CQ Koala Volunteers partner with Royal Society of Qld

Published:13 June 2014

Launching the Central Queensland Koala Volunteers Research Trust: Professor David McInnis (CEO EarthWatch Institute), Her Excellency Penelope Wensley, Dr Alistair Melzer (CQUniversity) and Dr Geoff Garrett (Chief Scientist of Queensland).

Central Queensland Koala Volunteers has partnered with The Royal Society of Queensland to establish a research trust fund to support environmental research in the region.

Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley launched the Trust at the Queensland Museum on Friday June 13.

Central Queensland Koala Volunteers has supported koala research through CQUniversity’s Koala Research Centre for more than 20 years.

The Volunteers have founded research activities from Hughenden to Tambo and Springsure to Mackay, raising thousands of dollars and providing hundreds of work hours to support CQUniversity koala research. Now the Volunteers are providing a legacy for future koala research by establishing a trust to provide seed-funding for scientists and naturalists.

By partnering with the State's oldest scientific institution, The Royal Society of Queensland, the Volunteers will establish a conservative and well-managed fund to support Queensland-wide research well into the future.

Dr Alistair Melzer, Chair of the Central Queensland Koala Volunteers and adjunct Research Fellow at CQUniversity, said that the research activity was initially seeded by a grant from the Australian Koala Foundation. Subsequently, it has been supported almost wholly by the community and resource sectors.

Dr Melzer called on the community and corporate sector to contribute to the trust to build its investment base and allow more grants to be awarded.

“Respectable economic studies have shown that scientific research creates economic value 40 times as large as its initial cost,” said Dr Geoff Edwards, President of The Royal Society of Queensland.

“Donations to the new fund should be seen as not an expense but an investment in our society’s future.”

The trust fund was launched as part of a short seminar on the value of scientific research as a foundation of economic prosperity.

Keynote speakers also included Dr Geoff Garrett, Chief Scientist of Queensland and Dr Anna Littleboy, Research Director, CSIRO.

Background information

The Central Queensland Koala Volunteers is an informal association of regional community folk who started supporting regional koala research in 1989. Members include regional artists, retired professionals and general members of the public with a common desire to ensure ongoing research for the conservation and management of the koala within regional Queensland’s developed landscapes.

The Royal Society of Queensland is the oldest scientific institution in the State. It was granted royal patronage in 1885. The Society is successor to the Philosophical Society of Queensland, founded in 1859, the year Queensland was proclaimed a separate colony. As the senior non-government scientific organisation in the State, the Royal Society has played an important part in scientific thought and endeavour for more than 150 years. Its annual Proceedings have been issued since 1884. The Society seeks to increase awareness of natural sciences in Queensland. It encourages original research and policy formulation relating to the natural sciences and the publication of these ideas. The Society provides a means for both scientists and lay people to keep themselves informed about and involved in the progress of science in Queensland.


Image Gallery
(Click on image thumbnail to see full-size image) L-R Shirley Hopkins (CQKV), Dr Alistair Melzer (CQUni), Her Excellency Penelope Wensley, Mary McCabe (CQKV), Carmen Drake (CQKV). Professor David McInnis (CEO EarthWatch Institute), Her Excellency Penelope Wensley, Dr Alistair Melzer (CQUni), Dr Geoff Garrett (Chief Scientist of Queensland)