Here's our update for the first third of 2013 - and it's more than a year's worth already!
In this update: our public presentation on 2012's achievements and a major new partnership with the Pennicott Foundation nearly leave the Education Minister speechless; a visit from Bookend patron Neil Gaiman helps with the rebuilding of Dunalley Primary School after devastating fire; Tasmanian of the Year Andrew Hughes leads our Thailand-Tasmania exchange program with eye-opening experiences for students in both countries; three lucky high school students fly over Antarctica; Volcano Land launches with expanded curriculum materials; a special series of videos is launched to help people care for our pristine wilderness areas; our 2012 summer student reports on the joys of working in these places; our new Facebook page is launched and you can win a book of mountain photography by visiting it; Three Peaks Race competitors raise funds for our work; our friends at Lynchpin, Redmap, IMAS and the Alcorso Foundation help continue to spread the message about marine work; some exciting staff movements; and more!
- LIKE us and WIN: to celebrate the launch of our new Facebook page, we're giving away 5 signed copies of the coffee table book "Tasmanian Summits to Sleep On" by KEVIN DORAN, with a foreword by our late founding patron BRYCE COURTENAY. For your chance to win a copy anywhere worldwide, "like" our new page by 30 April.
WRAPPING UP 2012
Our public presentation on Bookend's achievements in 2012 was a great success, with a packed auditorium at the Dechaineux Theatre at UTAS. Our projects have become so varied (see here) that we could only present a selection of the different things that we are doing, and for the night we focussed on Coastwatchers (the combined Expedition Class and Skullbone project for the year), our Antarctic and Summer Scholarship programs, and the work of various students under the Lynchpin initiative (more on this below). Congratulations to high school students DJ and Flynn (from the Jordan River Learning Federation) and Ashita and Peta (Ogilvie High) for getting up in front of the large audience to introduce the videos of their experiences. That's not always an easy thing to do!
In addition, we launched two new programs for 2013 - our Thailand-Tasmania student exchange, which is reported in this update, and the innovative Cattle for Wildlife project which connects Australian pastoralists with Kenyan conservation programs. To cap off the night, Bookend was extremely pleased to announce our major new partnership with the Pennicott Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the multi-award winning adventure tourism brand Pennicott Wilderness Journeys (winner of Australia's Best Tourist Attraction, Best Ecotourism Experience, and Excellence in Sustainable Tourism at the 2012 Australian Tourism Awards). Managing Director Robert Pennicott - one of National Geographic's 2012 Travellers of the Year - was there to announce the new partnership, in which Bookend will effectively deliver educational projects for the Foundation.
Finally, Tasmanian Education Minister Nick McKim - accompanied to the event by Department of Education Secretary Colin Petit - responded to the presentations and videos that he had seen. Here are some highlights:
"Those who know me know I'm very rarely speechless, but I can honestly say I'm perilously close to speechless at the brilliance of the work of everyone involved with Bookend. The range of programs is just astounding, and a great example of how innovative partnerships and personalised learning programs can really help students. The Department of Education is really honoured to be one of Bookend's partners. We evaluate the programs, and I can tell you that this is coming back really, really well - particularly the Skullbone program which has a real impact on the students involved. We have data showing increased attendance for the students at school, and increased engagement, learning and educational achievement. We have a very clear understanding that these programs are very, very beneficial.
And those are things that are measurable. There are also the intangibles, and in watching the presentations we've had here tonight and engaging with the students you can see personal growth, development of leadership and capacity, and the bonds they build with their fellow students and their teachers. The environmental awareness that it builds... I'm so pleased to see us investing and partnering in growing environmental awareness because it is so important for our future.
I've spoken to so many students who have been involved with Bookend during the year and you can really see that personal growth and the growth in leadership skills. You've not only achieved Bookend's aims, you've wildly exceeded them. You, your team and partners have done the most outstanding job. I love events like this: this is when I feel so, so proud to be Minister for Education... when we're involved in such positive outcomes right through the education system, led and delivered by outstanding people, to the benefit of all students."
The Minister paid special tribute to Bookend's founding patron, Bryce Courtenay, who passed away in November 2012, and commented on the shared value set between Bookend and the Pennicott Foundation, and the force of nature that the new partnership will bring. All the better for us in assisting the Department of Education in achieving the Minister's aims of lifting Tasmanian high school student performance rates to match interstate and international standards.
As well as the Hobart event, regional showings of the Coastwatchers videos were held in Scottsdale and Smithton. Coastwatchers resulted in some 2,000 Tasmanian students and volunteers collecting and cataloguing over 36,000 pieces of plastic pollution and other pieces of marine debris - weighing nearly 2,000kg - from around the Tasmanian coastline. Classes took part for days or a week at a time, interstate locations participated on their own beaches, and thousands more students watched online.
You can see all of the Coastwatchers video updates with schools around Tasmanian here, and the longer versions of the Skullbone expeditions for the Jordan River Learning Federation (at Recherche Bay), Ogilvie High (on Flinders Island), Smithton High (Tarkine Coast) and Scottsdale High (South-West Wilderness) can be seen here. An extensive mass media archive for the project (newspaper and radio blogs and reports) can be found here, complementing the original daily reports and interactive student interface archived on our Expedition Class site,
So that's 2012 done and dusted. Our report on the start of 2013 follows below, but make sure to enter the date of this year's end of year presentation in your diaries now: it will be 5 December 2013, at 7pm in the Stanley Burbury Theatre, UTAS Sandy Bay.
TASMANIAN BUSHFIRES & HELP FROM NEIL GAIMAN
Although 2012 finished on a high, 2013 did not start well for the Tasmanian community. Record high temperatures combined with bone-dry conditions and high winds to create the worst fire conditions seen for a long time. Fires erupted across many parts of the state, with some causing extensive damage and property loss. Some fires burnt tens of thousands of hectares and took weeks to get under control. The devastation caused by the wildfires received attention around the globe, including some stunning stories of survival.
Many people involved with Bookend knew families and friends who were affected, particularly at Dunalley, where a lot of the town was destroyed. Staff and students of Dunalley Primary School were active participants in our 2012 COASTWATCHERS project, with 120 of their students assisting Andrew Hughes with coastal cleanups . (Happier times for the school can be seen and heard in the Coastwatchers video clip below and ABC Radio's report here).
The community response to support those who lost homes and property in the fires was fantastic (see the community spirit here), and Fullers Bookshop and a wide range of people and organisations actively collected books and other materials for the school. International best-selling author and Bookend patron Neil Gaiman, visiting immediately after the worst day of the fires, also provided his support. He not only took part in the special MONA fundraising concert in January, but he, Bookend and his publishers (Hachette Australia and Bloomsbury) arranged for a special donation to the new school library consisting of a full set of Neil's children's books and a wider selection of the publishers' other children's titles. In addition, they also kindly provided a selection of Neil's adult books and titles from other authors that can be distributed to the wider community and/or used for fundraising.
Neil and Polly Adams (daughter of the late, great Douglas Adams), delivered the books to the Dunalley community in person while they were in Tasmania. They had a chance to visit the Tasman Peninsula ahead of that meeting, courtesy of our partners at Pennicott Wilderness Journeys. Reinvigorating visits to the businesses and tourist operations in the area is a key part of the recovery, and Neil had a first hand look at the wildlife and imposing seascapes of the Black Coast (even if he did have to wear unfamiliar red attire!).
At Dunalley, Neil and Polly met with the Chair of the School Association Elizabeth Knox, Principal Matt Kenny, and various students and community members. Also present were the 2012 and 2013 Tasmanian Australians of the Year: Robert Pennicott and our adventure teacher Andrew Hughes (the latter interrupting his honeymoon to be there; his wife Nicola was there as well among other Bookend contributors). Elizabeth spoke about the catastrophic conditions on the day of the fires, and how a wind change prompted the approaching firefronts to take pause and "a great breath" before exploding on the town. It was horrific and stunning to hear about these events and see their aftermath, but heartening to see rebuilding already vigorously underway. Bookend chartered a seaplane from Tasmanian Air Adventures in order to give Neil the most time possible at Dunalley before we had to get him back to Hobart for media interviews and sound-checks for the MONA fundraising concert for the bushfires.
Check out more photos of Neil's visit to Dunalley, read the response of the New Dunalley School team to the visit, listen to Neil's interview on ABC Radio about the day, and see Neil's blog for his take on the jam-packed experiences in Tasmania. (More on Neil's recent activities below).
Thank you very much to Neil, Hachette, Bloomsbury and to everyone who contributed in any way, shape or form to the emergency effort and the beginning of the recovery across all the affected and at-risk areas in Tasmania.
Fire and associated photos from various online media sources.
TASMANIAN OF THE YEAR
As you may recall from our last update, Bookend's Education Officer, adventure teacher Andrew Hughes, was named Tasmanian Australian of the year for 2013, coincidentally inheriting the title from Robert Pennicott (see above). For Andrew, this meant confronting his greatest fear: official events and wearing a suit!
Andrew was recognised at the Australian of the Year celebrations in Canberra, on the eve of Australia Day in January. This involved meeting with the Prime Minister and the Governor General. Although Andrew wasn't selected as the Australian of the Year (that honour went to Ita Buttrose from NSW), it was still a great experience and an opportunity to represent Tasmania and the teaching profession on the national stage.
Because of his hard work, Andrew was showcased nationally on SUNRISE (video below), where he was interviewed in the field with some of his students from Project Skullbone, as well as on BIGPOND:
Andrew's not one to stay still for long, and immediately after returning from the Australia Day celebrations in Canberra he and Nicola were back to work finalising plans for our environmental and cultural exchange between Tasmanian students and their counterparts in Thailand. This was a fantastic initiative, suggested by Alicia Rackett, a Tasmanian volunteering for a year at the Monsaengdao Ecological School in northern Thailand through Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) and the Association for Community and Ecology Development (ACED).
The aim of the exchange was to provide regional students from both countries with the opportunity to experience places, ecology and culture that they may not otherwise see, and to in turn communicate this back to their colleagues via online multimedia. Education and opportunity is especially important for the Thai girls, who come from marginalised hill-tribe communities. Without access to schools such as Monsaengdao, some of these girls would be at risk of exploitation from human traffickers.
The exchange was funded through the Australia-Thailand Institute at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, with additional funding through Bookend's 2012 Banksia Award (the GPT Group Community Grant). This allowed for four Tasmanian students (Brendan & Nick from Triabunna, Hayley & Zackary from Ulverstone) and four Thai students ( teacher Jureelak Pimrot (Kiki), all from Monsaengdao) to be fully funded for the exchange, with a fifth Tasmanian student (Emma, from Triabunna) joining the team by successfully taking on the challenge of part-raising her own funds.
Additional support for the project came from the Pennicott Foundation, Travel Counsellors, the Tasmanian Department of Education, Sea 2 Summit and Mercury NIE, Monsaengdao, Think Elephants International, the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, the Anantara Hotel, and FORRU at Chiang Mai University supported activities and day trips for the students in Thailand, while the Woodbridge Marine Discovery Centre, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Bruny Island Cruises, Oyster Bay Oysters, Devils@Cradle, the Parks and Wildlife Service, Triabunna District High School, Ulverstone High School, Todd Walsh and various other individuals did the same in Tasmania.
Leuke Marriott filmed the exchange for Bookend, and footage from the Thai leg was shown at the UTAS Centenary Theatre in Hobart while the students were here.
Check out more photos of the students' visits to Bonorong, Bruny Island Cruises and the Woodbridge Marine Discovery Centre, and seeing Giant Freshwater Crayfish - the largest freshwater invertebrate on the planet. More background on the project can be read in Andrew's Mercury article and the Thai and Tasmanian students' descriptions of themselves, while the day-to-day experiences of the students can be read as they happened in Thailand in February and Tasmania in April.
VOLCANO LAND IS READY TO ERUPT!
ATTENTION PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS: does your class want to join Andrew on an exploration of volcanos? Last year, the Expedition Class and Skullbone projects were combined into the epic COASTWATCHERS expedition, but this year they split again to pursue their own interests. Skullbone projects will run on Maria Island later in the year, and the high schools teams are already preparing for their trips. Prior to then, Andrew will undertake the VOLCANO LAND expedition for Expedition Class, venturing into the explosively volcanic areas of New Britain in Papua New Guinea. Your class can help shape Andrew's expedition, and question him live online as he runs it. The project includes FREE Australian-curriculum aligned teacher resources and student activity books for different ages, as well as interactive participation with Andrew and supporting experts while he's on (the very) shaky ground in August. Tasmanian schools can book free visits from Andrew in the lead up to the expedition (May to July), but the online resources are available to teachers worldwide and ALL schools can be part of the real-time interface with him working under direction from your class in the field. Hop on board for some volcanic interactive fun at www.expeditionclass.com
MORE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS EXPERIENCE ANTARCTICA
CHECK, CLEAN, DISINFECT, DRY
In late 2012, Bookend worked with NRM South to film an educational video series on biosecurity called "Check, Clean, Disinfect, Dry" to spread the message that everyone has a responsibility to help avoid carrying pests and diseases into our sensitive and pristine wilderness areas. This was the culmination of a longer project by NRM South and partners. Actor John X and a range of experts from different organisations contributed to the videos, with the overall message that it's actually quite simple to do, but the benefits for our state are enormous. John X launched the videos with Environment Minister Brian Wightman, by demonstrating how to use the new boot cleaning stations.
Three of the eleven videos are below, each giving background to the project. All eleven videos, with particular tips for people who are fishing and boating, bushwalking and hiking, kayaking or on the water, undertaking research work or using heavy machinery, driving into sensitive areas, or simply bringing wet and muddy materials into the state, can be seen here.
A NEW FACEBOOK PAGE FOR BOOKEND
Bookend has operated a small Facebook group for several years, but we've taken the plunge and set up a new Facebook page to go alongside it. The new page is the quickest and most regular way of seeing what we're up to, and it's your way of hearing about the events and opportunities as they happen, rather than reported later. It's also where we'll be sharing the other cool things we and our friends encounter, such as the recent examples below (click on the images to go to the original links).
And, if that's not enough, like the new page by 30 April and you could win one of five signed copies of the coffee table book "Tasmanian Summits to Sleep On" by KEVIN DORAN, with a foreword by our late founding patron BRYCE COURTENAY. This giveaway is open worldwide to anyone who wants to show their support for programs inspiring students to build careers that support the natural world. Just go to the new page here, and follow the instructions in the banner.
SUMMER STUDENT 2013: SAYAH DRUMMOND
Unlike our 2011-12 summer, this year we didn't have a single large project such as the Mt Weld surveys that required multiple assistants and filled the summer period. We instead took on a single summer student from further afield: Sayah Drummond, a post-year 12 student from Porongurup in Western Australia. Sayah had the opportunity to participate in several different projects being undertaken by colleagues, associates, students and ourselves. Some of these were day trips, while others involved overnight trips and more extensive field work.
From mid January until late March, Sayah's experiences included:
- A general introduction to Mt Wellington and the Hobart area, including meeting a living fossil, the mountain shrimp Anaspides tasmaniae.
- Assisting Ag Sci PhD student Raylea Rowbottom investigating Ross River virus mosquito vectors in Tasmania on a field trip to various salt marsh locations.
- Assisting Zoology PhD student Gini Andersen with her project investigating the ecological interactions between Tasmanian Devils, quolls and feral cats in the Arthur River area, helping capture, assess and radio-track Devils from one of the last disease free populations in the wild (this was the major part of Sayah's summer placement, involving live-trapping and radio tracking of animals over two and a half weeks in the field in remote NW Tas).
- Participating in a foundation (introductory biology) unit at UTAS presented by Dr Regina Magierowski (Zoology & Bookend) to prepare students without biological backgrounds for this subject (effectively covering, but reinforcing, work that Sayah had already covered in biology at school). Intermixed with this was also an introduction to the PhD work of Trish Clements, and an opportunity to assist with processing samples in her lab if time permitted.
- Assisting DPIPWE biologist Mike Driessen with ecological monitoring in central north Tasmania.
- Assisting a Bookend camera crew, with thanks to Joe Shemesh and Doug Thost, with filming in Tasmanian wet forest at Mt Field.
- Assisting Bookend's Niall Doran and Alastair Richardson with a survey for Tasmanian burrowing crayfish at Spreyton, including a detailed safety induction for working on industrial sites.
- Assisting DPIPWE biologist Robbie Gaffney with wetland bird counts, including associated boat work with Inland Fisheries.
Some of Sayah's time here was a bit patchier than planned due to the disruption of our fire-hit summer, various scheduling complications and a bad dose of flu that hit her Bookend hosts and delayed several trips. However, field days were often very long, and gaps between them gave Sayah the opportunity to catch up with family. All of this was made possible through the contributions of the above people, and the financial support of the Tasmanian Outdoor Leadership Trust and Bookend's 2012 GPT Group Community Grant via the Banksia Environmental Foundation.
Read about Sayah's experiences in her own words in this short PDF report.
"I had such a fantastic educational experience with Bookend, which has solidified my decision to become an environmental scientist and try to help improve our struggling environment." - Sayah Drummond, Bookend Trust summer student.
THE GENEROSITY OF MAGIC MILES
As you can tell from the length of this update, Bookend runs a diverse range of unusual projects. We self-fund a lot of our work, and we draw in matching grants and sponsorships to help get various projects across the line. We achieve a LOT on limited funds that we stretch to the maximum, but we, our partners and our sponsors can't cover everything. And that's where the support of like-minded individuals is priceless. We've already outlined the contributions made by many, from Neil Gaiman and his publishers to all of the people and organisations that made our Thailand student exchange possible. And adding to that list are the efforts of the owners and crew of the yacht Magic Miles.
Mike and Mala Crew and the crew of this 62 foot yacht have already contributed substantially to our Coastwatchers program. They kindly made the yacht available for the whole week of the Jordan River Learning Federation trip to Recherche Bay, providing an opportunity to travel that we could not have otherwise given the students. This added a whole new dynamic to the trip and had a profound effect on the participants:
Now, over the Easter weekend this year, they again gave their time to raise funds for both the Bookend Trust and Kids with Cancer by racing in the Tasmanian Three Peaks Race. This is a gruelling combination ocean and running race from Launceston to Hobart down the east coast of Tasmania, stopping at Flinders Island, Freycinet and Mt Wellington so the runners can sprint to three mountain summits and back. That involves sailing over 335 nautical miles and running some 135km... and they did all this over the Easter weekend. Clearly mad, but they did raise money for good causes! Among other donors, Qantas Flight Operations deserves special mention for donating $500 to each of the charities Magic Miles was supporting.
Lynchpin scholar Nick Roden put his hand up to join the crew to film everything as it happened, and the race could be watched live online via Ocean Tracker. Although crews vied for line honours and the Tillman Trophy (which equalises the size & speed of the yachts and the age & abilities of the crew!), just finishing the race was an achievement. On completion of the race, Mike had the following to say:
"So now the dust has settled on the 2013 Three Peaks Race... Did we win? You better believe it. To simply finish this race was a major challenge, every team that made it home was a winner. Some of the minor challenges... Navigating in and out of Lady Baron with a 3m draught. Those following the race will know that on this particular leg one of the competitors ran aground and lost a man into the water... Another competitor retired with the loss of rudders and one more retired by merely getting to the starting line in the Tamar river.
Our transit of Schouten Passage and sojourn up to Coles Bay with a storm front and gale force winds, has also provided the boys with some interesting memories. 50kts across the deck after everything had settled down was an eye opener. What did we get at the height of the wind strength is anyone's guess. Not to mention 3 Peaks (4 mountains), over 135km traversed in 3 days... amazing. To say the boys did well is an understatement. Phil Watkins, Luke Watkins, Lyle Borlase, Andre Bartels and Justin Fonte... Thank you for the ride of my life. You all have here, a friend for life. Will we be back for next years challenge... I hope so!"
We'll post Nick's footage of this year's record breaking race in future, but for now, check out this raw/unedited footage of the crew encountering dolphins in their bow wave on the way to the starting line. Thank you to all!
LYNCHPIN - THE OCEAN PROJECT
Forests of the Sea: the animation is an experimental LYNCHPIN Scholarship collaboration between Marine Science PhD Candidates Jorge Ramos (Mexico) and Felipe Briceño Jacques (Chile) from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania, and artist, Malou Zuidema. In applying for the scholarship the group had the idea to use cartooning or stop-motion animation to make an all-ages, visual narrative that gave an overview of a local science story, using simple and short word cues to aide the visual story-line.
An incomplete work-in-progress version was previewed at Bookend's public presentation night in December. The completed piece (which can be seen below) was then used as part of the national launch of the REDMAP project, a new, interactive project that invites the Australian community to spot, log and map marine species occuring outside their usual ranges.
To complement this piece, Ninna Millikin produced the following behind-the-scenes profile. In this video, the scientists outline their research and Malou describes the process of collaboration and the intricate and detailed work of animation that comes together to create something that looks so simple!
The animation has proved highly popular. Expert feedback is reported on the Lynchpin scholars page, it will be shown at the Ultimo Science Festival in Sydney this year, it has been sparking creative discussion about science and methods of communication in classrooms, and it is showcased on a variety of websites, including Ocean Planet, the Australian Marine Environmental Protection Association (AUSMEPA), and the Sapphire Coast Discovery Centre in NSW (the latter hoping to bring the collaborating students to its 2014 forum to discuss their work).
PLASTIC POLLUTION & OTHER MARINE DEBRIS
Dr Jenn Lavers has recently written for The Conversation about the ongoing problem of plastic pollution, Bookend has continued to support work on this issue. As always, we were proud to help support this year's South West Marine Debris Cleanup, in which teams of dedicated volunteers remove plastic pollution and non-plastic pollution from Tasmania's remote wilderness coastline. As part of the work, Grade 8 student Albert Wyatt posted a daily blog to Bookend's adventure learning Expedition Class website, and the cleanup team also ran a daily blog through their site as well. Our videos of prior work on the Cleanup can be seen here, and the outcomes of this year's work were reported here.
The above issues were a focus of our Coastwatchers project last year, which was undertaken on a very large scale. Although Expedition Class and Skullbone are moving on to different topics for 2013, the framework of Coastwatchers will be maintained and expanded through a new initiative and partnership with the Alcorso Foundation and the UTAS Faculty of Education. A recent call was made for PhD Elite scholarship applicants to investigate attitudes and awareness to coastal pollution and marine debris, as the first stage in this new project. Given that Tasmania is the only Australian state to have its entire border consisting of coast, this is a major issue that we need to address.
NEW IMAS PROFILES
Our latest research profiles for IMAS, prepared by Ninna on the work of Zanna Chase investigating ocean oxygen levels, and a look at the Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.
Bookend Trust patron Neil Gaiman was recently being considered as a candidate for TIME Magazine's top 100 leaders, artists, innovators, icons and heroes for 2013. For his love of Tasmania and the work and support he's given to us, from his general efforts on all our projects to helping rebuild the Dunalley Primary School library, it's an honour he fully deserves. TIME Magazine has also just run a "beginner's guide" to his work and achievements. Never far from the news, he gave the following excellent keynote address to the recent Digital Minds Conference at the London Book Fair, about the opportunities of the new and rapidly changing digital age, and the scope for breaking new rules before they are written:
We've had various staff movements of late. Pete Harcourt took up a long-term contract with Southern Cross television last year, and congratulations are due to Ninna Millikin (Bookend digital media producer & originally one of Bookend's first ever scholarship students) on the birth of her daughter. Best wishes on the start of your biggest project yet! Various people have picked up different filming, editing and directing projects with Bookend as a result, from Leuke Marriott and Craig Wellington, who have worked on Bookend projects before, to David Pyefinch, Justin Smith, Ishta Saraswati, Zac Hardaker, Andrew Palmer, Nick Roden, and Michael Sampey - check current and upcoming video credits to see who's done what.
Specialist filming services continue to be provided by Joe Shemesh and Doug Thost, while Katie Mulder and Sophie Warren have stepped into interviewing shoes for some upcoming projects. Andrew Hughes and Nicola Pearce are also due congratulations on their recent marriage! 2012 Bookend scholar Jen Kreusser has stepped in to help Andrew expand curriculum material for this year's Volcano Land project. And we are very pleased to announce that Jen Cramer, the current Operations Manager for the Ten Days on the Island Festival will be joining Bookend as our new Operations Manager in August - we can't wait!
Amid all this, Niall Doran and Alastair Richardson hosted visiting researchers and have been busy rescuing various animals from industrial worksites. Niall recently gave his annual cave ecology lectures for UTAS, while Alastair gave a presentation for World Wetland Day and wrote an article on Rain Crayfish for The Conversation. Andrew Hughes represented Bookend at Seafest on Tasmania's east coast, and March was Australasian Bat Month with several local events driven by our ever-keen bat researcher Lisa Cawthen.
In the same month, Niall and Bookend contributor Craig Wellington also had the chance to meet with Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who had congratulated Andrew in Canberra in January and was friend of our founding patron Bryce Courtenay. Finally, at the very start of April, Australian Geographic had some important data to share about drop bears. For safety's sake, we highly advise that people read it, irrespective of the time of year...
Unbelievably, we do still have more news to list, but we've blown the level of content that the CMS template can handle for this update, so we'll have to hold it over until next time. See us on Facebook before then!
LIKE us and WIN: to celebrate the launch of our new Facebook page, we're giving away 5 signed copies of the coffee table book "Tasmanian Summits to Sleep On" by KEVIN DORAN, with a foreword by our late founding patron BRYCE COURTENAY. For your chance to win a copy anywhere worldwide, "like" our new page by 30 April.
This update is only a semi-regular summary of BOOKEND's activities. For more regular updates, see our Expedition Class page (daily updates during expedition periods), the Lynchpin page, and for the most frequently updated information "BookendTrust" (no space) on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. An additional Facebook group is also available for those wanting to help in more detail.