2019 has been a very busy year. ANGAIR has been celebrating its 50th birthday in many different ways.
We started off with a very special annual dinner at the Sands in Torquay on 27 April–exactly 50 years to the day. Dr Mark Norman congratulated members on this achievement and outlined some of the challenges for flora and fauna protection in coming years. Population pressures, climate change and increased visitors to the Anglesea Heath will need to be taken into account. Dr Geoff Carr, a member since the early days, launched Dr Roslyn Gibson’s book ANGAIR: the first 50 years. This excellent book details the untiring efforts of members in protecting our natural environment and is available at ANGAIR.
This year’s Wildflower & Art Weekend continued the anniversary theme and featured a photographic exhibition ‘Then and Now’, which documented the changes that have taken place over the years. Olivia and Bill Clarke demonstrated the abilities of the Digital Asset Management legacy project which has made accessible all the records of the first 50 years.
The final event was the Open Garden weekend on 19 and 20 October. Native and indigenous gardens of 9 members and the Anglesea Primary School were open to the public, and several informative lectures were delivered in the community precinct.
Our anniversary celebrations also attracted a record number of new ANGAIR members bringing the memberships to 470 (with about 650 individual members). It requires a significant contribution by our many volunteers to provide for this large membership, undertaking many and varied activities, advocating for our precious flora and fauna, producing an excellent newsletter and maintaining our databases.
So, it is timely for us to start thinking about setting ANGAIR up for the next 50 years. We can confidently predict that the pressures on the flora and fauna we protect will become more severe.
Your committee invites members to two short workshops in February and March 2020, with the aim of designing our future pathway. In the first workshop we will think about possible future opportunities, including those which might include any relationship with the Eden project if it goes ahead. The second workshop will identify the resources required (human and financial) to set us on our future path (further details about the workshops will be included in the February newsletter).
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.