Is anyone else sick of BirdLife Australia marketing?

To: Carl Clifford <>
Subject: Is anyone else sick of BirdLife Australia marketing?
From: Denise Goodfellow <>
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2015 06:12:52 +0000
Carl, as you might know (or at least suspect), the breaking of legs has been a 
viable option in the Top End, and worse.  Last year friends and I formed a 
small committee to fight a proposed workers’ camp here in the rural area, one 
reason being that Partridge Pigeon habitat could be at risk.  The fellow behind 
this proposal owned the hotel, not far from where we lived.  One night a member 
went there for a quiet drink, or so he thought.  Somehow the pub owner had 
found out that he was part of this committee, chased him to his car, and 
dragging him out of the driver’s seat, threatened to cut him up “for crab 
bait’.  Dave went to the police who confiscated this fellow’s gun licence.  
However I know from experience, that means little up here.

Few bodies in the Top End have shown particular interest in the biggest threats 
to our native birds - weeds - most of which were brought in as cattle pasture.  
In part this is because the cattle industry has a lot of clout, and opposed 
(and still opposes) the declaration of plants such as Gamba, Olive Hymenachne, 
Para and Buffel grasses, as weeds.  Also grasses look fairly innocuous to a lot 
of people, compared with cane toads.   When the NT Government finally decided 
to act against Gamba, it was too late.  Where possible landowners tackle weeds, 
not just for the birds, but because Gamba Grass in particular fuels dangerous 

I’ve found that one way of tackling threats to birds is through organisations 
with some parallel interests, such as the CWA and local volunteer fire 
services.  Our deputy fire chief has been controlling the weeds on his property 
“because of the birds”.  Taking me aside a couple of months ago, he told me 
with much delight, that Gouldian Finches had turned up on his land.

Denise Lawungkurr  Goodfellow
PO Box 71
Darwin River, NT, Australia 0841
043 8650 835

PhD candidate, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Founding Member: Ecotourism Australia
Nominated by Earthfoot for Condé Nast’s International  Ecotourism Award, 2004.

With every introduction of a plant or animal that goes feral this continent 
becomes a little less unique, a little less Australian.

On 8 Dec 2015, at 1:47 pm, Carl Clifford <> wrote:

> You need to do a bit of research. I donate to the local primary school, 
> because I know that the money will go to things that will help the students, 
> likewise I donate to a privately run school in Cambodia, where I know the guy 
> running the project. There, I know there will be no misuse of the funds, 
> because he and I have an understanding. If he fiddles the money, I come over 
> and hire someone to break his legs. It is an understanding that has worked 
> well. Unfortunately it is not a viable option here.
> Carl Clifford
>> On 8 Dec 2015, at 2:38 PM, Tony Russell <> wrote:
>> And how do you identify those charities wherein even some of the donated 
>> funds go to those in need and not mostly to the charity staff and management 
>> ?  I've stopped all my donations to charities and do gooder funds because of 
>> this unknown, and because of the way they pester you interminably once they 
>> get your address or phone number.
>> I did contribute modestly on line ( and therefore more unidentifiably) to 
>> the recent bushfire relief funds, mainly because it was all so horrifying 
>> and I wanted to help those who had suffered, but I could only assume, 
>> hopefully correctly, that the banks did see to it that the money went where 
>> it was needed in this case. I could be wrong though.  If it had been 
>> possible I would have preferred to hand the money directly to the distraught 
>> families, but that wasn't possible because the public were not  allowed into 
>> the fireground in case we were looters or rubbernecks.
>> Tony.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of 
>> Carl Clifford
>> Sent: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 12:36 PM
>> To: Fred Mack
>> Cc: 
>> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Is anyone else sick of BirdLife Australia 
>> marketing?
>> It looks like BLA has hired marketeers from the pester school of marketing, 
>> whose technique seems to be based on the tenet that if they keep on dunning 
>> you, you will donate, in the hope that they will go away. Unfortunately, 
>> they don't, they just see a sucker and come in for more. I have just changed 
>> ISP's and they are the same, ringing me 3-4 times a week, usually at meal 
>> times, trying to sell me their mobile phone packages.
>> What worries me about this style of marketing by charities,such as BLA, is 
>> the percentage of donations that are absorbed by marketing, in the form of 
>> salaries, printing and postage etc. It has got to the point with mainstream 
>> charities such as the Salvos, St Vinnies, that I no longer donate, because I 
>> know that the majority of my donations will not go to whom I am hoping to 
>> help. I only now donate to causes where I know my mony is really going to 
>> make a difference.
>> Cheers,
>> Carl Clifford
>>> On 7 Dec 2015, at 10:09 PM, Fred Mack <> wrote:
>>> “With numbers down 84%...  how long before the Lesser Sand Plover is 
>>> extinct?
>>> “This Silent Shorebirds Crisis can’t continue.”
>>> Silent crisis? seriously, it’s been at the forefront of ornithology for 10 
>>> years hasn't it… are BirdLife Australia just realizing this?.. and is this 
>>> actually true? Given these people have recently said in similar marketing 
>>> 90% of Australia’s woodlands have been cleared in the past few decades, we 
>>> need to protect private land for Mallee- Emu-wrens (they never occured on 
>>> private land as far as I know) and Magpies are going extinct, you have to 
>>> wonder?
>>> I’ve supported this organization in the past to the tune of tens of 
>>> thousands and all I get is constant negative doomsday marketing trying to 
>>> guilt me into things. They must send me a dozen a year. Add to that a 
>>> massive and insultingly invasive, “supporter survey” asking me everything 
>>> from my income to where live!
>>> These people do wonderful actual conservation and research work - I know I 
>>> help with much of it and they are great! but for god’s sake who is running 
>>> this organization these days?
>>> Is anyone else totally sick of them or is it just me?
>>> Frank.
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