Room To Read – Do you like a challenge?

Jan Brownlie

That’s a leading question if ever there was one. We live in challenging times.

Most of you have probably never heard of Room to Read but I’m sure a lot of you know World Expeditions. I’ve travelled and hiked in the far-flung corners of this beautiful planet and I’ve always believed that the way out of poverty for children in developing countries is education. That’s where Room to Read comes in.

Founded in 2000 on the belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children®, Room to Read is creating a world free from illiteracy and gender inequality. They are doing that by helping children in low-income communities develop literacy skills and a habit of reading, and by supporting girls to build skills to succeed in secondary school and negotiate key life decisions.

The Sydney Chapter of Room to Read (where I’ve been a fundraising volunteer for more than 10 years) has joined forces with World Expeditions to bring you the Kozi Challenge. The Challenge is a 22km hike to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko along the Main Range Track, through one of Australia’s most unique landscapes.

Let World Expeditions take you on this guided walk to our highest peak, one of the original seven summits. The trip starts with a BBQ in the evening of 19 November and ends with breakfast on Sunday 21 November. Included in the cost is 2 night’s twin-share accommodation, all your food for the weekend, transport to the start of the walk and back to your accommodation at the end.

Once the trip is guaranteed to depart (we need a minimum of 25 people), then you will need to raise some money Room to Read. The minimum fundraising target is $500 per person. That’s a $50 dollar donation from 10 people – I’m sure you can do it! You’ll be given some ideas on how to fundraise when you book the trip. If you can’t do the walk then consider being a sponsor for someone who is. Every dollar counts. 

Please come and join us, get the word out, tell your friends and family, get a team together – this is something positive you can do in these uncertain times to make a real difference. Due to recent surges in COVID-19, particularly in South Asia, children in low-income communities need our support more than ever. With your support, we can help Room to Read ensure learning continues for vulnerable children around the globe.

Will you accept the challenge?

Nature’s Gifts – Series Introduction

Bruce Gall is a former Director of the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Our national anthem, Advance Australia Fair, has weathered much criticism over the years. That unfashionable phrase, girt by sea, has had many detractors, and in 2020, the word young was replaced with one to make the anthem more inclusive, especially for First Australians.

Rewilding: a review of risks and benefits

Ross McDonnell, Treasurer, NPANSW

The NSW Government announced in February 2021 that a form of rewilding would be introduced into 4 NPWS reserves in addition to the 3 previously announced locations. What does it mean and should the community support the concept? 

In the Winter 2021 edition of Nature NSW, NPA Executive Officer Gary Dunnett wrote about the NPWS plans for the identified 7 reserves and the contracted partners University of NSW (UNSW) and Australian Wildlife Conservancies (AWC).  Additional new partners have been announced and include “local communities and Aboriginal groups, Rewilding Australia-WWF, universities, the Federal Government and other State Governments as part of an emerging national approach to rewilding”.

Sydney’s Great Walks

Helen Wilson, NPA Illawarra Branch

The Great North Walk (GNW) is a 250km walk between Sydney and Newcastle that was opened in 1988. A 65km Great West Walk from Parramatta to Penrith was opened in 2019 and is a similar multi-agency and volunteer project passing through historic urban areas, parks and bushland remnants. The Great South Coast Walk is a plan for a 660km walk from Bundeena to Mallacoota.

Nature Book Week and Environment Award for Children’s Literature 2021 Shortlist

Nature Book Week starts on Monday 6 September.

The Wilderness Society will announce the winners of the 2021 Environment Award for Children’s Literature (EACL).

Nature, Gross National Wealth and the New Economics of Biodiversity

Dr Ross Jeffree, NPA Counsellor, Southern Sydney Branch

Gross National Product (GNP)! Its increases put a smile of re-elective optimism and triumphalism on the faces of Prime Ministers, State Premiers and Treasurers – although it regularly scales with increasing carbon emissions, environmental degradation and biodiversity losses. Economics always trumps ecology…and Australia gets the gold medal among nations for biodiversity loss in 2021. It’s hard to feel optimistic for the future, based on increasing GNP, when scientific consensus tells us the future is falling apart. Is there any way out of this impasse between seeming economic prosperity as defined by GNP and the demise of the Nature?