Latest news

Calling all bushland managers

Our nature reserves cannot be locked up and left in a time of weeds, pests, climate change, drought and floods. We need active management to protect our flora and fauna.. Bushland managers make decisions every day that influence our remnant ecosystems, be it the timing of ecological burns, weed control methods, revegetation or protecting threatened species. That’s why IFFA would like to support the formation of a new Bushland Management Network. This network could represent and unite bushland managers by: supporting the formation of a collaborative bushland management network, with a list of bushland managers from public and… Read more »

Introducing Dr Graeme Lorimer, new President of IFFA

Thanks My first task as the President of IFFA is to warmly thank Brian Bainbridge for his eight years as my predecessor and for one year as the editor of Indigenotes. Brian has brought a great deal of thoughtfulness, expertise and effort to those roles for our benefit. I will do my best to live up to Brian’s standards. Future directions I have a long history with IFFA.… Read more »

Open Day: Grange Heathland Reserve

Unique remnant of bushland in Melbourne’s sandbelt  Guided tours  Wedding Bush in flower  Sausage sizzle  Free local plants Osborne Avenue Clayton South, off Westall Rd  Enquiries: Mick 0403 587 611  Read more »

Let them eat caladenia

EVER since I was about 6 years old and I spent hours watching ladies from the Cake Decorators Association of Victoria creating intricate sugar flowers at the Royal Melbourne Show, I have wanted to learn how to make them myself. So when I decided to do 3rd year uni part-time the first thing I did was find a beginners sugar flower course and start learning. I have since completed a few… Read more »

A life changing event

Sometime around 50 million years ago, our planet experienced a major transformation that was to drastically change the course of evolution forever. Karl Just tells the story.  This was when the warm, greenhouse world that had characterised the age of dinosaurs, suddenly shifted to a much cooler planet, a planet that tends to swing in and out of ice ages, and where the northern and southern poles are usually covered… Read more »

IFFA excursion sea shell survey

Enjoy a morning stroll along St Kilda beach learning about sea shells, a great activity for the kids!  Join Fam Charko (Community Engagement Manager at Port Phillip EcoCentre) for a short talk about the natural and Aboriginal history of West beach and to assist with a shell survey, to supply data to the Port Phillip baykeeper long-term database.  Meet at West Beach, St Kilda at the café… Read more »

Aboriginal Garden at Monash

The Aboriginal Garden on the grounds of Monash University honours and revives the ancient reliance of humans on the indigenous plants of Australia. An IFFA excursion in March brought members close to nearly 150 plants used for food, medicine, fibre, adhesives and tools. In a morning stroll we traversed thousands of years of Aboriginal relationship to this land. Our guide, Sharee Harper, has worked at the garden for over 6 years. Sharee led us on a gentle and generous tour through the garden’s different zones with plants from the inland, wetlands, the… Read more »

Why don’t they do their weeds?

How often do you hear that, asks Karen Alexander. It might be a landholder about a neighbour, a council reserve manager of an adjoining private land owner, a community group of council,  a council of state department, or Parks Victoria of a neighbour or other government agency. WELL, what is the answer? The Johns Hill Landcare Group, based at Emerald, wanted to know. So did the local council, Cardinia… Read more »

Fabulous fungi photography forum

Without fungi, life as we know it would end: dead trees and leaf litter would not decay, carbon and nitrogen wouldn’t be recycled, the soil wouldn’t hold together, 90% of Australian plants would be stunted or die and many small mammals would starve.. IAN BELL will cover some of the vital ecological roles fungi play and will show some of the great diversity and beauty of Australian fungi in photographs brought to life with time-lapse photography. Individual photographs can be very beautiful but adding the dimension of time adds drama and reveals growth too slow for the eye to see. You don’t need to be a David Attenborough. It is not… Read more »

Biodivision Book launch and forum

As I took my seat in the Deakin Edge auditorium at Federation Square, I looked around to see three people that I had just said good-bye to at work a few hours ago. I also saw many other familiar faces scattered throughout the crowd… My doubts about whether this forum would be relevant to me were somewhat eased. Later, I would also meet two more work colleges on the… Read more »

President’s letter

Can one set of standards and principles apply across a field as broad as ecological restoration?. CAN IT embrace the work of volunteers and professionals, NGOs, government agencies and multinational corporates? Can one set meet the needs of a tiny urban reserve Friends group, a marine park manager, a director of mine rehabilitation and visionaries of continental habitat corridors? The recently established Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA) is developing just such a set of principles and standards. Why? Because collectively we are wasting scarce… Read more »

Growing pains

The importance of volunteer supported indigenous plant nurseries is underrated, writes Barry Rowe.. The development and management of environmental and biodiversity plans, strategies, programs and projects is a policy commitment of various Commonwealth, State and Local Government organisations, certain Statutory Authorities and Catchment Authorities. Generally they have as a central focus the promotion and maintenance of the extent and quality of existing indigenous vegetation in their geographical area and if not to achieve a net gain or no net loss, in native vegetation… Read more »

Book review, March 2014

Our Once and Future Planet. Paddy Woodworth, 2013, University of Chicago Press  NEARLY ten years ago the experienced journalist Paddy Woodworth became tired of reporting on the Basque separatist movement and Irish arts scene and was intrigued by the new and positive-sounding concept of ‘ecological restoration’. The result is a thoughtful and robust analysis of ecological restoration. It is also a challenge to restorationists to engage more deeply with the wider world… Read more »

Pesticide controls — an update from France

In January the French Assemblee Nationale1 confirmed the Senate law banning pesticide use in public open spaces by 2020 and, by 2022, their sale to or possession by non-professional users. The law was discussed in December’s Indigenotes. Pesticides can still be used against noxious organisms as well as on railways, airports runways and freeways. Public areas such as public forests and National Parks trails can still be treated but must… Read more »

Merri Creek, Fawkner: Revisiting revegetation

Tony Faithfull and Brian Bainbridge have a continuous connection to the restoration of Merri Creek going back to 1988. An IFFA excursion to the Merri in Fawkner last December was an opportunity to reflect on the project’s history and its future with other IFFA folk. At the parking lot at Jukes Road, many of the group were surprised by the amount of open space. Tony revealed how a major… Read more »

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