Hello from Murdoch Branch Committee 2019

In December 2018, our Branch committee was formed for the next year. A number of new returning faces and a few new ones, here is a little bit about our Committee members:

Diana Corbyn (Back left) has been with the Murdoch Branch since year dot. Her interests are botany, ecology and bushland restoration. She currently represents the WSWA on the Rehabilitating Roe 8 Advisory Committee. Diana is our Branch Vice-President.

Ross Young (Back 2nd left) has been a Society member for four years and a Murdoch Branch committee member for three. A former career banker, Ross completed his BSc in Environmental Biology in 2014 and now is administrator of the Mining Rehabilitation Fund. His particular interests are in plant ecology and plant/bird interactions.

Jennifer Dudley (centre) grew up in Adelaide where she was an artist & designer for many years, often incorporating South Australian Native Plants & Wildflowers in her textile design. Jennifer moved to Fremantle to complete her PhD in Asian Studies (Indonesia) at Murdoch University, and always intended to roam the West looking for Wildflowers to photograph & draw, which she now does through the Murdoch Branch of WSWA.

Felicity Bairstow (Back, second right) is a member of many environmental organisations and committees and played a pivotal role in the Save Beeliar Wetlands campaign.

Christine Allen (Back right) has a passion for all things plants. She heard about the diversity of flora in WA during her undergraduate degree at the University of Wollongong in NSW and thought it sounded like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for plant lovers! Christine completed her PhD in flora conservation at UWA in 2014 and has continued to work in the revegetation of flora in the Wheatbelt and Peel-Harvey.  Christine has been Branch President for three years now.

Mathew Woods (Front left) works as a senior Conservation officer at the company Landcare Weed control. Outside of Mat’s work, he has various hobbies like playing video games and gardening. Mat also really like plants. Mat is our Branch Treasurer.

Sheree Walters (Front right) grew up in the wheatbelt region of Western Australia with a passion for the environment and natural landscapes. Sheree is currently completing a PhD in native plant genetics at Curtin University working with four of our wonderful WA natives – including two parasitic plants! She is particularly interested in landscape ecology and the importance of biodiversity – including plants, animals, insects and fungi – in both natural and restored landscapes. Sheree has been our Branch Secretary for three years now.

We are a friendly bunch, always keen to see new people at our monthly talks and hear about new activities we could run at the Branch. Let us know if you have an idea for a speaker or activity: murdoch.secretary@wildflowersocietywa.org.au


Listing of Committees and Sub Committees

The full listing of Committees and Sub Committees of the Wildflower Society is now available online – Members Only.  Committee members and a brief description of each Committee is also included.  Know what your Society is doing… and perhaps get involved yourself!  Download the document on the WSWA Governance page.

Newsletters from ANPSA – Members Only

We regularly receive hard copies of newsletters from related ANPSA organisations in other parts of Australia, which are distributed to each branch for members to read.  We are now receiving digital copies of some of these newsletters which may be downloaded – MEMBERS ONLY.  Only the current copy will be available for download due to size restrictions.  On our website now – Members Only – are newsletters from Canberra – Dec 2018 as well as Tasmania – Dec 2018.  Go to the newsletters page here.


Are you in arrears? Renew now!

Renewals can be made online on the ‘My Membership’ page – which is under the ‘Members’ main menu.  This Members Only area requires a password, although if you have previously logged into the system (on the same computer or device) you should get automatic entry.

Once on the ‘My Membership’ page, you will see the word ‘Renew’ in very small letters under your membership type.  Press the words and follow the instructions!

If you have any trouble renewing, or logging in, please email memberships@wildflowersocietywa.org.au for assistance from a volunteer member.

Of course, you can always renew in the usual way – with a cheque by post, or by telephoning the office during normal business hours and providing details over the phone.  The paper renewal form can be downloaded here.

Thank you for your support!

Book review: Biggest estate on earth

The biggest estate on earth written by Bill Gammage. Is from what I hear a fairly well known book on Australian history.

The book covers the subject of Australia’s landscape before European settlement as a land systematically managed with a scientific precision to ensure abundant and predictable wildlife and food plants. Bill explains How Aborigines achieved this using fire and plant life cycles to create varied land management strategies for the same goal.

The biggest estate on earth is a definite must read for people interested in Australian history and more importantly for people interested in land management. I know I enjoyed this book for that exact reason.


Review by Mathew W.

Newsletter Now Online – Members Only

NOTE:  Australian Plants has been delayed by the publisher, and will not accompany the WSWA Newsletter this quarter. You can expect to receive two issues in the next mailout.

The Wildflower Society of WA newsletter (February 2019, Vol 57 No 1) has now been published electronically.  All members are entitled to view and download the electronic newsletter.  The printed newsletter should be posted to those who have requested a hard copy (no green discount) in the next several weeks.

You may view the newsletter online by going to the ‘Members’ tab at the top of any page of the WSWA website, then choose ‘Newsletters’ at the side of the page.

Or link to the newsletter page here.

If you are having trouble logging in, it may be that your membership is overdue.  Please ring Perry House to inquire during office hours, or email memberships@wildflowersocietywa.org.au at any time.

Front cover: Depot Hill Nature Reserve, Mingenew.  A location on ANPSA Conference 2019 Tour 1.   Photo Jolanda Keeble.


Melville – cockburn plant list

Our Branch Patron, Alex George, has kindly compiled a list of native plants that have grown successfully in gardens around the Melville-Cockburn area for at least seven years which are considered reliable and hardy growers – many of which he has growing in his own garden! We hope that this list may provide a starting point for anyone in our area who is looking to plant natives on their patch. Enjoy!

Melville-Cockburn plant list 8 3 2018

2018 Community Conservation Award


On Saturday 17 November, members of the CCWA gathered at Perth Waldorf School for the CCWA Community Conservation Awards 2018. Hosted by President Prof. Carmen Lawrence and Vice President Tim Barling, some of the most inspiring environmentalists in Western Australia were acknowledged.  Brian Moyle was honoured with the prestigious CCWA “Bessie Rischbieth Conservation Award.

Brian has been a quiet achiever who has shown commitment and compassion towards the protection of wildflowers in our state over several decades.

To Read more………  http://www.ccwa.org.au/awards2018?fbclid=IwAR0nytqnIlkmPJnzSJeL-zNFqEgTlRoP_9uJP2xsfaJ5plRQYDYGJG03w_s

Murdoch branch North Lake walk.

Walking through the North Lake reserve is still quite confronting to some of us, not quite two years since Colin Barnett’s bulldozers tore a 5km gash through the wetlands and woodlands.  For some on the walk it was their first visit back since witnessing the horror of the summer of 2016-17.

As we set off on our walk Felicity gave us an update of the past 21 months.  First came the remediation of the construction site and then the development of a ten year management plan for the cleared area and surrounds to enable the best possible opportunity for restoration.

We walked through the remaining southern side of the reserve which while still a very diverse piece of bushland is sorely in need of some focussed weed control.  (This part of the reserve is managed by DBCA who as we know are not well funded)

Reaching the road reserve and immediately we see the wetland-bushland divide of natural restoration. With only weed control and some protective fencing the wetland section has literally bounced back with pioneer species such as kunzea establishing in their hundreds and now other wetland species reappearing.  It is a sight that gives hope and demonstrates the amazing resilience of nature with a little help from its friends.

To the west is a different story.  We knew the uplands were going to struggle in comparison and although there are areas of really encouraging regrowth some of the areas remain quite barren.  Areas where the topsoil was especially disturbed and where mulch piles compacted and cooked the soil are going to need more intervention and TLC to come back. Now the road reserve is under the management of the City of Cockburn and the very competent Linda Metz leading the Management Plan there will be ample opportunities for our community to be involved in this process.

To see the first flowering of our most beautiful and sacred Christmas trees was a bonus for us all and by the time we returned to the Wetlands Centre it seemed we had all been inspired and encouraged by the strength of nature and community around us.  It was a pretty special walk.