Orange-bellied Parrots mainland release

August 23, 2017 // Colleen Hughson // No Comments // Posted in Blog, Environment

The migratory Orange bellied Parrot is critically endangered and very close to extinction in the wild.

Less than 50 are left in the wild and the OBP National Recovery Team are doing all they can to save this beautiful little parrot.

One of the actions they are trialling is a mainland release.

DELWP, Zoos Victoria, Melbourne Water, Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, Parks Victoria and the Tasmanian Government are partnering to deliver a Mainland Release Trial Program in Victoria for the Orange-bellied Parrot.

These Orange-bellied Parrots have been released at the Western Treatment Plant in Werribee as part of an innovative program to try to prevent extinction in the wild. With less than 50 Orange-bellied Parrots thought to exist in the wild, these management actions have never been more important for the future of this species.

The surfers who re-vegged Bells Beach

July 10, 2017 // Colleen Hughson // No Comments // Posted in Blog, Community, Environment

The Corangamite CMA give small grants to community groups working in the natural environment. One of these grants is the Coastal Small Grants fund and one of the recipients of this fund is a group called SANE (Surfers Appreciating the Natural Environment).

SANE from First Ladies – Colleen Hughson on Vimeo.

SANE is a group of surfers who have been looking after the Bells Beach Reserve for the past 30 years. They remove weeds, plant indigenous plant species and educate the community on how to lessen the negative impacts that they have on the environment.

When SANE started the Bells Beach reserve was heavily degraded. The dunes & cliff tops were seriously eroded, it was riddled with tracks, rubbish and weeds, there were very few native plants and the carparks were dirt paddocks. It is hard to imagine looking at it today that it could’ve been in such a sorry state. Few visitors to Bells Beach realise that the lush vegetation and wildlife they see are a direct result of the dedication and commitment of SANE.

The SANE group realised back in the 80’s that if they wanted a beautiful and healthy environment then they would have to look after it themselves. They realised that they couldn’t rely on the government or the Torquay Shire to do the work. There was a shift in thinking from blaming their local council for the state of things to realising the responsibility lies with individuals and communities to act.

The CCMA support a number of community environmental groups along the coast. If you’re involved in conservation then check with the CCMA what funding opportunities might be available to you. If you’re not involved in conservation but realise after watching this that you should be, then it might be a good idea to join your Landcare or Coastcare action group.

Back to the ABC…well, for a time

April 29, 2017 // Colleen Hughson // No Comments // Posted in Blog, People

I took some time off from my business in 2016 to enjoy a stint back at the ABC in the role of ABC Open Producer (south west Victoria). ABC Open is a project that works with regional Australians to create great videos, photos and written stories to share on the ABC. The stories produced are shared on ABC radio, web and TV. It’s a great opportunity for people in regional areas to have their voices heard. And for me, it gives me great personal satisfaction to share stories from my hometown and region. Here are some of my favourite stories I created during my 3-month secondment.