'Friends' are people who are interested in giving practical assistance to a particular conservation reserve, or a species of native plant or animal. This includes scenic, historic, cultural, and nature reserves and many different types of flora and fauna.
Friends groups, and groups with similar objectives, work in a great variety of natural situations - coastal sites, bush, grasslands, watercourses or wetlands. They operate in conjunction with the relevant management authority, usually Parks Victoria, a municipal Council, or some other organisation such as the Trust for Nature.
Every group is independent and autonomous. Some are incorporated and have a formal constitution and membership structure, others operate informally, with no membership fee.
While each group will have its own specific objectives, these will include, in broad terms:
- providing support for the reserve or species;
- assisting with special projects selected by the Friends in consultation with the appropriate management authority;
- bringing into contact people with a common interest in the reserve or species;
- fostering public awareness of the reserve or species;
- supporting the effective management of native flora and fauna in Victoria
About Friends Network Committee
The Victorian Environment Friends Network Committee was originally established to organise the biennial conference. Nowadays, as well as doing this it arranges seminars, produces a quarterly newsletter, administers the Best Friend Award, promotes environmental volunteering and liaises with managing authorities.
Here is some information about the current committee:
Friends of Wilsons Reserve, Organ Pipes NP
Manage 2 bat box projects at these parks
Retired accounting teacher
Interests: tutoring refugees, Earthwatch projects, lecturing on atheism, grandchildren, photography, hiking, bats, frogs, spiders.
Environmental Volunteers Support Officer at Yarra Ranges Council
Interests: Environmental and natural resource management and community development.
Hope to achieve better connections and networking between all environmental groups across Victoria
Maelor Himbury - Secretary
Friends of the Maribyrnong Valley, Organ Pipes National Park, Steele Creek
Manager Friends Network website
Committee member VNPA
Produce daily environmental news digest for Australian Conservation Foundation
Michael Howes - Treasurer
Friends of Woodlands HP, Organ Pipes NP, Maribyrnong Valley
Publications editor VNPA
Interests: conservation, gardening, classical music, bushwalking, amateur dramatics
Friends of Merri Creek
Interests - FoMC activities, bushwalking, recreational
Friends of Woodlands Historic Park; Wyperfeld
Teacher - Early Childhood and Primary
Interest areas: interpretation, heritage theatre.