Category Archives: ANN Get-Togethers

Inforamtion about past and future Get-Togethers held each even numbered year

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

Southwest Australia’s Global Biodiversity Hotspot



400th anniversary of the first European Landing in Australia

The Western Australian Naturalists’ Club cordially invites naturalists over Australia to attend the eighth Australian Naturalists’ Network Get-Together to be held at Woodman Point, near Perth, in 2016.

This circular gives;

  • an introduction to the Southwest, (botanical and historical),
  • dates of the ANN2016 and associated tours,
  • details of location, format, accommodation and catering,
  • details of pre and post tours,
  • cost of events and accommodation,
  • enrolment form, and
  • details of timing and payment options.

Introduction to the Southwest

The unique biogeographic region of Southwest Australia, stretching from Shark Bay in the north to Israelite Bay in the south, covers over 300 000 square kilometres and is recognised as an international biodiversity hotspot. Briefly a Global Biodiversity Hot Spot is one where there are over 1500 endemic plant species and where 70% of the land has been cleared.

The Southwest of Western Australia has over 5710 plant species and some 3000 (52.5%) are endemic. The uniqueness of our flora is the result of growing in an area which has been exposed and uninfluenced by glaciation or volcanism for at least 290 million years, which has been totally isolated by seas and deserts for 30 million years and which has had a drying summer climate for 10-15 million years. Professor Stephen Hopper (UWA and former Director of Kew Gardens, London and Kings Park, Perth) termed it OCBIL – old climate-buffered infertile landscape. This region also has 12 species of mammals, 13 species of bird, 27 reptile species and 28 species of frog that are endemic.


Western Australia also has played a significant part in the European discovery of the Great South Land.

On the 25th of October 1616, Captain Dirk Hartog arrived on the Dutch East India Company vessel the

Eendracht at Shark Bay. By nailing an inscribed pewter plate to a wooden post at the site now known as Cape Inscription on Dirk Hartog Island, he and his crew made the first recorded European landing on Australian soil – 400 years ago this year.

In 1697, after exploring the Swan River and collecting some plants, William de Vlamingh landed at Cape Inscription and removed the original plate and replaced it with one of his own. Hartog’s plate is now housed at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Vlamingh’s plate is on display in the Shipwreck Gallery of the WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle. ANN2016 participants will have an opportunity to see the plate during one of the scheduled tours.

Interestingly for botanists, Vlamingh’s collections would have been the earliest from Australia had they survived. Only two specimens were found in Batavia many years later, then incorrectly identified as ferns, and finally correctly named in the early 1800s by Robert Brown (naturalist aboard Mathew Flinders’ Investigator) as Acacia truncata and Synaphea spinulosa from the Swan River area. However in 1699, the British explorer William Dampier also landed at Shark Bay and explored the surrounding area and further north. Dampier was interested in the country and collected and documented many plant and other specimens; 24 plant specimens and documentation survived a ship wreck and now are in the FieldingDruce Herbarium in Oxford– the first scientific collection of plants and other specimens from Australia.

During the Get-Together and the associated tours you will have numerous opportunities to view many of the species that are unique to the Southwest and to visit exhibitions and displays relating to European discovery and exploration as well as learning about the Noongar people, the original inhabitants of the area, and their relationship to the land and sea.



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.