WEPA’s 40th Anniversary Picnic

Mother nature smiled on us at last Sunday’s mega picnic in beautiful Flat Rock Gully Reserve.  The picnic was held to celebrate WEPA’s 40th anniversary and as one of the 44 Nature Picnics organised by the Nature Conservation Council around the State on that day.

Many thanks to the 50 or more members who turned up to celebrate with us on the day  – we know how busy everyone can be on weekends so we were thrilled that you could join us.  Thanks also to all those who sent congratulatory messages.  Apart from lolling about on the grass and picnicking, we listened to some fascinating presentations:

  • WEPA member, Marc Cottee, welcomed picnic arrivals with a haunting didgeridoo recital and an inspiring acknowledgement of country.

    Marc Cottee on the didgeridoo
  • foundation member and current Vice-President, Gay Spies, outlined the WEPA campaign in the 1980s to stop Willoughby City Council dumping in the gully.  We were also joined by engineer John Alden who gave valuable advice to WEPA at that time.
John Alden and Gay Spies
  • WCC officer Don Swonnell, who provided much assistance in setting up for the day, spoke to the picnic about the many changes seen in the original bush valley and the excellent work undertaken by Council to bring back the bush and the birds.

  • Larissa Penn, the President of Northbridge Progress Association, also spoke on the use of the gully as a tip and community concerns about the contamination which might be exposed if the dive site for the Beaches Link Tunnel is to proceed there.

Larissa Penn and Gay Spies

  • Jenny Zvolanek, from the Powerful Owl Project run by Birdlife Australia, provided a fascinating insight into the lives of these iconic birds in Flat Rock Gully and the wider Willoughby area.

Jenny Zvolanek and local Lee Christian (also with Birdlife Australia).

A big highlight of the day was the wonderful anniversary cake prepared for us by the Cake Fairy (@cakefairyau).  It was roundly enjoyed by all who feasted on it.

Thanks to our hard-working committee; the Bushland team at WCC; Jenny Zvolanek from Birdlife Australia and all our members who have supported WEPA for 40 active years.

For more photos, visit our gallery page: https://wepa.org.au/wepa-activities/wepa-photo-gallery/


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