It was indeed a night to get tongues wagging as Wildlife Queensland presented A Conservation Conversation hosted by Professor Darryl Jones on 17 November.
The smiles of guests arriving at the Bulimba Golf Club in support of the Society were warm despite the damp weather which confined the crowd to the Marquee. Optimists by nature after all, conversations and connections quickly sparked, filling the space with convivial chatter of conservation matters.
WPSQ President Peter Ogilvie opened the evening with a heartfelt tribute to our late Patron Margaret Thorsborne that flowed into rousing words on the current issue of the proposed eco-tourism of our national parks. Admiration and respect for Margaret’s many achievements continued to flow through the poem that followed, written and presented by Sally Spain of Wildlife Queensland’s Gold Coast branch.
After dinner, the lively discussion promised by the evening ensued, with a series of thought-provoking questions being posed to the panelists by the night’s capable and charismatic host, Professor Darryl Jones of Griffith University. A crowd in excess of expectations had been drawn by the three respected conservationists on stage: Melbourne University’s Enterprise Professor of Environmentalism Don Henry, Senior Solicitor for EDO Qld Revel Pointon, and Griffith University Ecology Honours student Cara Parsons.
The line-up did not disappoint as each went on to share insights from their distinct backgrounds and experiences on a range of topics from what influenced them to dedicate their lives to protecting the environment, to climate change, over-population and consumption, and veganism. When asked if there was still hope, all three speakers responded with a resounding yes, adding a poignant message from their unique perspective.
Don Henry reminded us that one needn’t have all the answers to make a difference, and that we are able to continue to do so even after we’re gone. Revel made the point that in trying to engage community members of differing views on environmental issues, a common ground must be forged. And Cara gave the vegan philosophy a passionate voice, underlining the importance of every individual’s choices in the making of large scale change.
Wildlife Queensland sincerely thanks Professor Darryl Jones and each of the panelists whose generously given time and expertise made the night such a success. Sincere thanks also go to each of the following sponsors whose kind donations ensured that our raffle prize winners walked away with their hands as full as their hearts:
EkoWorx; Trekabout Photography; Gondwana Guides; Cedar Creek Lodges; Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary; Pam McGrath; Direct Compost Solutions; Peter Garrett; Kate Chaplin; Bunnings Warehouse and Rensche Schep.