Subject: ONE OR MANY
From: Julian Bielewicz <>
Date: Sat, 6 Dec 1997 10:08:28 +1100 (EST)
I'll probably regret doing this but...

I'm curious as to the actual (or as near as it is to get to an actual)
figure of birders OUT THERE (in Australia) who favour one ornithological
body (eg Birds Australia) to represent Australian birders and those who
prefer the current fragmented system:  two "purported" national bodies and a
number of state organisations.  I am not, here, referring to specialist
groups (eg Wader Study, Raptors, Seabirds, etc.).

Those with a moment or two to spare could perhaps drop a line to the
mailing-list (or to me privately) stating their preference.  For data
analysis purposes it would probablly be useful to at least know in which
State/Terriory you reside.  The reasons for your choice of preference may
also be enlightening.


PS  My own preference remains to see a united body, be that Birds Australia,
Bird Observers Club of Australia or some NEW body incorporating the better
points of both the above, together with the better-practice elements of such
state bodies as the QOSI, etc.

Primarily I believe that the "pool" in Australia is far too small to allow
us the luxury of fragmentation - particularly in terms of raising funds to
defend endangered species/habitats.  Take the Twitchathons.  The QOSI ran
theirs a week or so after the QOSI.  Both had different objectives.  Did
either maximise possible financial returns?  I think not.  The losers were
surely the birds we purport to support.  The $2000 (or thereabouts) raised
by QOSI in 1996 is perhaps sufficient to support a small Coxen's Fig-Parrot
(southern race) project.  Double that amount would have been preferred but
that could only have come from funds raised nationally.  Similarly, if
another species/habitat deserved more favourable consideration, the
additional $2000 from Queensland would surely have assisted greatly.

I have heard the old argument that Birds Australia is a Victorian-based body
and that most funds are somehow filtered through to Victorian-based
projects.   I'm not Australian, but an introduced sub-species from the wilds
of Central England - regardless of the Polish/Italian antecedency- and have
never quite understood the paraochial mentality of Dinky-di Aussies.  I know
it to be untrue: QOSI and Birds Australia recently jointly funded a
Golden-shouldered Parrot habitat rescue project.  I understand that Gluepot
is not in Vioctoria.

But even IF there were some element of truth in the parochial paranoia of
Melbournian parasistism, surely the real answer lies in becoming part of the
administration and changeing it from WITHIN rather than whinge from WITHOUT
- or do Victorian birders outnumber the rest of us put together?


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