Extremely concerned about the affects of climate change Dr White is spreading a message of hope through educating and empowering others to make a contribution towards solving the problems we now face.

Dr Mary E White (MA) is an amazing lady.

I first met Mary about four years ago and a recent chance phone call led me back to Johns River to hear more about Mary’s life.

Over the past several weeks I have come to appreciate her passion and dedication to humanity and the environment. I have also enjoyed the hospitality associated with a cup of tea and some raisin toast.
The video above is just a short account of some notable events in Mary’s life and much more will be found in her autobiography nearing completion.

Born 1926 in South Africa Dr White currently resides at her property near Johns River NSW Australia.

Mary White at Johns River NSW

Mary White at Johns River NSW

At 87 years of age she continues to write and educate on matters of environment, biodiversity and climate change.

From the age of 16 Mary studied Botany and Zoology at Cape Town University. When looking for a subject for a thesis, Professor Alex Du Toit advised Mary to pick a palaeobotanical subject as there was not a palaeobotanist in Africa and there was a whole Gondwanan fossil flora waiting to be discovered.

Mary moved to Australia with geologist husband Bill White in 1955. As a palaeobotanist Dr White worked for the Bureau of Mineral Resources studying fossils.

Africa

Africa

After her husband passed away in 1981 Mary began to write. She soon published her first book “The Greening of Gondwana”.

In the years following, Mary completed several more books including: Australian Prehistoric Plants – Reading the Rocks – Running Down Water in a Changing Land – Time in our Hands – Listen Our Land is Crying – After the Greening the Browning of Australia and her latest publication Earth Alive.

During these writing years Mary received Honorary Doctorates from four Australian Universities. During 2009 Dr White became a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for service to botany as a researcher and through the promotion of increased understanding and awareness of the natural world.

It soon became apparent to Mary that she needed to do something practical to help save biodiversity. 

In 2003 Mary purchased her dream The Falls Forest Retreat and immediately set about covenanting 73 of the 81 hectares as a Biodiversity and Rainforest Sanctuary. This was achieved in 2013.

After a difficult decision, Mary has decided it is time to move on and continue her writing along with new conservation and education programs. Her wish is to find someone to carry on her dream as an education and research centre.

My thanks to ABC Mid North Coast Open producer Wiriya Sati for assisting me with this film.

My gratitude and love to Dr Mary E White for allowing me to be part of her journey.

Link to ABC Open https://open.abc.net.au/posts/llife-on-earth-26lz0fs

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Video  —  Posted: November 3, 2013 in Blog
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There is no other place I would rather be on Australia Day.

Saltwater Freshwater Festival 2014

Uncle Martin and friends dancing to the music of Troy Cassar-Daley


For me personally Australia Day is about paying my respect to Australia’s first peoples, a people who have survived and contributed so much to society with little recognition.

I admire the bonds of family within Aboriginal communities, something that seems to be frequently disappearing from mainstream society. I love the welcome I receive for acknowledging Aboriginal people and culture.

For the past four years I have had the wonderful honour of photographing three of the Saltwater Freshwater Festivals. Port Macquarie, Taree and this year at Kempsey.

2014 was the year for the Dunghutti people of Kempsey  to showcase their local Aboriginal Culture and Heritage.

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Rhys Waite

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Dunghutti dancer Auntie Thelma Kelly

As a photographer it is a perfect location with colour, subject and entertainment  all together in one location.

Photographing the festival is exciting and entertaining but the greatest satisfaction comes from sharing and participating with Australia’s first peoples. The friendships, the conversation and the opportunity to engage and communicate with the local Aboriginal community is a wonderful experience for all Australians.

 

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Troy Cassar-Daley

Troy Cassar-Daley, the headline act for the festival, had the audience up and dancing below the stage. He had already had a big week at the Tamworth Music Awards. I had great admiration for Troy as he signed autographs and had photos taken with his fans for an hour and a half following his performance.

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From Kempsey band Sages Muse

As with previous years the team at Saltwater Freshwater Alliance had put together an amazing line-up of artists on stage. They included fresh new sounds from local band Sages Muse, a powerful bluesy performance by Amos Morris, haunting melodies from Jess Beck and great dance beats from hip hop duo Supafresh.

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Wagana Dancers

The dance place had performances by the Dreamtime Sistas led by Auntie Thelma Kelly, the Gumleaf Band, the Wagana Dancers and Steve Donavon with the flash mob.

One of my fondest memories will be of the opening Kempsey Australia Day awards and a yarn that will make me smile for awhile:

While photographing the awards the odd big green grape would land with precision accuracy on the crown of my head. Despite several unsuccessful attempts to discover the source, the mischievous perpetrators had beaten me with their stealth and no doubt a well deserved giggle.

Loved it!

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Uncle Martin Ballangarry

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Amos Morris with an awesome bluesy performance

Steven Donavon leading the Flash Mob

Steven Donavon leading the Flash Mob

The Gumleaf Band

The Gumleaf Band


Image  —  Posted: February 11, 2014 in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island People and Events, Events, Media, People, Photography, Photojournalism and Media
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Private Sale – P.O.A.

All genuine enquiries Ph. 0265854457 Mob. 0408032689

Located in the quiet coastal village of Lake Cathie on the mid north coast of NSW this outstanding residence was the Winner of the Donavon Oates and Hannaford 2006 Awards for Excellence in Design and Heritage.
2006 Winner Awards for Excellence in Design and Heritage

2006 Winner Awards for Excellence in Design and Heritage

Judged by three leading NSW Architects this home also received a commendation for landscaping.

Views of Ocean and Lake

Views of Ocean and Lake

The home has 180 degree views of the ocean and lake. Combine these views with no lawns to mow and you have the ultimate lifestyle for relaxation.

One of the major features of the home is three 5.5 metre wide sliding doors which opens the entire upstairs living and kitchen areas to the traventine tiled covered verandah.

The home has a fully ducted air conditioning system very rarely used in summer due to the thermal design and coastal temperatures. This area of the mid north coast is often described as the ideal climate in Australia.

With fishing just across the road and great surfing out the front all the action can be watched from the comfort of home. Migrating whales are often seen from the kitchen, dining and living areas upstairs.

The entire house is carpet free with Spotted Gum flooring featuring in all living areas, bedrooms, study and stairwell. The large Kitchen/Dining area is finished with 400mm square traventine stone tiles.

Picture Frame Sunrises

Picture Frame Sunrises

Street frontage wall details

Street frontage wall details

The Pool Area

The Pool Area

The street frontage is finished with a 1.8 metre high granite stone wall which provides privacy to the courtyard entry and sunken pool area with a 1.8 metre deep inground tiled pool.

Location of Residence at Lake Cathie NSW

Location of Residence at Lake Cathie NSW

Designer Kitchen

Designer Kitchen

The designer kitchen is finished in metallic gloss with glass splash back. Bench tops are black marble and the appliances include stainless steel gas cooktop and dual self cleaning stainless steel finished ovens.

Front Entry

Front Entry

The front entry is finished with traventine stone tiles and is accessed by dual opening designer glass front doors with stainless steel security screens.

Stunning Sunrises

Stunning Sunrises

Wake up to all year round stunning sunrises over the sea. You don’t even have to get out of bed.

 

Traventine tiles line the fully covered verandah that surrounds the east and north sides of the home.

Upstairs Living

Upstairs Living

Traventine tiled verandahs with modern colourbond feature walling and decorative balustrading

Traventine tiled verandahs with modern colourbond feature walling and decorative balustrading

Main Bedroom

Main Bedroom

Bathroom Main Bedroom

Bathroom Main Bedroom

The main bedroom has a full bathroom with makeup area and adjacent walk-in-robe.

Downstairs Kitchenette

Downstairs Kitchenette

Front entry deck and limestone walls

Front entry deck and limestone walls

Front Entry Feature Walls

Front Entry Feature Walls

Lake Cathie has two village shopping centres within an easy level walk. One has a Woolworths Fresh Food Supermarket and specialty shops, the other takeaways and services. Nearby is a tennis court, bowling club, hotel, medical centre and more. The major centre Port Macquarie is a quick twenty minutes drive north.

Entry to Front Doors

Entry to Front Doors

Regular visitors to the balcony

Regular visitors to the balcony

Wildlife is abundant in the surrounding reserves and parks at Lake Cathie. Koalas are seen regularly throughout the village and there is a wide variety of bird visitors to the home.

Fishing the Lakemouth

A short walk over the road for fishing at the lake entry

There are great waves at the lake entry and other nearby breaks. Summer holidays the beach is flagged and patrolled by lifeguards.

Lake mouth surf.

Lake mouth waves.

Slideshow of additional images http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQOAUD2KD4Y&feature=share&list=UUtAzJNlPoVIdu1Y3cywR8uA

Image  —  Posted: November 23, 2013 in Media
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Wallaby Kempsey area

Wallaby Kempsey area

Possums, sugar gliders, wallabies and quolls are just some of the many native animals  injured in bushfire, car accidents and severe weather events. Many of these animals including native and migratory birds end up in the care of FAWNA Mid North Coast.

On Sunday the 17th October 2017 FAWNA volunteers gathered in the Theatrette Room at Sea Acres Rainforest Centre for the annual Bryce Laut Awards.

Bryce Laut was a NPWS Fire Management Officer tragically killed in 2008 when a tree fell on him during a cleanup operation following a bushfire. The fire was believed to have been deliberately lit. He worked closely with FAWNA and was responsible for training volunteers in wildlife rescue in the fire ground shortly after bushfire events. A donation was made to FAWNA in memory of Bryce Laut leading to the creation of the annual awards for wildlife volunteers .

Area manager Manning Hastings National Parks and Wildlife Service Steve Atkins with FAWNA President Meredith Ryan.

Area manager Manning Hastings National Parks and Wildlife Service Steve Atkins with FAWNA President Meredith Ryan.

FAWNA receives an average of seven calls a day related to injured wildlife. Some of these animals need veterinary and rehabilitation care.

Area manager for the Manning Hastings National Parks and Wildlife Service Steve Atkins presented the awards with FAWNA president Meredith Ryan. Mr Atkins thanked all volunteers on behalf of NPWS and described their commitment for rescue, rehabilitation and release as fantastic. He said ” without your assistance there is a lot of wildlife that would not be out there now”.

FAWNA President Meredith Ryan presenting local vet Sarah Bennett with a lifetime membership award

FAWNA President Meredith Ryan presenting local vet Sarah Bennett with a lifetime membership award

This year’s awards saw Sarah Bennett of Oxley Highway Veterinary Hospital receive an Honorary Life Membership. The award was presented to Sarah as recognition of skilled veterinary services and dedication to injured, orphaned and displaced wildlife in the Port Macquarie Hastings region. A willingness to advise and guide FAWNA volunteers in the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife was also acknowledged. FAWNA volunteer Wendy Pfeil expressed her gratitude for Sarah’s help during wildlife emergencies.

Meredith Ryan, Sarah Bennett, June Le Pla and Wendy Pfeil

Meredith Ryan, Sarah Bennett, June Le Pla and Wendy Pfeil

Dianne Waterhouse and Neville Elford were recognised for their 20 years of work with FAWNA at Kempsey including the rehabilitation and release of Red-neck wallabies on their property.

The runner up of the Bryce Laut award was Pat Davey a member since 2001 with six years duty on the 24/7 phone and rescue line. Pat has been been a carer and release member of macropods while training and mentoring FAWNA’s phone staff. Her recognition was for dedication to FAWNA and ensuring telephones were maintained.

Meredith Ryan, June Le Pla, Pat Davey and Steve Atkins.

Meredith Ryan, June Le Pla, Pat Davey and Steve Atkins.

First place award went to June Le Pla for rescue and rehabilitation work along with fund raising efforts.

Ist Place award winner June Le Pla

Ist Place award winner June Le Pla

Steve Atkins said June has rescued and rehabilitated more animals than most in her two decades of service to FAWNA. Undertaking regular patrols of Hastings coastal areas June has taken responsibility for rescuing seabirds. June is not selective in the animals she cares for and has added flying foxes and bats to her skill sets which also include possums, gliders and seabirds.

Also in attendance was FAWNA’s patron Dr Mary E White (AM).

Follow the link below to read and see more about Dr White.

https://brettdolsenphotography.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/dr-mary-e-white/

Nanapush is getting old now. He had moved north to where the ice was plentiful and had been living in retirement. He had been a trickster often seen as a rabbit but above all was known for his teachings of humanity. It was said by some he was the son of the west wind or the sun.

Nanapush - The Trickster

Nanapush – The Trickster

In recent times Nanapush had became concerned by the melting ice and the uncertainty of the animals. He sensed that it was time for him to return to his teachings. He was once again needed.
He called all the creatures of the world, both new and old, to meet in the ancient forests and special places across the earth.
He summonsed the Wematekan’is (magical little people) to help him on his journey. Their role was to help teach the the seventh generation, by their mischievous little actions, about the changes now occurring.

A note of warning – Don’t upset the Wematekan’is!

The Wematekan’is are mischievous little creatures but can serve as messengers of the Great Spirit.

Wematekan'is magical little people of the forest.

Wematekan’is magical little people of the forest.

Nanapush and the Wematekan’is travelled far around the world searching for those who were still in tune with the natural world. They travelled the ancient worlds of Gondwana and Laurasia, once the two great continents, where many of the great animals evolved and moved freely.

Gondwana and animals of ancient lands

Gondwana and animals of ancient lands

An old man from the south was visiting the forest, and was able to see all the animals in the naughty little tricks played by the Wematekan’is.

For three days the old man returned to the forest knowing that his visions were special but still unable to understand.

Suddenly Nanapush appeared and told him to listen.

We are the creatures from both old and new.

You have been chosen to see us. Our message is clear.

After this first vision I returned to the forest.

After this first vision I returned to the forest.

Our homes are being destroyed and the thunder beings are angry. Many of the animals, big and small have disappeared. We are sad because the greedy ones are not heeding the warnings and listening to mother nature. They are blinded by gold and power rather than the joy of life.

A wise figure appeared in my quest.

A wise figure appeared in my quest.

We all share the fields, the mountains, the forest and oceans. The great North Mountain and his brothers have spoken to you. Your help is needed.

Listen to the old teacher who has taught you about life on earth. She has great wisdom and she knows the truth.

Everything is written in the trees and in the rocks. Look closely and understand the great oceans and the air we breathe are suffering too.

Share your visions because what is most important will be written in the minds of all people.

Creatures of the Sea

Creatures of the Sea

The Stallion

The Stallion

The story above is my interpretation of the visions I saw in my three short visits to the forest. The story is told with great respect to Native Americans and Eastern Woodland culture. The Anishinabe, Ojibway, Algonquin and Lenape had close ties with my ancestors and their stories are reflected above. See more at http://www.native-languages.org/munsee-legends.htm

Look closely at the images in the following link and find more legends of the forest.https://brettdolsenphotography.wordpress.com/legends-of-the-forest/

My thanks to “One Who Knows” for making me aware of the Wematekan’is.

Residents of the Camden Haven on the Mid North Coast of NSW are noticing a distinct change in their visible iconic mountain landscapes.

From the towns of Laurieton, Johns River and nearby villages (anywhere with views of the three brothers mountains) people are talking about the browning and die back of trees.

Noticeable die back and flowering of Eucalypts on the south west face of Middle Brother Mountain near Johns River October 2013

Noticeable die back and flowering of Eucalypts on the south west face of Middle Brother Mountain near Johns River October 2013

Several residents have stated they have not seen this before during a period of around thirty years living in the Camden Haven area. One report from a farmer near Johns River recalled something like this on Middle Brother Mountain over 30 years ago.

The change of colour in foliage at various locations on North Brother, Middle Brother and South Brother mountains is what you would expect from a fall landscape in the Northern Hemisphere.

Click here for More images of the current situation

While some of this change can be expected from the prolific flowering of Eucalyptus trees this year, closer inspection reveals that many trees are dying or suffering extreme browning and loss of foliage. Prolific flowering of plants in a natural environment is often the result of stress. In this case it is most likely due to low rainfall this year in winter and spring. Plants will flower profusely to release seed to ensure survival of the species. This can also be noticed in species such as banksias when seed is released from capsules following a bushfire.

An open Banksia seed pod seen in the days following the Crowdy Bay bushfire of October 2013

An open Banksia seed pod seen in the days following the Crowdy Bay bushfire of October 2013

Closer inspection on the road to the top of North Brother Mountain saw extremely dry conditions. Many species were suffering and most obvious the tree ferns, many of which were dead or dying. The stony surface was most noticeable in the parched landscape. It would be fair to say that the mountain has dried up. The area’s most affected are likely to be those on the shallowest stony soils where biodiversity is lost through lack of moisture, followed by erosion during periods of heavy rainfall expected in the late summer and autumn.

The browning landscape on the road to the top of North Brother Mountain. 5th November 2013

The browning landscape on the road to the top of North Brother Mountain. 5th November 2013

This visual change has become most noticeable during the last four weeks and has been reported to National Parks and Wildlife Service. Investigations take some time on scientific matters. For known problems an explanation may be available within a few days.

The most important questions here for science are:

  • Have there been any previous recorded events of this nature in this region?
  • Will these areas recover?
  • What will be the effects of heavy rainfall and erosion on the areas below?
  • Is this event a factor of shifting weather patterns due to climate change?

The areas to the south east known as Crowdy Bay and to the north at Maria River Road near Crescent head experienced unprecedented winter and spring bushfires in 2013. This must alert us to the warnings given by the latest IPCC report and 97% of the world’s leading climate change scientists.

The Maria River Road Fire captured some 40kms away from North Brother Mountain. 24th August 2013

The Maria River Road Fire captured some 40kms away from North Brother Mountain. 24th August 2013

For a local perspective on climate change I recommend readers to look at the NSW Climate Impact Profile by NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW. Section 5.3 for the North Coast Section beginning on page 65.

Link NSW Climate Impact Profile

I will continue to observe and follow the findings of any reports related to the above issue.

Lorne Bushfire photographed from Grants Head Bonny Hills NSW Australia. Winter 2013

Lorne Bushfire photographed from Grants Head Bonny Hills NSW Australia. Winter 2013

Always love coming across wildlife when exploring

Always love coming across wildlife when exploring

Looking out from Bago Mountain January 2013 as a lone fire fighting helicopter assists rural fire services on the ground

Looking out from Bago Mountain January 2013 as a lone fire fighting helicopter assists rural fire services on the ground

Looking back on 2013 I have selected some images that best some up the year for me so far. A little of everything from events to nature and some personal moments.

Love this location for viewing the east coast of NSW and its Indigenous and European history and storytelling.

Love this location for viewing the east coast of NSW and its Indigenous and European history and storytelling.

Darren O'Rafferty WINNER of the Open Men's Event at the Bird Rock Memorial Surf Classic.

Darren O’Rafferty WINNER of the Open Men’s Event at the Bird Rock Memorial Surf Classic.

Bird Rock Memorial Surf Classic

Bird Rock Memorial Surf Classic

Halloween 2013 Australia

Halloween 2013 Australia

Bass player for legendary Indigenous band Coloured Stone playing at the Taree Saltwater Freshwater Festival 2013

Bass player for legendary Indigenous band Coloured Stone playing at the Taree Saltwater Freshwater Festival 2013

Steven Donavon and the Saltwater Freshwater Dancers at Taree Australia Day 2013

Steven Donavon and the Saltwater Freshwater Dancers at Taree Australia Day 2013

Taken while returning to Lake Cathie from an ABC Open workshop at Kempsey NSW.

Taken while returning to Lake Cathie from an ABC Open workshop at Kempsey NSW.

The end of an era for a well known trawler after running aground near the breakwall at Harrington NSW Australia

The end of an era for a well known trawler after running aground near the breakwall at Harrington NSW Australia

When old school friends get back together some forty year later now

When old school friends get back together some forty year later now

Rusa Deer at Lake Cathie NSW Australia

Rusa Deer at Lake Cathie NSW Australia

Eastern Water Dragon

Eastern Water Dragon

Taken on nightfall adjacent to the football field at Harrington.

Taken on nightfall adjacent to the football field at Harrington.

Male Eastern Grey Kangaroos fighting for dominance.

Male Eastern Grey Kangaroos fighting for dominance.

A spectacular late Autumn Sunrise at Lake Cathie

A spectacular late Autumn Sunrise at Lake Cathie

Pelican catching the first rays of sunlight at Lake Cathie NSW Australia

Pelican catching the first rays of sunlight at Lake Cathie NSW Australia

Biripi Reserve east of Taree NSW Australia.

Biripi Reserve east of Taree NSW Australia.

Scaly breasted lorikeet visiting the garden

Scaly breasted lorikeet visiting the garden

National Recognition Day Port Macquarie 2013

National Recognition Day Port Macquarie 2013

Sunset at Saltwater Lagoon

Sunset at Saltwater Lagoon

Thankyou for Looking

Thankyou for Looking

Image  —  Posted: November 5, 2013 in Media