Gondwana Link

Posts By Keith Bradby

About Keith Bradby

Keith Bradby moved from Victoria to Western Australia in 1976. For many years he lived in the bush near Ravensthorpe and worked as a bee keeper and seed picker. During this time Keith developed a deep appreciation and knowledge of the region's unique flora, wildlife, society and cultural heritage. For 25 years Keith has worked for an end to land clearing in south-western Australia. In the early 1980s he was part of a small group of people who successfully fought government proposals to open up a further 3 million hectares of land for farming. In the same period he was active in establishing the Fitzgerald River National Park Association and local landcare groups. In the early 90s he achieved success as the Coordinator of the Community Catchment Centre for the Peel-Harvey Estuary, by engaging with the local farming community, and subsequently wrote a history of the estuary and efforts to rescue it. As a government troubleshooter in the late 90s he played a key role in tightening controls on large scale land clearing. In 2001 Keith and Frank Rijavec worked together on the nationally acclaimed documentary ‘A Million Acres a Year’, which tells the story of how a region now recognised as one of the top 25 biological hotspots on the planet was opened up for broadacre farming. Since late 2002 Keith has been working for Gondwana Link and is currently the Gondwana Link Chief Executive Officer. His commitment to conservation with and by the community has led to him also being Chair of the WA Landcare Network and sitting on the Board of the National Landcare Network.

Basil Schur wins a Landcare award

BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Basil Schur, who has just won the 'Individual Landcarer' Award at the WA Landcare Awards. Basil has been a passionate, energetic and dedicated worker for the environment for nearly four decades, initiating and implementing a huge range of projects and events. He leads to involvement of Green Skills in Gondwana Link, and pops up with great projects in numerous parts of the Link, and was pivotal in the early expansion of Gondwana Link projects to west of the Stirllng Ranges. This is great recognition for a great fella! (and, as one of the benefits of wearing two hats, Basil's win was announced and he was presented with his award at the gala dinner in Mindarie by Keith Bradby, Chair of the WA Landcare Network, whose day job is CEO of Gondwana Link). "As someone who has known and worked with Basil for much of his adult life, and most particularly over the last seventeen years in Gondwana Link, I could not think of a more worthy recipient" says Keith (who notes he wasn't on the judging panel!) "Basil epitomises the strength of community driven conservation - energy, ingenuity, diversity, tenacity". Basil will represent WA at the National Landcare Awards in 2020. Goodonya Basil!

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Cultural Mapping and Management of the Middle Gairdner River
Fabulous day at Jerramungup today celebrating the completion of the ‘Cultural Mapping and Management of the Middle Gairdner River’ project and the launch of the associated Cultural Heritage Action Plan. The Yarramoup Aboriginal Corporation undertook this project with support and involvement of other local Noongar Elders, the Nowanup Rangers, Applied Archaeology Australia, Gondwana Link and the University of Western Australia. Thanks to State NRM for project funding.

What is cultural mapping I hear you say. Well it is a lot more than walking along a transect with head down identifying artefacts! It is a process of coming together to learn and understand Traditional Owner’s connection to their boodja (land) and how to look after it. It involves being together on country, sharing stories, knowledge and memories, seeing special places, and learning how communities used and responded to place. It is getting the feel of different places and being open to subtle queues. In this project cultural mapping was achieved by walking, exploring, yarning (especially around the fire), camping, and cooking together, creating paintings of the landscape and undertaking some land management tasks such as cleaning gnammas, removing weeds and river bank stabilisation. The cultural mapping work informed the Cultural Heritage Action Plan which includes a suite of actions for caring for the mid-section of the Gairdner River.

I consider myself very blessed to have been out with the team one day. The landscape was brought to life through stories of life on the land, learning the use of different plants and getting the feel of some mighty spiritual places.

Well done everyone. Team photo by Keith Bradby.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Gondwana Link's Biodiversity Trail is happening!
Gondwana Link's Biodiversity Trail is happening! Many thanks to Regional Development Minister Alannah McTiernan, who this morning included our $84,000 bid for the Central Zone Pilot Trail when announcing successful applicants for the Great Southern Regional Economic Development Grants. We initially worked with the Great Southern Development Commission and many community groups to develop the concept in 2015, and then had a few hold-ups. Great to get started and have so many colleagues keen to be part of this (now to show proof of concept and find more $$'s). Along with our documentary filming projects this Trail is designed to highlight the many wonderful people and places along the Gondwana Link, and the fantastic work they are doing.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Letter by Elsie Wright
What an wonderful community we live and work amongst, which produces not only fine citizens but fine 12 year old citizens. Great letter Elsie Wright
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Yep - we need more trees!
Yep - we need more trees! A 'slightly warm' day saw visiting UWA Restoration Ecology students hug the shade as they visited some ambitious saltland restoration sites on Peter Luscombe's property in the Ranges Link section of Gondwana Link. But results so far are good, with Peter and Lucia Quearry able to show off some impressive growth after only two years, plus new ecological connections across farmland on the hills, and of course progress at Twin Creeks Community Conservation Reserve. Earlier in the week Neil Pettit gave students a great presentation on the fundamentals of ecological restoration, and the importance of focusing on restoring key ecological functions rather than just the species, which Gondwana Link CEO Keith Bradby followed with an outline of how that translates into the work happening across Gondwana Link.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
NZ Predator Free 2050 visit

Sharing experiences across the Tasman (and boasting a bit). Last week we had a very enjoyable and informative visit from Ed Chignell, CEO of the ambitious Predator Free 2050, a program working to transform wildlife across New Zealand by getting rid of feral predators. It was wonderful to talk with someone so visionary, to hear of other transformative NZ efforts such as their Billion Tree program, and to swap notes on how to provide effective support across numerous groups and individuals. It was also wonderful to show Ed some of the transformative work happening in Gondwana Link, open a few gates for him, and have him meet some of our busy landscape transformers (such as G Link Board Member, and Ranges Link practitioner, Peter Luscombe).

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Healthy catchments mean healthy estuaries, which means you can start getting the oysters back.

Healthy catchments mean healthy estuaries, which means you can start getting the oysters back. If you are in or around Albany on the 18th of December this should be a great gathering to talk about the work underway to restore oysters to Oyster Harbour (which sounds like a logical place to do it). Well done Nature Conservancy for starting this initiative, and well done Oyster Harbour Catchment Group for 30 years of good work in the catchment.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Filming to make short documentaries

Yes we are out there gathering some of many stories about the wonderful people, groups and places we work with. Gondwana Link now has an ongoing program of short documentaries, and maybe a a long one or two, with 'Sound in the Ground' the first to be filmed. Its incredibly exciting what local groups like Friends of the Porongurups have achieved, and its time to share that excitement with a much wider audience.

Here Frank Rijavec and Margaret Robertson have nearly finished the filming stage of Gondwana Link’s 'Sound in the Ground' project. Frank and Margaret came out to Twin Creeks Reserve to do some filming and their efforts were rewarded by finding excellent filming subjects: bloodroot, a goanna and Bo Janmaat telling them about the Citizen Science program the Friends are conducting on the Reserve.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
We're not ones for small talk, but its always good to share lessons learnt with good mates.
We're not ones for small talk, but its always good to share lessons learnt with good mates. So Gondwana Link CEO Keith Bradby ended up in Maleny, with our colleagues from Hinterland Bush Links, including the energetic Susie Duncan, swapping notes on what's different and whats the same between the Queensland rainforest and WA's kwongan, mallee and woodlands (hint; there's good people doing their best on both sides of Australia, but Maleny can have 3/4 metre of rain in a weekend - that weekend in fact). The opportunity to visit came after the National Landcare Conference, included a larger chat with a hall full of enthusiastic Bush Linkers and a walk in the rainforests during, yep, the rain.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
A multi-perspective environmental history of the Great Western Woodlands – and the Daintree Rainforest?
A multi-perspective environmental history of the Great Western Woodlands – and the Daintree Rainforest? Yep, its happening - and work has been underway for some months now. Gondwana Link is delighted to be supporting the delightful Alexandra Vlachos, visiting researcher from Switzerland’s Bern University, currently working with Professor Andrea Gaynor from University of WA (the dynamic duo are pictured on McDermid Rock in the Woodlands). Alexandra is “focusing on alternative knowledge production and exchange, historical development of land management practices, storytelling, and narrative networks. The aim is to include human and non-human actors, indigenous, local, environmental, scientific and semi-scientific knowledge and data to draw a somehow "bigger picture", but I have only just started, so let's see where the journey takes me.” In 2019 Alexandra will be based with Australian National University working on comparisons between the Woodlands and Rainforest stories. Whoo Hoo!

For those in Perth, at 11am on Wednesday 17th October Alexandra is giving a talk on one important element of the Woodlands story “Helena-Aurora or Bungalbin Hill – an environmental history of naming, knowing and belonging”. It’s at UWA in the Philippa Maddern Seminar Room (Arts 1.33).
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Introducing Associate Professor Eugene Eades

Ladies and gentlemen. We'd like to introduce Associate Professor Eugene Eades from Curtin University, pictured here with his colleague Professor Jill Downie, also from Curtin. Eugene's appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor was announced today, at Nowanup, by Professor Deborah Terry, Vice-Chancellor of Curtin, in a delightful ceremony which included the signing of a Statement of Intent between Curtin and Gondwana Link to establish the Nowanup Learning Centre (aka the Bush University). The concept behind this has been jointly developed (initially around a campfire of course) by Associate Professor Eades (gee I like writing those three words!) and Professor Simon Forrest, Curtin's Elder-in-Residence. More on today's important milestone for Curtin and Nowanup shortly.

Anyone following this Facebook page for any length of time will have seen postings of the amazing work Eugene has been leading at Nowanup (for 12 years now). We are so excited for our friend and colleague Associate Professor Eades (aka Euy).

Posted by: Keith Bradby
A Hot Topic - prescribed burning.
A Hot Topic - prescribed burning. For those concerned with the linked issues of fire, ecological health and public safety, the Nornalup Residents and Ratepayers Association is organising a public debate and workshop on bushfire awareness to be held on 6 October from 10am to 2pm at the Nornalup Community Hall.

The debate part of the event (10am - 12 noon) includes panellists from diverse perspectives, notably fire ecologists Grant Wardell-Johnson and John Bailey, Parks and Wildlife Service scientists and fire officers Lachie McCaw, Brad Barton and Alison Benson and Denmark Shire fire risk coordinator Melanie Haymont.

The afternoon session (12.30pm - 2pm) is devoted to formulating a ‘bushfire-ready’ plan for Nornalup.

The Ratepayers and Residents Association is hoping for a strong turnout from community members from the South Coast region and beyond who have an interest or expertise in any aspect of the vital issue of fire and burning. Please come along to hear what others have to say and contribute to the debate.

Please also share this information with others.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
The Awards for Curtin's Bush University Design competition have been awarded

What a great bunch of up and coming young 'uns. The Awards for Curtin's Bush University Design competition have been awarded, with the winning design was created by the SPH Architecture and Interiors team, made up of Curtin University architecture students Emma Whettingsteel, James Russell, Luke Attewell and Tyra Connell (but to be honest, it was hard to pick the best from a tight field of great student work).

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Nowanup Rangers blitz on Victorian Tea Tree

Wonderful to see the first people of the country out managing the country. Well done Nowanup Rangers, Fitzgerald Biosphere Group and all involved. 

The Fitzgerald Biosphere group had contracted the Rangers to help eradicate Victorian Tea Tree from the Bremer Bay area. Here is what they had to say about the team's effort. "What a really impressive crew. Nowanup Rangers from Gondwana Link completed a blitz on Victorian Tea Tree in Bremer in a specified location and are proudly showing their certificates of appreciation they received from FBG. Really hoping they will come back, their efforts were huge but so is the problem! A big thanks from the Bremer Bay Community and the Shire of Jerramungup All couldn't be done without our funding stream State Natural Resource Management Program WA."

Posted by: Keith Bradby
New bushland looking great

They are proud of their new bushland out in Ranges Link - and so they should be. Looking great! Woogenellup local species mix direct seeded, matched to soil type.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Nowanup Bush University is a happening thing!
Nowanup Bush University is a happening thing! A great launch at Curtin University yesterday for the competing designs for the Bush University. Some fantastic concepts put forward, and we now know the judging is going to be very very difficult. Respect to all the students and companies who have worked so hard on this, and excitement from the rest of us to see the project marching towards a construction phase. For anyone in Perth over the next few weeks, the designs are in the Foyer of the Chancellory Building at Curtin.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Rain triggers tree planting

Enough rain to start getting those seedlings into the ground, and hopefully more rain coming this week to water them in. Today Errol Eades and Jason Bolton are working north of Cranbrook on the first planting in Greening Australia's current 1000 ha program across Gondwana Link (funded through the Australian Government's 20 Million Trees program).

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Porongurup 'Art in the Park'

We have to share these great pics by Frank Rijavec and Barbara Madden of the recent ‘Art in the Park’ exhibition hosted by the Friends of the Porongurup Range.  Frank’s pictures show ‘Steel Feather’ by Kevin Draper; ‘Pelican Pete’ by Brad Lucas; ‘Re-pressed’ by Paul Elliot; ‘Mountain Mural’ by South Stirling Primary School.  Barb’s photos show her cyclist friends enjoying ‘Peddling Back in Time’ by Luke Barker, and ‘280’ parrots by Dave Taylor. Enjoy!

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Ngadju Jungkajunkga Day

For full details on what is happening at this great event in Norseman, please visit here.


Posted by: Keith Bradby
Fences and connectivity

A global collective of renowned scientists has produced a good, if slightly gruesome in its photos, article about the damage big fences do to connectivity across the world. Very pertinent to Western Australia and Gondwana Link, with Government poised to fund the 600km Esperance Extension Barrier Fence and various Cell Fences in the pastoral areas.

For the full article, please visit here.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Birds of a feather?

Birds of a feather? Kevin Draper’s stunning ‘Steel Feather’ (for scale, find my hat) is one of my favourites in the current Porongurup Range ‘Art in the Park’ event. The scale of the feather seems to fit the grandeur of the birds – the Forest Red-tailed Cockatoo – especially in that magnificent setting. Congratulations to Friends of the Porongurup Range for hosting another great art experience in the foothills of the range. Benefits of this annual event include funds for the protection and management of the Twin Creeks Conservation Reserve, which is owned by the Friends and an important part of the Gondwana Link effort. 

‘Art in the Park’ is open 9am – 5pm until Friday 6th April, with access via the Castle Rock Day Use Area. It’s also open this Saturday from 9am-11am (but voting closes Friday), with the Awards Presentation taking place at 11am.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
A must see!

Blessed with another large Noongar painting in the Gondwana Link office foyer. Basil Schur (Green Skills) commissioned this canvas by Errol Eades and his partner Audrey Bolton which reflects the 6 Noongar seasons and the 3 large animal plantings undertaken by the Nowanup Rangers on Gondwana Link properties last year. Well done Errol and Audrey. We love it!

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Big Day in Canberra's Botanic Gardens

The global face of Connectivity Conservation. As members of the World Commission on Protected Areas, Gondwana Link Chair Virginia Young and CEO Keith Bradby have attended a day long workshop at the Botanic Gardens in Canberra, to review a proposed set of international standards for Areas of Connectivity Conservation. Along with our colleagues from the Great Eastern Ranges and New Zealand’s Reconnecting Northland program we presented our experience over a combined 33 years, outlining the fundamental science basis for our programs and the importance of nimble structures that support local leadership. Eamon Nathan from Reconnecting Northland did a wonderful job addressing a major weakness of the current Draft Standards – the minimal regard given to the importance of traditional owner viewpoints and management roles. The workshop was part of a series of global consultations on the standards, which once revised are expected to be accepted as official standards of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

While in Canberra we also held a joint meeting of our Australian and New Zealand programs, swapping notes on a number of topics and developing some joint project proposals.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Focus on the Pallinup

Late notice but the ‘Focus On The Pallinup; Sheoaks, Pools and Floods’ morning hosted by Steve and Geraldine Janicke and North Stirlings Pallinup Natural Resources is happening on Thursday 22nd March. We want to extend the invitation to all those who may be interested. Further info ring Andrea on 0437 248 206.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Kids on Country

Kids on Country! Great work happening in and around Coolgardie. Kids leading the way back to country and developing 'kid to kid' visits with their Indonesian friends. "Through the program, the kids developed real world skills that have application in the classroom and workforce. Indigenous adults participating in the program have also since been upskilled to lead part of the program, have achieved a formal qualification in environmental work and found local employment, creating role models for the kids". Well done Catrina and the crew at Millenium Kids. 

For more details, visit here.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Love living in an ancient ecosystem! 40 Million years plus.

Original post https://www.facebook.com/kwonganfoundation

It is often claimed that Australians plants need fire and are adapted to fire, but what is the evidence for such statements? Shown here is a fossilised cone of a Banksia that lived 40 million years ago next to a cone of a Banksia that is with us today. The climate was a lot wetter when the ancient Banksia was around, so protection against fire is a very unlikely explanation for the structure we see. Defence against predators like cockatoos would appear to be a far more likely explanation, argue Bradshaw et al. (2011). If we don't really know what forces led to the traits we observe the term exaptation is far more prudent. Photos: courtesy of Steve Hopper.

For further information: Bradshaw SD, Dixon KW, Hopper SD, Lambers H and Turner SR 2011 Little evidence for fire-adapted plant traits in Mediterranean climate regions. Trends Plant Sci. 16:69-76.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Paddle with Wadandi traditional landowners

Here is the full story from amrtimes.com.au

Surfrider Foundation Margaret River hosted a cultural paddle up the Margaret River with Wadandi traditional landowners on Saturday.

More than 80 participants across four sessions took the journey from the river mouth to a sacred area, where traditional custodians Wayne and Zac Webb told Dreamtime stories about the region.

Participants learnt about the significance of local caves, the creation of the Margaret River, and the meaning behind the names of beaches and landmarks of the area.

Zac Webb said he was happy to see so many community members and children engaged.

“This land is for all of us,” he said. “The children, the women and the men. You are all custodians of this land and it’s up to us to pass on the significance and culture of our land for our next generation of leaders.”

Shire president Pam Townsend said she was grateful for the invitation.

“Their stories hit me in the heart and I felt poorer for the fact I didn’t always feel that connection to country,” she said.

“I will now vow to always connect with country at every opportunity.”

Surfrider Foundation’s Tracey Muir thanked the Webbs for their time and the Josh Palmateer Surf School for the use of canoes, kayaks and safety equipment.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Gondwana Link Bird and Eco Tour

This is worth checking out the annual WA's South Coast Festival of Birds this March. Included is the all day Gondwana Link Bird & Eco tour on Wed 14th March and a Symposium at the Museum of the Great Southern in Albany

Further information see here.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Dingo fence dismantlement could help farmers and the environment

Now here's some thoughts that will stir up discussion and differing viewpoints. But to us its a discussion we need to have.

Here is the full story from abc.net.au

Australia's dingo fence, stretching more than 5,000 kilometres across the country, is the longest fence in the world.

It's designed to keep the wild dogs roaming on one side, and livestock safe on the other side.

But some ecologists, including Flinders University's Professor Corey Bradshaw, believe the fence is not the best defence, either for agriculture or the environment.

"I'm not going to say it would be great for everyone. There might be some who gain, maybe some who lose," Professor Bradshaw said.

"But on average I think Australia would be a lot better off economically and environmentally if dingoes were allowed to roam south of the fence."

His argument is largely based on the growing understanding scientists have of the complex environmental role of apex predators, such as dingoes, which are at the top of their food chain.

"I look at the dingo as the last of the carnivore guild in Australia. It's the last major carnivore we have," Professor Bradshaw said.

"As an ecologist, no matter what system I've looked at on the planet, a system that is healthy and resilient to change is one that has a very healthy predator population."

Biologist Dr David Paton said that, at the moment, the predator population on much of mainland Australia remains unbalanced.

There are plenty of middle-level predators — including introduced species, such as foxes and cats — but not much at the apex to keep them in check.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but for mammals such as bilbies and numbats, a big hungry dingo may be a welcome friend.

"Dingoes don't like cats and foxes — they out-compete or drive-off those species, so having dingoes present means you can lower fox and cat numbers," Dr Paton said.

"That actually gives a respite from the level of predation of smaller mammals in particular that have disappeared from much of the mainland Australian areas."

At Yellowstone National Park in the United States, a program to return wolves to the habitat has been credited with causing some astonishing changes.

"By supressing the numbers of deer, they saw a massive change in the vegetation," Professor Bradshaw said.

"Then you had a reduction in erosion on all the rivers and lakes which changes the dynamics of the waterways… so beavers moved in, and then new fish species and birds of prey.

"It was this complete ecosystem shift."

However both Professor Bradshaw and Dr Paton caution that the effects of re-introduced dingoes would not be as dramatic as Yellowstone's wolves.

The US park is in a pristine state, and only the wolves had been removed, whereas Australia's pastoral lands have undergone extensive changes.

"The landscape is not like it was pre-European settlement," Dr Paton said.

"And that means the relationship between dingoes and the environment won't be exactly like it used to be."

Protecting sheep the biggest challenge

The more controversial topic, though, is how dismantling the dingo fence could benefit farmers.

Professor Bradshaw said modelling showed that, for cattle farmers, there's a clear economic gain — because cattle won't have to compete with kangaroos.

"When you let dingoes in they reduce their [kangaroo] densities which reduces the grazing pressure, allows more grass to grow which is then eaten by the cattle and they have faster growth rates so you can sell them for more," he said.

"The gain is about 80 cents a hectare, even accounting for the inevitable losses of stock to dingoes."

The ecologist conceded sheep are a different matter. They are far more vulnerable to dingoes than cattle, and no modelling has been done on the economics.

But that problem could be solved, Professor Bradshaw argued, with the help of other breeds of dog to protect sheep from dingoes.

"I'd like to see a trial with sheep, dingoes and a guardian dog, such as the Italian Maremmas," Professor Bradshaw said.

"These dogs, like dingoes, will mark the territory and they bond with the flock. Once those boundaries of the territory are set, the dingoes will more or less respect them."

Liberal MP Dan van Holst Pellekaan's seat of Stuart in South Australia includes a large part of the zone protected by the fence.

He has no argument with the claims being made for dingoes and native animals.

"I can easily accept dingoes would be very beneficial with regard to getting rid of some of our feral animals, foxes and cats," Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

"I'd have no problems with a trial of sheep, dingoes and guardian dogs — as long as it was on the other side of the fence.

"But the idea that that would then translate into a benefit for the sheep and grazing industry, I don't accept that."

He makes the point that farming, like all areas of human endeavour, isn't just about economics.

"Graziers care about their sheep and cattle and they will not be comfortable about putting them at risk of extra predation," he said.

It seems that the debate over dingoes, humans and the environment leaves few people sitting on the fence.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Connecting to Country at camps at Nowanup and Chingarrup

Connecting to Country at camps at Nowanup and Chingarrup

Over the January long weekend two camps were held at Nowanup and Chingarrup, inland from Bremer Bay east of Albany. Both are wonderful properties with extensive bush and re-vegetation areas forming part of Gondwana LInk ( GL) (gondwanalink.org)

The camp at Nowanup focused on working with Minang Elder Eugene Eades on infrastructure upgrades. Around 14 people participated in this busy organised by Rod Safstrom of Friends of Nowanup.

At Chingarrup, owned by Eddy and Donna Wajon, the focus was on citizen science bird and fauna monitoring,planting and property maintenance with over 14 volunteers. Dr Nic Dunlop of the Conservation Council of WA coordinates the ongoing bird survey research at this and other sites.

Highlights for me from the weekend included:

- The exchange of visits between Nowanup and Chingarrup, and for many of the Chingarrup group to get a guided tour of Nowanup by Eugene. 
- Great to see folk from Friends of Nowanup, Bush Heritage, Green Skills, Conservation Council of WA and conservation landholders all interacting and networking. 
- Lots achieved with the Nowanup busy bee including putting up the Eco Safari Tent which will expand accommodation available there. 
- Outings to active Malleefowl mounds in re-vegetation areas at both Chingarrup and Bush Heritage's Monjebup North properties.. 
- Seeing the numbers of volunteers actively involved at both GL properties. 
- Lots of music happened at Nowanup
- And more !

Thanks to all who contributed to a rewarding weekend !

Basil Schur

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Doesn't get much cuter than this!

This cute snap of a honey possum was captured by Bush Heritage Australia during their fauna monitoring on our Yarraweyah Falls property. 

Its diet consist of nectar and pollen, and can drink as much as 7 ml of nectar a day - equivalent to a human drinking 50 litres of soft drink!

Posted by: Keith Bradby
High water: How design might help fix the Wheatbelt’s water woes

Here is the full story from foreground.com.au

High water: How design might help fix the Wheatbelt’s water woes
Agricultural land in one of Australia’s most important rural economies is trapped in a cycle of continuous degeneration. Could the implementation of a more carefully designed and planned landscape ecology prevent catastrophe?
This article is part of Foreground’s Urban Ecology special series

Growing up on a broadacre cropping farm water was always central to my family’s life and livelihood. My childhood was spent leaning on the western fence, holding my breath and crossing my fingers that the front rolling in from the North West would make it as far as our place at the foot of the Wongan Hills.  Now a practising landscape architect in Fremantle, I can’t seem to shake the habit. I still scan the horizon for an impending front, and take note of wind direction. My UDLA colleagues call me “the weather girl”.

Although always close to the environment around me, my childhood perspective was one of intimate, subjective knowledge of place. Studying landscape architecture taught me to think objectively. I began to see through the landscape I had always known and loved, to the underlying problems below. I began to question our farming practices and processes, and came to the realisation that not only was the land sick, it was stuck in a cycle of continuous degeneration. This realisation unfortunately came too late: the farm had by then become unviable, and we sold up in my final year at university. Nevertheless, it led to an honours thesis entitled Ameliorating Agriculture, Cultivating Biodiversity, which subsequently became the impetus for a field trip I recently completed along the Gondwana Link as part of a travel scholarship.

The draining of the Wheatbelt's aquifer is happening at a rate that could be unsustainable in the long term.
The net effect of all this change is a highly volatile environment for farming, which already involves a precarious guessing game, marrying weather estimates and investment to achieve a margin that allows a farmer to do it all again the next year. The surging cost of investment inputs, such as fuel and synthetic fertiliser, coupled with low grain prices and increasingly erratic and unpredictable rainfall events, are tightening that margin.

The farming economy revolves around efficiency: achieving the highest yield with the least input. To stay viable within current agricultural conditions, farmers need to increase the area of land farmed, to generate greater efficiency. Technology is evolving to support this expansion, with the size of machinery increasing to service larger farms, equipped with technology to map and monitor yields, and customise inputs accordingly. This increase in scale is having an adverse effect on rural communities, with a net reduction in employment pushing the workforce off the land and into the cities.

The landscape is also suffering, as both fence lines and single paddock trees are cleared to facilitate the movement of larger machinery, removing important habitat. The application of synthetic fertiliser is causing acidification of soil, while regular herbicide application has led to herbicide resistance in many weed species. Wide expanses of bare paddocks are stripped of their top soil during summer’s strong easterly winds. So, while current practices are designed to be more efficient, they are also accelerating the degradation of the environment.

Could technology-driven efficiencies be integrated to establish a regenerative synergy between agricultural and ecological landscapes?

Keeping water “high in the landscape”
In acknowledging that my original research in this area was driven by an ambition to redesign the way the family farm worked, from a degenerative system into regenerative one, the sale of the farm meant shifting focus. I reframed my research to investigate farming practices at a regional and catchment scale throughout the Wheatbelt. With this, my research started to look at emerging precision agriculture, including water use efficiency yield mapping, and controlled traffic farming. Could such technology-driven efficiencies be integrated into environmental and ecological system design, to establish a regenerative synergy between agricultural and ecological landscapes?

Put simply, precision agriculture aims to improve a farmer’s ability to manage variables within a paddock. It provides tools to quantify soil, terrain and crop variability, allowing farmers to customise agronomic applications and practices to better suit these variables. Water use efficiency yield mapping is a method of measuring how efficiently a crop has yielded with regard to the amount of rain that fell in the associated growing season. Rather than comparing the yield of one year to the next, in which the total rainfall always varies, this method projects a maximum yield which could be achieved for that season’s rainfall, allowing for a base line for input improvement and refinement.

I also looked into how uncontrolled farm traffic creates farmland compaction. Farm vehicles and machinery have varied wheel bases and spreads, the movements of which means that on average 85 percent of the paddock is compacted by wheel tracks each year. The compaction of soil reduces permeability for both water and the root structure of plants, which increases runoff while limiting growth. Controlled traffic farming (CTF) aims to divide paddocks into two sections: a healthy well-structured soil for promoting crop growth, and a track for supporting vehicles and machinery. By regulating the wheel base and spread of farm machinery, and with informed design and “deep ripping” to mechanically aerate soil, wheel compaction can be limited to 10 percent of the paddock. This can increase water penetration by 80 percent.

This research required an extensive review of literature and graphic mapping of the problems associated with the health of both the ecological and agricultural systems: an analytical approach that followed in the footsteps of Ian McHarg, who established the principles of geographic information systems almost half a century ago. It involved spatially mapping layers of information and ideas individually, then overlaying them to guide the design outcome. Through this process, several series of mapping data were generated to analyse the vegetation complex, hydrology, salinity, topography, geology and agricultural processes and practices. This was carried out at both the farm scale and within the Wongan-Ballidu region.

After analysing the local ecological and agricultural systems and processes separately, it became apparent that the degenerating health of farms and the associated environmental problems could not be viewed as separate entities. These processes are closely entwined, with water as the key element binding the future of farming in the Wheatbelt.

A deceptively simple conclusion emerged from this research: water needs to be kept high in the landscape

A deceptively simple conclusion emerged from this research: water needs to be kept high in the landscape. Keeping water high means to absorb rainfall before it becomes runoff, using the slope of the land to determine how the farming system operates. This includes redefining smaller paddocks that respond to topography and machinery dimensions, rather than surveyed boundaries on a map. By using revegetation belts to reconnect fragmented bushland along contour banks, these belts become shelter belts for native animals or livestock, while capturing runoff and providing a buffer for reducing evaporation and wind erosion. Keeping water high also allows deep roo

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Testing Restoration Tourism

A great day out piloting a new approach to attracting visitors and showcasing some of the magnificent biological richness and impressive work across Gondwana Link. A farm being restored to greater productivity and biodiversity, Noongar culture finding its own space and support to help its own people, and some very impressive results from managing, restoring and scientifically documenting a key part of the Link. We have been working with Friendship Force to test 'restoration tourism' and it is working a treat. Many thanks to Sylvia Leighton and Peter Mackenzie, Eugene Eades and Alison Goundrey for telling your stories on the day, and to Eddy and Donna Wajon for 'loan' of their property. And to the Albany Friendship Force folk for their very enjoyable company. Well done Don Titterton!

Here is the full story from facebook.com/ABCGreatSouthern


Albany man Don Titterton says biodiversity is the key to selling the Amazing South Coast, and he’s teamed up with an international organisation Friendship Force to bring people from all over the world to see what the region has to offer.

Friendship Force is a group of people who are interested in different cultures, and take time to visit each other’s countries for a week, getting to know different cities and ways of life.

Don Titterton said people from America and beyond have already registered for the new tour, which will take place on October 8.

“Biodiversity is the key to selling the Amazing South Coast,” he said.

“Albany is in the top 25 in the world for biodiversity.”

Mr Titterton said this inspired him to produce a 12-day tour of the region, including birds, plants, geography and Indigenous culture.

He said he will invite Friendship Force people from all over the world to come and see Albany.

“They’re interested people,” he said.

“We have ten definites at the moment, and we have set our target on 30.”

He said he had a practice run yesterday, taking a tour bus out to Nowanup at Boxwood Hill.

“Originally for that trip I ordered a 13-seater bus,” said Mr Titterton.

“We had to increase it to 24 seats.”

Mr Titterton said the tour project is all volunteer based, and is fueled by his desire to promote Albany.

“This is what Albany should be doing

“When you tell people to go to the gap and places like that, that’s only a two hour thing… I’m talking keeping people here for up to five days at a time.”

Mr Titterton said other additional tours will be organised through Gondwana Tours for the general public.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Money does grow on trees!

Here is the full story from greeningaustralia.org.au.

One of Greening Australia’s flagship revegetation projects in Western Australia has been recognised as the first of many that will produce valuable carbon credits, helping to reduce the country’s growing greenhouse gas emissions.

The carbon credits generated from the first five years of vegetation growth at ‘Peniup’, were officially approved by the Clean Energy Regulator in December. The project will continue to generate credits for the next 20 years, which will be sold to corporates and governments, and provide critical funding for reinvestment in future onground work.

“This a significant and exciting milestone for Greening Australia that demonstrates that we can effectively convert our revegetation projects into legitimate carbon credits, providing multiple benefits for nature and people. It is also poignant that our first official carbon credits have come out of our work on Peniup which is a real flagship property for us,” says Todd Berkinshaw, Greening Australia’s Director of National Programs and Science.

Greening Australia’s Peniup property is part of the Gondwana Link, which is restoring and reconnecting land between the Stirling Ranges National Park and the Fitzgerald River National Park, as well as capturing carbon. The property, which provides habitat for many rare and threatened wildlife, was originally co-purchased by Greening Australia and Bush Heritage Australia in 2007.

The project forms part of Greening Australia’s Great Southern Landscapes Program which aims to create Australia’s largest tree-based carbon sink, sequestering one million tonnes of carbon credits annually by 2030.

“Generating carbon credits from our restoration work will become common practice for all of our projects across Australia, creating significant and long-term benefits for our environment and economy, and returning income back to our landholders. Our work at Peniup is a significant step towards achieving our long-term carbon goals and to support meeting Australia’s Paris 2020 emission reduction commitments, and beyond.”

“We expect that in two to three years, eighty to ninety percent of our projects will go through this process, creating a large bank of carbon credits that we can sell and use to fund future onground work.”

“Carbon credits, particularly those generated from diverse, native revegetation will play an increasingly critical role in helping to reduce our emissions and to reversing some of the damage caused by land clearing. To really maximise the impact of these initiatives however, there is a need for strong government policy around carbon trading schemes to allow for significant investment in the land sector.”

The carbon credits have been generated by Biodiverse Carbon Conservation, a social enterprise jointly owned by Greening Australia and Australian Integrated Carbon.

Media Enquiries

Todd Berkinshaw, National Programs and Science Director
0407 407 520



Posted by: Keith Bradby
Discussion Time

An invitation to an interesting evening in Northcliffe.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Another 1300 hectares

Another 1300 hectares of restoration starting soon! Congratulations to our friends in Greening Australia who have just secured significant funding from the 20Million Trees program for an impressive 1300 hectares of plantings in Gondwana Link's Central Zone, to be completed in the next two years. That will see some 1 Million trees above two metres and, we expect, at least another million shrubs and understory (a million plants a year!). That's a lot of habitat, particularly as it follows on the past three years of ambitious plantings by Greening, also funded through the 20Million Trees program. Greening's Glen Steven (pictured) has been out there with Barry Heydenrych and others monitoring early growth on last year's direct seeding, and tell us excellent results have been achieved. Congratulations on that, and congratulations on hitting the ground again with such a significant contribution to the work of achieving Gondwana Link.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
'Seeing like an eagle' Invitation

An invitation to Poornarti 'Seeing Like an Eagle' cultural art weekend, January 2018, Denmark

A creative and participatory art and culture workshop. You will work with Poornarti's Joey Williams and draw on the beautiful Denmark wetlands and Wilson Inlet landscape. Green Skills is assisting in presenting this workshop and the registration can be found on their website.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Australia's First Bush University

Friday was a wonderful and very important day. 50 of us gathered in the heart of Perth at the Old Boys School to start designing the next phase of Nowanup, the Noongar cultural camp in the middle of Gondwana Link's Fitz-Stirling section.

Through our support for the extraordinary Eugene Eades, we are now working with Eugene and senior Curtin University staff on what will be an Australian, if not global first – a ‘Bush University’ where teaching is done ‘Noongar way’. Curtin have brought together an impressive array of staff, students and leading architectural firms in a design competition for the facility, and Friday was the day Eugene and Professor Simon Forrest not only shared with all of us their vision for the Bush University, but we heard an amazing array of heartfelt experience from the staff and students who have already been through courses and camps at Nowanup.
"Through Noongar ways of learning... the Bush University will help Noongar and other cultures strengthen relationships through understanding of Country and each other..." said Professor Simon Forrest 2017, Nyoongar Elder in Residence Curtin University.

A big thank you to the Curtin Cross-Disciplinary project team of Associate Professor Khoa Do (Fellow Curtin Academy, Architecture), Dr Emil Jonescu and Mr Leon Wong (Construction Management), Ms Eileen Chan (Office of the DVC International), Mr Chris Leong, Mr Alejandro Gil Herrero, and Mr Matthaeus Tan (Architecture), Ms Joyce Kho, Ms Claire Buscombe (Post graduate Students, Architecture), Ms Sara Muna’am (Curtin Architecture Student Association – CASA), Mr Sam Chapman (Student Organisation National Australia – SONA), and to the architectural firms guiding the student program: Hassell, Woods Bagot, Cameron Chisholm Nicol, TAG Architects, SPH Architecture + Interiors and of course the Curtin Architecture and Interior Architecture students themselves.

Speakers on the day, all of who are involved in moving the Bush University to this important stage, included Professor Simon Forrest, Dr Michelle Johnston, Ms Linda Adnyana, Professor Steve Mickler and Ms Veronica Goerke . The Nowanup story, so far, was presented by Eugene Eades from Nowanup, Keith and Amanda from Gondwana Link, Anne Smith from Greening Australia and Rod Safstrom from Friends of Nowanup.

The next morning's message from Eugene was: “The meeting and all the energy was so moving but powerful - I could feel it. Those young students from all groups was so into asking so many questions it made me think through all that will come out of Nowanup in the future. I could see future Noongar youth coming through Nowanup Bush University and going on to mainstream Uni to become anything they want . I’m all pumped . A great team and work well done."

The Media Release from Curtin was: “
24 November 2017 
Curtin students design new home for ‘bush’ university 
Curtin University architecture students will design a new base for Nowanup Bush University, an important meeting place for Nyungar people located 50 kilometres west of Bremer Bay. 
The bush university concept, initiated by Professor Simon Forrest from Curtin University, Nowanup Nyungar Elder Mr Eugene Eades and Gondwana Link CEO Mr Keith Bradby, aims to provide a bush setting for transformational learning. 
Curtin University’s Elder-in-Residence Professor Simon Forrest said the project offered a unique opportunity for five groups of Curtin University architecture students to each work with an architecture firm to create a new design and model for the facilities at Nowanup. 
“We are always looking for innovative ways to educate students and this project will allow students to learn in an unusual and significant setting, surrounded by Indigenous culture and history,” Professor Forrest said. 
“Once the suggested designs are submitted by the five student groups, the most appropriate design will be selected and the winning designs will be announced in April 2018. 
“The project has a range of potential collaborations for student groups across the University, which will initially begin with the architecture students, and may see engineering students involved in site works and other aspects of the facility.” 
Once the building works are completed, Nowanup Bush University will incorporate various programs for university students, school groups, and community groups to interact and learn in an environment that is delivered in and from a Nyungar point of view and principles. 
Under Mr Eades’ leadership, Nowanup has been used as a cultural knowledge camp as an alternative to detention for young Indigenous people since 2009. 
The 750 ha Nowanup property was one of the first purchased to help achieve the Gondwana Link project, which aims to reconnect native habitats across the South-West of Western Australia. 
Gondwana Link is considered one of the largest and most ambitious conservation projects in Australia’s history, with its goal to restore 1,000 kilometres of continuous habitat.”

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Nowanup, new home to the Bush University

Some photos from Friday's 'Design Competition for the Nowanup Bush University' briefing day.

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Saving Western Australia's rare Parrot
Secrets at Sunrise is a documentary about the race to save one of the world's rarest parrots, the Western Ground Parrot. The DVD is now available for sale ($25) at the Gondwana Link office. Your purchase supports the Western Ground Parrot Recovery Project with 50% of the sale proceeds going directly towards the captive breeding project.

The film captures the challenges of working in remote environments trying to save a cryptic bird which wasn't photographed in the wild until 2004 and whose numbers are likely less than 150 individuals; an enigmatic parrot that chooses to live on the ground, generally only making its presence known when it calls at dawn and dusk.

Western Australian filmmaker Jennene Riggs has spent the past three years following the team from remote Cape Arid National Park where the only known population of the critically endangered parrot was almost wiped out by devastating bushfires, to Perth Zoo where attempts are under way to breed the birds in captivity.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Native Title win for Mirning People

We congratulate our friends to the east of Gondwana Link. This week the Federal Court of Australia handed down a landmark determination for the Nullarbor's Mirning people. This follows an 18 year legal battle for recognition of rights over their traditional land. Justice Robertson conducted a sitting of the Federal Court at Point Low on Tuesday, attended by many Mirning family groups who witnessed native title being granted over some 33,000 square kilometres of traditional land including 22,000 square kilometres of exclusive possession. Peter Price, Gondwana Link’s Great Western Woodlands Program Manager, attended the Determination ceremony on invitation of Mirning applicants and said afterwards ‘’It’s another significant chapter for Native Title rights in southern Australia. Through the native title process there is now Indigenous ownership covering a distance of some 1250 km from west of Esperance to the South Australian border”. 

Peter's photos, fresh from the Nullarbor, show the court in session, claimant and Elder John Graham being handed a copy of the determination by Justice Robertson, and Mirning descendants with Justice Robertson.
Wonderful stuff!

Posted by: Keith Bradby
Proud moment for all of us

A moment of great pride for all of us. After many years of support, and our direct administration of the Ranger Team for nearly five years while capacity was built, we have now handed over management of the Ngadju Ranger Team to the Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation. What a great organisation you have become. Its wonderful to know that this very important part of Gondwana Link is being managed by Ngadju Traditional Owners, continuing a long tradition in modern format (and don't the new Rangers make a fine looking bunch!).


Posted by: Keith Bradby
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
'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
‘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
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
'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
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.

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
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