Sue Sargent was instrumental in bringing FINIA collaborators together back in 2005 and along with the BMRG deserves credit for the creation of this wonderful collaboration. She continues to be FINIA’s chief inspirer and facilitator. Recently, in the lead up to FINIA’s 10th Anniversary celebrations at Dilli Village, Sue circulated data about the founding of FINIA to the steering committee. Alongside the notes and details of the original Dilli Village meeting were a fascinating set of photos taken during that meeting and the coinciding inspections. These reminded us both of the problems we identified during that initial gathering, as well as of the people who attended.
Among the photos documenting the problems encountered, it was interesting to recall what we had seen of the sisal weed problem at Bogimbah around the site of many Butchulla graves. Other photos were of Eurong, where the problems were many and varied. I was amazed to note how many photos in the album featured an area that I have dubbed ‘Problem Corner’. It had the largest and densest assortment of weeds in all of Eurong. The problems were compounded after 2005, with an increase in general rubbish disposal in the area making it much harder and more dangerous to access and deal with the weeds.
Sue’s photos also highlighted the problems of dumping garden waste and lawn clippings in the bush. Lawn clippings serve as seedbeds for many weeds, and larger rubbish items make accessing problem areas for weed treatment more difficult; from FINIA’s inception, management of garden waste has been priority.
Addressing the problems of improper disposal of garden waste has also been high on FIDO’s agenda. One step towards resolving the matter has been the erection in strategic locations of large special bins exclusively for lawn clippings. This has effectively eliminated the problem of people dumping lawn clippings in Eurong’s bush areas or adding them to illegal rubbish heaps.
Other photos reminded us of who else was at the meeting ten years ago. Sadly George Haddock has passed on and other participants have followed their careers elsewhere, but many stalwart supporters of FINIA remain, including ‘JoJo’ Gala, who recently spent a break on the island weeding and helping in the monitoring programs.
FINIA has achieved so much in these last 10 years, with thanks due to a wealth of supporters and partners. More than offering a trip down memory lane, these photos should inspire us to look forward to the next 10 years and all that we can achieve together.
John Sinclair (AO), FIDO