Abi illustrated the character of Acacia, and composed the wonderful artworks by our artists into the collages you see through the story.
Abi is from the U.K, and has been living at Araucaria Sanctuary for over a year. In this time she has had the incredible privilege of hand-raising four orphaned gliders, Maple, Aphid, Beau and Arrow, as well as a bat named Triggy and a bandicoot called Pip, along with many pademelons and wallabies. She has learned to use ropes to climb into tall trees, so she can put nest boxes high up where gliders prefer to live in them. She loves to hike in Bungabbee, and has been carrying out ‘citizen science’ in the forest, surveying for threatened species. She is motivated by the power that citizen science has to engage communities and foster kinship with nonhuman neighbours. Back in the U.K Abi is a writer, her debut novel was The Word for Woman is Wilderness, and she is currently working on a second novel, Sister Species.
Renata wrote the story, in collaboration with Abi. She also developed the website and coordinated communications between the collaborators.
Renata lives at Rock Valley, just a few kilometres from the Eastern side of Bungabbee Forest. She and her partner, Don Metcalfe, are full time volunteer wildlife carers and current custodians of Araucaria Wildlife Sanctuary, which focuses on habitat restoration and wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release. In a 'previous life' Renata worked as an academic and researcher at Southern Cross University in the field of primary, secondary and adult education and research with children and young people, with a particular focus on the role of technology in supporting teaching and learning. Renata's current focus lies in caring for land and wildlife and collaborating with locals to save Bungabbee Forest. She hopes this story will inspire others to realise that they CAN make a difference if they are passionate and care about the environment.
(photo by Peter Derrett)
Jenny Dowell OAM who narrated our story is best known as a former Mayor of Lismore City Council. Before she entered politics she was a teacher of deaf children, a lecturer in special education and an advisor on the needs of Aboriginal children with conductive hearing loss. Her special interest has always been language and speech development in young children and she is passionate about words, conversation and reading. The opportunity to narrate this beautiful and important story also appealed to Jenny’s dual commitment to our natural environment. Jenny moved to Lismore in 1991 and although she lives in suburban Goonellabah, wallabies, koalas, echidnas, possums, brush turkeys, wonga pigeons, kookaburras, blue tongue lizards, carpet snakes and many little birds regularly visit her garden.
Now that she’s retired, Jenny is a mentor to NSW Mayors, a member of various regional Boards, a regular volunteer, an avid reader and has taken up acting.
(photo by Peter Derrett)