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ANN Steering Committee minutes 6 September 2021

Summary Notes for meeting of ANN Steering Committee held via Zoom on
Monday 6 th September 2021 commencing at 7:30 pm AEST

Membership: Geoff Lay (Chair; FNC Victoria), Phil Rayment (Secretary; Latrobe Valley FNC),
John Gregurke (Register Coordinator; FNC Ballarat), Robert Read (Web-master; Central Northern
Tasmania FNC), Eddie Dell (WA Naturalists Club), Pam Ghirardi (WA Naturalists Club), Jeff Campbell
(Stanthorpe FNC & Tasmania)

  1. Opening and welcome
    Geoff Lay opened the meeting and welcomed those present.
  2. Present: John Gregurke, Geoff Lay, Pam Ghirardi, Phil Rayment
    Apology: Eddie Dell
  3. Reports

3.1 2018 Get-Together and cancellation of ANN2020 and ANN2022
It was noted that ANN2018 in Victoria had been very successful, with 74 participants
from 21 natural history groups meeting over a ten day period from 29 September to 8
October. The program commenced in the Grampians and then continued in the Surf
Coast region, having taken in the Western Volcanic Plains and the Great Ocean Road
during the intervening travels.
It was regretted that ANN2020, which was to be hosted by Stanthorpe FNC, had to be
cancelled due to COVID-19. For a variety of reasons, Stanthorpe FNC advised in August
this year that they would not proceed with their greatly appreciated offer to host ANN. The Steering Committee records its thanks to Stanthorpe FNC for their considerable planning efforts for the 2020 and 2022 Get-Togethers.
It was noted that it would be impractical to seek a new host for 2022.

3.2 ANN Register Coordinator
John Gregurke reported on the on-going maintenance of the on-line Register of Natural
History Groups, which currently includes 51 organisations. Phil Rayment reported the
formation in 2020 of the Macedon Ranges Field Naturalists, noting that he had advised
them of the existence of the SEANA and ANN ‘umbrella’ groups.

3.3 ANN Web-master
In Bob Read’s absence, John Gregurke noted that he had placed the minutes of the 2018
General Meeting held at Anglesea on the website. It needs to indicate cancellation of

3.4 ANN Camp account and Term deposit
Geoff Lay (SEANA Treasurer as ANN accounts manager) reported balances of $10,807 in
the Term Deposit and $2,064 in the Cheque account. Stanthorpe FNC has advised that
they will refund the balance of the seeding funds provided to them.
The key purpose of the ANN accounts is to hold seeding funds for future Get-Togethers.

4. General business

4.1 Future options for ANN Get-togethers

ANN Get-Togethers have been held in every even year from 2000 through to 2018
inclusive. The choice of even years has reflected the fact that ANPSA biennial
conferences have in the past usually been held in odd years. However, following
postponement of their 2021 conference (in NSW) to 2022, this complicates planning for
future ANN Get-Togethers.
Actions: Geoff Lay to contact the ANPSA committee to clarify their planned scheduling of
conferences across coming years.
Phil Rayment to plan a further meeting of the ANN Steering Committee, preferably in
February 2022, to consider their response.

The committee discussed options for the format of future Get-Togethers, bearing in
mind the considerable organizational demands placed on host clubs and the challenges
of securing expert speakers, particularly in regions remote from the capital cities. It was
felt desirable to continue with a ‘weekend to weekend’ format (typically opening
Saturday evening and concluding some time during the Sunday eight days later).
However there is scope to considerably reduce the number of evening lectures, given
that field trips and associated travel typically cover a large part of the day. A rest day
(e.g. Wednesday) is desirable. There is scope to request participants to arrange their
own accommodation (from a suitable list of options) and some meals.

4.2 Recruitment of future host associations, clubs or groups of clubs
Suggestions of possible regions for future Get-Togethers include:
Kangaroo Island, Blue Mountains, SE corner of SA (Mount Gambier, Naracoorte),
Flinders Ranges, Murrumbidgee/Darling/Murray regions of NSW, Kimberley region, FNQ,

4.3 On-going membership of Steering Committee
For discussion at the next meeting.

Phil Rayment, Secretary

APPENDIX: Locations of past ANN Get-Togethers
2000 Alice Springs, organized by Dick Southcombe and SEANA
2002 Northern Tasmania, organized by Launceston FNC
2004 Perth, organized by Darling Range Branch of WANC
2006 High Country, organized by SEANA
2008 Mary River, organized by Northern Territory FNC
2010 Western Downs Queensland, organized by Chinchilla FNC
2012 Canberra, organized by FNA of Canberra
2014 Hobart, organized by Tasmanian FNC
2016 Perth, hosted by WANC
2018 Grampians and Surf Coast, hosted by SEANA

2018 General Meeting Minutes

Held at the YMCA Recreation Camp in Anglesea on Sunday, 7 October 2018, commencing at 7.30pm.

  1. Opening and welcome

 ANN Steering Committee Chair Jeff Campbell opened the meeting and welcomed those present.

  • Attendance and apologies

64 naturalists signed the attendance sheet, drawn from the following member clubs:

Bairnsdale FNC (1)     Dubbo FN&CS (2)Stanthorpe FNC (2)  
Ballarat FNC (5)Hamilton FNC (2)FNC Victoria (4)
Bendigo FNC (1)Kentish/Central North FN (3)WA Naturalists Club (16)
Burnie FNC (1)Latrobe Valley FNC (2)Warrnambool FNC (2)
FNA Canberra (4)Launceston FNC (6)Non-members (via SEANA) (2)
Castlemaine FNC (2)Portland FNC (2) 
Chinchilla FNC (4)Queensland NC/ Fassifern (3) 

Clubs represented at ANN2018 but not at this meeting: Sale & District FNC, Tasmanian FNC.

Apologies: Rosalie Breen, Edward & Hazel Brentnall, Ruby & Bill Johnson, Rosalind & John Steel, Denis & Elizabeth Thurgood.

  • Minutes of the previous general meeting

The minutes of the general meeting held in Perth on 6 October, 2016 and previously circulated were confirmed. (Moved Eddie Dell, seconded Don Poynton)

  • Business arising from the minutes

Item 5.4 from the 2016 meeting: There was identified a need to increase the availability of seeding funds to assist host clubs to cover advance payments such as venue deposits. The secretary reported that the WA Naturalists Club had generously donated $6,000 for this purpose, being part of the surplus realised from ANN2016.

       5.     Reports

                5.1          2016 Get-Together

The secretary Phil Rayment noted that the 2016 Get-Together, hosted by the Western Australian Naturalists Club in Perth, had been highly successful in terms of the quality and organisation of the main program and the pre- and post- tours. A formal motion of thanks had been passed at the Perth general meeting. A healthy surplus was realised – see Item 4 above.

                5.2          ANN Web-master

Robert Read commented that the site at needs more material and invited contributions such as reports and photos from this and earlier get-togethers. These may be emailed to Robert at . If needed for sending large files such as photo sets, it may be better to use Dropbox.

                5.3          ANN register Coordinator

John Gregurke requested member clubs to keep him informed of any updates to club details included in the register.

                5.4          ANN Camp account

Phil Rayment reminded those present that the current practice is that the SEANA Treasurer looks after the ANN Camp Account and Term Deposit. Geoff Lay has recently taken over from Denis Thurgood as SEANA Treasurer and has yet to gain access to the account transaction details.

Phil reported that the ANN Camp Account balance as at 13 January 2017 was $8,916.00, which included the refund of $2,000.00 seeding funds for ANN2016 and the donation of $6,000.00 from the surplus from that get-together. The current balance of the ANN share of the term deposit shared with SEANA is $4,385.12. (The ANN share of the term deposit which matures on 22/10/2018 is 80%.)

                5.5          Chairperson’s thanks

Jeff Campbell thanked the ANN Steering Committee members for 2016-2018 including secretary Phil Rayment for their contributions.

  • Election of Steering Committee office bearers and ordinary members for 2018-2020

Peter Dalman (FNC Ballarat) took the chair for the election of members of the Steering Committee for 2018-2020. He declared all positions vacant and thanked Jeff Campbell and the other members of the 2016-2018 committee for their work.

Chairperson: Nominated: Geoff Lay (FNC Victoria), moved Jannie Lay, seconded Clare Dalman and declared elected.

Secretary: Nominated: Phil Rayment (Latrobe Valley FNC), moved Jeff Campbell, seconded Jannie Lay and declared elected.

Webmaster: Nominated: Robert Read (Kentish/Central North FN), moved Phil Rayment, seconded Eddie Dell and declared elected.

Register Coordinator: Nominated: John Gregurke (FNC Ballarat), moved Jeff Campbell, seconded Frank Truscott and declared elected.

Ordinary members:

Nominated: Eddie Dell (WA NC), moved John Gregurke, seconded Don Poynton and declared elected.

Nominated: Pam Ghirardi (WA NC), moved Phil Rayment, seconded Kath Truscott and declared elected.

Nominated: Jeff Campbell (Stanthorpe FNC), moved Kath Truscott, seconded Pam Ghirardi and declared elected.

         7.  General business

                7.1          Planning for 2020 ANN Get-Together

Offers to host the 2020 Get-Together had been sought from ANN member clubs or groups of clubs from an individual state/territory or region in the lead-up to ANN2018.

Jeff Campbell announced an offer by the Stanthorpe FNC to host ANN2020, which was accepted with acclamation. It is planned to hold the event in mid to late September, possibly based at the Stanthorpe Showgrounds with participants arranging their own accommodation. Jeff outlined some of the attractions of the region, including a number of National Parks and State Forests. He identified a new book, Flora of the Granite Belt, published by the Stanthorpe Rare Wildflower Consortium, as a useful reference.

                7.2          Motion of thanks to SEANA and its organising subcommittee for hosting ANN 2018

Pam Ghirardi moved a vote of thanks to SEANA and its organising subcommittee for hosting a highly successful ANN2018 with informative excursions and speakers and well organised accommodation, catering, transport and supplied information including the handbook. In doing so, Pam noted the great work of subcommittee members – convenor John Gregurke, treasurer Geoff Harris, Geraldine Harris and Joan Pitaro, who had the support of Elaine Gregurke, Nick Pitaro, Peter and Clare Dalman, Val Hocking and others. Thanks also to Geoff Lay for compiling the extensive collection of natural history photos screened across most evenings.

                7.3          Any other business

                7.3.1      Feedback re format for future get-togethers

                Points raised in discussion:

* Multiple locations are certainly acceptable where appropriate, but one-night stays should be minimised (sometimes unavoidable).

* There was general satisfaction with a 9-10 days duration across two weekends and the weekdays between.               

* John Gregurke suggested participants email any helpful comments to Stanthorpe to assist with planning for ANN2020.

* Pre- and post- tours are certainly not expected as part of Get-Togethers, but may be welcomed depending on location/region.

* Perhaps not have a guest expert speaker on the first and last nights, and use the last night (after dinner) informally for e.g. screening photos taken by participants during the current ANN. The general meeting could preferably be held on another evening towards the end of the program.

* A half-day break around the middle of the program is very welcome, preferably with some suggestions for walks near the accommodation.

* Suggested possible locations for Get-Togethers beyond 2020 include Kangaroo Island (SA), Alice Springs and a region in NSW.

7.3.2      Advocacy role for ANN

Margaret McDonald (Dubbo FN&CS) spoke in favour of ANN taking up an advocacy role when appropriate for environmental and conservation issues relating to the whole nation or broad regions of it. Phil Rayment noted that this is certainly within the remit of the statement of purposes of the ANN. Margaret then addressed the serious matter of the management of the Murray-Darling Basin, with problems exacerbated by the recent extended drought.

Following discussion, the following motions were put and carried:

Motion 1: That a letter be written to the Federal Environment Minister and Shadow Minister requesting details of their policies for the future of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and the desperately needed remediation of the Murray-Darling Basin river systems. (Moved Margaret McDonald, seconded Kath Truscott)

Motion 2: That the responses be emailed to all ANN member clubs with a request that their individual members receive a copy. (Moved Margaret McDonald, seconded Kath Truscott)

         8.  Next meeting   

The next general meeting will be held during the 2020 Get-Together (venue and date to be advised).

Phil Rayment, Secretary, ANN Steering Committee

e-mail: , phone 03 5174 1730(H), 0499 028 477(M)

ANN 2018 Get-together Report

ANN 2018 Get-together, hosted by a sub-committee of South East Australian Naturalists Association, was held from 29 September to 8 October 2018. Seventy-four naturalists travelled from all Australian states and Australian Capital Territory. The naturalists represented 22 natural history clubs – Victoria: Bairnsdale FNC, Ballarat FNC, Bendigo FNC, Castlemaine FNC, Hamilton FNC, Latrobe Valley FNC, Portland FNC, Sale FNC, FNC of Victoria, Warrnambool FNC; NSW: Dubbo FNC; ACT: FN Assocn of Canberra; Queensland: Chinchilla FNC, Fassifern FNC, Queensland Naturalists Club, Stanthorpe FNC; WA: WA Naturalists Club; Tasmania: Burnie FNC, Central North FNC, Kentish FNC, Launceston FNC, Tasmania FNC.

Field naturalists from 22 clubs at ANN 2018

The Get-together began at Halls Gap. Excursions to Southern Grampians,Northern Grampians and Pomonal were led by naturalists with good local knowledge. Guest speakers shared their knowledge of fungi, Grampians flora and management of the Grampians National Park.

Two days were spent travelling to Anglesea. On the first day the group looked at volcanic features of the Victorian Volcanic Plains. After an overnight stay at Deakin University, Warrnambool campus everyone enjoyed the spectacular scenery along the Great Ocean Road and forests of the Otway Ranges.

At Serendip Sanctuary the group viewed a large variety of free-flying and captive birds. A night walk at Mt Rothwell Conservation and Research Centre allowed close views of nocturnal animals on grassy woodlands protected by 11km of predator proof fence. Animals seen included Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Red-bellied Pademelon, Long-nosed Potoroo and Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby.

Thefinal two days of the Get-together were organised by ANGAIR
(Anglesea and Aireys Inlet Society for the Protection of Native Flora and Fauna). Excursions to heathlands, forest and coastline were led by a ANGAIR members with a passion and extensive knowledge of the flora and fauna  of the district. In the evening we were entertained by speakers on urban kangaroo management, local plants, orchids and birds.

The biennial General Meeting of the Australian Naturalists Network was held. Members of the Steering Committee for 2018-2020 were elected. The meeting agreed to send letters to politicians about the serious matter of the management of the Murray-Darling Basin.

Next Get-together will be hosted by the Stanthorpe Field Naturalists Club during spring 2020.

Walking to Venus Baths, Grampians National Park
Convoy at Tumuli site, Harman Valley
Field naturalists, Anglesea Heathland
Field naturalists, Anglesea Heathland
Orchid photography, Anglesea Heathland
Heart-lip Spider-orchid Caladenia cardiochila
Anglesea Heathland

ANN 2014 Group Photograph

ANN2014 Group photo 1.03MB

Group Photo of participants in ANN Get-together 2014 hosted by Tasmanian FNC in Hobart 18-26 October 2014.

Field Naturalists from Alice Springs, Ararat & District, Ballarat, Bendigo, Canberra, Castlemaine, Central North, Dubbo, Canberra, Victoria, Geelong, Hamilton, King Island, Latrobe valley, Launceston, Queensland, Fassifern, Sale & District, Stanthorpe, Toodyay and  WA NATS clubs attended.






ANN 2012

ANN 2012 Get-Together was held in Canberra in October

Some highlights of the week were: exploring with guides, the Native Bo-
tanic Gardens, which began with early morning bird watching, followed
by breakfast there.; a relaxing boat trip on Lake Burley Griffin; seeing the
sights of Canberra; the last of Floriade; a bus tour of the Embassies.

The Deep Space Communication centre  at  Tidbinbilla  was  inspiring as we viewed a Video of the tension of the recent Mars Landing  and  the  latest  photos  of  the planet.

A  behind-the-scenes  tour  viewed  the CSIRO National Wildlife collection.  Bird  species  make  up  the biggest part of the collection and are kept in drawers in an atmospheric controlled room. As well, all recently collected species have
their DNA  stored in a freezer.

We went on a number of bush walks, both around Canberra and to Na-
madji National Park. We saw 4 or 5 varieties of Orchids, including White
Caladenia and Donkey Orchids and Wax-lip Orchid. Occasionally Bulbine lilies and purple Indigofera shrubs were also seen.

On two evenings we were treated to interesting guest speakers at the CSIRO
theatre,  including  a  fascinating  talk  with  audio  on  Lyrebirds.
Mulligans  Flat  Woodland  Reserve  is  an  area  of  Yellow  Box-Red  Gum
Grassy Woodland adjoining the northern residential suburbs of Canberra.
A predator-proof fence encloses the 1500-hectare reserve. Gates are self-
closing, monitored with cameras and have remote telemetry to notify the
ranger if a gate has been left open. Tasmanian Bettongs have been released
into this protected area to aid in returning the area to a natural condition
after a long grazing history. The scratching of Bettongs loosen the soil and
help to recycle nutrients. Val Hocking was one person who saw a Bettong.
The  National  Arboretum  is  being established on 250 hectares of land on  the  western  edge  of  Canberra. The  area  was  a  pine  plantation until  burnt  in  the  2003  bushfire. The  vision  is  for  100  forests  and 100 gardens. Planting began 2007 and  was  opened  in  2013  to coincide  with  the  centenary  of Canberra. The  forests  will  feature threatened  and  symbolic  trees from  Australia  and  around  the world. Camden White Gum Eucalyptus  benthamii  has  10  naturally
occurring  plants  on  the  Camden River.  Now  a  forest  of  several hundred have  been  planted  and every  second  tree  will  be  harvested to raise funds for the arboretum.

The  Get-Together concluded with a dinner at a TAFE training restaurant which included a few participants speaking on “Why I became a Naturalist”. Naturalists were invited to ANN 2014 Get-Together which will be held in Hobart.

ANN Get-Together Time Line

ANN Get-Togethers are held during every even-numbered year. ANN Clubs receive information about the Get-Togethers and members of ANN clubs are welcome to attend.

2000     Inaugural ANN Get-Together was held at Alice Springs.

2002      Launceston Field Naturalists Club hosted Get-Together in northern Tasmania.

2004     Darling Range branch of the Western Australian Naturalists Club held the 2004 Get-Together based in Perth.

2006      South-eastern Australia Naturalists Association organised High Country Get-Together based at Harrietville (Vic) and Jindabyne (NSW).

2008       Northern Territory Field Naturalists Club arranged Get-Together in the Top End held at Mary River.

2010        Chinchilla Field Naturalists Club hosted Get-Together in the Western Downs region of Queensland.

2012         Field Naturalists Association of Canberra hosted Get-Together in the national capital.

2014          Tasmanian Field Naturalists Club hosted the Get-Together at The Lea, near Hobart, 18-26 October 2014.

2016           WA Nats hosted 9th ANN Get-Together at Woodman Point, Perth, 1 – 10 October 2016.

2018      South East Australian Naturalists Association hosted the 10th ANN Get-together at Halls Gap, Warrnambool and Anglesea, 29 September -8 October 2018.

2020     Stanthorpe Field Naturalists Club will host the 11th ANN Get-together in spring.