Art of Woman

Australia Day

Australia is a fantastic place to live in. There are many opportunities here. We have a stable government, even if they argue a lot, and we have good infrastructure and good health and education systems.

Today Australia celebrated its national day. There were a lot of public festivities and private barbecues simply appreciating Australia with joy and gratitude. It is a good thing to celebrate Australians who have contributed greatly to society with the Australia Day honours awards.

In all the Australia Day celebrations that I saw, live and shown on TV, there was a lot of discussion about what it means to be an Australian person, but I saw no mention of what it means to be an Australian animal or plant. Yet our unique wildlife and bush is a significant part of our Australian identity.

What would the Australian identity be without the Koala? Yet recently the Koala has suffered such severe declines in population, it was placed on the threatened species list.

Australia is a megadiverse country. Our geographic isolation has created a suite of literally thousands of species that are endemic to Australia, that is, they are found in no other country in the world. Unfortunately, many of these species are suffering from the impacts of feral species (that is, species from other countries that have gone wild in our bushland and desert). Many feral species disrupt our fragile ecosystems. They reduce forage, occupy scarce nest sites and eat our native wildlife.

The possibility that Australia could loose any of its unique species is totally unacceptable.

I enjoyed the Australia Day Live celebrations outside parliament house, see photo below. When I look at this child I see Australia’s future. I hope that Australia will still have its unique wildlife by the time he has children of his own. Will his children be able to see any living Bridle Nail-tailed Wallabies, Numbats, Barred Bandicoots, Bettongs and Bilbies? These native Australians are extremely beautiful and are critically endangered. And most people do not even know they exist.

The Australian Wildlife Conservancy has increased the populations of Bridle Nail-tailed Wallabies, Numbats, Barred Bandicoots, Bettongs and Bilbies and many other animals. They measure their success using science based evidence such as population studies and fire control experiments. I fully support the Australian Wildlife conservancy and ask that you support them too.

Be a caring Aussie and help maintain our endemic wildlife. You can donate here.

To see the animals mentioned in this article, see their summer magazine, “Wildlife Matters”.

Australia Day baby 2013