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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Germaine Greer: "I've now become a doer"

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Sunday, July 13, 2014/Categories: sustainability, environment

Australian writer and speaker  Germaine Greer  is known for being a strong voice of the woman's movement. Her books and lectures have been followed by millions. She has now retired to a parcel of degraded land in Queensland and has become a champion of rainforest restoration.

Cave Creek and Springbrook NP, Queensland (credit: Friends of Gondwana)

The author of the The Female Eunuch and The Whole Woman among other titles has embarked on a grand project called  Friends of Gondwana Rainforest  based at Cave Creek, Queensland to highlight the plight of rainforests that once covered the ancient continent, Gondwana, of which Australia was once a part.

In one of those chance encounters with the natural world that can often affect profound life changes, Greer says she was "sitting on a rock viewing and listening to the forest when a bird appeared, a Regent Bowerbird , and danced in front of me, while the whole time it kept looking out of its yellow eye right at me as if to say: What are you going to do about this place? Are you going to help us? and in the end, when I left the rock, the property was bought."

Regent Bowerbird (credit: Friends of Gondwana)

Greer acquired ~150 acres and began propagating native species to plant around her property and to encourage regeneration from the few remaining bits of the original rainforest. Her goal was to see if it were possible to rebuild a forest extensively damaged by logging, clearing, mining, and invasive weeds. As her foundation notes, "if the extraordinary rainforest biodiversity is to be preserved, a network of small reserves will need to be created. We hope to inspire other private landholders of rainforest fragments to conserve and protect them. We hope these efforts will help like-minded individuals and organizations find each other as well as providing a information database to assist."

Rainforest Restoration planting, Cave Creek (credit: Friends of Gondwana)

Restoration of damaged landscapes is a big task. Clearly there are heaps of restoration opportunities available to do everywhere but learning from the local ecology is the key to success. Greer has said that "I was always a talker rather than a doer, but now I'm a doer."

Quite a positive choice for a second engaged career. Perhaps you'd like doing something similar yourself.


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