ABOVE AND RIGHT: Friends of the Koala members and friends celebrating the group's 30th anniversary in Lismore.
ABOVE AND RIGHT: Friends of the Koala members and friends celebrating the group's 30th anniversary in Lismore.

Local group helping koalas for 30 years

LISMORE'S iconic volunteer rescue group Friends of the Koala has celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Friends of the Koala president Lorraine Vass said the understanding of koala biology and diseases has improved in leaps and bounds since the early days, meaning the standards of care have come a long way.

She said she was also very proud of the partnerships the not-for-profit had formed with universities and research organisations.

Ms Vass said she has personally been involved in Friends of the Koala for 16 years.

"I came into the organisation knowing very little about koalas," she said.

"And the more I learned... the more I realised that just doing the rescue work wasn't enough, even just planting wasn't enough.

"The compelling motivation I suppose is realising that we... have to be their voice."

Ms Vass said it was up to people like her and other Friends of the Koala members to keep on talking to different levels of governments and advocating on behalf of koalas.

"It wasn't until 2012 that the koala here, in NSW and QLD and the ACT was listed as vulnerable in federal legislation.

"The more I became involved, the more I realised if we don't do more, it's not enough to ensure the koala's survival.

"I think what's kept me here is that feeling that if we don't speak for our koalas and act for our koalas, then they really do run the risk of not survival into future generations."



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