The release of the 500th Western Swamp Tortoise bred by the Perth Zoo. WA Environment Minister Albert Jacob attended – great day, good publicity. Thanks to DPaW’s Craig for a smooth running, well organised event.

Sponsorship by Margaret River Chocolate – still going strong. Ray Mooney handed over another cheque for $5000 at the release. Cathy is keeping the newsletter display topped up in the Choc Factory and the adjacent Providore. Janelle has distributed some to their city store. We’re still waiting for the display and sculpture between the Chocolate Factory and the Providore. The grounds have been landscaped, and Jan has enquired several times, but no response as yet.

DPAW purchased the Boral land adjoining Ellen Brook Reserve, and we planted in Gerald’s Swamp on the new land. Robin took lots of photos. The land hasn’t been included in the fenced area at this stage. Thanks to Alex Errington for lots of hard negotiation.

Our new website is now live, with some changes and updates. Thanks to Tanya, Bob and Paul for all their work on this project.

New Education Sub-committee, formed at 2013 AGM, has contacted a core group of Ellenbrook and surrounding schools. JB presented to 10 consecutive Ellen Stirling Primary School classes at an Earth Day event. Cathy has given talks to Millennium Kids and Chidlow Primary. We have also formed a good relationship with City of Swan officers, and are working on a Stormwater Stencilling Project with them and local schools. Presentations also to Kelmscott Garden Club, WA Herpetological Society, Lake Wannamal Landcare Group Sundowner and displays at the World Wetland Day, Threatened Species Network Day in Fremantle, World Animal Day at Piney Lakes, CONNECT at Ellenbrook, John Wollaston School fete. Thanks to Tanya who took the displays to other environmental events with which she is associated and to all others who helped man the stalls. Our display and brochures are currently with the Triumph Owners Association for a rally in the Swan Valley at the end of the month.

We attended the Museum Discovery Centre for 2 weeks of the April school holidays, and made hundreds of egg carton tortoises with the children who came. Thanks to Margaret, Cathy and Melanie.

Publications have been printed professionally and distributed. Two editions of Tortoise Tales have been ably edited by Tanya.

Ian Hakanson has been working on the film documentary, including taking time out of his holiday to Queensland to interview Robert Boyd.

Catherine Carvell’s children’s book has been published and serialised in the West, and an interview by her with Robert has been published in a school magazine.

Our own Cathy is working on a book of her own on Western Swamp Tortoises for early childhood students.

Still working on a plaque with some acknowledgement of Martyn family who donated the land for EB & TS. Chairperson visited them in Mandurah to collect newspaper cuttings and memorabilia from that time.

Part of our education budget has been spent on new t-shirts, tote bags and give-away pencils and bookmarks.

We have audited our books at last, (thanks Fred) and this will enable us to attain Charitable Status in the near future. More work for Bob.

Pam and her friends at Silver Chain ran a fundraiser for us and raised over $200.

The 10th anniversary of the formation of the Friends of the Western Swamp Tortoise was in July 2014. A celebratory lunch was held at Edgecombe’s on 24th August, attended by 23 people.

Thank you to all the members of the Group who have helped in any capacity in 2014 and we look forward to even more activities and awareness raising opportunities in 2015.

Western Swamp Tortoise