Paula Thomson, Senior Partnerships Advisor, joins the team

Back in 2019 a friend suggested I have a chat to a fellow named Mark Bachmann who founded an organisation called Nature Glenelg Trust. So I made a phone call and what ensued was a series of great conversations about NGT, and how philanthropy might progress its vision for the natural environment.

A year later we walked around the beautiful Walker Swamp and started to talk more specifically about how I could be involved. I grew up not too far from there, and although I’ve lived in Melbourne for a long time, the Grampians is a very special place for me. If there was ever a place to convince someone to jump on board with NGT, Walker Swamp is it! So beautiful, and such a great story of various donors and stakeholders coming together to secure the property, then the NGT team going to work on bringing it back to life. Also there’s a chance of seeing brolgas at the right time of year – a big incentive for me!

My grandmother, who grew up just over the Serra Range from Walker Swamp, used to talk about riding her horse to school and seeing hundreds of brolgas flocking in the area. I too grew up in the region, but I’d never seen one. The population had declined significantly in the intervening years. So what a joy to see their return to the area, and walk alongside those doing this important work.

The commitment with my part of NGT’s work is to continue to do things a little differently, as NGT has so often done. Simply offering opportunities for supporters to engage and learn and enjoy nature and meet wonderful people along the way. And I’ll be keeping an eye out for broglas.

Brolga pair foraging in Walker Swamp as it fills in winter 2019. Photo: Greg Kerr.
Paula Thomson