August 2010

Tomorrow Australia elects a new Government and hopefully there will be a new group of politicians who will enter Parliament with a renewed understanding that the environment, sustainability, and the koala is important to them. I have been really encouraged to see candidates for this election have responded to our Act or Axe.

 

Over the last few years I felt the koala wasn’t important to our political leaders, but this time every single candidate has had a view on whether the koala should be protected. Both major parties could not give a full response which is expected, but some individuals in those parties have said “I am prepared to protect the koala in my electorate”. I am very proud of them and you can check your candidate in your Federal electorate here.

Why has this changed? I honestly think that you, the citizens of the world who have taken the time to write to our leaders telling them you think the koala is yours too, have made a difference. That the koala isn’t just an Australian. That the koala is universally loved and that we, the Aussies who live in this beautiful country, need to lift our game and do the right thing and protect it. Thank you to all of you for helping the koala. I really know it has made a difference and it inspires me every day when I read your emails to me, the facebook comments, and also those who follow me on Twitter.

I have just been at Quinlans for the last two days. Belinda James (one of our new team), Bill Fritz (who has been with the Foundation for over 15 years) and I toiled away getting it ready for an Open Day on October 2nd.

I met people who want to help us create Quinlans as a sustainable place where humans and the environment can work together in harmony. To date we have seen eagles, bower birds (the boys create a bower (a nest) for their girls and often place trinkets in the nest for them – usually white or blue), yellow tailed cockatoos and yesterday, to our delight, a mob of kangaroos. It reminded me of my childhood being there and it made me more determined, irrespective of who wins the election, to fight for the things I love which is, to put it simply, the Australian bush.

I am hoping that many of you in the future will come to visit us at AKF headquarters in Brisbane, and more importantly at Quinlans. I can see the place growing already as our vision grows. We plan to grow a sustainable harvest of “bush tucker”. Yesterday we had a chef in from the local community who cooks food with bush flowers and herbs. He was inspiring and we talked and talked over endless cups of tea about what it will look like in 500 years. One fellow said 'why not 1000 years'! Being surrounded by these people inspired me and I hope the AKF team will continue to lead in this area. I was so proud to see all the young people working away, cleaning, scrubbing, planting, ripping out old weeds and making it shine.

I cannot wait to see what it will become.

In America a few years ago, I met a Supreme Court judge and she said you must always “trust the jury, that they always get it right” and today as we head towards a new Australian Government I am pretty confident that we Australians will make the right choices for our future.

Fondest regards, Deborah