Friends of the Bluff marks 30 years in Barwon Heads

April 19, 2024 BY

Friends of the Bluff president John Duthie (right) joined by group supporter Andrea Dennett (left) with the Barwon Bluff in the background. Photos: CHARLIE YOUNG

A BARWON Heads environmental group is celebrating 30 years of volunteering at the town’s iconic Barwon Bluff, marking the occasion earlier this week.

Friends of the Bluff president John Duthie has witnessed every highlight and lowlight since joining the group during its inception in 1994, but stands proud of the work done by the group in its three decades.

“I think it’s certainly a time for serious reflection of the things we’ve done over the past 30 years,” Mr Duthie said.

“I was one of the founding members of Friends of the Bluff, so I’ve been with the group for all 30 years, seeing all the ups and downs and swings and roundabouts and every other theme park you can

think of.

“We started out as a really small group, literally a group of friends in Barwon Heads, put together by an amazing woman by the name of Bev Wood.

“Bev now lives in Western Australia, but she’s an amazing environmentalist and activist and she set in motion a really valuable group that is still going today.”

The Friends of the Bluff officially marked the 30-year milestone on Wednesday at its most recent Conservation Conversations event at the Barwon Estuary Heritage Centre.

With over 100 active supporters, the Friends of the Bluff continues to conduct regular working bees to remove exotic weeds from the bluff.

The group also hosts Clean Up Australia Day events, tree plantings, and was a key advocate for the establishment of the Barwon Bluff Marine Sanctuary in 2002, which still stands today.

Friends of the Bluff president John Duthie has been part of the group since it was created 30 years ago.


The group also continues to partner with management and staff of the Barwon Coast Committee of Management, Parks Victoria and Coastcare Victoria, a relationship Mr Duthie says is productive to the area.

“We’ve had good working relationships, particularly with Barwon Coast and Parks Victoria.

“Obviously, Parks Victoria was instrumental in getting the sanctuary implemented, but we provide an important service in terms of education and interpretation of those sites.

“Those organisations don’t always have the staff or manpower to take on those projects that we currently do, so these partnerships have been beneficial to all parties to this point, and we look forward to continuing them moving forward.”

For more information on the Barwon Bluff and the Friends of the Bluff group, head to barwonbluff.com.au