John Sinclair – Fraser Island Defenders Organisation
The spirit of cooperation between the FINIA partners was well demonstrated when an enthusiastic team of indigenous, QPWS and heavy machinery assisted FIDO to relocate the sign shelter at Eurong from beside a walking track no longer used to to a very prominent site adjacent to the public toilet block at Eurong where it is expected to have a much greater impact.
Two Programs: In the 2012-13 year FIDO is doubling its previous efforts to bring the weed infestations in Eurong under control and to coopt the residents and landholders to maintain the village as an essentially weed free area instead of being a major centre of weed infestation. Already FIDO has carried out three of the six planned working bees that are being assisted with funding from the BMRG the Community Coast and Marine Project Grants program (led by John Sinclair) and Caring for Country program that is also assisting to build up the capacity of the Eurong nursery (led by Michael Lowe). So far since the new programs were launched in September more than 750 volunteer hours have been employed with some amazing impact. Bush regeneration diaries are on FIDO’s web site at www.fido.org.au Photographic records can be found of some of the working bees on John Sinclair’s Picasa page including : https://picasaweb.google.com/106668843048738450637/FraserIslandBushRegenera tionMonitoringWeekNovember2012
The challenge: The weeding at Eurong has cleared most of the weeds on the northern side of First Valley up to the Dingo Fence and has included work on weeds in the resort and some private properties with the support of the landholders. Now attention is turning to Second Valley and the “no-man’s-land” between there and the Resort. Our teams of bush regenerators (some of whom have travelled from interstate and paid for their accommodation agree that these are the most challenging parts of Eurong especially bringing such difficult weeds as Madiera vine under control.
Brazilian cherries: Of particular concern is the total removal of all Brazillian cherries from Second Valley because we have already discovered that these are being spread into the adjacent bush by birds. Truckloads of Brazilian cherries have already been removed but having discovered umbrella trees popping up in the bush at Yidney Lake FIDO wants Brazilian cherries added to the 18 out of 193 weed species on Fraser Island that have been successfully eradicated before the birds spread them further.
Children’s stories: FIDO’s educational program at Eurong also includes the development of children’s stories to help make the younger generation more aware of weeds and their impact. One has demonized Bougainvillia for smothering Tommy Tuckeroo and another has dealt with how a seemingly innocent plant like Clivia lilies quickly turned into a weed at Eurong. These and other stories will be included on our revamped sign shelters and on the FINIA web site that FIDO is helping to facilitate.
Student – Teacher Information Packages
We often get asked for information for students or for teachers wanting to incorporate the World Heritage Area into their classroom activities.
At our FINIA meetings, we’ve discussed the idea of developing up a dedicated information pack for teachers (and students) starting with primary aged children Grades K-7. As most students of this age, would not get to participate in a field trip to the island, the package should be based on a ‘virtual trip’ using web and other media based opportunities ideally via a pathfinder (a guide for students to locating a range of suitable resources that may be online and/or offline to achieve a successful learning outcome) and supported with information sheets and curriculum-based activity sheets (assessments) that can be hosted on the FINIA website.
Later, we’d like to develop up a couple of activities for older students that could be incorporated into the high school curriculum and/or be conducted in conjunction with a field trip to Fraser Island (K’Gari).
So does anyone know of a teacher (or two) that may have some time available to help or who would like to take a lead on this project?