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.