Wild/flower Women Symposium


Sue Davis, facilitator of Wild/flower Women, talks about poet Judith Wright and wildflower artist Kathleen McArthur.

“A shared love of the subtle beauties of Queensland’s often overlooked wildflowers led to Kathleen McArthur, Judith Wright and their families embarking on a ‘wildflowering’ expedition across the coast in 1953. Climbing to the top of Mt Tinbeerwah they looked north across the then untouched plains and coastline stretching north to Double Island Point and Wide Bay and declared ‘this would make a great national park’…

Kathleen and Judith then lead one of Australia’s first major conservation battles, creating nation-wide public awareness of the existence of and special nature of the Cooloola region. Working alongside many others, they embarked on a 22-year campaign which finally resulted in the gazettal of Cooloola National Park in 1975.”  from My Sunshine Coast

On a day to celebrate the achievements of Judith and Kathleen I was given the opportunity to present about the Bimblebox Nature Refuge, Bimblebox Art Project and more specifically Bimblebox 153 Birds.   I always love the opportunity to talk about these and to showcase the artist’s, writer’s and musician’s work.  Below are some photos of the Bimblebox presentation.

Brolgas, photo by Sonya Duus

Brolgas at the Bimblebox Nature Refuge

From Brolgas to Coal Mines


Talking about Waratah Coal’s planned mine that would see the loss of the Bimblebox Nature Refuge


The art, science and nature camps at the Bimblebox Nature Refuge.


Bimblebox 153 Birds, talking about the project.


Listening to the The Black-eared Cuckoo, artist Paul Uhlmann, Writer Meera Atkinson, Musician Paul Burton.


Listening to the Olive-backed Oriole, artist Annette Simpson, writer John Bennett, musician Tanya Sparke.

Audio file: Olive-backed Oriole, poet John Bennett, poem Oriole sagittatus – Olive-backed Oriole, musician Tanya Sparke, voice.  Audio compilation and mixing by Boyd.


The Australasian Darter, artist Bill Hay, writer Laura Lamont, Musician Adrian McNeil.

After a full day at the Wild/flower Women symposium the last thing I wanted to do was get into my car and drive down the highway for an hour and half back to Brisbane.  Instead I found a seat by the Noosa river and looked across at the still wild lands that Judith Wright and Kathleen McArthur had worked so hard to save.  From the built up, paved over and shored up side of the river I contemplated how much at that very moment I wanted to be hunkered down in the sands of Cooloola in the Great Sandy National Park to the north of the river.

Kathleen and Judith must have mourned what has been lost of the wilderness areas that they had known, but I hope they would also be proud of their achievements which through the lens of history are quite astonishing.  If each of us, in our own lifetimes, could achieve as much for the environment as they (and all the other people who worked with them) did, then the future would be in safe hands.

by the Noosa river as the day comes to a close…


Symposium photos by Anne Harris, brolga photo by Sonya Duus, Noosa river photos by Jill Sampson.  Photos used in the presentation are by Alana Brekelmans, Alison Clouston, Sonya Duus, Bambi Gosbell, Paula Quintela, Jill Sampson & Tangible Media

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