20th Anniversary Celebrations at Freycinet
by Adrian Sullivan
There were 2 big things to happen at the beginning of March.
One was that we all have the best time as you can read below.
The other was that we changed the constitution of Wildcare. A little about that first and then you can read for your dessert about the rest of the weekend.
This year the Annual General Meeting of Wildcare was held at Flowerdale on Saturday 23rd March. Because of the constitutional changes made at the 20th celebration weekend, members could vote remotely or in person for the new Board.
The changes to the Wildcare Constitution are to make the Board more modern with a range of skills suited to the large number of groups and funds that need to be managed. These changes were in part instigated by Sally Salier, Co-Chair 2017, who moved unsuccessfully in 2017 to modernise the constitution.
The improved changes were passed at the Special General Meeting held at Freycinet on 3rd March. It allowed for the election of 8 Board members, and a fantastic diverse skills based Board is now in place. Of the 8 elected, we have 4 males, 4 females, and of these we have 4 continuing and 4 new Board members. We will profile our new Board in the coming weeks.
Now the more entertaining stuff:
Friday 1st March
Pete Cornelius Band playing on the beach at Honeymoon Bay. This was the highlight of the weekend for about 200 vollies. How often do you get perfect weather, warmth, no wind, beautiful sunset, kids playing in the calm water, people sipping wines around the bay listening to the relaxing music from Pete Cornelius and his band situated on the rock platform at the edge of the water? Picture perfect, music perfect, relaxation perfect in our precious wonderful wilderness.
Wildcare volunteers deserved such a thank you from the weather and the Tasmanian community for all their 20 years of toil in our Parks and reserves.
Saturday 2nd March
What else do you do if you are celebrating 20 years of Wildcare but have a working bee!
Two large groups were formed to tackle a weed problem that fell a little outside the National Park – in Coles Bay, on land partly managed by Council. The Esplanade around Coles Bay is a favourite promenade by the standards of just about anyone who comes to Freycinet and it was in need of weeding with Sweet Pittosporum, Cotoneaster, Mirror Bush, Agapanthus, Montbretia plus lots of others. The enthusiasm was great to tackle all of these and loppers, gloves, dabbers and saws were distributed. After 2 hours everyone deserved a rest. Great weeders all! The foreshore is now much cleaner of weeds but there is still a community education campaign needed to prevent more weed incursions.
Next, from 4pm we were resting but listening to the wisdom of Nick Mooney, wildlife biologist and Margie Jenkin from the Tasmanian Land Conservancy in a round the room discussion of the future of this form of community engagement. Enthusiasm and appreciation of what Wildcare is doing and the keenness of volunteers to continue this adventure were the highlights of the forum.
We were all fired up for the fundraiser bbq with much good conversation and sausages had by all.
Sunday 3rd March
Then the Wild Race had odd looking teams walking all over Coles Bay searching for the answers to Sam Cuff’s curious and entertaining questions. Great costumes and fun was had by all. A lot of great prizes from All4Adventures, Geographe, Big 4 Iluka Holiday Cabins, Coles Bay IGA, wines from Milton, Craigie Knowe, Milton and Devil’s Corner.
And then, would you believe, we finished with the Special General Meeting about the Wildcare Constitution and a forum about the success story of potential clearing of sea spurge from our coast by Dr Jon Marsden-Smedley and SPRATS Wildcare volunteers. Typical Wildcare fun!
It was a great weekend and an appropriate way to celebrate our 20 years of volunteering.
Most thanks must go to Sam Cuff of Parks and Wildlife who designed and organised the weather and the event, incredible! Also thanks should go to the Friends of Freycinet for hosting and their crew of helpers who made everything work over the weekend.