There was a time when Prospect Vale, near Launceston, was a rural suburb surrounded by bush. My brother and I roamed freely with the neighbourhood kids, building cubbies in the bush and collecting tadpoles from ponds. On trips to the family shack at Coles Bay we’d spend hours on the beach, collecting shells and peering deep into rock pools. We’d wander the bush, turning over rocks to find fat centipedes, exploring with wonder and a sense of adventure.
While at uni I did my first overnight bush walking trip to Mt. Anne. It was hard work, but worth the slog! I stilI enjoy the sigh of relief you feel as your boots hit the track and you take your first steps away from the carpark. The noise and complexity of everyday life melts away into swaying branches, and things like the colours of wet bark and the calls of Currawongs take centre stage instead. I find joy in the simplicity of carrying all that you need on your back and going into the bush to explore. It's this sense of adventure and desire to be outside amongst the trees that has led me to volunteer with local landcare groups. I first got involved with a project mapping Canary Broom on Maria Island. Not long after that I had the opportunity to spend six days working on a remote patch of Spanish Heath on the southern part of the island, and I saw first hand what can be achieved by a group of dedicated people.
As an individual the task seemed unwieldy, but by the end of the week we had made a huge dent in the infestation of Spanish Heath. I’ve been fortunate and privileged to have returned to the site to see the results of our work over the years. Apart from the landcare work I’ve had great conversations and made new friends over many cups of tea and bickies, and shared meals and laughs. Working together with others towards a common purpose is rewarding. I now sit on two care group committees and volunteer at other working bees. If we all plug away at our own patch we can achieve a lot.