Young Friends at Morialta
9 March 2007 the Young Friends
start their night walk in Morialta CP

Young Friends

Farewell to Young Friends

The Friends of Black Hill and Morialta Inc, has had a vibrant and active Young Friends group for 18 years. Sadly, the last meeting was held on 21 May 2010, as the coordinator has decided to retire. The committee thanks Graham, Raelene, Joy and Bruce for their commitment to the Young Friends, and their tireless work, promoting environmental understanding and appreciation to young people. The Young Friends are as sure to miss the meetings, as the leaders will in providing this unique education programme.

The remaining content of this page documents the former Young Friends activities.

Are you aged between 8 and 11 years of age and want to: Then why not share your interests, have fun with other children and become a
Young Friend of Black Hill and Morialta

Meetings are held monthly on Friday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.00pm at
88 Addison Avenue,
Athelstone, South Australia.

2009 Project Report

Young Friends meeting
Young Friends meeting.
Apart from the direct encouraging outcomes from the Landcare Project the Young Friends Group continues to flourish and has been supported by students, who after completion of their Landcare Experience, have wanted to continue their interest in Natural History. This project came about in 1992 and meetings are held monthly on Friday evenings. Programmes have been varied and it is pleasing to see parents too, come along and enjoy our sessions. Again, my thanks to Raelene, Joy and Bruce for their support with programming, conducting segments and supervision.

We have sixteen members at present and often there are as many adults as children present, so you can see our Landcare project has expanded to provide another very worthwhile nature based educational facility for not only Landcare students but also other children in our local community.

One of the hilights this year was a visit to the Moorunde Wildlife Reserve at Blanchetown. This was the first reserve established in March 1968 for the Hairy Nosed Wombat which shares our Faunal Emblem with the Piping Shrike.

I have enjoyed working with these young people and am constantly reminded of the important educational role we play with schools and young people.

Project Coordinator - Graham

2008 Project Report

Apart from the direct encouraging outcomes from the project the Young Friends Group continues to flourish and has been supported by students, who after completion of their Landcare Experience, have wanted to continue their interest in Natural History. This project came about in 1992 and we meet monthly on Friday evenings.

Programmes have been varied and it is pleasing to see parents too come along and enjoy our sessions. Again, my thanks to Raelene, Joy and Bruce for their support with programming, conducting segments and supervision.

Project Coordinator - Graham

2007 Project Report

The past 12 months have been well attended and we have presented a challenging and exciting program which young and old have enjoyed. We have ended the year with 8 Young Friends but numbers usually increase as students from the Young Friends of Black Hill & Morialta Collaborative School Landcare Project take up membership.

Our group has been busy and made a banner for the Campbelltown Proud Day and painted pictures of various weeds for display. Some other program topics this year were, The Life of Spiders, Bats, Pond and Stream life, Geology, Fun with Fungi, Bush Art, Caring for animals at home, Night Hike, Bush First Aid, and an excursion up to the Moorunde Wildlife Reserve with me when I was on Ranger Duty.

For this occasion a special newsletter was printed with a wide range of information about the reserve. I have been involved with the Natural History Society of SA Inc, along with the reserves, for 39 years and have seen many changes and been particularly proud of our achievements. Only two families attended but we had a magic day. During our travels around the reserve we did not see any wombats but the highlight of the day came just as we were about to leave, when a Hairy nosed wombat waddled out across the track and posed for our cameras.

The group was recently given two microscopes which will be put to good use and we thank Elaine for her kindness and Russell for his work fixing and supplying lighting components.

Joy and Bruce are not able to attend on a regular basis but when they can they give their support and it is greatly appreciated. My thanks too to Raelene for her regular input and support for the group.

Graham - Project Coordinator

Night Walk 2007

grass tree by flashlight
The Young Friends stop to look
at a grass tree.

In March 2007, I was invited by the Young Friends coordinator, Graham, to join the Young Friends in a night walk in Morialta Conservation Park. I gladly accepted the invitation, and met the group at the entrance to the Conservation Park at 7:30 pm on 9 March.

Once it had been confirmed that all the Young Friends that were expected were present, we drove up to the car park. Here we checked our torches, and went through the safety rules while on the walk.

Shortly after we set out, we found cylindrical shaped scats on the ground, and looked in the trees to see which animal might have left it there. It was not long before the Young Friends worked out that the scats were from a Koala, but we could not see it in the tree.

Cliffs in the valley lit by torchlight
The Morialta cliffs
are lit by torchlight

Moments later, a kookaburra alighted on a tree we were passing, while a couple of bats passed by. In a tree ahead were two boobook owls. They sat very still and were well camouflaged amongst the tree branches. When they flew off, they did not make any noise with their wings.

We saw some special plants, and some weeds in the valley. When Graham shone his bright spot light into the water, we could see lots of yabbies and small fish.

After stopping and standing quietly, we could hear the wind in the sheoaks at the top of the valley, but there was very little along the path where we were.

When we arrived at the waterfall, which was not flowing, Graham shone his torch into the air. The bright beam lit up moths, and before long, we could see bats flying around looking to catch the insects.

Young Friends lit by torchlight
9 March 2007 the Young Friends
are lit by torchlight

We checked the time, and found that it was nearly 9 o'clock, so had to walk quickly back to the carpark to avoid being late back. Even though we were in a hurry, we saw ants, a cockroach and centipede on the path.

We had a lovely evening, and I took some photos of what we saw. I turned the flash off, so the full effect of the torchlight could be seen, but this means, some of them look fuzzy.

John Fleming


2006 Report

During the past 12 months we have run a challenging and exciting programme which young and older participants have enjoyed.

Some of our program topics were; Geology, Fun with Fungi, Compost Critters, Bush First Aid, Animal Defences and Fossils, Tracks and Scats. Some members also brought along their rock specimens for identification and it has been rewarding to see their interest nt only in the rocks, but the other topics we have covered.

Again my thanks to Joy and Bruce for their input when they were able and in particular to Raelene who regularly supports me in this group.

Graham - Project Coordinator

2005 Report

For 14 years now we have presented programs and entertained young people, making them aware of our Natural History and the importance of our National Parks.

Our team comprising of Joy, Bruce and Raelene have been loyal supporters and programmers and with our them, we could not function. This year we had a number of Landcare students joins the program and indeed, if not for the Collaborative School Landcare Project, we would have to adopt other avenues to recruit new young members.

My sincere thanks to our team for their sterling support.

Graham - Project Coordinator

2004 Report

While there were no guest presenters at Young Friends this year, we provided an interesting, fun filled and educational programme. There have been night hikes, and one to the Morialta Falls was our contribution to the national Great Australian Marsupial Night Stalk. Other sessions have been on frogs, spiders, fossils, geology, soils, habitats, camouflage, threatened species and a host of others. Many children expressed an interest in geology, so during the year a labelled rock collection containing 34 specimens was provided to each member. (I wish someone had done this for me when I was a young lad.)

This group was formed in 1992, when children from schools in the Collaborative School Landcare Project wanted to continue their interest in Natural History and our membership has now grown to 23.

Thank you Joy, Bruce and Raelene for your much valued contribution and support. My thanks too to Alwyn of the Natural History Society who helped with the supply of rock specimens.

Graham - Project Coordinator

2003 Report

Again this year at Young Friends we have provided an interesting and educational program for both young people and adults. There have been night hikes to Ghost Tree Gully, the Arid Area and lake in Black Hill and we had a successful combined night at Morialta Resource Centre with Nerissa on our Southern Brown Bandicoot. Other areas of study have been spiders, fossils, geology, soils, habitats, camouflage, colours of nature, threatened species and a host of others.

This group was formed in 1992 when children from schools in the Collaborative School Landcare Project wanted to continue their interest in Natural History. Consequently, because of the continuing success of the School's Landcare Project, Young Friends too has grown and at present, has the highest membership ever. It is particularly pleasing to see as many parents come along, enjoy and share the programs with their children.

Graham - Project Coordinator.

1999 Report

The group has continued again this year and we regularly have up to 12 children and as many (or more) adults attending our meetings.

The highlight of the year was our last meeting When the representatives from Fauna Rescue came and talked to us about their work and brought with them a collection of rescued animals. The favourite was the blind sleepy lizard who has a very contented life now in someone's home! It was interesting to hear just how many volunteers are working in this area and to find out our local contact in Schultze Road.

During the year we talked about insects, looked for litter around Fifth Creek in the Foxfield Oval area, found out how our hills were formed and made playdough models of them an then drew our results. We also learnt how to grow crystals of many colours and talked about feral animals.

Our thanks go to Lee "Spotty Herbert" for drawing cartoons for our newsletter when she has time from her year 12 studies and we eagerly look forward to see if we can spot the errors (deliberate of course!) in each newsletter! All in all an enthusiatic group of children, keenly supported by their parents.

Co Project Coordinator with Graham

1997 Report

This year Young Friends covered a wide range of topics and learning opportunities about our National Parks and their flora & fauna. Subject material included, compost making and its role in nature, frogs, bats, spiders, aquatic eco- systems, fungi and their importance in the breakdown of cellulose, parasites, lithophytes, symbiosis - incredible partnerships. Parks - flora and fauna of Kangaroo Island, weathering and geology, Introduced animals - Native and Exotic and the problems caused. Night creatures, plus many more aspects about our Parks & nature.

As you can see Young Friends provides an excellent opportunity for young people to learn and experience things which~are important if they are to understand their, environment.

This group is managed by a team so many thanks to Joy and Raelene for their particular contributions which are so important to the success of the group.

Graham - Project Coordinator.

Information for Parents.

The formation of the Young Friends Group has been prompted by the interest expressed by some parents and children who participated in a local Landcare program and wanted to continue their interest in Natural History.

If our young people are to be better educated to resolve environmental problems then they need the ongoing support of family, voluntary groups and schools. In addition to learning about the environment, young people need to care and feel for it.

The development and nurturing of this feeling is the prime objective of forming the Young Friends of Black Hill and Morialta.

We trust that you as parents will encourage and support your children to this end.

Contact the Friends for further information.

The Possum

A possum may eye you, so soft and appealing
That you'd like him to dally and linger,
But perhaps in your fondness you haven't yet felt
His teeth in the end of your finger.

With eyes beady bright and whiskers a-twitch
He cavorts where the bright moon dapples,
But pray have you seen in the light of the dawn
What he's done to your orchard of apples?

And please don't increase with a shrug or remark
My father's unrpintable feelings,
For a possum has squeezed through a hole in the eaves
And left his disdain on the ceiling.

Colin Thiele

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Page last updated 2 January 2011
New photo added.