This April, I and several other Conservation and Land Management students from TAFE Queensland were given the opportunity to take part in a seed collection project for the purpose of bush regeneration after the 2020 fires on the island.
This was a truly life-changing experience that cemented my love for this type of work.
The trip started off with a tour around the FIDO nursery and ranger station just outside of the Eurong township. Whilst there, we were fortunate enough to meet a current K’gari Ranger, James Green, who also studied at TAFE and was taught by the same teacher David Docherty.
Over the course of this trip, we collected twenty-two coastal plant species from both dunal areas and bushland behind Eurong. Six of these species needed to be sowed and propagated fresh whilst the others needed to be stored for later processing. As well as this, we also potted four separate species which totalled 220 plants.
At one point, I was holding all of the seeds in preparation for storage when I had the very surreal moment that I was holding thousands of potential trees that would be planted around the island. This was the first time since starting my studies that I felt my work had a very real impact.
Overall, this was an amazing experience that I would recommend to everyone – from those new to the industry or who just have a strong passion for seed collection and conservation to industry experts who would like to volunteer their time.
Thank you to Suzanne Wilson for organising this trip and sharing her years of experience and knowledge, to FIDO for letting us use their resources and to the Island herself, K’gari for allowing us to live and work on the land for those few days. It was an experience I won’t soon forget.
Contributed by Indigo Mackinlay, FIDO volunteer with TAFE Queensland