- Mission - Goats - Koalas at Amberley - Farewell to Stephanie Januchowski
Multicultural Fair - There's no stopping our Shirley - Arts in the Park
Next Meeting - estimate canopy - Catch in hand - Baby EUCY

Earthwatch team visited St Bees Island in July to monitor the koalas and the state of the island koala habitat. Team included international intern Bethany Walker front left. They worked with Bill Ellis (Adjunct Fellow, CQU) and Sean Fitzgibbon (University of Qld) to catch and assess koalas. Rhonda Melzer and John Clark (QPWS) were to assess goat and
climate change impacts in the eucalypt woodlands and grasslands.

Goats browsing on the now denuded hills of St Bees Island. July 2007

Goats are having a devastating impact on the St Bees Island grassland. Over the last eight months grasslands have collapsed across the island leaving a landscape with a sparse groundcover dominated by annual herbs or invaded by lantana. QPWS culling of the goats starts in spring this year and will continue until goat eradication is achieved.


Rose-Lyn Fletcher assists Alistair Melzer estimate canopy cover in St Bees Island rainforests. Koalas commonly use these
communities as day roost sites. July 2007


Catch in hand. Male koala is held in a clean restraining bag by Dan Michels. St Bees Island July 2007


Koala foddder tree (Eucalyptus tereticornis) in very poor condition. Are koalas responsible or is it a broader environmental problem? St Bees Island July 2007

John Clark examines dead and dieing

non- fodder species (Corymbia intermedia). As koalas almost never eat this species a broader environmental influence is considered to be causing the eucalypt dieback on St Bees Island - climate change issue? St Bees Island July

Bill Ellis and Sean Fitzgibbon on St Bees Island to catch, collar and measure koalas in July 2007
Rhonda Melzer and John Clark on St Bees Island to assess vegetation changes associated with goat and climate change impacts. John Clark has had his MSc accepted and will graduate very soon. Alistair

Alistair Melzer and John Clark discuss the

Set-up of micro weather stations as part of the assessment of climate change impacts on koala habitat. St Bees Island July 2007

Untagged young male koala. St Bees Island July 2007

The catching team sets up to encourage a young male koala from a low tree. From left Bill Ellis, Emma Rovit, 'Milla Warner,

Bethany Walker, Cheryl Bean and Sean Fitzgibbon. July 2007


Koalas at Amberley

There has been a population of koalas around and in the Amberley Air force Base for many years. I have been aware of the population since 1988 and koalas nearby were studied by Dr Neil Whyte amongst others. Back then, at least, there was an air force officer appointed to be responsible for koala matters on the base. The koalas appeared to completely ignore the sound of military planes coming and going. It is a pleasure to see that they are still present after almost 20 years.

Alistair Melzer


Report from Amberley Air Base from Di Pollard, who sends these two pictures

Dodging the paparazzi


Koala with a 'bung' right eye




Farewell to Stephanie Januchowski

For the past 18 months the group, CQ Koala Volunteers has contributed to the stipend and some support for Stephanie Januchowski to pursue her postgraduate study at Central Queensland University. Stephanie was working on a population of koalas near Collinsville. Steph has decided to discontinue this line of study for a mixture of personal and professional reasons. We wish her well in the future.

The CQ Koala Volunteers will meet in the near future to consider how best to support studies such as this in the future. We have invited members of Central Queensland University's senior academic community to join in the discussion with us.

Alistair Melzer


For a full story click Rockhampton Botanical Gardens Zoo koala Caramello finally has a baby koala

This photo has been enhanced. The original supplied by The Morning Bulletin Rockhampton




Gail selling the 'orphans'

Bethany looking after the 'uglies'

The 'orphans' saying "Please buy me."


Multicultural Fair

This years Multicultural Fair was a mixed day of light showers and spasmodic sales. The location of our site was a little far away from the main stream so we didn't get the number of people up our end to make for a busy day.  Volunteers had our usual merchandise of Orphan Koalas, hats and caps(new) plus Shirley's Uglies and chocolates. We sold shirts, cups and stickers for the University's Koala Research. Adding to the display we had two very well presented information stands manned by Alistair Melzer, John Rolfe and Gail Tucker.

Once again the Orphan Koalas saved the day so considering crowds were down, we Volunteers still sold over $300 worth of goods, $68. 50 of which went to the University sales. We had adequate numbers of volunteers to help but missed Carmen Drake (who wasn't well) and Doreen Lovett who had a foot injury. General opinion was that the day was worth doing again next year.

Dawn Pound



There's no stopping our Shirley 
PhotoID:4656, Shirley Hopkins has had a long association with Central Queensland University.

Published on 20 August, 2007 
Shirley Hopkins has had a long association with Central Queensland University.
Despite retiring from work 13 years ago, Rockhampton stalwart Shirley Hopkins' passion for work and her community has never stopped and neither has she.

At 76 years of age, she often shows up for a workout at the gym, followed by an aerobics session or two, and later may slow down just a little for some tai chi. Priding herself on a better blood pressure than her doctor, she is committed to keeping fit and continually supports others to do the same. And she has just bought a 6-speed mountain bike, which I'm sure will get much use - if only it could keep up with her.

If she's not running rings around her younger peers, Shirley is taking an active role in the Friends of the Theatre, U3A, the Society of Growing Plants, Jacana Bushdancers, Capricornia Bush Walkers and her contract bridge club.

But one of her most passionate endeavours is her work with Central Queensland University (CQU), in particular her involvement with the Central Queensland Koala Volunteers - a group which raises money for koala research through the Koala Research Centre of Central Queensland at CQU.


PhotoID:4657, Shirley is in disguise for help raise funds for her beloved koalas. CQU Bookshop staff show off the Canterbury Uglies which are now on sale.




After serving as a CQU staff member for almost 20 years in various roles in the then Department of Education Studies, the CQU Council as minute secretary and secretary to the registrar, and later as Admissions Officer in Student Administration, she retired in 1994. But never stopped working for the University.

She later coordinated the Golden Years program, a program designed to get older members in the community interested in the University. This lasted almost 7 years, before her interest in science came to the fore and Shirley then became involved in the Koala Volunteers - a group which is dear to her heart and the focus of her efforts.

Shirley is in disguise to help raise funds for her beloved koalas. CQU Bookshop staff show off the Canterbury Uglies which are now on sale. She has been the force behind fundraising ventures such as the koala chocolates and the Canterbury Uglies (jerseys) and also has been involved in field trips to St Bees Island, Thompson River, Springsure and other local koala habitats.

Shirley believes research into koala behaviour and health is the key to their continued existence.

"We are currently supporting a PhD researcher in Mackay who is looking at vegetation; a Masters student in Rockhampton who is researching koala sub-adults; and a Masters student looking at koalas in captivity at the Rockhampton Zoo."

"If we don't look after our koalas now, we may lose them forever," Miss Hopkins explained.

Shirley is always keen to recruit new members for the Koala Volunteers. Membership to the group is $15 for adults and $10 for students and concessions. Members are involved in fundraising and regular field trips.

Over the years, Shirley has also been recognised for her community endeavours through a list of awards. She was awarded the Companion of the University, Senior of the Year (2003), and Rockhampton City Council Community Award (Australia Day Awards 2004).

Courtesy UniNews, August 2007




The CQ Koala Volunteers are booked in to a day in the Botanic Gardens for Arts in the Park on the Sunday, 14th October. We will be selling our usual merchandise plus the Diary Calendars being printed for us by CQU Publishing.

If anyone can spare an hour on the day to help out it would be greatly appreciated.

Please contact Dawn on 4928 1798 or email

Dawn Pound



Next Meeting 5 November, 2007