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.
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.