Park Ambassadors are people who love our WA Parks and support the principles of the WA Parks Foundation in terms of
- promoting a love for Western Australia’s Parks;
- inspiring people to appreciate our parks for their uniqueness, and to want to visit and enjoy them; and
- increasing community pride in our parks.
Meet our Park Ambassadors
Pat Barblett AM
Why do I love WA Parks? “I have had a love affair with Parks for the last 40 years. The Parks Foundation will help others to love and visit our Parks, build the profile of Parks, and build a strong support base within the community.”
Professor Lyn Beazley AO
Why do I love WA Parks? “I think every young person is curious about the world around them. Our Parks give them the chance to explore, to make discoveries for themselves and to appreciate the natural world. That is a great thing and it is just one of the reasons why I think our Parks are so precious and why we must help them to flourish.”
June Butcher AM
Why do I love WA Parks? “Parks are essential to our wellbeing as humans. We need the interaction with animals, plants and places that can renew our energy and our spirit. My love of animals led me to establish Kanyana and we now have a 16-acre site where our 300 amazing volunteers give sick, injured and orphaned native animals a second chance. Our Parks system in WA is vital to the long term survival of our rare and unique wildlife and Kanyana is honoured to play its part by caring, conserving and communicating.”
Hon Fred Chaney AO
Why do I love WA Parks?“Parks should be enjoyed by all of us. They are wonderful spaces that are good for our health, our relationships and our wellbeing. Successful management of our Parks involves a cooperative approach between Indigenous people and government with the not-for-profit and private sectors.”
Why do I love WA Parks?I look at life through the eyes of my totem animal, the majestic Wedge-tailed Eagle, which soars high above the earth on outstretched wings. This 'birds’ eye' perspective reminds me of the scale of our vast WA landscape, but also the scale of Western impacts to this special and fragile place. Preserving large tracts of wilderness as sanctuaries for eagles and the assortment of unique and beautiful biodiversity that resides under their ‘umbrella’, is necessary for its ongoing protection. WA Parks are therefore vital for our physical and mental health, as they provide us with life-giving opportunities to ‘connect to country’ and be reminded of the integral roles other living things play in sustaining all life.
Why do I love WA Parks?Growing up in WA I was lucky to have the bush and parks to explore, to learn from and to have wonderful childhood adventures. Most West Aussie kids also shared those experiences. The Foundation is a great initiative to help maintain this tradition for future generations. It is probably more important now than ever in helping younger people to stay grounded. I feel privileged to be an Ambassador for the WA Parks Foundation.
Professor Ross Dowling OAM
Professor Dowling is Foundation Professor of Tourism in the School of Business & Law at Edith Cowan University. He has a strong interest in conservation, parks and tourism and is a member of the WA Conservation & Parks Commission. He is also a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas and an advisor to UNESCO Global Geoparks. In New Zealand he was a foundation staff member of the Ministry for the Environment and he has been awarded an NZ Conservation Council Citation for his contributions to conservation education.
Why do I love WA Parks?
Western Australia is blessed by its outstanding natural diversity. However, with such an enormous range of plants, animals and landforms encompassed by the parks in our huge state, it is paramount that collectively we work together to conserve these special places for the wellbeing of the environment and the enjoyment of people. Thus I am proud to be an Ambassador of the WA Parks Foundation working towards their conservation whilst providing even greater connection between parks and people.
Why do I love WA Parks? “Connecting people to parks and the natural environment is the most enjoyable aspect of my work. Educating people at our native nursery (located within our park) and teaching people about our native bush and connecting them to our country in consultation with Aboriginal guides is truly rewarding. I am proud to be a Park Ambassador, helping to raise awareness across Western Australia on why it is important for us to connect to our natural and diverse environment, and to ensure future generations continue this important legacy."
David Flanagan AM
Why do I love WA Parks? "I just love the bush, the peace and sense of connecting with nature. Something really good happens when you do it. It just helps me deal with whatever is on my plate. Preserving and promoting access our parks is such a great initiative for our community"
Why do I love WA Parks?I have always loved our West Australian Parks, having grown up around them. From camping in Karijini to swimming in the Serpentine falls, the time spent in the beautiful open air was at the centre of my childhood. Western Australia is fortunate in having such diversity in its landscape, plants and wildlife. I am proud to be an Ambassador of the WA Parks Foundation to protect and honour these parks so one day my children can enjoy them as I have.
Why do I love WA Parks?Growing up in the Great Southern fast-tracked my understanding of the important relationship between people and country. We are very fortunate to have some of the best and largest Parks here in WA, and I'm keen to do my part to ensure our Parks can be enjoyed by all for many years to come.
Shaun Hardcastle is a corporate lawyer who has been practising law in Western Australia for over 10 years. He currently sits on a number of boards (both public listed companies and not-for-profits). .
Why do I love WA Parks?
Shaun strongly believes that WA Parks should be a source of pride for all Western Australians and his aim is to assist in the long term preservation of WA’s Parks and their conservation values. Shaun has a keen interest in the outdoors and believes that the WA Parks Foundation is a fantastic initiative for all West Australians that will help ensure that our national parks are protected and enjoyed both now and in the future.
Dr Tom Hatton PSM
Dr Tom Hatton PSM has enjoyed a distinguished science career, leading national CSIRO programs in water, marine and energy research. He is Chairman of the WA Environmental Protection Authority, and has previously chaired the WA Marine Parks and Reserves Authority and served on the WA Conservation Commission. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia.
Why do I love WA Parks?
I am honoured to serve as an Ambassador for the WA Parks Foundation, in doing so help bring more West Australians closer to the our rich and unique natural and cultural heritage.
Janet Holmes a Court AC
Janet Holmes à Court is owner of the Janet Holmes à Court Collection. She is Chairman of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. She is a Board Member of the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG), the Chamber of Arts and Culture WA (CACWA), the Australian Urban Design Research Centre (AUDRC), the Australian Institute of Architects Foundation and the New York Philharmonic International Advisory Board, and also a member of the Centenary Trust for Women Board of Advisors at the University of Western Australia and State Buildings Advisory Board, Western Australia.
Why do I love WA Parks?
"My love for Parks dates back to my childhood. I was lucky enough to live close to John Forrest National Park and have the wonderful memories of exploring and playing in the bush. Parks have always been an important part of my life."
Professor Steve Hopper AC
Steve Hopper has been recognised as a global science leader in the field of plant conservation biology, particularly in the delivery of world class research programs and contributing to the conservation of endangered species and ecosystems. He was the first non-British person to become the Director of the prestigious Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (2006-2012). Prior to this he served as Director and then CEO of the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority encompassing Kings Park (1992-2004). He is currently Professor of Biodiversity at The University of Western Australia.
Why do I love WA Parks?
“Western Australia's parks and reserves contain a rich diversity of plants, animals and other organisms which is of global significance. As today's custodians, we all have responsibilities to care for this abundant heritage. The Western Australian Parks Foundation is an important step towards achieving due recognition and broad community support for the State's incomparable biodiversity, landscapes and waters."
Why do I love WA Parks? "As a Nyoongar man living in a capital city parks are extremely important because they provide me with an invaluable connection to my culture. They protect and preserve for future generations our sacred sites and important places that tell the story of one of the oldest continuing cultures in the world. They are sources of food, water, medicine, cultural resources and materials. I regularly visit parks like Walyunga National Park and John Forrest National Park with my family to learn and practice culture and continuing this tradition fills me with an enormous sense of pride. Through my studies I also learned what science has allowed us to discover about the environment, how it functions and how we depend on it. Parks are extremely important because they provide habitats for our native flora and fauna and sustain many environmental functions that are crucial to our survival, including providing us with clean drinking water and clean air."
Victoria Laurie is an award-winning journalist and author of two books, The Kimberley: Australia’s Last Great Wilderness and The Southwest: Australia’s Biodiversity Hotspot
Statement of support
“The key to handing on our bushland for safekeeping is with children. Step them out into our parks, invite them to savour their ‘big backyard’, and we’ve secured the species-rich wilderness in our state.”
Peter and Vicki Long
Why do we love WA Parks?The Pilbara is a unique, breathtakingly beautiful environment and sadly all but 6% of it is under some type of mining lease. We love our Parks because they offer all people a snapshot of this ancient, remote, rugged, but remarkably vulnerable landscape. Our Parks give people the opportunity to learn how flora and fauna in this arid environment survive extremes in temperature, erratic rainfall and cyclonic winds. Most of all, we love how the majesty of the area confronts the mere “humanness” of us all and makes us realise just how commanding Nature is, how important it is to us as humans and how much we need to respect it.
Why do I love WA Parks? “Parks sit right at the heart of children playing outdoors. We know when kids are outside playing more, it not only benefits their health, but their mental health hugely as well as their creativity and capacity to learn. Play is the ultimate brain food and kid s thrive on playing in our Parks.”
Eric McCrum OAM
Passionate bird lover, Eric is known for being able to imitate the call of almost any bird found in the Australian bush, tell the Latin name of any flower or plant and having a considerable knowledge of Noongar history. He is also the Treasurer of the Darling Range Branch WA Naturalists’ Club.
Why do I love WA Parks?
“Even as a kid, I was happier in the trees and swimming than spending time with school friends. Parks are everything. As soon as I noticed birds in the bush, I wanted to find out what they were doing and what their calls meant. Parks take me away somewhere very special.”
Richard is an avid enthusiast and advocate for the environment. He is the CEO of the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council, and former lead on sustainable development at WWF, the conservation organisation, and Editor-in-Chief of the Living Planet Report.
Why do I love WA Parks?
“We are so lucky in Western Australia to have some of our planet’s most spectacular and biologically diverse, natural places. Our Parks are absolutely essential not only for environmental reasons, but also for their importance in our identity, our culture and indeed our very survival.”
Why do I love WA Parks?I love WA Parks for the serenity, and my family and I wish we could spend more time in them. Our parks are clean, bright, fresh places filled with unique plants and animals where they can be protected. I feel relaxed leaving the city and driving out into the bush.
Why do I love WA Parks?I love Western Australia’s parks because they give me a place to escape from my busy life and time to focus on myself. I often head to the parks the surround Perth to help me get in back in touch with the natural environment. I also love hiking and there is nothing better than going for a bush walk on the many trails across the parks in WA.
Why do I Love WA Parks?My home has always been in the wild and is humbling to recognise why I still have this home. It was through the stewardship of many unsung heroes in our past, so moved by WA’s uniqueness, beauty, biodiversity and long natural and cultural history, that they had a vision to influence others to conserve these wild places, that would ultimately lead to our WA Parks. WA’s Parks really are priceless, filled with so many jewels that lay hidden, safeguarded, yet endless ways to still explore and discover them again and again. To share these places, their stories with friends, to me, is the secret for enjoying life. This is why I love WA Parks. To see these areas really change people and build their own appreciation for our wild places. An influence that may lead to us to recognising we may have still more unprotected wild places to be respected and reserved.
Philippa Nikulinsky AM
Why do I love WA Parks?'In wildness is the preservation of the world’ - Thoreau It would be a privilege to be an ambassador for our National Parks. I would love my great grandchildren and all future generations to value and appreciate the wonders we have.
Why do I love WA Parks?WA Parks are magical! We are so lucky to have them and we should always encourage people to get out and explore them. Our parks are such an important part of the Western Australia lifestyle, and we need to embrace sharing them with our growing population. At the same time, we must also nurture and protect our WA Parks for ourselves, our children and our children’s children.
Why do I love WA Parks?I spent my childhood roaming the bush and developed a deep love and respect for our landscape and species that live within it. The bush is a special place for me, bringing a sense of peace and connection to land. Our parks are critical to preserving the diversity and beauty of this natural environment for current and future generations to experience and share.
Tracey Roberts JP
Why do I love Parks? Yanchep National Park is a jewel in the Wanneroo crown; a truly beautiful place where visitors experience a strong sense of connection to nature, unique flora and wildlife. While listening to the engaging bird song and experiencing the unique aroma of the bush our parks evoke all the senses, connect us to Indigenous heritage and are integral to our feeling of community. They promote better public health, both physical and mental, and I strongly encourage their active and passive use by residents and visitors alike.
Why do I love WA Parks?I grew up in Pemberton, in the lower south-west of WA on a property centred between the Gloucester, Warren and Beedelup National Parks, so my love for WA’s parks is grounded in my childhood. I didn’t realise how unique my childhood was and how extraordinary our WA parks were until I moved to the city in my late teens. I soon realised just how integral parks like those are to the wellbeing of all people. I believe that the conservation of our WA parks is vital to maintaining Aboriginal peoples’ connection to Country, and indispensable to ensuring that future generations are able to learn and practice culture. I believe that the celebration, promotion and protection of WA parks is fundamental to future generations of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians learning, growing and healing together.
Why do I love WA Parks? “Our Parks are a heritage for all to share and enjoy. They help define who we are as Western Australians. Rich visitor experiences in our Parks are essential to building a supportive, aware community which will ensure the value of our Parks are conserved for the future.”
Why do I love WA Parks?I am an animal lover and WA’s vast network of parks - which covers an area larger than Victoria and Tasmania put together - safeguards the habitat of our extraordinary plants and animals as well as providing inspirational places for people to experience nature. Getting people connected with parks is the best way to ensure parks are understood, valued and protected into the future. Parks are essential for our health and wellbeing, and for protecting our unique biodiversity and landscapes. The job of protecting WA’s parks is too big for any one organisation and we need to bring people together and form partnerships and connections to protect these special places. I’m honoured to be a Park Ambassador and I look forward to helping in whatever way I can to bring people together to celebrate, promote, protect and enrich WA’s parks.
Why do I love WA Parks? “Our parks provide me and many others a vital connection to the natural environment. They help teach us to value our unique biodiversity and beautiful landscapes, provide a sanctuary from an increasingly busy life and allow us to breathe fresh air and be inspired.”
Why do I love WA Parks? "Having grown up in Tasmania where national parks were such an important part of our backyard, I am passionate about bringing people and parks together and making them part of our 'forever' sustainable State."
David & Ainslie de Vos
Why do I love WA Parks?Western Australia’s extensive network of national parks and reserves is a wonderful asset for our State. As well as their scenic value and recreational opportunities, these natural areas play a vitally important part in the conservation of an astonishing array of flora and fauna, including endangered species, and in preserving our cultural heritage. As a WA Parks Ambassador, we welcome the opportunity to contribute to programs that care for, interpret and promote our WA Parks as places to treasure and enjoy. In an enormous and varied state like ours national parks are defined, explained and accessible packages. By definition they contain the best flora, fauna and landscapes in Western Australia. How could you not love that?
Dr Richard Walley OAM
Richard is a Nyoongar man, one of Australia's leading Aboriginal performers, musicians and writers and has performed around the world. He has been a campaigner for social justice for Indigenous Australians from a young age. At 23 Dr Richard Walley OAM chaired the Aboriginal Advisory Board. He is Director of Aboriginal Productions and Promotions.
Why do I love WA Parks?
“Parks connect people, places, plants and animals. Parks are medicine, our bush food. Our family lived in the bush when I was younger. And I think that experience was fantastic and set me up for the rest of my life in terms of how you present yourself to the world.”
Mark Webb PSM
Why do I love WA Parks?Our parks are special places where we share experiences and create memories with our families and friends. They provide a retreat from our busy lives, to slow down, recharge and get back in touch with what is really important to us. They provide glimpses into the amazing beauty and wonder of our natural world.
Why do I love WA Parks?It’s important to me to maintain a healthy balance in life which is why I value every opportunity to soak up the tranquillity and beauty of our parklands. Western Australia is renowned for the diversity of its flora and fauna and it is paramount we ensure the heritage of our unique parklands is protected and enriched for all Western Australians to enjoy for generations to come.
Why do I love WA Parks?The natural world is vital to our physical and mental wellbeing. National Parks, therefore, are not a luxury. Native landscapes and ecosystems need respite and relief and so do we. Our natural heritage is something to celebrate and honour, study and protect, and National Parks provide crucial opportunities in all these endeavours, on land and in our seas.
Why do I love WA Parks? I am a huge fan of national parks because I believe it is imperative that there are some wild places left on the planet where we can go to rejuvenate and immerse ourselves in the wilderness. And for sake of the eco-system that doesn’t need humans to keep interfering in its workings.