At the second National Koala Conference organised by Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, at the official dinner on Saturday 3 June, the Hospital announced a number of inaugural Awards to be awarded every two years.
To the delight of members of Friends of the Koala attending the conference, we were awarded the Golden Leaf Award of Excellence for a Wildlife Group.
In making the Award, Cheyne Flanagan, the Clinical Director of Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, referred to our outstanding contribution in regard to not only rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing koalas but also our work in regard to habitat protection and enhancement, advocacy and to strategic issues relating to koalas.
This award came at the end of a particularly hard year for our front line rescuers, leafers, hotline monitors and carers who coped well despite a significant surge in the number of koalas rescued in the last 6 months of 2016 including 20 orphan joeys. For them it’s great recognition of the endless time and effort they put into fighting for our Northern Rivers’ koalas.
It also came just before the resignation of Lorraine Vass as President and a member of our Management Committee. Over the past 15 years Lorraine has provided excellent leadership, building on the contribution of others before her, and has had a significant influence on the direction we have taken over the time of her Presidency. She has made a significant contribution not only at the local level but also to strategic issues at the Regional, State and Federal level. She, and our volunteers, richly deserve the acknowledgement of this Award.