6th December 2022
The Planting Trees for the Queen's Jubilee program is a nationwide initiative to celebrate the 70-year service of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, through community-based tree planting events. The Wetlands Centre is one of the participating organizations in this program.
On 6 December 2022, The Wetlands Centre Cockburn held an inaugural ceremony for planting program. The event was attended by various dignitaries, including the Federal Member for Fremantle, Mr. Josh Wilson MP, and the Mayor of the City of Cockburn, Logan Howlett. The board, staff, volunteers, and members of The Wetlands Centre also attended the event. The event was hosted by Karl Haynes, the Acting General Manager of Centre.
The Centre's Elder-in-Residence, Marie Taylor, gave a warm and touching welcome to the country. She highlighted the significance of Nyungar way of life, emphasizing how the past elders had lived harmoniously with the land for thousands of years. Marie also emphasized the importance of taking care of the land and respecting its sacredness. Her warm and moving words made a real impression on all those present, and set the tone for the event.
Mr. Wilson took the stage to address a community-based tree planting event happening all across Australia. He spoke passionately about the importance of preserving and revegetating the region for the sake of future generations. He expressed his hope and conviction on how the trees planted under this program would provide a home for endangered Carnaby's black cockatoos and other threatened species. Reflecting on the hard-fought battles won to save the wetlands, Mr. Wilson emphasized the need to continue the fight for conservation. He reflected on his long and ongoing connection to the Centre and his excitement to see the project take root and grow and flourish, providing a safe haven not only for the black cockatoos but also for other endangered and threatened native fauna.
“Planting Trees for The Queen's Jubilee will run over 3 years across 2021-24, providing up to $15.1 million of funding to groups and organisations for community-based tree planting events. We are really pleased to be a part of planting drives that will not just bring the community together but provide lasting value for the people and the environment.”
– Josh Wilson MP
Mayor Howlett spoke about the history of the Centre and how he and a dedicated group of volunteers worked very hard in the 90s through hot summers to plant and revegetate a lot of the wetlands and bushland around the Centre that had been depleted. He recollected the hot summers and how they used water tankers and containers strapped to the back of Utes to hand water the newly planted trees and bushes. He hailed the importance and contribution of dedicated volunteers like those at the Centre to the revegetation efforts of the City.
All the dignitaries fondly remembered the Queen and offered their condolences, given that Her passing was then very recent.
The dignitaries were then taken on a tour of the nursery by Lanie Cottam, the Centre's nursery officer, and Sue Dempster, from the Centre's nursery partner, Western Wildflower Gardens. They were enthralled to see all the tree saplings that had been grown for the Jubilee Tree Planting project, and in addition, all the wetland plants and wildflowers that were being propagated at the nursery. They had really interesting conversations with Sue and Lanie about how the Centre collected seeds, propagated, grew from cuttings, and nurtures and cared for the plants. They learned about the different tree species that had been earmarked for the Jubilee planting event, the growth conditions, features, and all about the ecology they would support.
The highlight of the afternoon was the high tea. Tables were laid with elegant linen, cutlery, crockery, and fresh native flower bouquets in a very English and traditional setting. There was a choice of boutique teas, iced teas, and freshly squeezed fruit juices. This was accompanied by an assortment of sandwiches, including classic cucumber sandwiches, quiches, and other savories. There was also a whole spread of mouth-watering desserts, including sweets, cakes, and a number of differently flavoured macarons. The catering partners for the high tea were I Love Tea Perth (www.ilovet.com.au), a local catering company, who not just arranged for all the food, but set up, served and cleaned and packed up after the event.
The Wetlands Centre Cockburn has always been dedicated to the conservation of the wetlands and bushland around the Centre. It has a long history of planting and revegetating the wetlands and bushland, and its efforts have led to significant improvements in the area's biodiversity and habitat. Much in line with these objectives, the Planting Trees for The Queen's Jubilee program is a great initiative that furthers the Centre’s efforts and promotes community awareness and celebration of Her Majesty's Jubilee while creating a lasting legacy of tree plantings across the nation, something truly beautiful and worthwhile to remember Her life and years of service by. The Wetlands Centre Cockburn is proud to be a part of this program and contribute towards the expansion of the native tree canopy and the restoration of the habitat of endangered species.