David Bellamy, centre, with Savannah Guides in
Photo: Wendy Hillman
THE Savannah Guides has inducted one of the world’s most
famous botanists and conservationists into its ranks: Prof. David
Bellamy. Prof. Bellamy attended the April Savannah Guide School in
Mareeba, which took place at the new Mareeba Wetland Foundation
(click here for
separate story). He was not only full of praise for the guiding
group and the unique qualities of Australia’s savannas but
also took part in a video on the savannas and its guides.
Prof. Bellamy first met the guides last year when he visited the
Mareeba Wetland Foundation (he is on its Council of Governors). He
became interested in the organisation, and a year later came
back—as a recruit, and willing to earn his Savannah patch
just like any other interpreter.
Generally, it takes a new recruit some time to be awarded site
interpreter status but Guides’ president Tom Warnes said the
latest recruit had proved himself (after scrutiny of the rules)
ready for induction.
“At the school we invested him as a site interpreter for
the Mareeba Wetlands. Let’s face it, his interpretive skills
and conservation values are well-known, so we thought as a guide he
would pass!” said Tom. “He insisted on coming in at
entry level though, just like any other guide.
According to Prof. Bellamy, the Guides and the Mareeba Wetlands
have got nature tourism right.
“He recognises the Savannah Guides as a worthwhile and
positive force for conservation and interpretation in the
savanna’s north,” said Tom. “And his endorsement
of the Savannah Guides is huge for us.
Prof. Bellamy trekked westward after the school, visiting and
filming Savannah Guide sites that included Cobbold Gorge, Undara
Lava Tubes, the Tyrconnell Mine, Normanton, Cryoden and Lawn Hill
Gorge. It is envisaged the video will be available at these and
other Guide sites across northern Australia.
President: Tom Warnes
Tel: (07) 4055 6504 Fax: (07) 4057 7226