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.
I have a long history with IFFA. I have been a member since the first meeting thirty years ago and have many fond memories, particularly of camps, excursions, forums, ‘show and tell’ and making friends. I was very active in the committee in the heyday of the 1980s and early 90s, including the role of Vice President during 1988-91.
Restoration Australasia. (We will be liaising more with such groups.)
In particular, there are always new people taking up an interest in nature, and I aim to harness IFFA’s potential to foster and support such an interest – particularly in young people.
To make these things happen, the IFFA committee is drawing on the ‘speed planning’ session at the November IFFA meeting and the ‘IFFA Strategic Planning Report 2011’.
IFFA was important at the global scale in raising and exploring thesubjects of environmental weeds and of growing plants of local provenance. It helped the ecological restoration industry and the indigenous nursery industry become established in southeastern Australia. It has done a lot to help many people learn about, enjoy care for our local pre-settlement flora and fauna. And it has campaigned very effectively on behalf of flora and fauna, e.g. for the introduction of Victoria-wide regulations concerning clearing of native vegetation in 1989.
IFFA still has important roles in these area, notwithstanding what has already been achieved and the rise of new groups such as the Invasive Species Council and the Society for Ecological
If we haven’t met yet and you’d like to have an idea of what to expect, here are a few things about me. I am a great lover of nature and science whose current work is mostly on habitat conservation and the botany of grasses. I also work as an air pollution scientist and I teach people about plants
and vegetation management. I am a PhD in astrophysics and mathematics from decades ago. I volunteer with a few ‘Friends’ groups looking after bushland near my home in Bayswater North. I love propagating plants and, in 1989-91, co-ran a micro-scale indigenous nursery. I have a sense of duty that is too great for my own good.
I’m sure we have important things in common, so let’s pursue them!