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September 27, 2021
The South Gippsland Conservation Society wish to acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands we meet and work in – the Bunurong People - and pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Conservation Society News

Save the Date! Annual General Meeting


Sunday 31 October at 11:00am

Our 2021 AGM will be on Sunday 31 October at 1:00am. The guest speaker is Simon Woodland, Manager, Sustainable Environment at Bass Coast Shire Council. Simon will speak about his role, his team's responsibilities, and Bass Coast Council's policies and activities on our environment. 

At the AGM, we will be electing your Executive Committee for 2021-2022, and we are seeking nominations for President, Vice-President, and General Committee Members. Please consider nominating!

If you wish to put a Motion to the AGM, please submit it by email by Friday 8 October.

For more information, contact Secretary Alison Brewster by email or by phone 0414 813 878.

We hope to hold the meeting "in person" with refreshments at the Bunurong Environment Centre, but if COVID-19 restrictions preclude a face to face meeting, we'll shift to a Zoom event.

Thank you! But we still need more help.

Our recent call for volunteers resulted in two members raising their hands. Thank you to Michael, who has taken part in planting working bees at Ayr Creek, and Sue, who is joining the Submissions Group. 

But we still need more help, particularly the Submissions Group. Advocacy is a big part of the work of the Conservation Society. There are always reports, public consultations and planning applications that require our input. The current group is beginning to feel the pinch.

We have roughly 50 members actively involved in SGCS activities including our Shop, Education, Projects, Submissions, Coastal Resilience and other projects. We hope that some of the approx 200 remaining members might offer to become more involved in the Society's work.  Please email or phone our Secretary Alison Brewster on 0414 813 878.

Project Updates

Wonthaggi’s Hidden Gem and Ecosystems for the Future (Carney’s Rd)


September 2021 ‐ Project Update

Unfortunately the recent COVID-19 lockdown periods have seen two advertised planting working bees cancelled. With the recent reduced COVID-19 conditions in regional areas that allow gatherings of 10 or less. A small group of us have, over 2 planting afternoons, now planted and guarded around 600 of the 850 plants available for this year’s planting. The remaining plants, subject to COVID-19 conditions at that time, will be planted over one or two afternoons within the next 1-2 weeks.

If you are interested in assisting, please register by contacting Dave on 0419 230 110 or Linda on 0426 932 024.

Bunurong Coast Education

School holiday activities cancelled 

Once again COVID-19 restrictions have interfered with our plans. But we must stay safe. If vaccinations continue at the current rate we should see an exciting Summer holiday program in just a few months.


Bunurong Environment Centre

Latest from the shop

The shop has been open every day of the school holidays, from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

We have lots of new stock, especially books.  An interesting addition is a publication by City of Melbourne, Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner: the involvement of Aboriginal people from Tasmania in key events of early Melbourne.  Thanks to Linda Senhenn for organising this. You can read her review below.

We are continuing to update the look of our shop with the expert assistance of Visual Merchandising professional, Catherine Malady. Michelle Ward and some of the Shop volunteers have recently rearranged the Discovery Room and have plans for further improvements. With the new banners, and a little gardening work (thank you, Michelle and Sue Smith), it is beginning to look new and invigorated. Thanks to Trimmertree who donated the mulch. We'd also like to acknowledge the Inverloch Men’s Shed for their help in providing some of the furnishings and technical advice. 

The Shop Manager and Shop Committee extend our sincere thanks to all shop volunteers for their ongoing commitments of time and energy. A belated but very warm welcome to the newest members of our team: Shelley, Elizabeth, Alan, Sharon, Kaye and Robyn.
- Paul Calvert, shop manager

Book Review

Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner: the involvement of Aboriginal people from Tasmania in key events of early Melbourne

Seven years after the colonial occupation of the Port Phillip district began, two Aboriginal men from Van Dieman’s Land (Tasmania) were convicted of the murder of two whale hunters at the coal mine in Cape Paterson. In the following year of 1842, they were the first two people hanged in Melbourne. This is their story along with the three Aboriginal women, Truganini, Planobeena and Pyterruner who were tried with them. Beyond the lives and experiences of Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner are clues as to the way the environment shaped and was shaped by the early years in Victoria. Then, it was clear that knowledge about country, and meanings of country differed greatly between Aboriginal people and colonists. The British saw the landscape as inhospitable and dangerous, whilst Aboriginal inhabitants used and managed the land making it a plentiful, carefully tended place to live.

This is an especially relevant booklet of researched accounts of historical significance. We have much to learn from these accounts. Understanding our past is an important step towards healing today.
- Linda Senhenn, shop committee

Submissions Group

Distinctive Areas and Landscapes policy draft imminent - call for assistance

The Bass Coast DAL policy draft is expected to arrive imminently. This is an overarching Statement of Planning Policy that will apply to the area for the next 50 years and will cover many issues important to the SGCS. We will likely only have 2-4 weeks to respond. Our response will be greatly improved from the expert and local knowledge of SGCS members. 

If you can contribute, please contact Gerard Drew at to join the submission team.

You can find further background material on the Engage Victoria website.
- Gerard Drew, Submissions Group

Parks Victoria draft Land Management Strategy - call for assistance

Parks Victoria has developed a draft Land Management Strategy. The document is open for public consultation until 1 November 2021. You can read the document and have your say here

We urgently need someone to volunteer to help draft the SGCS response.

If you can help, please contact the Submissions Group 

Other News

Birdwatching for Beginners

BirdLife Bass Coast is hosting a Birdwatching for Beginners event. 

When: Saturday, October 16 th 2021 from 10 am until 12 noon
Where: Wonthaggi Wetlands Reserve
Meet at the reserve’s car park at 10 am.
Entrance to the car park is from South Dudley Rd, Wonthaggi (GPS Reference Latitude 38o, 36',11" Longitude 145o, 34', 54")
Bring: binoculars (binoculars are available if you do not possess them), a drink and/or snack.
Wear: sturdy shoes and appropriate protective clothing.
Note: There will be experienced birdwatchers attending to assist participants observe and identify some of the 67 species that have been recorded within the reserve. There are no toilets on site.

You MUST pre-register to attend this outing so that we can comply with any contact-tracing and social-distancing requirements that are in place. To register for this outing, please either email or text Sue on 0417 139 590 with the following details:
  • Names of people attending
  • Full address
  • Contact phone
  • Emergency contact name and phone

Call for regional volunteers for tree planting at the Prom


Saturday 9th October 2021

After several cancellations brought about by COVID-19 lockdowns, Friends of the Prom are hoping to have one last crack at tree-planting while the weather is still suitable. The continuing lockdown in Melbourne means that participation is limited to regional volunteers.

They will be planting to restore bushland within the Tidal River camp ground.  The seedlings to be planted were raised from seeds and cuttings collected by Friends of the Prom around Tidal River and grown by them in their nursery at Tidal River.

This is part of a program to restore the tree canopy and bushland understorey through the camp ground. As the original tree canopy is diminishing through natural ageing and storm damage, the remaining trees find it harder to withstand high winds and too many of the larger trees are being lost. Natural regeneration of bushland is not happening because of browsing animals (deer and wallaby) and trampling by humans.

If you would like to help restore the bushland feel of the Tidal River campsite.

Read the details about how you can become involved.

Dates for your Calendar

Saturday 9 October      Tree Planting at the Prom

Saturday 16 October    Birdwatching for Beginners

Sunday 31 October      SGCS Annual General Meeting

Deadline for contributions

We would love to share your photographs and stories in the newsletter. Please send your contributions by Friday 8 October. Email to

Newsletter archive

Read past copies of the newsletter in our archive.
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