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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)

Abrolhos Trip

Whale.jpgA group of ANN Field Naturalists 2016, visited “The Abrolhos”. The Abrolhos is sited in a sanctuary and the waters surrounding the islands are protected.  The trip included the history of the Abrolhos – the shipwreck Batavia and the mutineers.  Activities such as snorkelling, fishing, glass bottom boat viewing, visiting islands and rock pooling were included.

Some of the islands are breeding grounds for different bird species such as Lesser & Brown Noddys, Terns, Ospreys, Cormorants and Sea Eagles.  Many birds nest on beaches, be on the lookout for eggs as they are easily trodden on.  Sea Lions were spotted on the islands and close to shore.  Refrain from getting too close to all birds and animals and avoid being between parents and their babies.   Sit or kneel when taking photos so that you are not a threat and you will go home with some great memories.

I indicated that I would love to see a whale close up.  One day, whilst sailing between the islands we had a fantastic encounter with a whale – just beyond the bow that also came up to the side of the boat.  A WOW moment!  Not to be outdone, a pod of dolphins decided to put on a live show surfing, jumping and bumping each other just below the bow and to the stern of the ship.  Whales are rather slow in comparison to surfing dolphins.  Neither are easy to photograph as it is extremely difficult to judge where they will surface and on a boat that is rocking side to side/up and down.  For me, this was the highlight of the trip.


Tasmanian Field Naturalist Club report


For photos see

Hobart ANN report from Val Hocking

Sunday Mt Wellington visit. On our only cloudy damp day, we ascended Mt Wellington and my bus stopped at The Springs car park where we had a delightful walk to the Spinx Rocks passing bushes of red berries of the Pink Mountain Berry Leptecophyla juniparina and pink and purple berries of the spreading Cheeseberry Cyathodes straminea . There was also lots of white daisy bush and flowering cream Mountain Needlebushes Hakea lissosperma. Many rocks were covered in white and shades of green and grey lichens, adding more beauty in the misty day. Later we drove to the top of the mountain and had to be content to accept the lovely views of Hobart’s waterways from a picture.

Our final talk on Sun night was based around Jelly fish and how large numbers can be a sign of overfishing and other enviromental destruction.

Words of thanks from West Australia Field Nats summed up our great week together and invited us to Perth in Aug/Sept 2016


Orange myrtle (beech) fungi Cyttaria sp. seen at The Styzx State Park


Bartailed Godwits seen at Marion Bay. These birds migrated from above the Arctic Circle where they breed


Spreading Cheeseberry cyanthodes straminea.


Pink Mountain Berry Leptecophylla juniperina


Pineapple Candle Heath Richea drachophylla seen half way up Mt Wellington

ANN Get-Together 2014 Hobart, Tasmania, an orange theme

What was the highlight of the ANN Get-together in Hobart.  After much thought and going through my diary and photos I decided that the colour ORANGE presented some amazing results.

The Fairy Lanterns (Thismia rodwayi) which is a very small herb with bright orange flowers that are likened to tiny fairy lanterns on the forest floor. They are incapable of photosynthesis but take their energy from fungus and can be found covered in leaf litter in very isolated areas. The roots are wormlike. On our forest walks several people tried to find these elusive plants but failed. Just as well we had a sample in an ice cream container.


In the Styx Forest there were orange berry-like  fungi hanging from the trees, ground mushrooms and orange fungi attached too dead decaying tree branches on the forest floor.

Card Three 231 Card Three 203 Card Three 192

Adventure Bay, Bruny Island on the rocks out near Penguin Island rock pools was a bright orange lichen on the rocks.

Even Barb’s Hermit crab was orange.

Card Three 305

Lichen, AdventureBay near Penguin Island, Bruny Island

Card Three 311

The live-bearing sea star at the Tessellated Pavement rock pools was described as apricot-orange. This is the first sea star known to brood its young within the body. The babies leave the mother through the dorsal plates and crawl away. Apparently the larger juveniles can cannibalise the younger ones before birth.2- 018

In the Hartz Mountains there was orange dotted all through the habitats from flowering forest trees to heath in the moor lands and the mosses and lichens in the wet alpine areas.

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Even the Pineapple Candle Heath on Mt. Wellington had an orange presentation for us.


Now to look forward to Perth in 2016 for the next ANN Get-together.

Congratulations to all who made this amazing event possible.

By Rhondda Tomlinson

Tasman Peninsula

Tess pavement 10001

Searchers on the tesselated pavement (photo Rosalie Breen)

IMG_tess pavement 30001P1100376 (2) tess pav P1100379 (2) tess pav P1100390 (2)

Tasmanian Bushland Garden 2014

The Tasmanian Bushland Garden has been developed adjacent to the Tasman Highway near Buckland approximately 50 km north-east of Hobart. The 22 ha timbered dolerite hill had been degraded by grazing , firewood collection and a quarry when purchased in 2000. Over the next 10 years it was developed into a regional botanic garden to show case the native flora of south-east Tasmania. The garden opened to the public in 2010.


The Display Gardens occupy about half a hectare, and have been developed on a gentle sunny slope facing SW. Display beds have been planted to simulate natural plant communities growing on dolerite in the south-east and some of the rare and plants of eastern Tasmania. The landscaping features many local rocks and logs, which give a natural setting, and the gardens merge into the surrounding grassy woodland.


The quarry site has been transformed into a safe area with local fauna planted in a carefully designed scree slope, sculptures of Wedge-tailed Eagle, Tasmanian Tiger and dinosaur, a waterfall and vegetated pond.


The leaders for this ANN excursion were Keith and Sib Corbett who were involved with the development of the garden. They gave us an excellent account of the transformation of the degraded area into beautiful area which informs the public and encourages the uses of the local flora in gardens.


South-eastern Tasmanian species planted on scree slope in former quarry


Grassy Dolerite Heath community with Tussock Grasses Poa sp. and Guineaflowers Hibbertia sp.




Styx Valley 2014

The Styx Valley Big Tree Reserve is near Maydena 100km north-west of Hobart. The reserve is adjacent to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Site. The area of wet eucalypt forest has been reserved to protect the world’s tallest flowering plants Eucalyptus regnans. A boardwalk has been constructed through the forest. Little light penetrates to ground level which is carpeted by mosses, lichens and Soft Tree Fern Dicksonia antarctica. The middle layer trees include Southern Sassafras Atherosperma moschatum and Myrtle Beech Nothofagus cunninghamii. Towering above are Mountain Ash Eucalyptus regnans believed to be 400 years old and growing to a height of nearly 90 metres.

Lunch was extended because of a flat, front tyre on the bus. We had extra time in bright sunshine on the banks of Styx River. The vegetation along the river is rainforest dominated by Myrtle Beech. Myrtle Orange Fungus Cyttaria gunni grows only on Myrtle Beech and is a traditional Aboriginal food. The endemic Tasmanian Thornbill was seen near the river.



Styx River edged by Myrtle Beech, Blackwood and Tree Fern

Myrtle Orange Fungus Cyttaria gunni


Lunch at the Styx (photo Barbara Gilfedder)

Lunch at the Styx (photo Barbara Gilfedder)


Alan (driver) struggling with flat tyre (photo Barbara Gilfedder)

Alan (driver) struggling with flat tyre (photo Barbara Gilfedder)

How to take a picture of a big tree

How to take a picture of a big tree (photo Rosalie Breen)