Hello Koala lovers,
Well, goodness what a response the Australian Koala Foundation has had to the Koala Kiss Project. So many fabulous emails and letters from people who truly think, like I do, that this is the way to go for the future conservation of the Koala. Putting it squarely on the front line of caring and committed individuals who are already protecting their landscapes for the Koala and other species.
And of course it has added to our workload with so many great questions and ideas for the way forward.
The wonderful news is that we have received a bequest from a wonderful man, Mr. Peter Cain who was a long term and totally committed Koala lover and supporter of our work. Peter had been in Australia on one of our field trips in 2003 and all our team communicated with him until the time of his death.
He would often send photos of the first Robin that came into his garden after a long winter and he will be sadly missed by me and our team.
It means too that the Koala Kiss Project will now have funds to get started.
We will be advertising for a full time Koala Kiss Co-ordinator (KKC) (what a fabulous title to have) in late January and they will begin in February for what we hope will be a long term career here at the AKF.
In my mind I can see a map on our wall with all the land tenure overlaid over it. As people join and want to link with their neighbours, the KKC will be able to colour in each land tenure that signs up which will begin larger and larger habitats being linked.
Our scientists have decided that the initial section of the Great Koala Trail will be from Quinlans, our Research Station near Kenilworth here in Queensland and Little Oakey, our other property near Crows Nest also in Queensland. That distance (100 kms as the crow flies), will go up over the Great Dividing Range which already has good Koala habitat and will help us to understand what scientific parameters we will need for this massive project. And it will be massive and long term.
We already have people wanting the job, but before we advertise I am open to suggestions on what you, the Koala lovers of the world think should be the skills for that person. In my mind, they will need great communication skills to encourage and educate landholders about how this can proceed. They will need a good understanding of the scientific process and able to communicate that to others. They will need to want to stay at the AKF for a long time because long term partnerships will be key and as I know after all these years, this is my strength. I know so many in the world of Koalas, business and community because of my long term position here at the AKF. And of course, I still love coming to work everyday.
I just wanted to share all this good news with you. AKF has been in the media a lot recently and as we proceed to Glasgow there will be more from us about our concerns for the Koala.
Thank you for your continued support and please give feedback to us, we definitely want your ideas. To those who already have told us how you want to be involved, be assured we have heard you loud and clear. We have filed them in a file ready for the KKC to get into the job from day one.
It is so exciting.