Retiree from Secondary School Principal turned World Heritage inhabitant.
What attracted you to the Daintree Coast?
Two sons, Brian and Neil came first, I followed to find an amazing land.
I like plants, need I say more! Fan Palms (Licuala ramsayii) are amazing. They will not survive unless we get rid of the feral pigs. Every year I weep for thousands of baby fan palms uprooted by the pestilent swine.
I love the sea and rainforest combination.
I love rain. Water is life. I have found my bliss.
Where did you previously live?
What made you/your family move here?
My retirement gave opportunity to change. I needed change, but my husband wouldn’t/couldn’t. We separated by agreement and I have lived in the Tropical North, with Neil and his family since 1993. I love extended families!
My son, Neil and I established our commercial enterprise in 1994, Cooper Creek Wilderness, guided interpreted rainforest tours.
We changed the name to Daintree Rainforest when our local tourism association asked to erect road signs to direct tourism from Cairns and Port Douglas to the world’s longest surviving rainforest. Reason given, “There’s no such place.” Now there is.
Our land is World Heritage listed. It’s marked on google maps as Daintree Rainforest.
Australia created a precedent by including private property into the area. We are legally bound to the primary goal, to protect, conserve, present, rehabilitate and transmit the world heritage values to future generations.
What do you like to do with your time here?
It’s been full time education for many years. We set up a web site, now we have four. We record our thoughts and discoveries in blogs. Sad to say, it’s some time since I had new information to hand out.
I think I’m beginning to age, just a tad. Did you note that I retired 29 years ago. I was 57 at the time. There, you have enough information to work out my age.
What changes have you seen whilst living here?
The area is greener. Most of the clearings have recovered and are merging back into the forest.
This forest has survived for an estimated 180-million years. Now that’s old.
It is government sponsored land-use, primary production, that wiped out much of the community’s rainforest. There were even financial incentives to clear land for farming. Through eco-tourism, the local community has saved the Daintree.
What is something you wish you knew about before moving here?
I would have liked to have had law degree. So much corruption in the governance of a small dedicated community in a small area of Daintree rainforest has astonished me.
Three generations of Daintree World heritage inhabitants, committed to a successful, sustainable occupancy is our core business. We also provide the multitude of other rainforest inhabitants with a human voice.
We have published a coffee table book entitled “A Stray Liana” written by Neil Hewett.