Sam Garrett-Jones, Convenor, NPA Field Activities Committee
At the end of April NPA NSW members joined a memorial walk for the late Emeritus Professor Geoff Hope (Australian National University) to Dunn’s Flat, Kosciuszko NP. The walk organisers were Di Thompson and Linda Groom of NPA ACT and Reclaim Kosci.
Geoff was an internationally renowned plant ecologist and palaeoecologist whose work over 50 years spanned Wilsons Prom (Vic.) to the high tropical mountains of New Guinea and the post-glacial wetlands of the Australian Alps. In recent years Geoff was active in arguing for the preservation of rare peatlands in Kosciuszko NP and across Australasia.
In a moving ceremony on the edge of Dunn’s Flat bog, past and present colleagues, students and collaborators spoke of Geoff’s infectious enthusiasm for science, teaching and conservation – and helicopters! All recalled him as a selfless mentor and friend. Dr Ben Keaney (ANU) led a field tour of Dunn’s Flat bog, a fairly pristine upland swamp (1450 m alt.) scarred by bushfire but isolated from the ravages of feral horses.
Despite poor weather, the hardier participants scaled Bimberi Peak (1913 m) on the NSW/ACT border. The massive scale of engineering works on ‘Snowy 2.0’ in the park was evident en route to Dunn’s.
We extend condolences to Geoff’s family. Certainly Geoff’s legacy will live on. And there was even talk of this being his ‘inaugural’ memorial walk.