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Wildlife Recovery Grants - 2020

Ashleigh Coombs - Friday, May 15, 2020

Dear Friends of Parks Member Groups

You may be aware that the Wildlife Recovery grants are now open, with grants for projects up to $50,000 available.

Friends of Parks groups are eligible and the grants can be for any land tenure e.g. private land, national park reserve etc.

Applications close on Friday 12 June.

Please refer to the details provided below, and if your group is thinking of undertaking a park-based project please discuss with your local national parks staff.

Please also feel free to contact Jacqui Wilson, Wildlife Recovery Fund Grants Officer at or phone 0481 560 415 for further information or answers to specific questions.

For more info go to -


Gill Peacey
Manager, Volunteer Programs
National Parks & Crown Land Programs | National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia
Department for Environment and Water
P: (08) 8124 4931

Easing COVID-19 restrictions - May 2020

Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, May 14, 2020

Hi All,

The COVID-10 pandemic has caused significant disruption to life in South Australia and across the world.

On 27 March, out of an abundance of caution, we asked you - our invaluable Friends of Parks volunteers - to down tools and cease all organised activities in our national parks and reserves.

We appreciate that this was difficult.

We know and value your deep commitment to - and connection with our parks, especially as many of you had important projects in train.

The health and safety of staff, volunteers and park visitors was however paramount.

We sincerely thank you for your patience during this uncertain time.

Your willingness to work with National Parks and Wildlife Service staff and others to comply with the restrictions has been appreciated.

All South Australians have worked together to slow the spread of coronavirus.

This means we can now start getting back to the things we love to do together.

Recently, the South Australian Government put in place a roadmap for easing COVID-19 restrictions.

Following the 11 May easing of relevant restrictions, we are now able to recommence volunteer activities within certain parameters.

These include practicing social distancing, maintaining good hygiene and maximum group sizes.

We now encourage you to recommence your volunteer activities.

Please work with your group and local National Parks and Wildlife Service staff to plan for a safe return to volunteering in our national parks and reserves as soon as you feel able.

If you have any queries please reach out to our National Parks and Wildlife Service Volunteer Programs Unit on 8124 4838 or

Thank you all for your continued dedication and commitment to the State’s national parks and reserves.

Yours sincerely

Duncan MacKenzie, President Friends of Parks Inc.

John Schutz, Chief Executive Department for Environment and Water.

COVID-19 safe guidelines for park volunteers, May 2020

Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, May 14, 2020

COVID-19 safe guidelines for park volunteers

In response to the South Australian Government’s Step 1 in easing COVID-19 restrictions roadmap, we encourage park volunteers to recommence activities in partnership with National Parks and Wildlife Service staff.

All Friends of Parks, Volunteer Ranger Program and the Campground Host Program volunteers should familiarise themselves with the below information to keep safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

SA Health advice

Remember to practise good hygiene - this is the first step in preventing the spread of disease.Always apply social distancing. This means avoiding close contact and crowded places wherever possible.

Also, maintain a minimum social distance of 1.5 metres, and have no more than one person per 4-square metres when inside.

Outdoor group activities and guided walks of up to 10 people at a time are permitted so long as social distancing of 1.5 metres is maintained.

If you are unwell or develop symptoms, stay at home and isolate.

Friends of Parks activities

For your safety and the safety of park visitors:

Volunteer with less than 10 members on site at one time, including for working bees.

Bring your own safety equipment, e.g. gloves, mask & goggles, per our workplace health and safety requirements

If you can, bring and use your own tools, otherwise, use the tools provided to you and disinfect them after use.

When possible have group meetings outside, or use an online meeting platform such as Zoom.

Only if essential, have indoor meetings with less than five members.

Volunteer Ranger Program

For your safety and the safety of park visitors:

Bring your own safety equipment, e.g. gloves, mask & goggles, per our workplace health and safety requirements

Wear disposable gloves when passing brochures and maps to visitors or, if working at a visitor centre, to reduce contact with hard surfaces

Use the tools provided to you and disinfect them after use.

Limit direct contact time with members of the public (e.g., aim for less than 15 minutes per person)

Campground Host Program

For your safety and the safety of park visitors:

Bring your own safety equipment, e.g. gloves, mask & goggles per our workplace health and safety requirements

Wear disposable gloves when passing brochures and maps to visitors or, if relevant e.g., in camp kitchens or visitor centres, to reduce contact with hard surfaces

Use the tools provided to you and disinfect them after use.

Limit direct contact time with members of the public (e.g., aim for less than 15 minutes per person)

Work closely with your local Park Ranger to ensure your safety and wellbeing, including when carrying out maintenance tasks.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update - 27th March 2020

Ashleigh Coombs - Sunday, March 29, 2020

Dear Friends of Parks Group Members

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia (NPWSSA) is implementing precautionary measures to prioritise the health and safety of staff, volunteers and park visitors. This includes the cancellation of all campground host volunteer placements and volunteer ranger activities until further notice.

I am sure you would have seen the communique from the President Duncan MacKenzie on the 17 March, announcing the cancellation of activities such as the Governor’s reception in April, Friends of Parks AGM in May and the bi-monthly Board meetings.

The decision has now been made that Friends of Parks members cease all organised activities in our parks until further notice.

NPWSSA will continue to monitor the situation and provide you with additional information regarding volunteer activities as appropriate.

It is important to ensure you are relying on up-to-date and credible information.

Australian Government Department of Health

SA Health

World Health Organization

Australian Government Coronavirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 080.

We appreciate your understanding on this matter and apologise for any inconvenience caused, however your health and safety is of utmost importance to us. Please continue to take care of yourself, your family and friends during this challenging time.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Volunteer Programs Unit or regional staff if you have any further questions regarding your group’s activities.

Kind regards,

Mary-Anne Healy

A/g Director, National Parks and Wildlife

Gift Fund Donations Regarding Fire Recovery

Ashleigh Coombs - Friday, February 14, 2020

Dear Readers

I’m sure that you are all shocked about the bushfire season so far that has affected much of this country’s population, farmland, and natural habitat, and there is still two and half months left of the 2020 bushfire season.

For our fantastic national parks and all of the plants and animals they are set aside to conserve, the fires have been absolutely catastrophic. What survived the direct flames and heat of the fires now face an uncertain future just to survive.

Friends of Parks SA is a community organisation that is over 30 years old, and is dedicated solely to assist the Department of Environment and Water’s (DEW) staff in managing the State’s national parks and reserves. There’s currently 128 Friends of Parks groups state-wide are involved directly with on-park activities, such as weed eradication, feral animal control, habitat restoration, wildlife survey and monitoring - to name just a few.

DEW is currently assessing the ecological and infrastructure impacts to each of the affected parks, and will be working closely with the relevant Friends groups and other community organisations to plan the recovery activities, many of which will need to be carefully timed and sequenced.

Friends of Parks groups may be requested to provide assistance with tasks such as seed collection, growing seedlings, weed control and planting events and the Friends of Parks Board will be working closely with DEW and keep communicating with groups about how they can be involved into the bushfire recovery.

The Friends of Parks Board has unanimously agreed that this catastrophic situation affecting so many of our parks and their biodiversity, needs responding to with strong and immediate action.

As a result the Board has agreed that it will dedicate the Board’s tax deductible Gift Fund’ for a period of two years to help fund post fire recovery activities undertaken by our member groups

Any Friends of Parks Member Group can apply to the Gift Fund Committee for funding, if the parks they are involved in, or wish to become involved in, has been impacted by the fires.


Tax deductible donations to help the Friends of Parks groups to continue their post fire recovery work can be made by completing a simple form and forwarding with a to:

With a cheque to: Treasurer, Gift Fund

Friends of Parks Inc.

c/- the Secretariat, Volunteer Programs Unit,

GPO Box 1047, AdelaideSA5001.


Or by bank deposit (please also fill in the form and email to so that we know where to send your receipt):

Name of Account: Friends of Parks Inc. Gift Fund

BSB: 805 050

Account Number: 2339333

Bank: People’s Choice Credit Union


The form can be found on the Friends of Parks SA website; click on the ‘Donate Now’ button:

Thank you for your consideration and support. The recovery in those parks affected will be a slow process for plants and animals re-populating these areas, and the community support that will be required will be vital.


Duncan MacKenzie

Donations to help Wildlife on Kangaroo Island

Ashleigh Coombs - Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Donations to help Wildlife on Kangaroo Island

Wildlife Recovery Fund

The National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia and Nature Foundation SA have set up this Fund to re-establish habitat, particularly for threatened and vulnerable species. Your donations will go to local landholders, Landcare, and community groups in fire affected regions to urgently undertake native plantings, feral animal and weed control, and fencing – this will give both threatened animal and plant life the best chance of recovery. Funds will also be directed to restore habitat in fire-devastated national parks – particularly on Kangaroo Island.

Glossy Black Cockatoo Recovery Program:

The Nature Foundation SA runs the program for this critically endangered bird together with the KI Natural Resources Management Board. The recovery program started in 1995 with less than 160 Glossy Black-cockatoos in existence and has nursed the population back from the brink of extinction, doubling the population of glossies on Kangaroo Island to over 360 birds and helping them to spread eastwards across the Island. However the fires have now destroyed most of their habitat in the west of the Island creating an urgent need for nesting and habitat support.

Saving the KI Dunnart from Extinction

The Endangered Kangaroo Island dunnart is found only in remnant bushland of the west end of Kangaroo Island. However it now appears that its entire habitat has been burnt, all known monitoring sites have been burnt and the species may now be on the very brink of extinction. Your financial support will help Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife and landholders to locate remnant patches of unburnt vegetation and survey for the species through camera trapping. We have lost valuable survey equipment in the fires, your financial support will help to replace much needed survey equipment (cameras, fencing materials) and allow the team to start surveying immediately, find the last few individuals and protect them from feral predators and further wildfire events.

KI Wildlife Network

This volunteer group works with SAVEM (SA Veterinary Emergency Management) to rescue injured wildlife from the fire ground. For donations details, see this link

Businesses supporting Wildlife:

Hanson Bay Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary

This 5,000 acre wildlife sanctuary was home to thousands of native wildlife animals including a large population of koalas.

Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park 

We are working around the clock with a highly experienced, qualified and dedicated team of volunteers including qualified vets, vet nurses and wildlife carers to rescue, rehabilitate and care for all of the animals coming in from the bushfires

For those of you who would like to contribute we are asking for funds to help with veterinary costs, koala milk and supplements, extra holding/rehabilitation enclosures, as well as setting up a building to hold supplies to treat these animals.

Raptor Domain

Raptor Domain is an environmental education centre based near Seal Bay on Kangaroo Island. In the last week, here at Raptor Domain, we have had to evacuate all of our animals twice due to extreme fire risk. We are lucky that the property has been spared this time round, but it still remains at advice level. It has become evident that we will need to construct portable enclosures for our raptors, as ideally, we need to keep our animals in one of the ‘safer places’ on Kangaroo Island until the fire threat is gone. This will hugely reduce the stress of moving our animals and holding them in pet packs for an extended period of time. We need to fund the construction of some mobile aviaries for our birds in the likely event of another fire threat. This would allow our animals to remain in a safer place for a week or even longer if needed.

Island Beehive’s Save the Ligurian Bees appeal

Island Beehive states “We have started a go fund me to save the Ligurian bees. This money will go directly to buying feeders and bee feed to start with, then we will look at a queen breeding program to get the numbers up again.

Devastating fires impact Kangaroo Island and Cudlee Creek

Ashleigh Coombs - Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Dear Friends Of Parks member groups and members

Friends of Parks Inc. and the Volunteer Programs Unit have been contacted by some individuals and companies in relation to the devastating impact of the Kangaroo Island, Cudlee Creek, and other fires across the state,and several Friends Groups have had fire through their parks. The information below will give you some ideas of how you or your group might like to help.

For those of us at a distance, a financial donation is often the most helpful way to contribute to disaster-affected communities. It helps the community buy exactly what they need and spend locally.

The South Australian Government has activated the State Emergency Relief Fund (SERF) for the Cudlee Creek fire, and kicked it off with $1 million. The fund will collect donations to provide financial relief for people directly affected by the fire, including those who suffered injury or loss. All money raised will be administered by the independent SERF Committee which will ensure fair distribution to those most in need. You can read more about the SERF, including the many easy tax-deductible ways to donate here .

St Vincent De Paul have also set up an appeal specifically for other fire affected communities in South Australia. To make a donation, please visit the Vinnie’s SA Bushfires Appeal page .


There are also a number of fauna related charities such as SAVEM and Fauna Rescue raising funds to assist with injured livestock and wildlife following this disaster, helping to minimise the suffering of the thousands of animals affected.

You can help South Australia’s koalas and other wildlife affected by bushfires by contacting the South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management team (SAVEM).

SAVEM is set up to provide large-scale emergency wildlife response during bushfires across the state. National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia spokesperson Professor Chris Daniels said SAVEM collaborates with other agencies, including the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) and the RSPCA, to respond to animal welfare issues in-field. “We have many fantastic trained volunteer carers in South Australia ready to help distressed and injured wildlife and the best way to help out wildlife is by contacting SAVEM to coordinate the effort,” Professor Daniels said. “We greatly appreciate wildlife rescue volunteers who look after South Australia’s animals all year around. During this bushfire emergency SAVEM is the go-to wildlife rescue effort for the state. “Only appropriately trained members are authorised to carry out emergency wildlife rescue and care activities.” There are also a few things everyone can do to help animals during a bushfire, such as:

  • Leave shallow bowls of water out for animals and birds escaping fires. Add a few sticks or stones on one side to allow smaller animals to escape if they fall in.
  • Keep a cardboard box and towel in the boot of your car in case you find an injured animal that you can safely contain without putting yourself in any danger.
  • If you rescue an animal that has been burnt, do not attempt to feed it. Wrap it loosely, ideally in 100% cotton fabric, place it in a ventilated box with a lid and keep it in a dark, quiet place while waiting for a rescuer or for transport to the nearest vet.

To get in contact with SAVEM call 0477 055 233 or email

SAVEM’s mission is to assess, triage, treat, shelter, reunite with owners or rehabilitate and return to habitat all species of animals post event. SAVEM has been activated by PIRSA.


Adelaide Koala & Wildlife Hospital (via Facebook)

“ We are getting many calls and messages asking what sort of items to donate so we have made a list of what we are using the most. We are blown away by the love and generosity of everyone in our country as well as overseas at this awful time ❤ We have birds, reptiles and possums in our hospital as well as koalas also affected buy the excessive heat 🐨🐿”

Items include:
- Flamazine
- Soffban
- Vetwrap
- Elastoplast
- Bottles of saline
- IV fluids: hartmanns or saline
- IV Giving and extension sets
- Gauze
- Handwash
- Toilet Paper
- Native flowers for the lorikeets and possums
- Eucalyptus leaves
- Chlorhexadine scrub
- Small and large bird seed
- A4 printing paper (for hospital charts)
- A4 clipboards (for charts)
- Paper towel
- Bin liner

“As we go we will add to the list. We don't have use for stuffed animals, sheets, quilts or pillows but other rescues may need these items. To make our lives and the lives of our volunteers easier we cannot accept soiled items “

Items can be dropped off at the hospital Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. Highlights info row image (08) 8297 2455


Koalas and other wildlife affected by bushfires on Kangaroo Island must be managed locally and not removed from the island.

Department for Environment and Water Acting Executive Director Brenton Grear said it was particularly important that the island’s koalas – which make up the only population in South Australia free of chlamydia – remain disease-free. “We’ve received reports that some koalas from Kangaroo Island have been taken to Adelaide by people who want to get help for them,” he said. “It’s understandable and heartening that people want to rescue these animals, but unfortunately it will mean that those koalas can’t be returned to the island because of the risk of contamination of the population there.” Chlamydia in koalas can cause blindness, bladder inflammation, infertility and death. As the island’s koalas are isolated and free of the disease, its introduction would devastate the population. Because of the size of the fires burning on the island, it is too soon to know how many animals have been affected.

“South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management (SAVEM) has been activated to manage the wildlife rescue effort and is working with other groups in fire-affected regions,” Mr Grear said. “We ask that anyone on Kangaroo Island who finds injured wildlife call SAVEM and SAVEM will coordinate assistance for animals affected by the fires on Kangaroo Island.”


As many of you may now be aware, there have been substantial loss to properties including our beloved Flinders Chase National Park and other west end reserves. A number of our members have been impacted and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time. In the days, weeks and months to come there will be a number of opportunities to assist and help rebuild, but in the interim you may wish to donate to the KI appeal or to a number of the other non-profit organisations supporting our local people, livestock & wildlife.


The State Government has established a new emergency relief fund to help people directly affected by the devastating Cudlee Creek bushfire – pledging $1 million to kick-start the donation drive.

The State Government is encouraging South Australians to consider making a donation to the Cudlee Creek Fire Appeal – no matter how big or small. The State Emergency Relief Fund (SERF) will be managed by a five-member committee, who will ensure public donations are distributed appropriately and fairly. There are no administrative fees. You can make a tax-deductible donation to the SERF online, via cheque, or in person at any Commonwealth Bank branch:

Electronic funds transfer to the State Emergency Relief Fund, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, BSB 065 266, Account 10020160 - Description must state ‘donation’.

Credit card – visit the State Emergency Relief Fund BPoint payment website at or dial 1300 276 468 (1300 BPOINT) and enter biller code 1002359

Cash – go into any branch of the Commonwealth Bank and donate over the counter giving the details: BSB 065 266, Account 10020160

Cheque – send to State Emergency Relief Fund, Donations, QA Finance, GPO Box 292, Adelaide SA 5001


To support the impending bushfire recovery effort, Mike Williams, Executive Director National Parks and Wildlife, has been appointed by the Premier as the Kangaroo Island State Recovery Coordinator for the next six months. Mike will coordinate all aspects of the state’s recovery effort and will report to the Department of Human Services. While Mike is leading the island’s recovery effort, Brenton Grear will be Acting Executive Director, National Parks and Wildlife. In this role Brenton Grear will also chair the DEW’s Fire Recovery Coordination Committee.

One thing I am sure of is that our Australian Community - and within that the Friends of Parks SA - are a tough, caring and resilient 'mob' and we know how to fight back against any adversity. We have proved time and again that 'we are a well oiled machine' that is capable of tackling any situation 'thrown' at us, and NOW is the time to prove that is the case.

When I consider the enormous number of volunteers, community members and other workers who have put their lives on the line to fight these fires, trying to protect our communities and the environment, I say it is time for them to take a rest and for other community members - such as the FOP - to step into the gap to work on the rehabilitation and recovery of our communities and the environment.

If your Friends Group has been impacted by the fires, can you please think about what tasks/projects you might need assistance with from other Friends Groups once the fire areas are declared safe, and let us know by contacting Pam Smith, Secretary. Friends of Parks Inc. Board ( ), and we’ll distribute that information via the Friends of Parks website, Facebook page and email distribution list.

(You should be able to right click on the organisations above to take you to their pages).


Duncan MacKenzie
Friends of Parks Inc.
Ph 8332 1204

Update on the South Australian Planning Reforms

Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, October 10, 2019

The attached “Update on the South Australian Planning Reforms: Release of Draft Planning and Design Code – Phase 2 (Rural Areas) and Phase 3 (Urban Areas)” represents a major change in the SA planning system in 20 years and will impact on the future management of our national parks and the environment in general.

Your Board believes that all FOP Members and Member Groups should be made aware of the proposed changes and have the opportunity to attend the DEW/DPTI Information Session and Workshop to be held on the 4th November 2019 – 9.00am – 1.00 pm.

If you would like to attend this session, would you please reply to Eilidh Wilson - or 8391 7506 (see further information below).

Kindest regards

Duncan MacKenzie
Friends of Parks Inc. SA

Release of Draft Planning and Design Code – Phase 2 (Rural Areas) and Phase 3 (Urban Areas)” - Monday 4th November at the Office for Design + Architecture SA (ODASA), 26-28 Leigh Street, Adelaide

DEW and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) invite Presiding Members and Chairs, or delegate(s), to an information session/workshop on Phase 2 (rural areas) and Phase 3 (urban areas) of the Draft Planning and Design Code on the Monday 4th November at the Office for Design + Architecture SA (ODASA), 26-28 Leigh Street, Adelaide SA – doors open at 9am for a 9.30 start until 12.30pm, followed by lunch.

The information session will be facilitated by Nicole Halsey from URPS and presenters will include Allan Holmes from the State Planning Commission and Alison Collins from the DPTI.

The purpose of the information session/workshop is to:

  • provide information on Phase 2 (rural council areas with small towns and settlements areas) and Phase 3 (urban council areas and councils with regional towns and cities) of the Draft Planning and Design Code
  • workshop the Draft Code and identify and share common themes and learnings
  • provide clear guidance on how and when feedback should be provided and in what form
  • provide an opportunity for the [Board/Council/Committee] to discuss key issues with the Draft Code and network with the SPC, DPTI, DEW staff, and other boards, councils and committees supported by DEW.

Please also find attached a briefing providing an update on the Planning Reforms and the Draft Code should you wish to brief Board/Council/Committee members.

An overview of the proposed natural resources and environmental policies in the Draft Code, and further details on the information session, including the agenda, parking etc. will be provided in due course.

For further information in the meantime, and to RSVP and advise dietary needs (by COB 25th October), please contact Eilidh Wilson on OR 8391 7506 .

Kind regards,

Alex Ward

Strategic Policy and Impact Assessment

Department for Environment and Water

South Australian Planning Reforms 2019 South Australian Planning Reforms 2019 (41 KB)

FoP Scholarship Program 2019

Ashleigh Coombs - Monday, August 26, 2019

It has been about three years since the Friends of Parks Board, with support from DEW, launched the ‘educational scholarship program’, in memory of the passing of two very long standing Friends of Parks Presidents, Tom Hands and Colin Malcolm.

The aim of the program was encouraging and supporting regional Friends Groups working with their local school community and students in curriculum based activities on and off park.

For 2019/20 the Board has decided to change aspects of the criteria in order to make it more accessible to a wider audience, in particular TAFE and University students. To this end the Board sponsored ‘educational scholarship’ is now open for the 2020 school/TAFE/University year, and it is hoped that statewide Friends of Parks Groups will see this as an opportunity to support a local class or student(s) becoming involved in conservation in parks.

Applications close 29th November 2019 for a 2020 commencement date.


FoP Scholarship 2019 nomination form FoP Scholarship 2019 nomination form (164 KB)

FoP Scholarship program 2019 FoP Scholarship program 2019 (398 KB)

Annual AMLR volunteer celebration event!

Ashleigh Coombs - Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Dear volunteer group coordinators – please forward this email to your volunteer members.

It is that time of year again to gather your group and block out your diaries for our annual volunteer celebration event!

Sunday September 29th 2019 from 9:45 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Marble Hill Estate in the Adelaide Hills

We are inviting all Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges environmental volunteers to join us for a day of learning, meeting new people, catching up with friends, and plenty of fun!

Enjoy delicious food, a range of tours and workshops, and speeches and presentations to recognise the incredible contribution you as environmental volunteers make to our natural environment and local communities.

For registration, more information, booking workshops please visit the Eventbrite link below.

Registrations are essential

Look forward to seeing you there!


Steph Cole

Volunteer Support Officer, Adelaide and Central Hills

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