration Ecology students sit in the Wallaby Grass and look at a 'to be restored' site on Nowanup..
Posted by: Keith Bradby
The sweet smell of success, and wattle blossom
Eddy and Donna Wajon at their Chingarrup Sanctuary in the Fitz-Stirling section of Gondwana Link, together with Barry Heydenrych, who coordinated the restoration work on the property as part of the Greening Australia-Shell Reconnections project. And all that bush in the background? That’s what Barry and Jack Mercer planted there only three and half years earlier.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
School’s environmental and cultural program at Nowanup
Students from 4 local schools visited Nowanup this week as part of an environmental and cultural program coordinated by Natasha Moore (South Coast NRM) and Eugene Eades. Among the many topics and activities was the way in which water systems work, and staff from Department of Water even made a special creek for the occasion, which worked a treat for these students.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
‘Mallet’ plantation on Nowanup
The small ‘mallet’ plantation on Nowanup is growing well. Mallets are a key conservation target, and their straight stems may have commercial potential as poles. Can we grow them to provide habitat and some financial return? We will let you know in a couple of decades.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network tour
A great five days showing some of the highlights of Gondwana Link to guests from the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network. The visit included an afternoon on the Nowanup property and two nights camping in the Great Western Woodlands. Their visit, interest and ongoing support are greatly appreciated.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Carbon sequestration planting at Peniup
Justin Jonson and Sam Crowder checking seed at the carbon sequestration planting on Greening Australia’s Peniup property in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area. This planting got a good burst of prior planning, designed to demonstrate how ‘revegetation’ can be done as science-based ‘ecological restoration’. Planting was also the first carbon funded effort, by arrangement between Greening Australia and Mirabella Lightbulbs. At 250ha it’s ambitious, and it’s always a bit nerve racking when the money has been spent, the seed spread and nothing’s growing – yet. Stay tuned.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Artificial hollows for Carnaby’s cockatoo

Birds Australia have been working hard with members of the Noongar community to establish new nest hollows for Carnaby’s Cockatoo. Dejan Stojanovic at bottom of ladder and Bradley Farmer dangling higher up are connecting one of the hollows to a large marri. Brad hung all of the hollows on Yarrabee and Peniup. These hollows were hung as part of a trial to look at the use of artificial hollows by the Cockatoos. Five sites were selected, a site used for breeding previously but recently burned in a fire, three sites where Carnaby's Cockatoo were regularly seen but not known to breed and one well-used nesting site.

In the photo Brad is hanging an artificial hollow- note the sacrificial chew post in the tube. These posts need to be replaced, sometimes annually after the hollows have been used by a Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo. For this reason (amongst others), it is important that hollows are regularly tended and checked, meaning also that hollows should be hung in areas not likely to have unauthorised visitors (ie. poachers).

The team was Brad, Raana, Dejan, Eugene, Eugene’s daughters and grandson.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
‘The Extraordinary Nature of the Great Western Woodlands’ is released

The Great Western Woodlands goes ‘Live’ (very live in fact). The Wilderness Society, in conjunction with Pew Environmental, The Nature Conservancy and supported by us at Gondwana Link, have launched the very significant report - ‘The Extraordinary Nature of the Great Western Woodlands’. It was a delightful morning at Fraser’s Restaurant in Kings Park with over 100 invited guests, including a strong contingent from the Ngadju Community, Parliamentarians, Departmental representatives, contributing scientists and colleagues plus wide representation from the conservation movement. Ngadju Elder Sonny Graham gave a delightful introduction and a song in Ngadju, after which WA Minister for the Environment David Templeman officially launched the report (with great enthusiasm and verve we should add).

The report is the culmination of research, data analysis and dialogue that has been ongoing since 2004, led by the Wilderness Society but involving a wide group of researchers, 24 of whom contributed sections. With the outstanding and globally significant ecological values of the Woodlands now established, the program will move onto securing better protection and management for the area.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Peniup restoration well underway
Massive effort underway to achieve high standard restoration. Restoration work is well underway on the 2400 hectare Peniup property, purchased jointly by Greening Australia and Bush Heritage Australia. Greening Australia have secured carbon funding from Mirabella Lightbulbs for the first 250hectares, and a very detailed restoration plan has been prepared by Justin Jonson. Justin and Danny ten Seldam have busily transforming a bleak and somewhat degraded farm landscape. Fortunately the peak of their work coincided with the visit by Ami Vitali, so we now have a wonderful photographic record of the work. Ami stayed on the property with Margi Weir, who has taken up residence as Greenings Fitz-Stirling property manager.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Gondwana Link seen through fresh eyes
The joy of a fresh pair of eyes, and good eyes at that. Gondwana Link has enjoyed the company of renowned photographer Ami Vitali over the past week, with Ami's keen eye giving us a fresh perspective on many of the everyday wonders, such as this Banksia coccinea in the Stirling Ranges. Ami was visiting on commission from The Nature Conservancy.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Expert opinions feed into Knowledge Connections program
A healthy mix of top scientists and practitioners met and toured Gondwana Link together over the past few days as part of the ongoing Knowledge Connection project. The work underway to restore the Peniup property provided a good focus for discussions on how to measure change at the site and landscape levels. It’s a tricky business, as different scales give different results, so while progress was made, it seems likely this will be a ‘work in progress’ for some time yet.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
A flying visit
An important visit from The Nature Conservancy's Corporate Conservation Council, pictured here on the Honman Ridge on a bleak autumn day. The Chair and Directors of some of Australia's leading companies were able to see the on- ground work in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area, the vastness of the Great Western Woodlands and the delights of Margaret River, all in one day (it helps to bring your own planes) It was a rushed trip, but we appreciate the time taken and the support provided.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Green Plough exhibition inspired by clearing then restoration

Green Plough inspires further creativity.

The south west story, from the ‘million acres a year’ clearing era through to the emerging restoration era, has inspired artist Ron Nyzistor ‘s latest exhibition, called the Green Plough after an early direct seeding machine built by Greening Australia. Ron’s exhibition of paintings was opened tonight in a function at Gorepani Gallery in Albany, attended by a large crowd of Gondwana Link supporters and Albany’s art connoisseurs. It’s an intriguing collection of work, which ranges from a raw in-your-face portrayal of the D-9 dozers and the damage they can cause, to the delightfully cryptic maps and faces from a landscape that was transformed, and may be again. We thank Ron for his work and insights, and thank Gorepani owner and curator Anne Brandenburg for her ongoing support.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Invertebrate monitoring at Chereninup
We are starting to get a better handle on what a number of key invertebrate species are doing in the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link. Professor Jonathon Major, from Curtin University, has been a solid supporter and now has student Tommy Cheng at work sampling populations across Bush Heritage’s Chereninup Reserve. We helped Tommy to select his sites and introduced him to his on-ground hosts Ross and Rhonda Williams. Then the agenda broadened a bit, as Ross and Rhonda also introduced Tommy to farm life at Gairdner, including having a go at sheep shearing (we suspect Tommy will be sticking to his studies).
Posted by: Keith Bradby
How healthy are those creeks?
Healthy creeks and waterways have been identified as a key target for ecological repair work in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area. Little is known about the area's waterways and almost no data exists. As part of the ‘Knowledge Connections’ project, funded by Lotterywest, Angela Sanders and Paula Deegan have been systematically visiting creeks, including Corackerup and Hegarty Creeks, and starting the work of establishing benchmark data. Thanks to Department of Water for the loan of equipment.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Stabilising erosion and salinity in the Fitz-Stirling’s upper catchment
The firm Sustainable Forestry Management Australasia Ltd has purchased 9700 hectares of farmland in the upper catchment, destocked the properties, and is busy planting tree belts, with an eye on the carbon market. Here, SFMA's Michael Parsons, Lia Shavian and Jeff Douglas show Keith Bradby the mounds prepared for tree belt plantings on their Clearview property.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
The bush is returning to Chingarrup Sanctuary.
On a recent trip in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area, we were delighted to see how well the 2005 plantings are growing. Congratulations to Barry Heydenrych, the Reconnections Program (Greening Australia and Shell), contractor Jack Mercer and, of course, the proud owners, Eddy and Donna Wajon. .
Posted by: Keith Bradby
If we build it will they come?
A major challenge across Gondwana Link is finding the time and resources to evaluate the work done so far and the response of the wildlife. Bush Heritage Australia is showing real leadership with their Ecological Outcomes Monitoring, which is assessing progress on their properties in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area. Here, ecologist Hugh Pringle is assessing vegetation transects on the replanted section of Chereninup Creek Reserve.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
A long way from THE Mediterannean, but still mediterannean?
The Nature Conservancy’s Mediterranean Science team visited Gondwana Link this week, and we took them on a quick trip along the Link from Albany to Kalgoorlie. California based Scott Morrison, Rebecca Shaw and Steve Johnson were joined by Australian Program staff from the Conservancy’s Melbourne office, Barry McDonald and Kerrie Wilson. We plunged them into the landscape at Mt Trio in the Stirling Ranges and saw whole paddocks being returned to bush in the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link. The Southern Ocean Right Whales, and their new born calves, astounded us with their dignity and grace off Point Anne. We made the Lake King Tavern on the second evening, just in time for the Netball Grand Final celebrations, the ultimate cultural immersion for our visitors, and spent the final day in the mighty woodlands and heathlands east of the Barrier Fence. Their immensity and richness always astound us, and did so once again. But this time we were able to have some pretty serious discussions about their global importance, and learnt more than we expected about the effects of genetic isolation on the invertebrate populations in ephemeral pools on the scattered granite tors that bring some relief into that ancient and subdued landscape. Paula Deegan also had a fleeting glimpse of what we assume to be a Woylie, and the rest of the team located a number of their characteristic diggings and resting spots. It was great to get these valued second opinions on the value of our work, and talk through opportunities to bring a much needed increase in scientific study of the area.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
An Elder of the Sciences meets an Elder of the Eucalypts.
The Wild Country Science team is currently on survey work in the magnificent woodlands east of the wheatbelt. Distinguished biologist Henry Nix, pictured with his wife Katherine, had the opportunity to spend time in the shade of ‘Big Bertha’, one of the many ancient Salmon Gums growing in the area. This tree is thought to be over 500 years old.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
More acres going back to bush
Replanting of Greening Australia's Nowanup property has taken a big step forward with nearly 100 hectares planted using the latest version of the Green Plough. And who should happen by while the work was in full swing, but Ron Geatz and colleagues from The Nature Conservancy. Could they resist the lure of a big machine at work? Danny ten Seldan was good enough to stop the machine while he and Justin Jonson gave Ron and colleagues an update on progress in restoring the property (and they got to kick the tyres).
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Planting a crop that will last forever
The immensity of the restoration work underway is evident here, as Justin Jonson from Greening Australia checks germination of the 250 ha direct seeding recently completed on part of the Peniup property, in the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link. With the best science and best machinery he can muster, we suspect those fingers are still crossed until he sees what the season brings.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Another major property purchase!
A magnificent and strategically placed 2400 ha has just been jointly secured by Bush Heritage Australia and Greening Australia WA, with legalities finalised this week. And just in the nick of time as well. This 2400ha property has 910 hectares of high conservation native bushland along with 340 hectares of cleared land that will now be left to regenerate naturally, and we think it will, though another few years could have seen the seed store in the soil sadly depleted. Although an incredibly challenging task, the rest of the property, some 1150 hectares of cleared farmland, is scheduled for restoration, with work already underway. Along with its extensive granite based heaths, mature mallee and pockets of moort, the property has two major waterways, Hegarty and Peniup Creeks flowing through it, with some major pools.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Before and after photos at Chingarrup

Before and after photos are starting to tell a good story. The photo points on Chingarrup Sanctuary show the establishment of 40ha of vegetation through direct seeding. The first photo was taken 26 October 2005, when the planting in April that year was just germinating. The second photo shows, from 7 August 2007, shows great establishment and growth. The planting was funded and arranged by Greening Australia as part of their Reconnections program, and planted by Jack Mercer using a modified Chatfield planter.

By all reports Chingarrup’s owners, Eddy and Donna Wajon, are more than happy with the results. That’s understandable!

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Fungi richness

A few good rains gets the fungi going, and mycologist Katie Syme. Katie has recently completed a fungi and truffle hunt on Bush Heritage’s Chereninup Creek Reserve. Here is a selection of the wonderful specimens she found.

Just as the work of earlier botanists has opened our eyes to the exceptional richness of south-western Australia, so Katie’s work is uncovering a significant unrealised dimension to that richness – the decomposers that seem to sit somewhere between the plant and animal kingdoms. Katie’s words from this 2004 interview give a glimpse into the excitement of the work underway: “The thrill of the hunt! I just grab my bucket, my waxed lunch wrap, some plastic containers, and my trusty truffle rake, and off I go and collect a few species … I’ve made 1302 fully documented collections so far. Anybody who looks for fungi in Australia would have found new species – can’t help it because so little is known about them, so I find that really exciting. I can just open my front door, walk down the road, find a new species of fungi, come back and have a cup of tea.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
More fungi
The previous post had some of the fungi Katrina Syme has found but they are just so varied and interesting that we wanted to share more photos. Here they are. Aren’t they amazing?
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Monjebup Reserve - a new conservation area for the Link

Another major conservation area joins the Link. After more than three years of negotiation, survey and subdivision, Bush Heritage has achieved final property settlement on its brand new Monjebup Reserve. Congratulations to all involved, on both securing this wonderful property and for displaying impressive tenacity.

The property contains some of the most intact land in the region, so its purchase significantly improves nature conservation prospects amongst the cluster of habitat protected in this part of the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area, including the 4300 ha Corackerup Nature Reserve, Greening Australia’s 760ha Nowanup property and the 870 ha Bush Heritage Chereninup Creek Reserve.

Securing Monjebup is also important in its own right. It includes geologically significant landforms and disjunct populations of rare plants, such as the Sandplain sun orchid (Thelymitra psammophila), Corackerup moort (Eucalyptus vesiculosa) and Eucalyptus arborella. The western whipbird and malleefowl, both nationally vulnerable, are also known to live on Monjebup.

The next challenge is for BHA science staff to fully survey the area, which has no vehicle access and contains much rugged country – making it some of the least accessible bushland in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area. No doubt there is much more to be found.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Rivers of sand and what to do about them!
Peniup neighbours John and Helen Farrington discuss how to restore the pools on their property 'Saltbush'. The trip was organised as part of the Fitz-Stirling Knowledge Connection project, following an offer from the Department of Water to assist with planning for improving creek health in the central link. The visit to Peniup and the neighbouring property highlighted the issues, particularly the scale of work needed to recover rock pools (much needed as refugia) that are now filled by sand slugs.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Ngadju show us over their country
Ngadju leaders have been good enough to spend time showing the Wilderness Society team over some of the wonderful country east of the wheatbelt. Many thanks to Phil Drayson from Goldfields Land and Sea Council for organising the trip.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
The Nowanup Meeting Place is launched, in style!
Kaya! Kaya! Two years after the Elders decided to establish a meeting place, and after it had been constructed and used for many, many events and gatherings, the Meeting Place was formally launched. Noongar Elders organised the event with Greening Australia, and invited WA Minister for Environment David Templeman to do the honours. He did that well, starting with five minutes of fluent Noongar, stunning all of us who had no idea that he was fluent. It was a great way to round off a great day. Special congratulations to Eugene Eades, who has worked long and hard to bring the project to fruition.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Nowanup School Week
Students participating in the Nowanup School Week had the joy of seeing this little honey possum, which was captured in a pitfall trap and then released. Greening Australia’s Nowanup property, which is in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area, has been the focus of many school visits from all the surrounding primary schools, including Gairdner, Bremer Bay, Ongerup and Jerramungup.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Yarrabee Wesfarmers Reserve launch, central Gondwana Link
Over 150 of us had a great day giving the Yarrabee property a good welcome into Gondwana Link, and celebrating the growth in the larger Fitz-Stirling program. The property, now known as Yarrabee Wesfarmers Reserve, is a vital connector in the chain of properties stretching from the Stirlings towards Fitzgerald River National Park. Bush Heritage, Greening Australia and Wesfarmers are to be congratulated on this outstanding acquisition. A great day on the property was capped by everyone helping with the direct seeding. We all then retired to Stirling Range Retreat for a celebration dinner, arranged wonderfully by Eventuate and the talented, hard-working Borden community.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Cutting trees up so we can plant some more

Work is moving ahead to produce hard numbers for the tonnage of carbon sequestered by native bush across Gondwana Link. Justin Jonson is developing allometric equations for a number of key eucalypt species, which involves weighing the entire root, stem, branch and foliage biomass of a number of key eucalypts. This Eucalyptus occidentalis (yate) trunk gives some idea of the scale and labour intensity of this work (the tree was one of many still being cleared across the area). The Nature Conservancy is funding the work.

No living trees were harmed during the production of these allometrics.

(The allometric equation is an equation that represents the relationship between tree size (and carbon held) and tree age. This equation is different for each species as species have different growth rates).

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Nature Conservancy visit
Great visit by The Nature Conservancy's CEO Steve McCormick with Asia Pacific program Director Russell Leaman and Australia Program Director Michael Looker. Gondwana Link's Keith Bradby accompanied them on the trip, which started with a flight into the heart of the Great Western Woodlands and included a celebration cheque handover on the Link’s Nowanup property with Eugene and Aden Eades and Bush Heritage's Angela Sanders. Funds were raised as part of the recent 'G'day USA' function in New York.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Story on The Science Show

Another helpful story on The Science Show … “The south west of Western Australia is one of the world's 25 biodiversity hotspots. But it's under threat. Alexandra de Blas speaks to scientists working to save and protect the endangered plants and animals.”

Interviewees are Dr Kinglsey Dixon, Kings Park and Botanic Garden; Keith Bradby, Gondwana Link; Professor Brendan Mackey, Australian National University; Eugene Eades, Noongar Traditional Owner; Justin Jonson, Greening Australia.

Click here to view the transcript on the ABC Radio National website.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Dinner under a whale?

A gala event in New York has launched a major new partnership. But before the event Nature Conservancy Australia Program Director Michael Looker had to give Gondwana Link Coordinator Keith Bradby some tie tying tips. Ties in place they then headed off to the New York Museum of Natural History for a ‘G’day USA’ fundraising dinner, where The Nature Conservancy and Pew Charitable Trusts jointly announced a $12 million ‘Wild Australia’ program. Hosted by the Australian Consul General John Olsen, the event was a celebration of Australian conservation and biodiversity, with a special focus on The Nature Conservancy’s Australia program. The key note presentation was from Steve McCormick, CEO of The Nature Conservancy. Steve made special mention of Gondwana Link in his presentation of the TNC’s work in Australia.

Among the 400 guests were many of our American colleagues and supporters including Peg Olsen, Olivia Millard, Kent Wommack, and Trustees and staff from TNC’s Maine Chapter, as well as Bush Heritage Australia Chair Phillip Toyne, and Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer. The evening was held under a life size model of a blue whale and featured aboriginal dancers from the Kimberley, Noongar dancer and musician Richard Whalley, Australian artist Brendon Darby, celebrity chef Shannon Bennett and songs from the Qantas choir. According to Keith 'It was a night when I was very proud to be Australian, and delighted to see the good work underway in Australia so strongly supported and warmly received." 

While in New York, Keith also recorded a ‘sense of place’ interview in Central Park for the NPR (National Public Radio) network. Photo by Olivia Millard (who also fed and shepherded the bewildered Bradby).

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Launch of Knowledge Connections program
Launch of Knowledge Connections at Albany Museum by Robert Lambeck, CEO Greening Australia WA, and Lloyd Stewart, Lotterywest. Lotterywest have made a significant contribution to conservation planning in the Fitz-Stirling section, with $400,000 to Bush Heritage and Greening Australia for a joint ‘Knowledge Connection’ program to underpin the initial Conservation Action Plan with improved science and the tools needed for monitoring progress and managing key issues. A big help up for Gondwana Link work, celebrated at a big launch at the Albany Residency Museum.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
What a great couple of days

Gondwana Link’s Keith Bradby was a guest at two major lunches and launches, one in Melbourne and the next in Sydney, in which David Thomas announced the Thomas Foundation’s $10million challenge grant ‘to arrest the decline of biodiversity in Australia’. Arranged in conjunction with, and managed through, the Nature Conservancy Australia program, these funds will match dollar for dollar donations to three major programs in Australia, one of which is Gondwana Link. So we had better get our skates on to make the most of this wonderful opportunity.

Our admiration and a big thank you go to David and Barbara Thomas for both their astuteness and their generosity. David has stressed to us that he is not giving away any money, he is investing it in all our futures. What a great attitude.

Thanks also to The Nature Conservancy, particularly Michael Looker, for their wise nurturing and support of this great initiative.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
It really is beautiful country
One of the many uplifting photos taken by Barbara Madden in the Great Western Woodlands. Thanks Barb for allowing us to use these photos to promote the area!!
Posted by: Keith Bradby
A major new organisation comes to Australia
Hank Cauley from Pew Charitable Trusts joined Michael Looker from The Nature Conservancy on a tour of Gondwana Link, starting with a quick visit to Albany and the work inland, before an in-depth visit through the Great Western Woodlands hosted by The Wilderness Society’s Simon Judd, Alexander Watson and David Mackenzie. The trip is part of discussions between TNC and Pew about Pew having a greater role in Australian conservation work.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
From the forest to the mallee!
Networking and cross fertilisation of ideas is a valued outcome. Members of the Walpole Nornalup National Park Association travel east to see the Link’s work in the Fitz-Stirling area, including restoration progress on the Nowanup property, where this photo was taken. Many groups across the Link are keen to see the on-ground work, meet the people involved, and explore the different landscape, geology and vegetation types of neighbouring areas.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Big week out bush for local schools
It’s been a busy week at Nowanup, with students from all the local schools visiting for days of cultural learning, creative work and exploring the bush on the property. The visits are part of program led by South Coast NRM’s Natasha Moore, in conjunction with Eugene Eades and other Greening Australia staff.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Honey Possum meets Honey!
This young honey possum is being given a drink of honey dissolved in water to send it on its way after being captured in a pitfall trap on Greening Australia’s Nowanup property. The energy boost will help it find shelter for the day as these animals are mainly nocturnal. The trapping was undertaken by Bush Heritage’s Angela Sanders as part of Nowanup School Week.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Healing land and people
Building on the momentum that has led to the Nowanup Meeting Place being developed, Eugene Eades has led a program which saw over 120 Noongar men come to the region for a weekend of talking, sharing and the first night dancing for decades. With much appreciated support from the Borden community they camped at the Borden Pavilion, with the day’s proceedings mainly held at Nowanup (which is not yet ready for 120 at once!) and including a visit to the Nightwell, an important cultural site. A number of the men were victims of the Stolen Generation years, and there were some sad stories shared.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
The 2006 Great Walk
The 2006 Great Walk tackled the gap between the Stirling Ranges and the Walpole Wilderness Area, camping along the way. Gondwana Link enthusiast and Great Walk Network organiser Basil Schur w took the walking group through a number of key sites for Gondwana Link’s emerging 'Forest to Stirlings' program. Keith Bradby (and his little helper, Mr Wrigglebum) caught up with them and talked about how the broader Link is being built. The walkers finished their journey at the delightful Blue Lake in Mt Lindesay National Park. View more photos and information about this and other Great Walk Network trips through Gondwana Link at http://www.greatwalknetwork.org/home/walking-the-gondwana-link
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Bush Heritage’s Ecological Outcomes Monitoring
Mal Graham begins the first Ecological Outcomes Monitoring session on Chereninup Reserve. This program is carried out across Australia at most Bush Heritage reserves and is designed to tell us how the bush is faring under our management. At each site a 50 metre transect is set up to monitor changes in the vegetation, soil surface and tree health over time. Birds are surveyed at the same site each spring during the breeding season.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
The next generation of restorers is getting ready!
University of WA 2nd year Restoration Ecology course students spent the day with Gondwana Link's Amanda Keesing at Yarrabee Wesfarmers Reserve in the Fitz-Stirling section of Gondwana Link.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Bush Heritage’s Spring 2006 newsletter
Bush Heritage’s Spring 2006 newsletter features Bush Heritage Conservation Programs Manager Stuart Cowell’s neat summary of Gondwana Link’s progress to date: “So far, so good! Together, Bush Heritage and its supporters, and Greening Australia WA, have purchased 5353 hectares, and by the end of this planting season will have regenerated 1158 hectares of this overall area.” The properties secured to date (Chereninup Creek Monjebup, Yarrabee and Nowanup along with the public Corackerup Nature Reserve and private conservation reserves, is creating a core of connected properties in the heart of the link we are building between the Fitzgerald River and Stirling Range National Parks.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Wesfarmers in the Fitz-Stirling!
The planting work on Yarrabee got a lot of helpers this week when Wesfarmers brought down a busload of key corporate staff, including CEO Richard Goyder and Corporate Affairs Manager Keith Kessell. The conditions were perfect to give our visitors the full planting experience – freezing cold and relentlessly windy. Nonetheless, nearly 10 000 seedlings went in, and staff saw other restoration work underway, including the direct seeding machinery hard at it. Replanting of the 600 cleared hectares on Yarrabee is in full swing, made possible through Wesfarmers initial contribution to enable land purchase, and Commonwealth Government funding through South Coast NRM for the planting work. Yarrabee is jointly owned by Greening Australia and Bush Heritage Australia, and is a critical property adjoining Stirling Range National Park. This is where the completed Link will eventually connect with the park.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Banksia Award finalists
Congratulations to Greening Australia and Shell for being a finalist in the Land and Biodiversity section of this year’s Banksia Awards! This is a fitting recognition for what has proved to be a very effective and popular program, underpinning much of the work of achieving Gondwana Link’s Fitz-Stirling section. And an opportunity for us all to see what Greening’s Barry Heydenrych looks like dressed up (not bad!).
Posted by: Keith Bradby
A Meeting Place for all.
With guidance from his Noongar Elders and a team of energetic young Noongar men, Eugene Eades has commenced work on a bush meeting place at Greening Australia’s Nowanup property. The Meeting Place design is based on a traditional camp, with a centre fire-place and seats around. Many of the materials came from the property.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Thomas Foundation visit Gondwana Link
A visit from David Thomas and his colleagues in the Thomas Foundation, along with Kent Wommack and Michael Looker from The Nature Conservancy. Great to be able to show off work in Gondwana Link to some of our wonderful supporters, against the beautiful back-drop of the Stirling Ranges. The Foundation was on a flying trip (literally) around Australia, from its home base in Queensland, to visit a number of programs it supports.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Custom build native seeding machine gets sowing
Restoration techniques are constantly evolving and improving in their efficiency and biodiversity outcome. Part of this involves adapting or redesigning machinery to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of native seed placement, as well as being able to apply different seed mixes in one pass of a machine. Today there was a formal launch at ‘The Lily, north of the Stirling Range, of a new machine designed by Geoff Woodall from the Centre for Excellence in Natural Resource Management working with Greening Australia staff. Funding support for design and construction came from the Reconnections (GAWA/Shell Australia project) and the machine was manufactured by Pedericks of Darkan.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
North Albany High School students get involved
Students from North Albany Senior High School help with a trial of brush mulching on difficult clay soils as part of their visit to Greening Australia’s Nowanup property. Greening's Chris Robinson shows the students how to position the branches cut from local moort trees. Also during this visit, Noongar Elders shared their cultural heritage with the younger generation. The visit was organised through the NRM 'Restoring Connections' program.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
New supporters tour the Fitz-Stirling area
Birute Greenhalgh from Greening Australia and Kate Fitzherbert from Bush Heritage have led a tour of supporters across the Fitz-Stirling section of Gondwana Link. Here they are looking at revegetation on the Chereninup Creek Reserve.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Green Skills field day
A visit to Lake Matilda and a spirited discussion on the many meanings of sustainability were among the highlights of this Field Day in the Link’s Forest to Stirlings area. Agricultural consultant David Rees, a long time colleague and friend of many of us, was able to help the group wrestle with the issue of how agriculture and wildlife can live together. Other highlights included seeing the great landcare work already underway and the many Land for Wildlife areas being protected and managed. Well done Green Skills for organising the day.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Stop fooling, this is serious!
The sodic clays soils at Greening Australia’s Nowanup property present particular challenges for restoration. Here a team from Shell are trialling brush mulching on Nowanup under the guidance of Greening Australia’s Chris Robinson and Barry Heydenrych. Branches with seed bearing nuts are laid into furrows. As the sun and wind dry the nuts, the seeds mature, fall to the ground and grow in the protection and micro-climate provided by the parent branch. This technique has been a very useful way of increasing the population of Corackerup Moort (Euc. vesiculosa) which is found at only a few locations including two of the Gondwana Link properties in the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Noongar women restoring connections to country
David Guilfoyle, NRM ‘Restoring Connections’ project co-ordinator has organised this very significant trip of Noongar women into the Pallinup valley, visiting important sites where many of them had lived and worked before, and to Greening Australia’s Nowanup property. Most of the women live in Albany, and for many it was their first trip out to country in a very long time. One of the families present was represented by four generations. The women particularly enjoyed seeing the work that is being done to help revegetate the property.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
How much carbon do our trees hold?
More destructive carbon sampling work underway this week to determine how much carbon is being sequestered by existing native vegetation. Data is being logged on-site and again after the stems and branches have been dried. The flat topped yate being sampled here is looking good as a strong sequester of above ground carbon. The work is being undertaken as part of the Shell-Greening Australia Reconnections project.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Adding new species to the mix
Trials of innovative techniques are a must to advance restoration success. Here a group of local supporters on tour to the Fitz-Stirling area are intrigued by the difficulties involved in getting seed from different Proteaceous and Myrtaceous species. For part of this year's planting on Yarrabee, in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area, contractor Jack Mercer chopped seed bearing stems through a garden mulcher and then spread the material with an agricultural spreader.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Supporters visit the Fitz-Stirling area
A tour of supporters visited the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link today, as part of Gondwana Link Great Southern Ark Tour led by Birute Greenhalgh from Greening Australia. Nowanup and the Indigenous program running there, was one of the many highlights.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Photography from the inside?
In 2005, the MIX Artists collective in Albany approached Gondwana Link about involvement in their ‘Hotspot’ events and exhibition for the 2006 Perth International Arts Festival. We jumped at the opportunity to be involved and contributed to a ‘Hotspot’ community symposium to develop exhibition projects for this year, as well as giving some extra support to Ian Weir as he developed his ‘lightsite’ exhibition. For this segment of ‘Hotspots’ Ian has built a huge pinhole camera and used it to photograph both what was outside and inside the camera - an experimental way to capture in one image the personal and the landscape aspects of an area. ‘Photos’ were taken at a number of sites, including local farms and the greening Australia property at Nowanup.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Taking off in the New Year.
A female Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo takes off from a Flame Grevillea at the (slowly regenerating) farmed areas of the Forrestania Research Plots. These were established in the 1960’s, with the aim of providing useful data on crop yields so that the extensive sandplains east of the Rabbit proof Fence could be opened up for farming. That plan didn’t proceed fortunately, and this Cockatoo belongs to one of the eastern most populations, with nesting occurring to the western border on the Great Western Woodlands. A fitting symbol of survival and renewal to start 2006 with!
Posted by: Keith Bradby
A Canberra paddock?
Gondwana Link’s Keith Bradby was guest speaker at a ‘Science in the paddock’ breakfast briefing in Canberra. The topic ‘Science in the restoration of paddocks’ was an opportunity for Keith to talk about Gondwana Link’s work and to reflect on his 25 years of experience in south-western Australia, thinking about and being part of change and growth in the way we look at and look after landscapes. Strong messages were the urgency of action needed, the fact that we know much of what we need to take action at an exponential scale. Thanks to Andrew Campbell in Land & Water Australia and Christine Ellis in Greening Australia for organising the event.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
There’s carbon in them there trees?
We know that every planting program produces trees and shrubs that sequester carbon, but we don’t know how much carbon. If we had that extra bit of knowledge, then it’s possible the emerging carbon market may help fund the much needed restoration work across Gondwana Link. As part of the Shell-Greening Australia Reconnections project, Greening’s Barry Heydenrych is working to measure the carbon in key species. The work involves destructive carbon sampling of selected plants by reducing them to piles of dried sticks (roots and all) to which you add some existing science and mathematics, supported by the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting, to deduce the carbon content.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Fauna survey of Honman Ridge
Black-naped snake with Charles Roche during the fauna survey for Honman Ridge. Charles is The Wilderness Society’s “outback campaigner”, working for better protection and management of the public land north-east of Ravensthorpe and east of the Rabbit Proof Fence. Zoologists Barry Traill and Susie Duncan led the survey program for the area, which is now being documented into report form.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
These cute animals can melt even the hardest heart!
Although it is called a Pygmy Possum, this little marsupial is not related to the larger possums. They have a prehensile tail for gripping branches and as well as eating insects and spiders, they also feed on nectar from many of our flowering plants in the area.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
How to conserve the amazing botanical richness across Gondwana Link.
That was the main topic of conversation during this visit of eminent scientists. Pictured here, sheltering from the elements in Wajon’s shed at Chingarrup Sanctuary, are Steve Hopper, UWA’s Professor of Plant Conservation Biology , Guy Groenewegen (Kings Park volunteer), Chris Robinson from Greening Australia, Luke Sweedman from Kings Park, Dr Lyndon Lee, a hydrogeomorphologist from Seattle, Mrs and Dr Robin Probert (Head of Seed Technology, Millennium Seed Bank, Kew Gardens), Emma Underwood, Mediterranean ecosystems specialist from University of California, Davis, and Dr Peggy Fiedler (ecological scientist from San Francisco). Their visit took in a number of restoration properties in the Link's Fitz-Stirling area, including the recent plantings on Chingarrup Sanctuary and Nowanup.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
How cute can a key conservation target get?
Black-gloved wallabies, are the second largest macropod in south-western Australia, but seem to have almost entirely escaped conservation attention or significant scientific scrutiny. Our work on the overall plan for the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link has identified them as a key conservation target, and with generous financial support from a key supporter, work is now underway to document their population levels and critical habitat needs. And not just because they are cute. These wallabies are in decline across much of south western Australia, and we’d like to keep them off the rare and endangered list.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Noongar Elders visit the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area
An important and memorable day with Noongar Elders in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area. We shared our stories and explored how the Gondwana Link program can better support the aspirations and needs of the Noongar communities of the region. One highlight was a visit to the Link’s Nowanup property, which is being made available to the Noongar community for ongoing use. Another was the many stories shared along the way – what could have been a long and tiring drive became an exciting journey through a landscape alive with stories and memories. Pictured are Eugene Eades, Eliza Woods, Auntie Alma Woods, Aden Eades, David Guilfoyle, Bill Woods and Bill Woods senior.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
More on those wonderful woodlands
Those wonderful woodlands! A major science expedition is underway in the woodlands end of Gondwana Link. As part of the Wilderness Society’s Wild Country Science program, and with additional funding from the Australian Research Council, Professor Brendan Mackey and the team from the Australian National University, plus noted zoologist Professor Harry Recher been establishing and surveying a series of vegetation quadrats across this massive natural area. The survey team also includes Sandy Berry and Kerry Ironside from ANU, with lots of ground support from The Wilderness Society’s Charles Roche. A key aim is to dig deeper into how the area functions ecologically, with a major part of this year’s work happening west of Widgiemooltha.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Those wonderful woodlands!
A major science expedition is underway in the woodlands end of Gondwana Link. As part of the Wilderness Society’s Wild Country Science program, and with additional funding from the Australian Research Council, Professor Brendan Mackey and the team from the Australian National University, plus noted zoologist Professor Harry Recher been establishing and surveying a series of vegetation quadrats across this massive natural area. The survey team also includes Sandy Berry and Kerry Ironside from ANU, with lots of ground support from The Wilderness Society’s Charles Roche. A key aim is to dig deeper into how the area functions ecologically, with a major part of this year’s work happening west of Widgiemooltha.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
The wet desert?
Given our normally fine weather, what could bring on a week of rain and windstorms? How about a visit from desert specialists? This week we have had the entire film and production crew from the long running documentary Desert Speaks (there’s four in the team, and they have put out the impressive tally of 13 half hour episodes a year for the past 12 years). On the basis that they have never lost a shoot due to bad weather, we kept talking and they kept filming. A great team to work with, part of Arizona Public Media, an initiative of the University of Arizona. Many thanks to our Nature Conservancy colleagues for arranging and supporting this trip. Their documentary on Mending Australia’s Ancient Forest is expected to screen next year across the USA.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Shell Reconnection program connects
A great few days with Greening staff and Shell senior staff planting in the Links Fitz-Stirling area. This is the second year of plantings in the huge task of restoring cleared land on the Nowanup property, with busloads of senior staff from Shell Development Australia arriving to help out with this important work, as part of their ‘Reconnections’ project with Greening Australia (and this time it wasn’t wet, cold and windy). We’re very grateful for the effort Shell staff and families are putting in here. We joined with the NRM funded restoring Connections program on a tour to appreciate Bluff Knoll, with the sounds of the didgeridoo (skilled and learning) ringing out across the hills.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Refining the plan for the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link
Another important couple of days revising and refining the Conservation Action Plan for the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link. A stellar team has assembled and been duly locked away for two days of attributes and stresses, not to mention sources of stress and strategic actions.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
A delight to see
This echidna was seen in a sheoak (Allocasuarina) patch being a bit nosey about all the work underway in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area. Though rarely seen, their fresh scratchings are quite common across the area, suggesting these delightful animals are surviving well. As they are a monotreme and therefore lay eggs, they are a great reminder of how special Australian wildlife is.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Micheal Looker has new role in TNC
Congratulations to our friend and colleague Michael Looker, for his new role as Australia Program Director with The Nature Conservancy. Michael first met a number of us in central Queensland during 2001, at the Conservancy’s first workshop in Australia on Conservation Planning. Michael’s previous role was as CEO of Victoria’s Trust for Nature.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Two visits in one car!
A busy day out in the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link with Tim Beatley, Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities at the University of Virginia, and Angie Sosdian, from The Nature Conservancy head office in Arlington. Both here for different reasons, but a very enjoyable and compatible pair to explore the bush with and show off the latest work. Tim is writing a book on environmental planning ‘down under’, while Angie is here providing much appreciated advice and insights into our overall program.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Keith Brady receives well deserved recognition
Paula Deegan and John Simpson celebrate with Keith Bradby his selection as the Great Southern Development Commission's Natural Resource Management medal winner for 2005. Keith was presented the Medal by WA’s Minister for Agriculture at a dinner attended by government and community representatives from across the Great Southern region.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Hotspot project with the MIX artists
Proud to support some stirring of the creative juices, in the Hotspot Symposium organised by the Albany-based group MIX Artists. The event was part of the Hotspot cultural project in which artists and others are focussing on the environment and history of the Great Southern region through community projects and preparations for an exhibition in early 2006. Speakers, including Paula Deegan, Ross Williams, Harley Coyne and Ian Weir, shared stories, ideas and information about the physical and cultural landscape of the Great Southern region, including Noongar history and culture, landcare projects and the vision Gondwana Link groups are now working to achieve.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Corackerup moort population grows
On Nowanup, around 50 hectares has been direct seeded so far this planting season, as part of the Shell-Greening Australia Reconnections project. The seed mix was predominantly moort (Eucalyptus platypus subsp. platypus) and Corackerup moort (E. vesiculosa). The use of the rare Corackerup moort in revegetation is a first. This beautiful small tree with pendulous brick-red flowers was only noticed in the mid-1990s and described in 2002. It is extremely localised in its natural distribution, known only from the Corackerup area. Nowanup already has some of the remaining populations, and once this planting grows will soon have the world’s largest known populations.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Restoration underway at Chingarrup Sanctuary
Restoration work is well underway on Eddy and Donna Wajon’s Chingarrup Sanctuary in the Link’s Fitz-Stirling area. With funding from Shell Development Australia, through its Reconnections partnership with Greening Australia, contractor Jack Mercer is shown here direct seeding a further 38 ha on Chingarrup, The first 8 ha of this restoration work was undertaken in the winter of 2004, and the goal is to replant virtually all of the degraded farmland on the property to a total of around 64 ha.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Documenting Gondwana Link’s story
While the program may be changing, the original friendships remain rock solid. Peg Olsen (ex TNC, now Audubon), Olivia Millard (TNC), and Daniel Kemp (TNC Asia Pacific Business Manager) were good enough to make the long journey across the pacific, and the country, to spend some time at Bremer Bay with the core Gondwana Link team. Olivia and Peg, backed up by Daniel and others in Arlington, were instrumental in moving the idea of Gondwana Link to a reality through their personal and organisational support, donations and links to a major donor. We all thought it was important to ‘capture the inside story’ while it was fresh in all our minds, and to analyse progress for good ideas and mistakes made. We used guided discussions, story telling sessions and formal recorded interviews to document the history so far and the lessons learned. And we enjoyed each other’s company, as well as bird watching at Wellstead Estuary. Thanks to Mark and Bindi for the loan of their lovely home.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Major joint fund-raising program launched!
Today saw the launch in Perth the of Great Southern Arc campaign, a joint effort by Bush Heritage Australia and Greening Australia to raise the considerable funds needed to secure and restore key properties in the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link. The joint campaign has been developed with strong support from The Nature Conservancy, including through the two fellowship staff, Jane Howard and Cary Nicholas, they made available. The launch was a gala luncheon sponsored by Freehills and hosted by Urban Development Institute of Australia. A network of committees has been formed to support the campaign, involving a wide spectrum of supporters.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
‘Great Walk Through Gondwana Link’ exhibition
A good crowd for the opening of the ‘Great Walk Through Gondwana Link’ exhibition at the Albany Public Library, featuring photographs and artworks from the October 2004 Great Walk between the Fitzgerald River and Stirling Range National Parks.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Gondwana Liminal?

Liminal spaces or states refer to the thresholds or transitional states betwixt and between one space or state and another. They may be physical, cultural, social or ecological, and make for a great summer workshop in Bremer Bay considering the luminal aspects of Gondwana Link. Albany’s MIX Artist group did a great job organising this workshop, which included members of the Fitzgerald Biosphere Group and Friends of Fitzgerald River National Park. Presentations on Gondwana Link and the Fitzgerald Biosphere Biological Review were followed by discussions of luminal spaces and states seen in the Fitz-Stirling region and photographic sessions around Bremer Bay. The images and writings will be used to construct an exhibition to be shown in Albany (4-27 February 05) as part of the Perth International Arts Great Southern Festival.

Amanda represented Gondwana Link, and was joined by Wilderness Society intern Nina Rabe and Paula Deegan (as consultant for the Fitzgerald Biosphere Biological Review).

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Restoration Not Revegetation?
There is a big difference between the two, and to achieve Gondwana Link we have to aim for ecologically effective restoration rather than just tree planting. So, to help move our thinking along, we asked a bundle of experts to join us at Albany's Camp Quaranup to wrestle with the issue for a day. Fauna consultant Jan Henry said common sense is needed and when you’re looking for reptiles “there is no room for aesthetics – sheets of tin are best”. Entomologist and Head of Environmental Biology at Curtin University Professor Jonathan Majer argued that material discarded after mining operations could play a key role in new revegetation strategies: “We need to change our revegetation technique so that junk is thrown back in”. Dr Simon Judd said “it’s important to replace old logs when revegetating pasture paddocks as they were habitat for and a good way to reintroduce invertebrates”. We capped the seminar off with a visit the following day to Peter Luscombe’s property north of the Porongurups, which gave us an opportunity to review 20 years of revegetation/restoration work using a variety of techniques. Special thanks to presenters Wendy Bradshaw, Angela Sanders, Simon Judd, Jonathon Major, Neale Bougher, Mark Garkarkalis and Rob Lambeck, to SCRIPT for funds to support the day, and to Wendy for all the work she put in organising it.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Exhibition showcases UWA students work on Gondwana Link
‘Read all about it!’ The University of Western Australia’s Cullity Gallery is filled with fantastic posters, all part of the UWA Landscape Architecture students final exhibition from their Gondwana Link Rural Studio unit. Posters and more were used to illustrate the students’ exploration and portrayal of Gondwana Link.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
TNC Launch hits the airwaves
Good coverage of the TNC launch, including some mention of Gondwana Link, on ABC Radio National ‘Earthbeat’ show. Presenter Alexandra de Blas interviewed the new Australia Country Program Director Michael Looker (pictured) and Global CEO Steve McCormack. As the ABC puts it: “Australia is one of the most biodiverse regions on earth and its unique natural heritage can't be protected without increasing the number of private reserves. America's premier private conservation body, The Nature Conservancy, is working with five of Australia's leading NGOs to help get the job done in this country.” Click here to access the transcript Expanding Conservation on Private Land - Earthbeat - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Posted by: Keith Bradby
TNC launches their Australia Country Program
Congratulations to our friends in The Nature Conservancy who have now TNC formally launched their Australia Country Program in Melbourne. The Nature Conservancy’s CEO, Steve McCormack (pictured), has formally launched their Australia Country program, with a major function in Melbourne. Greenings Rob Lambeck and Carl Binning attended and contributed to panel discussions, along with Bush Heritage’s Doug Humann. Steve expressed strong support for Gondwana Link, both for the ecological vision and the organisational approach (and Gondwana Link’s Keith Bradby waited nervously in Albany for the birth of his son).
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Not just a good walk, a Great Walk!

Over 10 days in October 2004, 60 Great Walk participants covered the full 72 kilometre gap between Fitzgerald River and Stirling Range National Parks. As well as wonderful spring weather and wildflowers, walkers were treated to guest speakers such as DEC’s Mal Grant, land for Wildlife’s Avril Baxter, Greening’s Nathan McQuoid, local farmer Penny Moir and Keith Bradby. Well done to Basil Schur, who co-ordinated the event for the Great Walk Network.

View more photos and information on the Great Walk Network website http://www.greatwalknetwork.org/home/walking-the-gondwana-link

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Dedication and generosity!
Renowned wildlife photographers Jiri and Marie Lochman are donating some weeks of their time to Bush Heritage by camping in the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link and taking a wide array of photos on key properties. And a great opportunity for Amanda Keesing to catch up Marie and Jiri, who are old friends. Amanda and Keith Bradby showed the Lochman’s over a number of properties and helped them select good campsites. We look forward to the results.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Gondwana Link at the King’s Park Wildflower Festival
The UWA Landscape Architecture students who attended a field workshop in Fitz-Stirling during August have now designed, constructed and staffed a large display on Gondwana Link at the King’s Park Wildflower Festival in late September. As Professor Grant Revell explains in UWA newsletter: “They designed and presented an exhibit made up of the name tags of 2,565 known plant species growing in the Stirling Range and Fitzgerald River national parks. The species names were displayed as tags with the map of the area printed on the top edge of the tag. Any missing tags would result in an incomplete map, making reference to the importance of every individual species in the area and its contribution to the biological richness (from ground level, the mounted tags looked like a miniature forest; from above they made a map of the area). The exhibit communicated the rich biodiversity and scale of the plants in the area, as well as representing the work of Gondwana Link – at a scale in which the bigger picture is seen by understanding the small parts.”
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Survey blitz on water quality and stream health.
A busy week with a busload of keen and energetic students from Edith Cowan University, led by Associate Professor Pierre Horwitz and The Wilderness Society’s Simon Judd. Students collected a range of baseline data for us in the Fitz-Stirling area, including nutrient, salinity and invertebrate measures, plus stream bathymetry at key sites, like the pools on Bush Heritage’s Chereninup Creek Reserve.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
“Reconnections” program up and running

A new program not only launched but well afloat. The WA Minister for the Environment, Hon. Dr Judy Edwards today launched the “Reconnections” project, a three year partnership between Greening Australia and Shell Development Australia. Reconnections Project Manager, Barry Heydenrych describes this project as contributing to and supporting Greening Australia’s work as a major partner in Gondwana Link. Its focus is the Corackerup and Bremer Valleys, which lie in the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link between the Stirling Range and Fitzgerald River national parks. The project will fund large-scale revegetation, work with landholders and Indigenous groups to develop and trial new forms of biodiversity-focused agriculture, and using bio-diverse revegetation to sequester carbon. As part of this very successful launch, a busload of Shell Australia and Greening Australia staff visited the region for 3 days. The visit included planting Melaleucas on Cowboy Country, inspecting the Green Plough, viewing malleefowl mounds, and whale watching at Point Ann.

The Weekend Australian featured the visit in an article published on 21-22 August 2004.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
UWA students focus on Gondwana Link
This week Gondwana Link hosted a Rural Design Studio from the School of Landscape Architecture, Landscape & Visual Arts at the University of Western Australia, led by Grant Revell and Ian Weir. Twenty students camped in the shed on Cowboy Country while they learnt about Gondwana Link, the property and plans for it, and listened to the perspectives and knowledge of local people. The week culminated in a design project, with students asked to develop posters that capture the essence of our work.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
An agreed plan for a Fitz-Stirling section of Gondwana Link
We have a well thought-out, detailed plan. After a second workshop we now have a plan agreed across key groups for the Fitz-Stirling program. We’re calling it the ‘Functional Landscape Plan’ to underline the focus on achieving overall ecological function, not just some small scale works or single species actions. The second workshop delivered an Excel ‘CAP’ Spreadsheet and a subsequent week of work by Keith Bradby and Simon Judd has converted it to word document format, with additional information added (no steak knives though!).
Posted by: Keith Bradby
“Restoring Connections’ program receives support
Congratulations to our colleagues in SCRIPT and the South West Catchments Council who have been successful in their application to the Australian Government for $911,000 over three years to support a joint project ‘Restoring connections between people and land in south western Australia’. This project will fund work by the Noongar community to establish a number of sites, in both the South Coast and South West regions, where ecological and cultural significance is jointly restored and celebrated, and grew out of an ongoing discussion between the regions, Noongar representatives and Gondwana Link Co-ordination Unit. We are proud to have helped colleagues Kelly Flugge, Paula Deegan, Bill Bennell and Paul Bowers bring this package of funded action together.
Posted by: Keith Bradby