I hope that you enjoy the selection of stories that we provide — as I mentioned in our last article, the eNews is just one of the ways for the Authority to inform and educate about how special the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is.
One of the things that I get really excited about is the great work of the younger generation. Our youth do tend to cop a bit of flak, but my impression is that they are resourceful, passionate and adaptable in an extremely fast paced world.
One of our stories is set way over in Western Australia where a very special young lady (10 year old Katie) celebrated her birthday recently, and due to her passion for cassowaries, raised $535 to assist in cassowary recovery works. The story WA ‘Warry Warriors tells us all about Katie’s selfless generosity.
We are blessed in the Authority in that we are seen as a place of choice for industry placement students. One such student, Desiree Gowell, has not only left us with a lot of fond memories of her friendly and positive attitude, she has also written a story of her time here see “140 hours in the life…”). It is really exciting to see students come and work with us and pick up real life skills and at the same time deliver on actual valuable projects. Desiree has taken skills that she learnt here and is applying these to her course work at James Cook University.
Following on soon after Desiree’s departure, another couple of students have now been placed with us under the Aurora intern program. The Aurora program provides an opportunity for graduate students to undertake professional work placement in the fields of policy development, social justice and Indigenous affairs. Leah Radatti and Sophie Holt will be here for around four weeks each and will work on separate projects that will both contribute to improving how we engage and partner with Rainforest Aboriginal people. Please drop in and say hi if you are near the office.
Other exciting news in this edition is that the Authority now has a full board with the announcement in May that Phil Rist has been appointed as a director of the board. This means that we now have a full complement of directors and the board is looking forward to delivering some significant outcomes in the future.
The board last met on 3rd and 4th May. On the first day the board met with tourism, economic leaders and key community organisations and stakeholders to identify opportunities for partnerships and more collaborative approaches. On the 4th the board meeting focused on the Authority’s strategic work programs, including the proposed approach to strengthening community and stakeholder engagement and participation in the conservation, protection and presentation of the World Heritage Area.
Following the success of the 2014/15 report on the Economic Value of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, the board endorsed the theme for the next report, “Ancient, Endemic, Rare and Threatened Vertebrates of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area”.
The board has also decided to reinvigorate the prestigious Cassowary Awards that highlight and celebrate the contributions made by the wider community into the protection and presentation of the World Heritage Area. The Authority will soon call for nominations from individuals and organisations. More information will be made available in the coming weeks.
The next board meeting is scheduled for August 2016, when the board will hold a joint meeting with the Terrain NRM board.
Oh, and talking about the great work of our young people, this eNews includes a story about our own Lucy Karger, who received a Public Service Medal in the 2016 Queens Birthday Honours list. We are all very proud of Lucy’s latest achievement and well deserved recognition. Well done Lucy!