Hello to all our supporters,
I decided to write a "happy" email today because the last couple of months have been pretty joyous from the AKF's point of view and of course I mean worldwide publicity and Prince George backpacks.
When I got this photo from Morag about her dear little grandson Archie wearing (and loving) his backpack, I just had to share it because, of course, isn't this what we are really about - speaking out for Australia's beautiful wildlife for future generations? It is a shock that our biggest selling item in our Shop so far is a Kangaroo, but it just shows that people love everything we have on this gorgeous continent.
Last week, we celebrated with the Board and had a "backpack cake". Our former Chairman, Mr Bob Gibson always said that the AKF is always looking forward, never standing still and sometimes what can happen is that you lose sight of achievements.
The AKF will be 30 years old in 2016 and I am a pretty positive that what we will be able to celebrate then is the enactment of a Koala Protection Act.
We will certainly celebrate that, that is for sure.
So let us reflect what we have achieved;
1. The Koala Habitat Atlas began in 1989 when we realised that it was about trees; and our No Tree No Me slogan was created. Dick Marks, still our Creative Director came up with the concept and you have to imagine that hundreds of thousands of those car stickers are around the world.
2. Nearly $8 million worth of research that underpins the KHA - all raised by you - people who love the Koala.
3. That these maps are now on our website as Koala Map (click here) where people can see whether they live in a Koala habitat and of course can use the information to help protect the trees.
4. A scientifically valid list of trees that identify the trees needed for Koalas in every local council in Australia.
5. Dedicated marketing, administration and scientific staff, many of whom have had more than 15 years with the AKF. Not to mention our endless list of volunteers.
6. Quinlans - a beautiful piece of paradise for education and research into landscape.
7. Hundreds of scientific papers funded by Universities.
8. A Senate Inquiry into the Koalas which came directly as a result of me speaking with the then Senator Bob Brown who asked "how can I help?
9. The listing of the Koala in South East Queensland as Vulnerable in South East Queensland and of course the national listing under the EPBC Act in 2012.
10.The Koala listed as vulnerable under United States law in the year 2000.
The AKF is committed to bigger picture issues and without that thinking, none of the above would have happened and life for the Koala would be worse.
And it is bad, but that is for another Diary.
Since I wrote last, we have had about 10 letters in response to my call to arms in the 128 federal electorates around the country that are in Koala habitat.
Clearly nearly 118 elected representatives do not think it is still an issue and believe that the listing "is enough". This is sobering for those that can often be naïve about what motivates our political leaders.
The federal listing isn't enough and for those living in Australia, we need you to make sure that your local member (visit Act or Axe, click here) is aware that we need and will insist on their support for our new legislation.
Thank you as always for supporting the AKF and keep up the good work!
Fond Regards and thank you,
Deborah Tabart OAM
Cheif Executive Officer
Australian Koala Foundation