Come and Learn about WA Native Community

DPaW invites you to attend the Banksia Woodland Management Workshop on Friday 16th June 2017 from 10am – 4.30pm at the McNamara Conservation Science Centre, Department of Parks and Wildlife (17 Dick Perry Avenue, Kensington, WA). SEE VENUE CHANGE BELOW

Department of Parks and Wildlife is planning a packed program with 21 speakers giving 5, 15 and 20-minute talks for community and professional land managers of Banksia woodland. One of the speakers is the patron of Murdoch Branch Dr Joe Fontaine. Joe will also talk on outcomes of PhD project undertaken by one of his student Pawel Waryszak. Pawel and Joe spent 4 years surveying and analysing the outcomes of multiple experimental treatments in the restoration project that utilized  topsoil salvaged from under cleared Banksia woodland at the Jandakot Airport. The topsoil, that contains large native seed bank, was transferred to two restoration sites, at Anketell Road and Forrestdale Lake, with aim to rehabilitate degraded paddock. Come, learn and show your support for this unique WA ecological community.

The workshop is planned to start with an overview of Banksia woodlands on the Swan Coastal Plain and more details about its very recent federal listing as a threatened ecological community. Parks and Wildlife staff will then share outcomes from five years of the Banksia Woodland Restoration Project, as well as research on fire recovery and weed management. To follow, sessions will showcase studies from respected academics and researchers on the topics of dieback, groundwater, genetics, fire, and fauna, and feature case studies of Banksia woodland management from local government and community perspectives. An opportunity for informal discussion will follow. The workshop is a free event with lunch, afternoon tea and refreshments provided but registration is critical.

On Tuesday 20th June 2017 (10am – 12 noon),  Parks and Wildlife staff offers also a guided tour to Banksia woodland restoration site at Anketell Road in Oakford (self-drive).

To register, contact Julia Cullity at or on 9442 0320 (please indicate whether you will be attending the workshop, field trip or both). Registrations close Friday 2nd June 2017.


Due to a huge response of interest, we have changed the venue of the Banksia Woodland Management Workshop.

  • Banksia Woodland Management Workshop
  • The University Club of Western Australia, UWA
  • 9.45–4.30pm Friday 16 June 2017

Parking may be limited. Additional free parking at Parks and Wildlife Crawley office is available 1km from the venue. Please see reception for a parking permit.

Please confirm that you can make this change of venue. And if you haven’t already responded, please let me know if you have any special dietary requirements and if you would like to attend the post-conference field trip on Tuesday 20 June 2017.


Julia Cullity

Community Bushland Coordinator

P: 9442 0320| M: 0400 017 977| E:

Ridge Walk the Helena & Aurora Range

The Wildflower Society has been campaigning for over ten years to protect the Helena and Aurora Range, which is home to five endemic plant species and eleven priority plant species, as well as four species of threatened fauna. The Society has joined a coalition of environment groups calling for the creation of a national park in the area.  Take a virtual ridge walk of the Helena and Aurora range – link on our Campaigns page here.

Connecting with Nature in the City (Letter from Dawn)

Dear WSWA members,

There’s something special about watching the sun rise from Kings Park… when the surface of the river is like glass, the sky has a rosy tinge, and there’s a bit of chill in the air. The city emerges from the gloom and the trees along Fraser Avenue turn gold. Some parrots erupt from the canopy in a sudden assault of sound, and then the mournful call of a raven and some warbling magpies. And the flowers… the flowers in spring! All that colour and variety and beauty that words just can’t convey…

Kings Park has to be my favourite green space in Perth.  But you probably have your own favourite – it might be a park, or some remnant bushland, even a backyard. These spaces will also be special to you for very individual reasons. It is something I’ve been exploring for my PhD as well as how important intangible things (like beauty or solitude or relaxation) are to people’s experiences of urban green space. I’m interested because I want to know if green spaces in a city like Perth are enough for users to feel connected with nature.

The American ecologist, Robert M. Pyle came up with the rather gloomy term, ‘extinction of experience’ which he used to describe an ever-diminishing connection between humans and common species of plants and animals in an everyday environment, especially in the developed world. He warned that “those who know and recognise less, care less, and therefore act less, leading to still more losses”.[1]  So if people in cities can connect with nature in urban green spaces that would probably be a good thing!

If you’d like to hear more about connecting with nature in the city, I’ll be talking about my PhD research at the Murdoch branch on 2 March 2017 so please come along. You can also help me with my research! I’m collecting information at the moment in an online survey to see how Perth residents use and experience urban green space. It only takes about 15 minutes to complete and can be accessed here: Please share this link with your Perth friends too as every little bit of information helps.

Thanks and hope to see you soon!

Dawn Dickinson


[1] Pyle, R. M. (2003). “Nature matrix: reconnecting people and nature.” Oryx 37:209.

Paws for Thought

I’m sure that you’re all familiar with our State floral emblem, the unique Red-and-Green (or Mangles’) Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii). Quite rightly, it’s a popular addition to native gardens right around Australia and, of course, can be found growing naturally across wide areas of southwestern WA. But there are more ‘kangaroo paws’ than just the familiar Mangles’ and the popular hybrids produced for gardens by the boffins at Kings Park. Did you know that there are actually 11 species (and 13 recognised subs-species) of Kangaroo Paw in the genus Anigozanthos? No? How about the fact that there is one species that has a genus all to itself? Read on if you’d like to learn more about this fascinating group -and who wouldn’t? Continue reading “Paws for Thought”

Save trees on the York Merredin Road

The Wildflower Society and the Urban Bushland Council made submissions on a clearing permit from Main Roads in November 2015 for the upgrade and clearing of the whole of the York-Merredin Road; 38.85ha of habitat including 592 trees were to be lost for road widening. A Clearing Permit was granted with an offset, despite the proposal being at variance to five of the clearing principles and potentially at variance to three others. The Wildflower Society and the UBC responded by appealing against the granting of the permit and then they personally met the Appeals Convenor, but the end result was that the proposal was approved. A local York resident only knew about the Main Roads proposal when trees were being cut down last week. He contacted the UBC for help. Margaret Owen from the UBC, Eddy Wajon and a local resident have been in contact with Main Roads in the last few days to have them consider alternative strategies that would save many of the 70 trees in an avenue of magnificent trees just out of York. That story and images of the avenue of trees will be on the ABC news tonight.

If you think you can help by contacting Main Roads or the Shire of York, or the Environment Minister, to push for these alternative strategies to be used to save these trees, please do so.  More information at’ancient’-wheatbelt-trees-felled-york-merredin-road-upgrade/8173624   Photos courtesy ABC News and E Wajon.

Learning about the Liyan

Dr Christine Allen joined the travelers from across Australia to explore the Kimberley with the Traditional Custodians and she shares her very unique experience with us. Christine is the Secretary of the Murdoch Branch.

In late July, I joined a group of 24 travellers from across Australia to explore the Kimberley for a week. But this wasn’t any tourist trip, we were meeting and staying with Traditional Custodians to hear their stories and understand their fight for land. And what an eye- opening trip it was!

We all met in Broome and started the trip by exploring Roebuck Bay with Bart Pigram. We tried our hand at collecting oysters just like Bart’s family has done for many thousands of years. Bart also showed us an ancient waterhole and meeting place for tribes around the region. This water hole was on an rise surrounded by salt flats with samphire and there were old conch shells which were used to collect the water.

Collecting Oysters at the Roebuck Bay.
Collecting Oysters at the Roebuck Bay.

Continue reading “Learning about the Liyan”

Nyungar Food ‘Yanchet’ – Intriguing Typha

Following the super interesting presentation on Nyungar food by Steve McCabe we asked him to share a story on intriguing Typha with us in writing. Enjoy the read. Big Thanks Steve:

Two species of the Typha occur in WA – Typha domingensis and Typha orientalis.The best way to tell the two species apart is to measure the leaf width, if most leaves are broader than 8mm, it is probably T. orientalis.

Typha species have many common names including bulrush, cattail, reedmace and cooper’s flag reed.

On March 29, 1834, less than five years after the 63rd regiment arrived to take possession of Western Australia for the British Crown, the Swan River colonist George Fletcher Moore recorded in his diary that Nyungar people were: Continue reading “Nyungar Food ‘Yanchet’ – Intriguing Typha”

Anstey-Keane Jewel. Let’s have a walk.

The last year wildflower walk at Anstey-Keane reserve attracted ~25 wildflower enthusiasts. We plan to keep on promoting that beautiful bushland – the second most diverse natural jewel on Swan Coastal Plain. You can learn about the details on our Anstey-Keane 2016 Facebook page or just here. Please share the link with your friends.

David from Friends of Forrestdale Lake and Neil from Murdoch Branch will join us again to share their vast knowledge on diverse flora and fauna of the reserve.

We have compiled a list of wildflowers we saw last year and it is very likely that they will greet us again this year:

Hypocalymma robustum
Hypocalymma robustum

Continue reading “Anstey-Keane Jewel. Let’s have a walk.”

Chin Up Clean Up :) A Truly Australian Day

The Wildflower Society of Western Australia Inc. (WSWA) was established in 1958 to promote the value of our natural bushland. The Society does this through regular meetings and excursions, native plant sales, bushland plant surveys, book sales, donations, and attendance at relevant events and much more …

Murdoch Branch introduced an additional function to numerous tasks our vibrant community has committed to. We have embarked on cleaning up the Roe 8 Reserve. As part of the national Clean Up Australia Day, on Sunday March 6, 2016, The Murdoch Branch of the Wildflower Society joined forces with Cockburn Council, Rethink the Link Alliance, and the Save Beeliar Wetlands community to clean up the beautiful remnant bushland that is standing proud against the ill-conceived idea of pushing a highway through to soon-out-of-capacity Fremantle Port.

It was the 27th celebration of Clean Up Australia Day an idea initiated by Ian Kiernan that in 1993 gained the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) that turned into Clean Up the World Day.

The event went far beyond what participants expected as community neighbours jumped out on the street to offer a helping hand and served chilled drinks in the heat to the hardworking volunteers.


More than fifty members had shown their interest on Facebook to take part in the event. Fifteen people gathered on the ground to clean up the Roe 8 bushland. The youngest, aged 5 and 7, received Certificates of Participation as recognition by Clean Up Australia, as they did persevere till the end of the event with enthusiasm.

Finley receives a Clean Up Australia Certificate
Finley receives a Clean Up Australia Certificate

Pawel Waryszak, Wildflower Society of WA Murdoch Branch President and the Event Convener, explained what Clean Up Australia Day meant to him: “Clean-Up Australia creates a great community feel. Today I met so many of my neighbours who I would normally not have a chance to talk to”.

Local residents assists in disposing the rubbish.
Local residents assists in disposing the rubbish.

I definitely underestimated the scale of littering in our local bushland. We managed to cover only a quarter of what we planned to do in the two hours allocated to the clean-up”, Pawel concluded.


One of the volunteers, Robin Scott, student at Murdoch University and environmentalist, added enthusiastically: “I came along as I know that dumping off rubbish is a big issue when it comes to the management of bushland in Perth. Clean Up Australia Day lived up to my expectations as I was expecting there to be a lot of rubbish involved”.

Nicole Carey, PhD Candidate in Wetlands Conservation at Murdoch University, who also came to give us a hand said: “I liked that it was an easy way to care for the local environment, while contributing to a national event. A truly fun, social morning”.

Clean Up Australia Day 2016

Pawel calls for a bigger turnout next year with more community involvement that is much needed in order to conserve our beloved bushland.

Author: @PWaryszak