Posts Tagged ‘The Falls Forest Retreat’

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.



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