AGM and Heatherlie Walk

We have had only one activity since our last newsletter, and that was our AGM and walk in the Heatherlie area on September 27. Our August walk had to be cancelled due to low numbers.

The weather for our Heatherlie explore was delightful and the flower display fascinating. We walked through a mix of unburnt and burnt areas. The burnt areas were burnt as part of a backburn lit during the horrid fires of January to stop the fire racing towards Halls Gap. But above us on the ridge we could see the ravaged bare slopes of the extremely hot burn.

Tiny bladderwarts: K.Wakefield
Tiny bladderwarts: K.Wakefield

In the burnt area the grass trees and redbeak orchids were in full flower, along with various other orchids, lilies and more. In the unburnt areas there was a good display of isopogon, tinsel lilies, daisies and spider orchids. Some of us were down on our tummies to photograph the minute flowers in the damp patches. We then moved to the Plantation Campground for our AGM. Our President (Margo), Vice-president (Leigh), Secretary (Wendy), and Treasurer (Mabel) were re-elected, and there were some changes to our committee with two newcomers added.

Orchid admirers
Orchid admirers

Margo gave her presidents report,listing the activities of the past year. In addition to our group activities, Wendy has represented FOGGs on the Round Table and Margo on both the Round Table and Advisory Committee. We have also sent letters to ministers about the burn targets and fees for camping in the park. We submitted comments to the committee on the proposed Grampians Peaks Trail supporting the trail in principal but voicing our concerns about the ‘On-Walk hiker lodges’. Margo also represented FOGGs at a workshop on South African Weed Orchid. We have financially supported two University students doing research in the Park and hope to have them talk to us in 2015.

Mabel presented the treasurers report which was kindly audited by Ron Goudie free of charge.

Election of Office Bearers

Janbert took the chair for the election of office bearers. Janbert thanked the office bearers for their work over the past twelve months.

All position were declared vacant, and all were elected unopposed.

President: Margo Sietsma
Treasurer: Mabel Brouwer
Vice President: Leigh Gunn,
Secretary: Wendy Bedggood
Committee Members: Rodney Thomson (although not present had agreed to going on the committee) JanBert Brouwer, Prue Pyke, Noushka Reiter, John Fisher, Alison Whiting. Ben Gunn, Kay Wakefield.
Webmaster: Frank Van der Peet;
Newsletter Editor: Margo Sietsma

The AGM was closed and we proceeded to a General Meeting.

  • We have $6543.43 in our account. We have had 2000 membership forms reprinted and will work on getting new members.
  • We discussed what activities members want. Wendy will send out a questionnaire to members to get some feedback to help with planning. For the rest of this year we will hold a walk and a social lunch where we will sort out next year’s programme.
  • Grants: we were successful in our application to fence off an area in the Ironbarks state Park near Stawell to protect a very rare orchid, and later, we hope, a site for its reintroduction. We have agreed to apply for a grant for protection and restoration of one of the Zumsteins cottages. (Unsuccessfully, I have just learnt).
  • Mabel suggested that we investigate reprinting the wildflower brochure put out a couple of years back by Grampians tourism.

Subsequent to the meeting we decided by email to make a donation to the VNPA (Victorian National Parks Association) to lobby the major political parties using the VNPAs recent Nature Conservation Review to get them to commit to having a better outcome for the environment if they (whichever party) win  the upcoming election.