Two exceptional women who loved Nature
Janine Kitson, Member of the National Parks Association of NSW
Based on the NPA course presented to the WEA, Sydney on 15 October, 2016
With special thanks to Anne McLeod, author of The Summit of Her Ambition, The spirited life of Marie Byles 2016
US writer, Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring is claimed to have heralded in the modern environment movement. Australia’s Marie Byles is recognised as NSW’s first practicing woman solicitor as well as a leading woman bushwalker, mountain climber and conservationist. This NPA/WEA, Sydney course compared these two outstanding conservationists – an American and an Australian – and explored how these two indomitable and fearless women contributed so much to the development of the modern environment movement.
Social media power leads Illawarra Branch and Bushwalk the ‘Gong to decide to work together to launch a Walk of the Month program in the Illawarra.
For a few years, the NPA has been offering a Sydney based Walk of the Month program in conjunction with Wildwalks.com. The walks are advertised to the public through the internet and this magazine. Illawarra Branch have been keen to replicate this program in our region with the view to promoting bushwalking, enjoyment and knowledge of the Illawarra bushland.
The branch has been watching with interest the success of a new local initiative called Bushwalk the ‘Gong which was established in 2016 and has enjoyed good local media coverage. Recently an opportunity arose for us to join forces with Bushwalk the ‘Gong to offer a Walk of the Month style program in the Illawarra. We expect this will widen the participation and reach of the branch.
44 years of community education, walking and activism
Gary Schoer and Peter Vaughan, Executive Committee, Southern Sydney Branch
The Sutherland Sub Branch (of Sydney Branch) of the National Parks Association of NSW was established in 1972. Bob Spencer was the first Convenor. In 1973 Gary Schoer was encouraged by Bob to step into this role. On the 6th of August 1986 a meeting was held to elect office bearers and establish a full Southern Sydney Branch of NPA; 27 members attended the meeting at Gymea Community Centre.
After the 1986 election Bob Crombie, a ranger at Royal National Park, spoke on the issues threatening the Hacking River and Royal National Park, especially the proposed Helensburgh urban development. NPA joined with Total Environment Centre and local groups in fighting to prevent a major expansion of urban development in the catchment of Royal National Park. This success provided the momentum for the Branch to be a key group for advocating for “The Royal” and southern Sydney’s natural areas ever since.
Byarong Creek Cascades – 3-4hrs
“An urban adventure following the footsteps of my Grandfather up to the cascades and waterfall,” says Jenae Johnston from Bushwalk the ‘Gong.
“When I recently hiked this trail I was the fourth generation to retrace the steps (fifth if I could’ve convinced the kids to come!) of my Great Grandfather Mr. Percy Kennedy. A keen amateur geologist and an active citizen of Wollongong, Percy was convinced of evidence of an extinct volcano under Mt Robertson as he explored the beautiful Byarong Creek and its cascades in the early 1930’s. Today I set out to do a reconnoitre with my Dad in town, with some vague directions recalled from the 1950-60’s from his own personal adventures as a kid.”
Featured National Park
Brian Everingham, President Southern Sydney Branch, National Parks Association of NSW
You will find Yarriabini National Park a short distance south of Macksville or, if travelling from further south, roughly 45 km from Kempsey. Turn into Albert Drive at Warrell Creek and follow the signs for ‘Yarrahapinni Mountain’ or ‘Yarriabini National Park’. This is the beloved backyard of one of the great members of NPA, James Tedder, now deceased. This patch of land lies to the east of his home at Grassy Head and it is him and other local conservationists that we can thank for the protection, gazettal and effective management of this land. Mind you, Jim would also add that the park is not yet complete. We know he wished for the lands north of The Pines picnic area and along Way Way Creek Road to be added to the park and, perhaps, one day we shall see his wish fulfilled.
Carly Chabal, Intern, National Parks Association of NSW
World Heritage listing is not just for biodiversity and iconic plants and animals, it is also for the protection and celebration of special landscape features and special and interesting geological features.