Sadly things are a bit different in other areas of Australia. The majority
of people of the major capitals would not know a native bird if it pecked
Cars, football players, junk food and other consumer based products are the
structure of their existence. I hate to sound so negative but I have been
out there and seen it. It is not until the poor beast, (the native animal)
is nearly extinct that the average person takes any notice.
What to do?
I don't know.
From: Goodfellow <>
To: Jill Dening <>; birding Aus
Date: Friday, 14 January 2000 2:23
Subject: Re: birding-aus Birdwatching Tourism
>To Chris and Jill and everyone else
>I think the number of visiting birdwatchers is underestimated in many
>places, largely because many make their own arrangements, and don't go on
>It is disheartening Jill but it happens in other areas too. A few years
>ago I met an ex-chef at the Dept of Tourism and Hospital, NTU. He was
>lecturing in cultural tourism with absolutely no background. He asked me
>to help him out by sending him copies of my published papers on this
>topic. A couple of years later a lecturer teaching students ecotourism
>and Aboriginal tourism at the same institution told them he knew nothing
>about the topics and to either do a literary search or phone me, which
>some 18 of them did (I understand that his work experience consisted of a
>long stint with QANTAS). I protested to the Head of Dept. saying that
>perhaps they ought to employ me. Obviously that was too radical.
>No wonder tour operators up here think birdwatching is of no importance.
>However things are changing. Several in the Darwin area have asked me to
>run a specialist guiding course which I'm presently putting together and
>operators of homestays are requesting bird lists. Such change it seems
>must come from the bottom.
>And talking about teaching people all about birds in two hours - I was
>once asked by a Govt. Dept to teach a group of longterm unemployed, only
>the topic was bush medicine and bush tucker. I was given three hours.
>None had any environmental background and only one, if I remember had any
>tertiary training. He had been a fitter and turner. I complained and
>with the next group I was allowed a full day.
>Then walking through monsoon forest near Darwin some weeks later, with my
>next batch of students I came upon one of the three hour wonders leading
>a group of perhaps twenty people. Seeing us he rushed up waving a little
>book on plants put out by Parks and Wildlife. 'Guess what!" he shouted
>joyfully, "I've got a fulltime job! I'm training tour guides." And yes,
>you've guessed it. He was teaching that group "all about plants".
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