About the Friends

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Yellingbo, Woori Yallock Creek sub-catchment, Australia
Have you ever wanted to contribute to conservation of a threatened species? The Helmeted Honeyeater is Victoria's state emblem and is listed as: 1. Critically endangered (DSE Advisory List Of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna In Victoria - 2007) 2. Threatened (Victorian Govt. Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988) 3. Critically endangered (Federal Govt. Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) Can people make a difference to this bird's long-term survival? We believe anyone can. Check out the 'Take action' button on our homepage (www.helmetedhoneyeater.org.au), then contact us for more details.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2011 - International Year of Forests

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

We look forward to doing our bit through our education programs and volunteering efforts to celebrate people’s action to sustainably manage the world’s forests.

We'd love you to join us! The best way to start is to drop in to our community nursery at 1217 Macclesfield Road, Yellingbo (Melways reference 305 G11) on any Tuesday or Thursday throughout the year. Our nursery volunteers are on deck from 10am-1pm and would love to talk to you about the volunteer roles the Friends are involved with including plant propagation, planting, school talks & bird surveys to name just a few. BYO lunch to enjoy together at 1pm. We provide morning tea. See you there!

NB. We are closed on days of High Fire Danger.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Yellingbo State Emblems Park - next steps

Not quite the outcome we planned on.... but the Yellingbo State Emblems Park Alliance of which the Friends are a founding member, look forward to working with The Hon. Ryan Smith, MP (Minister for Environment and Climate Change) and the new Victorian State Government to progress the Park. More on this as things develop...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A step closer - Yellingbo State Emblems Park

Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings announced at Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve on Thursday 18 November that a future Brumby Labor Government would examine ways to create a new 5000ha State Emblems Park in the Dandenong Ranges to help protect endangered species. It is proposed that the park would be called Yellingbo State Emblems Park.

The YSEP interconnects high biodiversity public land in the Woori Yallock Creek catchment, using existing streamside public land without acquiring any new land. The existing uses of the public land involved will not be affected by the creation of the proposed Park.

Why do it?

The creation of a single Park will rationalise the current confused mixture of public land tenure and management arrangements,
streamlining the complex regulations that apply on the many different parcels of land. Currently there are a range of public land managers, Dept. of Sustainability & Environment, Parks Victoria and local Councils.

A number of existing reserves located within YSEP's boundaries are home to a range of significant fauna and flora species including Helmeted Honeyeater, Leadbeater's Possum, Emerald Star Bush, Sedge-rich Eucalyptus camphora Swamp, Powerful Owl, Swamp Skink, Dandenong Freshwater Amphipod, Slender Tree Fern, Southern Sassafras Cool Temperate Rainforest Community, Pomaderris eliptica, Lace Monitor and many more. These species however are often contained within 'islands' in the landscape, restricting their dispersal into other conservation zones. Coordinated management of the YSEP will create a much improved environment for these species to adapt to change.

Thank you to members of the Woori Yallock Creek Park Alliance for their commitment to this project over many years. The Woori Yallock Creek Park Alliance is a collective of Community Groups primarily within the Woori Yallock Creek Catchment. They include:
  • Friends of Helmeted Honeyeater Inc
  • Meander-A group caring for the Menzies Creek and Emerald Tourist Track Inc
  • Macclesfield Landcare Group
  • Monbulk Landcare Group
  • Johns Hill Landcare Group
  • Friends of Sassafras Creek
  • Friends of Wrights Forest
  • Friends of Hoddles Creek
  • Cardinia Environment Coalition
  • Upper Yarra and Dandenongs Environment Council
  • Friends of Leadbeater's Possum
Our thanks also to Member for Monbulk James Merlino and Member for Gembrook Tammy Lobato for their support of this proposal.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thank you

Without our volunteers Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater would not be able to achieve what we do. Our sincere thanks go to the many people who have helped us this year in our community nursery, our school planting days, our community talks, as committee representatives, as Helmeted Honeyeater supplementary feeders and the myriad of other activities Friends are involved in. Thank you.

Images: Over 5,800 habitat plants were planted at 2 recent corporate planting days in September 2010. Thanks to Zoos Victoria staff & volunteers, NAB staff, Swinburne TAFE CLM students, Deakin University Environment Group and RACV staff for their time & enthusiasm.
Photographers: Sue Tardif & Mark Krause

Monday, September 13, 2010

Eastern Yellow Robin nestlings

How lucky are we to have spotted a family of Eastern Yellow Robins on a walk through Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve today? The wet weather has not dampened parenting instincts. Has it heightened it?

Image: A Millipede was the food of choice for this nestling
Photographer: Bruce Tardif

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The floodplain is living up to its name

Winter 2010 has been a great season for the Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve.

After consistent rain we postponed a planned planting day with Macclesfield Primary School on 5 August. At one time during the morning we doubted our decision. The sun was out. The rain had stopped.... but a walk to the site showed we made a good call!

Gumboots haven't been needed too often in the past few years so a quiet time of reflection was in order.

Revegetation is a major priority for the Friends. Read more here

Image: Woori Yallock Creek floodplain 5 August 2010
Photographer: Sue Tardif

Friday, July 9, 2010

Spotted on the web

Below is an email we received recently from a teacher after our Google alert 'found' a presentation posted by one of her students. The power of the web. Thanks Britt & Sarah for spreading the message about threatened species.


I thought you may be interested in a couple of posts following a threatened species project I did with my Year 6/7 Science students at:




Sarah was very grateful to receive the newsletter and postcard from your members - it really is delightful when students get feedback from the 'real' world and when they know that the work they do is relevant and connected to the community.

Thanks Again, Britt G
Hawkesdale P12 College

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bob Anderson OAM

Our very own Bob Anderson (President, Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater) was recently recognised when he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. He was interviewed by Michael Cathcart on Radio National's Bush Telegraph. You can listen to the interview here

Image: Bob plants some orchids in the Friend's nursery display garden
Image: Sue Tardif

Sunday, May 16, 2010

28 birds released - it's a record!

Six birds released into Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve on 6 May 2010 added to 22 released into Bunyip State Park two weeks earlier.

DSE’s Senior Field Ornithologist Bruce Quin said: “Before this release, there were only about 40 Helmeted Honeyeater's left at Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve, with 40 more at Bunyip. The release site was chosen to give the new birds the best chance of survival,” Bruce said, "with ideal swamp and stream-side vegetation and a permanent water source. A major aim of bolstering the Yellingbo population is to diversify the birds gene pool. With the new releasees mixing with wild birds, the Helmeted Honeyeater population at Yellingbo is critical in maintaining a long-term, healthy outcome for the sub-species as a whole.”

Of the 12 captive-bred birds released last autumn in Yellingbo, we can still account for 7. This is a fantastic result and we are hoping for a similar one this year.

Image: Bruce and Bob release birds. A 'hands free' method of release will occur from 2011
Image: Iain Stych

Monday, April 5, 2010

Microchips vs leg bands - monitoring Helmeted Honeyeaters

We are often asked during our community education talks why we don't use microchips instead of leg bands to monitor the Helmeted Honeyeaters in the wild. It's a good question. So good in fact that Healesville Sanctuary are currently undertaking a trial to determine whether it's a viable option in the future.

Read more here: http://www.zoo.org.au/Conservation/Research/Wildlife_Reintroduction/Microchip_Trial

Thank you - another reveg plot is possible

Our recent fundraiser - Rochford Winery movie night - raised $320. The Friends sincerely thank Rochford Winery for making the night possible, Healesville Sanctuary who advised us of the opportunity and those families who came out on a mild balmy night to enjoy Up with us. The Friends will use the dollars raised to pay a fencing labourer to erect a revegetation plot designed to exclude feral animals, in particular feral deer on the Woori Yallock Creek arm of the Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve. Habitat plantings have proven to be 95% successful using this methodology. Thank you.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Movie fundraiser - Up - Rochford 12 March 2010

Outdoor movie night - ‘UP’ on a big screen at Rochford, Yarra Valley

Date: Friday 12 March 2010.
Time: Gates open 7pm. Movie starts at dusk

From the creators of Finding Nemo & Monsters Inc comes this pixar animated movie that draws
together the most unlikely duo on an Uplifting adventure of a lifetime. Carl, a retired balloon
salesman and Russell an enthusiastic Wilderness Explorer meet some wonderful characters on an adventure that helps protect a rare 13 foot tall flightless bird.

Just like Carl and Russell in Up, the Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater believe that individuals can make a difference to the plight of our state emblem, the beautiful but endangered Helmeted Honeyeater, along with the myriad of plants and animals that co-exist with it.

Come along & enjoy Up under the stars of the Yarra Valley.

• Cost: $10 adults, children under 12 FREE. Tickets at the gate
• BYO chair or rug, warm clothes, food & drink (no BYO alcohol). Food & drinks, including alcohol, can be purchased at the venue
• Event proceeds rain, hail or shine – come prepared
• 50% of the proceeds of this movie night go to the Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater to improve their nursery facilities & ensure a reliable water supply over the critical
summer months.

Venue: Rochford Winery, Corner Maroondah Hwy & Hill Road, Coldstream. Melway 277 D9

Rochford Wines is proud to support the Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater through the hosting of this community event