Chairperson's Address AGM 2011

Release: Over 60 tortoises were released this year. The Friends Group participated with the Minister for the Environment, Bill Marmion, to release 30 at TSNR on the 6 Aug. The others were released a week earlier by DEC staff at Moore River. Because of good following rains, no tortoises had to be returned to the Zoo because of lack of water in the swamps.

Affiliations: We remain members of 2 umbrella groups, the Conservation Council and the Urban Bushland Council, and we have also joined the Western Australian Wildlife Rehabilitation Council Inc, and the Turtle Oblonga Rescue and Rehabilitation Network in WA and the Tiaro Landcare who are attempting to help the endangered Mary River turtle in Queensland.

Education: The message about the plight of the Western Swamp Tortoise was taken to the students at Hillcrest Primary Year 3, and 60 Scouts, Cubs and Joeys at Ellenbrook Scouts in October. The Ellenbrook group has the WST as their emblem, and it features on their scarves and caps. Attended Wetland management conference last year, when Gerald presented, and next year in Feb we will have a display and Presentation by Sophie Arnall and Tanya.

Displays: We have displayed at the Upper Swan Fayre 5/11 where we garnered 6 new members. The AAPM conference at Burswood Convention Centre in October had over 2000 delegates from Australia and international locations. They adopted the WST as their charity of choice for the 2011 conference, and delegates were asked for a gold coin donation for their coffee, which raised over $1200. We manned our display for the lunch times on two days, and had much interest and some kind donations to our fundraising tin.  An open day at Whiteman Park saw us next to the Birds Australia Display, and some interest from the general public. A Science Week community fair at the Kent St Eco Centre allowed us to meet up with the new Turtle Rescue Group, and compare notes. We have now purchased an A4 digital photo frame which holds 1800 photos, so that will be a valuable tool for future displays.

Tortoise Tales has been produced again this year, with positive feedback from recipients.

Plans for the Perth Zoo refurbishment and extension of the WST Captive Breeding facility are progressing, and it appears that Midland Brick will be a major sponsor.

Fundraising: We have had four major fundraising efforts this year. The AAPM conference was mentioned earlier. A Movie Afternoon at Cinema Paradiso to see Never Let Me Go, starring Keira Knightly and Carey Mulligan was held on the 3 Apr and 19 people attended.

A luncheon at Edgecombe Brothers Winery on 31 July was enjoyed by   people, with delicious food and convivial company. Our waiter Aki, was an entertainment by himself.

Margaret River Chocolate Factory has presented us with a wonderful fundraising avenue, which hopefully will be an ongoing source of revenue.

A very strong and supportive committee has helped with all the varied things this year, and I’m sure all the members have appreciated your efforts on their behalf.


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