Author Archives: AWPC

Letter to Editor and Canberra public

We are Australians-meme-AWPC-feature-SueVanHomrigh

AWPC committee member Maria Taylor had this letter published in the Canberra Times on 18 July 2021 after another, yearly, brutal hunt against kangaroo families in the national capital.  We wonder how it plays to the international community.

Cbr-Times-MT-Letter-18July2021RELATED STORY: Killers stalk ACT suburban woodlands

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Shooting Australian native ducks starts again in SA

South-Aust-duck-shooting-season-2021

SOUTH AUSTRALIA and Victoria continue post-colonial killing of many native wildlife species, and encourage wild-bird shooting seasons in the states’ wetlands. Peter Hylands explores the wonders of the Coorong (link here) where the guns will be blasting as of Saturday 20 March 2021.

screen-grab-SA-duck-shooting-season-2021AWPC members can support local wildlife groups to say ‘enough’.

IMAGERY: Pacific Black Duck, Coorong National Park. Creative Cowboy.

 

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Wildlife Rescue / Carers directory

Australia-wide Online Directory — Rescue Services

Here is a link for the Australia-wide Shelter and Carers list:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/wildliferescuecontactsaustraliawide

(It is a CLOSED FACEBOOK GROUP, you will need to join the group.)

Once you have joined the group and received a notification … follow the instructions below to download a PDF of the latest Online Directory.

wildlife-rescue-facebook

  1. Click More to open dropdown menu.
  2. Click Files to open Files location.
  3. Click top PDF file to download latest version of the Wildlife Carers file.

Also, feel free to phone 0427 624 240.

 

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AWPC 2020 Annual Report, Minutes

AWPC-editorial-Jan2020-v3

January 2020 — January 2021

IN NOVEMBER 2019, a new managing committee was voted in on a platform of revitalising the AWPC work and organisation for Australian wildlife:

President: Peter Hylands
Secretary, Administration Manager: Carmen Ryan
Treasurer: Maria Taylor
Committee Members: Chris Lehmann, Jan Heald (later resigned).

The committee’s work began in earnest in January 2020 with a challenging list of tasks to realise the goals of revitalising and raising the profile and professional resources of the AWPC on behalf of the membership’s desire to help wildlife.

These are the highlights to report for 2020 as AWPC restarted work for Australia’s wildlife in conjunction with many concerned citizens and community groups.

In March 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in Australia and affected activities and meetings throughout the reporting year.

Partly in response to the restrictions imposed by COVID, but also as part of the necessary modernisation of resources and tools as a national organisation, a focus in 2020 was the use of digital communications. Committee members worked from home and this also saved the organisation a lot of money.

Committee meetings were conducted on Zoom, including the delayed 2020 AGM. Organised by Carmen as an AWPC pioneering effort, the AGM was held in January 2021. It became clear that COVID restrictions would not abate quickly to allow in-person national meetings.

The AWPC website was updated with professional assistance and now holds more news and enhanced educational content, taking over from the previous print newsletter. Web manager Sue Van Homrigh, working with the AWPC interim communications editor (Maria), designed the upgrade and posted information throughout the year.

The website with relevant ‘buttons’ on the right-hand side of the home page also has become the pathway for new membership applications and donations. In a difficult year this has been effective with minimal marketing and outreach. Experience showed marketing and outreach need to be stepped up.

Outreach and the financial resources of the organisation are the focus of a proposed business plan, which will be undertaken in 2021 hopefully with the guidance of a volunteer business mentor recruited through UTS business school MBA board volunteer program. The program offers the AWPC committee a business school graduate with some prior experience in not-for-profit board tasks. Practically these include fundraising, outreach to patrons and donors and crafting a business plan.

The plan is aimed at establishing fundraising goals and the means to achieve those goals linked to specific wildlife education/information campaigns designated by the committee. The mentor joins the committee for 12 months and gains further experience.

The Mailchimp bulk mailout system was used in 2020 by the web manager to alert the membership to issues and content; and to AWPC meetings.

In 2020, the AWPC president’s role has been fulfilled by Peter with numerous information and wildlife education engagements conducted in person — face-to-face or electronically — with public officials and politicians; and with media, and community members. The website reported to membership on a range of these initiatives. Peter’s president’s report unpacks some of this work and highlights the enduring and urgent issues posed by state government wildlife policies, particularly focused on Victoria.

Late in 2020, the AWPC was able to welcome the full-time voluntary commitment of Chris Lehmann as the organisation’s kangaroo campaigner. Chris worked effectively and tirelessly providing help, advice and information to community members and groups who approach the AWPC with issues related to public and private harming of kangaroos. He also liaises with kangaroo advocacy groups to leverage the effort. Chris has started outlining some strategic directions for this work in 2021. His report to the AGM covers these areas.

From the digital ‘front office’ Carmen was able to sympathetically counsel concerned community members and refer them to committee members or other organisations best able to help them.

To make the most of digital possibilities for communication and also experiment with some campaign targets, social media outreach was busy in 2020 with some young volunteer help. This entailed posting regularly on Facebook (FB) and Instagram and starting an AWPC YouTube channel. The pilot work was effective, judging by response on these platforms and underscores the necessity to continue this vital role in 2021. In the interim Chris is continuing social media outreach for kangaroos on FB.

meme-awpc-promoKangaroo memes (images and a simple message) were developed by Maria with web-manager and designer Sue. These were posted in rotation by the social media assistant, particularly during the ACT kangaroo shooting months and later prior to the ACT election. The focus was on positive and educational messages and frame-changes about this relentlessly persecuted wildlife species. Possibly the educational messaging helped elect an unprecedented six Greens to the ACT Assembly. (Sample meme pictured here.)

The AWPC committee also made submissions, on behalf of members, to government agencies during 2020 on issues including the (watered down) Code of Practice for shooting kangaroos and the federal review of the EPBC Act. These submission with extensive work and information have been archived on the AWPC website awpc.org.au. In the interest of transparent public information, the AWPC office also lodged Freedom of Information requests in 2020, particularly regarding the anti-wildlife activities of the Victorian government on public land. AWPC experienced a surprising level of non-cooperation to these requests.

Committee members Maria and Carmen spent many hours starting to organise and catalogue the AWPC library/archive, including publications reflecting decades of wildlife work since the organisation started in the 1970s. The archive provided unique historical material to researchers in 2020 as it has in previous years. The committee has found a dedicated volunteer to continue and finalise this work in 2021. The goal is to find the collection a permanent home both physically and digitally with access for the public, researchers and students.

> READ: AWPC AGM 2020 Minutes

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AWPC AGM 2020 Minutes

5.00pm Thursday 21 January 2021

Returning Officer: Bill Taylor
Minutes: Carmen Ryan
Chair: Maria Taylor

1. Apologies

Sue Van Homrigh, Elizabeth Glasso.

2. Welcome by the Chair

Attendees: Peter Hylands, Andrea Hylands, Jan Heald, Chris Lehmann, Cienwen Hickey, Tamsin Ramsay, Charlie Vincent, Bill Taylor, Maria Taylor, Carmen Ryan, Greg Keightley who joined the meeting at approximately 6.30pm.

3. Confirmation of the Minutes of the previous AGM (2019)

A motion was put to the meeting that the Minutes of the 2019 AWPC AGM be accepted.

Moved by Peter Hylands.
Seconded by Jan Heald.

4. Adoption of the 2020 Annual and Treasurer Reports and Financial Statement

Annual Report: Maria Taylor presented a summary of the key highlights of the report. 2020 has laid the groundwork for a strong focus on obtaining and distributing educational material and information and working with digital communications. The report also detailed AWPC’s aim to develop a business/strategic plan this year. AWPC applied to be part of the UTS Business School Board Volunteer mentor program which will give AWPC committee a fund-raising project-based direction and assist.

meme-awpc-promoCommunication work including revitalising and supplying content to the website and other digital communications were a key focus for 2020, partly due to necessity with COVID and partly to move the organisation to contemporary, widely used communication platforms. For example, the website has taken the role previously played by a print newsletter.

Expanding social media outreach was an important aspect carried out with the help of some young volunteers. Testing effectiveness, kangaroo ‘memes’ were constructed by Maria and Sue and placed on social media as awareness-raising tools and worked well as a pilot social media project.

President Peter Hyland’s information and outreach work has been extensive with personal approaches. The committee also welcomed the commitment from committee member Chris Lehmann to take on the role of Kangaroo Campaign Coordinator.

A volunteer will be undertaking the organisation of AWPC’s archive, and ideas for permanent storage are being explored.

A copy of the Annual Report will be available on the website: www.awpc.org.au

Discussion arising from the Annual Report:

The meeting agreed to Cienwen Hickey’s proposal that summaries of meeting minutes are posted on the website and offered to the membership.

Treasurers Report and Financial Statement

Treasurer Maria Taylor acknowledged AWPC’s generous donors from overseas, Sime Validzic in Croatia and Dror Ben-Ami in Israel as well as thanking domestic donors and all committee members and assistants who donated their time and professional expertise.

There were minimal outgoings and these included items such as the purchase of an office computer and the restyling of the website.

Motion was put and agreed that the 2020 Annual Report and Financial Statement be accepted.

  • Moved by Chris Lehmann.
  • Seconded by Peter Hylands.
  • Carried unanimously.

A copy of the 2020 Treasurer’s Report is available on request.

5. Confirm or vary the amounts of the annual membership fee

Moved that the membership fees do not change in 2021.

  • Moved by Maria Taylor.
  • Seconded by Chris Lehmann.
  • Carried unanimously.

6. Rules of the Association

(a) Item from 2019 AGM: changes to the Rules of the Association to be considered and voted upon at the 2020/2021 AGMs (Summary attached).

Proxy voting and use of technology to attend meetings — in-principal decision agreed to by 2019 AGM meeting.

    • Moved to accept by Maria Taylor.
    • Seconded by Peter Hylands.
    • Carried unanimously.

 (b) The rules about accepting membership, 9, 10, 11: Rules of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council (Victoria) Incorporated that focus on written application processes that are outdated, to be further considered and a protocol developed for a decision before the 2021 AGM.

Other proposals:

(c)  Recommendation for a vice president’s position.

    • Motion proposed by Jan Heald.
    • Seconded by Cienwen Hickey. 
    • Discussion later.

(d)  Ordinary meetings to remain as four (4) per annum.

    • Motion proposed by Peter Hylands.
    • Seconded by Jan Heald.
    • Carried unanimously.

(e)  Dialogue will continue about having face-to-face meetings.

Other matters discussed:

  • Mail-out of Minutes [and other communications e.g. re membership renewals] to members.
  • Maria asked the meeting if Mailchimp alerts were being received by members? Strong evidence from meeting that the reminders about membership renewal were getting through.
  • Checking of email addresses of members. Peter Hylands.
  • Exploring improved communications to members. Maria Taylor.
  • Publication via website of Peter’s and Chris’s reports and the ACT report. Carmen Ryan.
  • Offer of support from Charlie Vincent to assist with resolving any mail-out issues and to advise on social media resources in 2021.

7. President’s report

Peter Hylands thanked the meeting, stating that it was great working with everyone. He raised several general issues regarding treatment of Australian wildlife in 2020 from his report and commented on the limited capacities of a small organisation like the AWPC.

Key items for concern:

  • Exclusion fencing installation that is expanding in VIC, NSW and Qld which is being paid for by the federal and state governments — something needs to be done.
  • Mammals and birdlife at the frontline — duck shooting, 90% of the birds are gone and this is happening on Ramsar sites.
  • Killing of large numbers of kangaroos on Victoria’s public lands.
  • Abuse of human rights — destroying peoples’ lives to benefit neighbouring shooting of wildlife, particularly kangaroos. Peter and his partner are gathering testimonials.
  • Education is a big issue, and we need to get onto this because much of the information put out by government is completely dishonest.

From his interview work with the media, Peter reported that a lot has been done in the   last few weeks — both regionally in Victoria and overseas, for example London radio. No traction with the ABC.

Discussion

Centered on the plight of regional/neighboring landholders and how members can assist with stories and testimonials to the AWPC of what it is like living next to a wildlife shooting arena.

8. All current committee of management positions declared vacant and election of new members: President, Secretary, Treasurer, and ordinary committee members

All positions were declared vacant by the Returning Officer Bill Taylor and nominees were re-elected unopposed:

  • President: Peter Hylands.
  • Treasurer Maria Taylor.
  • Secretary Carmen Ryan.

Other positions:

  • Ordinary Committee Member: Cienwen Hickey.
  • A motion for a Vice President position for 2021 was moved by Peter Hylands who nominated Chris Lehmann for the role. This was agreed to unopposed.

  Vice President: Chris Lehmann.

Meeting closed: 6.00pm.

 

 

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Green tree snakes are the most dangerous … here’s why!

green-tree-snake_DavidClode_unsplash

IN RECENT WEEKS while in the garden setting out the sprinkler I noticed a bright yellow stick obscurely standing upright — it was about two foot high and six feet in front of me. That’s a bit odd I thought to myself. Then it started swaying from side-to-side … that’s when I realised it was a snake.

Searching images on the computer identified it as the green tree snake, with the vibrant yellow-belly as photographed above by David Clode at the Cairns Aquarium, North Queensland.

The accompanying blurb stated that this particular snake is …

usually green but may also be black, blue or yellow. Pale blue flecks can often be seen between the body scales. SOURCE

To be honest I didn’t look that closely for the blue flecks when I saw it again last week. So it seems to have taken up residence in our tropical garden.

If you have some ‘good news’ personal stories to tell, and ways of helping wildlife (that does not involve large gatherings of people!) — we would love to hear from you and publish your anecdotal reports and observations.

Write to webeditor.awpc@gmail.com

PS: While I was at the computer identifying our ‘guest’ I came across the yarn below … hope our story ends differently!

— Sue Van Homrigh


GREEN TREE SNAKES (Dendrolaphis punctulata) can be dangerous. Yes, tree snakes or grass snakes, not brown snakes or taipans. Here’s why: A couple in Townsville had a lot of potted plants.

During a recent cold winter (for Townsville that is!), a wife was bringing some of the valued tender ones indoors to protect them from the cold night. It turned out that a little green tree snake was hidden in one of the plants. When it had warmed up, it slithered out and the wife saw it go under the lounge — she let out a very loud scream.

The husband (who was taking a shower) ran out into the living room naked to see what the problem was and she told him there was a snake under the lounge.

He got down on the floor on his hands and knees to look for it. About that time the family dog came and cold-nosed him on the behind. He thought the snake had bitten him, so he screamed and fell over on the floor.

His wife thought he had had a heart attack, so she covered him up, told him to lie still and called an ambulance. The paramedics rushed in, would not listen to his protests, loaded him on their stretcher, and started carrying him out.

About that time, the snake came out from under the lounge and the paramedic saw it and dropped his end of the stretcher. That’s when the man broke his leg and why he is still in hospital.

The wife still had the problem of the snake in the house, so she called on a neighbour who volunteered to capture the snake. He armed himself with a rolled-up newspaper and began poking under the lounge. Soon he decided it was gone and told the woman, who sat down on the lounge in relief. But while relaxing, her hand dangled in between the cushions, where she felt the snake wriggling around.

She screamed and fainted, the snake rushed back under the lounge. The neighbour, seeing her lying there passed out, tried to use CPR to revive her.

The neighbour’s wife, who had just returned from shopping at Woolies, saw her husband’s mouth on the woman’s mouth and slammed her husband on the back of the head with a bag of canned goods, knocking him out and cutting his scalp to a point where it needed stitches.

The noise woke the woman from her dead faint and she saw her neighbour lying on the floor with his wife bending over him, so she assumed that the snake had bitten him. She went to the kitchen and got a small bottle of whiskey and began pouring it down the man’s throat.

By now, the police had arrived.

They saw the unconscious man, smelled the whiskey, and assumed that a drunken fight had occurred. They were about to arrest them all, when the women tried to explain how it all happened over a little garden snake!

The police called an ambulance, which took away the neighbour and his sobbing wife.

Now, the little snake again crawled out from under the lounge and one of the policemen drew his gun and fired at it. He missed the snake and hit the leg of the end table. The table fell over, the lamp on it shattered and, as the bulb broke, it started a fire in the curtains.

The other policeman tried to beat out the flames, and fell through the window into the yard on top of the family dog who, startled, jumped out and raced into the street, where an oncoming car swerved to avoid it and smashed into the parked police car.

Meanwhile, neighbours saw the burning curtains and called in the fire brigade. The firemen had started raising the fire ladder when they were halfway down the street. The rising ladder tore out the overhead wires, put out the power, and disconnected the power in a ten-square city block area (but they did get the house fire out).

Time passed! The snake was caught and both men were discharged from the hospital; the house was repaired; the dog came home; the police acquired a new car and all was right with their world.

A while later they were watching TV and the weatherman announced a cold snap for that night. The wife asked her husband if he thought they should bring in their plants for the night.

And that’s when he shot her.

— SOURCE

 

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