Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : March 17, 2016 Edition Contents PAGE 14 - THE ADVERTISER, THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2016
OVER 2500 members of the Bass Coast Shire
community enjoyed discovering what was new
at the Phillip Island Nature Parks’ sixth annual
Community Open Day, which was held recently.
The annual day featured free entry to all Nature
Parks attractions as well as activities with rang-
ers and volunteers to showcase the Nature Parks’
newest attractions and environmental programs.
Events started with a gathering of residents and
their dogs for a ‘Dogs’ Breakfast’ at Smiths Beach.
The group walked with Nature Parks’ rangers
and Hooded Plover Watch community volunteers
to view the resident Hooded Plover family.
Rangers explained how responsible dog own-
ers and wildlife can live together successfully and
also invited residents to become involved in the
‘Hooded Plover Watch’ volunteer program.
Churchill Island then put on a show in the
morning with sheep shearing, working dog dem-
onstrations, face painting and old time games.
Curator Christine Grayden and Friends of
Churchill Island Society volunteers delighted
visitors with a display about the island’s most
famous owner in the late 1800s, Samuel Amess.
Children were invited to try their hand at some
old time chores such as butter churning.
Locals also had the opportunity to meet and
speak to the Nature Parks’ Dr Duncan Suther-
land and Zoos Victoria’s Dr Amy Coetsee about
the recent introduction of Eastern Barred Bandi-
coots onto Churchill Island in an ambitious trial
release designed to save the species from extinc-
tion in Victoria.
The new ‘Antarctic Journey’ at the Nobbies
Centre was busy from the moment it opened with
curious locals coming to experience the exciting
new display through guided tours.
They also were able to speak with research staff
to learn about the dangers of plastic pollution in
The Koala Conservation Centre was a hub of ac-
tivity throughout the day with the ‘Koala Experi-
ence’ walk and talk including bird watching with
BirdLife Bass Coast volunteers.
The nearby Barbara Martin Bushbank commu-
nity plant nursery was once again popular.
Visitors also enjoyed an ‘expo’ of community
groups including the CFA, Landcare and West-
ernport Water who delighted the community with
demonstrations and giveaways.
In the afternoon, John Jansson presented a
fascinating insight into the Shipwrecks of Phil-
lip Island to an enthralled audience, before the
Nature Parks’ environment team delighted visi-
tors with a demonstration with fox dogs Sam and
Jazz who run over 1700km each year in search of
Phillip Island’s last remaining foxes.
Possum and bird box painting were also popu-
lar with all ages, and all children loved complet-
ing their ‘Open Day’ quest to win a badge and
beautiful hand painted environmental book.
In the early evening little penguin experts from
the Nature Parks research department led ‘The
Private Lives of Penguins’ tour.
Locals learned about the lives of little penguins
and the important world-leading research pro-
grams run by the Nature Parks which are sup-
ported by the work of the Phillip Island Penguin
Foundation. On the day, Westernport Water do-
nated the funds they raised at their stall to the
work of this important charity.
As the sun faded in the sky, a crowd gathered
for the ‘Spirit of the Land’ activity where Boon
Wurrung elder Caroline Briggs welcomed the
community with a moving speech and smoking
Participants were then treated to a performance
by local Boon Wurrung dancers and were then
asked to join the dancers.
Locals then settled in to enjoy the evening Pen-
guin Parade where they marvelled at the little
penguins coming ashore after a day’s fishing and
returning to their burrows.
“We are very proud of all the new initiatives that
the Nature Parks has developed this year and are
equally proud to share the work we do to protect
and enhance Phillip Island’s environment, along
with our community of dedicated volunteers,”
said Matthew Jackson, Phillip Island Nature
“We would like to thank everyone involved in
the Community Open Day 2016 and invite the
community to consider joining one of the many
wonderful volunteer groups who work with the
Nature Parks to care for Phillip Island’s environ-
ment, culture and wildlife.
“Everyone is encouraged to mark the annual
event in their diary for next year.
“Our Community Open Day is held on the first
Sunday in March. Look out for advertisements and
information in local papers and on our website.”
out in force to
PINP free open day
The Antarctic Journey display at the Nobbies Centre proved to be extremely
popular with visitors to the PINP Open Day. The Clark family is pictured with
staff member Lubrika enjoying the display.
Boon Wurrung Foundation dancers at ‘Spirit of the Land’ are pictured at the
ceremony they performed on dusk, at Summerland.
Churchill Island ranger Trevor Heywood demonstrates the art of shearing at
PINP’s Open Day. The Parfitt family certainly enjoyed the demonstration.
Wendy and David Henry, of Cowes, enjoyed the ‘Bandicoot Banter’ session
conducted by Nature Parks Deputy Research Manager, Dr Duncan Sutherland
on Churchill Island as part of the Open Day activities offered to Bass Coast
Nature Parks CEO Matthew Jackson and Friends of
Churchill Island volunteer Jan Jonas welcome guests to
PINP’s annual Open Day festivities.
Friends of Churchill Island Society volunteer, Linda Pat-
terson, shows James Lone from Cowes how the housework
was done in days gone by.
PI Nature Parks Board member Liz Stinson with Bird-
Life Bass Coast volunteer Penny Manning during the re-
cent open day festivities.
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