AGM 2022 – Report and new Committee

Thanks to members who turned out on a chilly Saturday night to return a new management committee recently at the 2022 Coastcare Annual General Meeting.

The Committee includes:

President – Vivienne Roberts-Thomson
Vice President – Bryan Dyball
Secretary – Jane Caldwell
Treasurer – Betty-Ann Bellette
Committee – Helen Pickford; Jay and Tom Lima; Nici Buirski.

Proceedings

Formalities went smoothly thanks to Keith Stebbins JP who officiated over the election of office-bearers.  Gaye and Peter Richardson stood down after long-term committee involvement and members welcomed aboard newcomers Jay and Tom Lima and Nici Buirski.
After the meeting, the new committee members, Nici, Tom and Jay spoke about their passion for the environment and wildlife care.

Committee member – Dr Nicolette Buirski

“In July 2020, I came to Coochie to visit my sister, fell in love with it, within 10 days I had bought a block on Morwong, and over the next year built a house. Two years later I feel that this island is my Forever Home. I believe that I was well-prepared for island living because I spent quite a bit of time in my life living on islands: I was born in England, did my postgraduate studies over four years while living on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, lived in Mauritius for three years, spent time on Cousin Island, Seychelles, at the research station amongst the giant tortoises and fairy terns, and lived for 6 years in Byron Bay overlooking Julian Rocks, which is a world class diving island. 
I have an Honours degree in Botany and have a great love and respect for the natural environment. My vision for the Island of Coochiemudlo is that we can learn about our great trees on the island. My hope is that if we can all fall in love with Coochie’s trees, together we will care for them and let them do their job of caring for us.”

Committee members – Jay and Tom Lima

“We’ve been involved with wildlife rescue, transport, and rehabilitation with a number of wildlife groups since 2008.  Our primary focus was on all the “Furries”: possums, koalas, flying foxes, and micro-bats.  There’s not much we haven’t at least transported: including hawksbill turtle, echidnas, wallabies, a full-size goanna, even a powerful owl.

Since moving here – we’ve fallen for all the feathers. From the crew of curlews who call our yard home to the extravagant eagles and kites, and everything in-between. What we see is the need for a Wildlife First Responders network to provide aid when our precious wildlife has come to harm.
What we’d like to have is a group of islanders who can be called on to rescue, secure, assess and arrange transportation, in connection with our mainland connections.
We’ve recently undertaken some basic bird training courses to get a head start, but we don’t claim to be experts. We definitely have our L plates on. What we do have is a network of experts for advice and guidance. We are members of Wildcare and Natalie from PASR (Pelican & Seabird Rescue Inc) at Thornside  has very kindly taken us under her wing.
It’s very important to us that we stay under the banner of legitimate wildlife groups. This will ensure that we have access to comprehensive training, maintain best practises, and therefore obtain the best possible outcomes.
It is not always easy, and the outcomes are not always happy; but the honour and privilege of providing aid and interacting up close with our amazing fauna is priceless. And when you get to release a healed animal back into its territory – bliss ❤️

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