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  John Grey AC, Lieutenant General (retired)  
In releasing this book, ‘From the Heart’, the Wet Tropics Management Authority marks and celebrates the 20th anniversary of the international listing of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area. It also marks a significant milestone for the Authority as the regulatory body for the Area. The Authority is grateful to Rainforest Aboriginal people for their custodianship of the land over many generations and for sharing their knowledge of the Area with us.

Contributors were invited to provide personal stories, poems, pictures or artworks about the Area. The stories and pictures include many of the special places, plants and animals of the Area, as well as some of those people who have played a vital role in the Area’s World Heritage listing and conservation.

‘From the Heart’ aims to reflect the spiritual and emotional attachment that people have with the Area, as well as some humour and hardship. Overall, the book provides an insight into the changes in the region and the community over the past 20 years and the immense benefits and enjoyment that the Area provides to the local community, and Australian and international visitors. The Wet Tropics forests have become central to our sense of place and identity and provide a scenic backdrop to our urban and rural lifestyles.

I hope that you enjoy these generous contributions and I am sure that there are many more people with stories to tell. I believe that these pictures and stories will improve people’s appreciation of the diverse wonders of the Wet Tropics while emphasising the importance of this wonderful and amazing World Heritage Area to the local community and the world.

The World Heritage Area now helps to unite the community rather than being the dividing force it was 20 years ago. Indeed, it is sobering to contemplate what life would be like in the Wet Tropics without the World Heritage listing. I believe we will need the same wisdom, tenacity and commitment as those who fought so hard for listing so we can meet future challenges and conserve and present the Area for future generations.

John Grey AC, Lieutenant General (retired)
Chair, Wet Tropics Management Authority Board, 2003-2009


Dr Aila Keto

Aila co-authored the 1984 report on the conservation values of the tropical rainforests of north Queensland that led to the listing of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area. She co-authored the nomination with Dr Keith Scott and is recognised for her expertise in World Heritage matters. She led the national campaign for protection and listing of the Area.

Margaret Genever

Margaret is a professional artist who has lived in the Cairns region for 20 years. For 13 years she was director of programs and lecturer in Visual Arts at James Cook University, Cairns. Her work most often addresses issues of concern to the community and has been shown in many exhibitions (www.margaretgenever.com). As the president of Kuranda Conservation Community Nursery she is deeply engaged with actions which aim to preserve the cassowary and its habitat.

© Copyright Wet Tropics Management Authority 2010. Copyright over stories and artworks belongs to individual contributors.