Residents invited to koala snapshot session

February 20, 2023 BY

Koala Clancy Foundation president Janine Duffy will speak at Thursday's event. Photos: LOUISA JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

KOALAS on the Bellarine will be the topic of the day on Thursday, February 23 when representatives from local organisations gather at the Bellarine Training and Community Hub (BTACH).

Local volunteer group Ocean Grove Coastcare will host an information night from 7-8.30pm in collaboration with koala conservation organisation Koala Clancy Foundation and Bellarine Landcare.

The 90-minute long session will inform residents of the work being done to restore the native marsupial’s habitat across the Bellarine with special guest speaker Janine Duffy.

Are there still koalas on the Bellarine? Next week’s information night will answer that question and more.

“I was at an environment forum in Geelong back in November and I heard Koala Clancy’s president Janine Duffy speak, and that’s when I decided to have her come and speak to us,” Ocean Grove Coastcare president Margot Busch said.

“The event is open to our wider member base, but also to the general local community. This is because we will be talking about their patch and all the initiatives that are taking place in their own backyards.

“We’d love for as many people to come along and get more of a handle on anything.”

In addition to Ms Duffy, Sophie Small from Bellarine Landcare will provide attendants with a snapshot of her organisation’s projects taking place in 2023.

Koala Clancy’s tree planting initiatives take place across the Western Plains and the You Yangs.

The rapid decline in koalas has been well-documented by Ms Duffy on her foundation’s website, which states an extinction is taking place.

“On a day in late January 2023, I walked along Big Rock Track, an area of bushland in the You Yangs, just west of Melbourne,” Ms Duffy wrote.

“Birds sang, as they always have, the sun shone, a light breeze blew, it was beautiful. But I was sad, because something was missing, hope.

“The hope that I would find a koala at any moment. After two years of no sightings there, and years of steep decline, my hope was completely gone. I know I’m not going to find a koala there anymore. There might be one, passing through, once a year but that’s it.

“Out of habit, I still scan the treetops and the big, gnarled branches of blue gums.”

Head to Ocean Grove Coastcare’s Facebook page to book a spot for the event.