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About Friends of Leadbeater's Possum

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Foundation Members presented with a lifetime award at our 10 year anniversary in 2015 at Healesville Sanctuary

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Members of Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum Inc., supporters and our legal team at the exit of the Federal Court in Melbourne in June 2019, after a day of deliberation during our court case battle to (successfully) prove illegal logging

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Volunteers from Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum Inc. regularly attend festivals and public events to promote Leadbeater’s Possum, to sell merchandise and to engage with other groups

We are the Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum Inc.

Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum Inc. was established in 2004 to give a voice to the amazing but elusive Leadbeater’s Possum.

It was in mid 2003 over a kitchen table that a youthful group of environmental scientists decided Leadbeater’s Possum needed representation through a formal group. That discussion led to the incorporation of Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum Inc. in July 2004 and the first committee meeting being held on Tuesday September 7, 2004 (the anniversary of Threatened Species Day).

The role of the group has always been to “advocate, educate and activate for Leadbeater’s Possum, Victoria’s critically endangered faunal emblem”.

Early on, the group engaged primarily in attending schools to inform students on the known history of the possum and its precarious situation, along with providing resources to enable students to continue to engage and learn. The late Pam Miskin, one time president, was a driving force in this campaign and travelled regularly around Melbourne in the first nine years of the group’s existence, attending primary schools.

The role of the group evolved in the first decade to provide support services to Zoos Victoria and volunteer opportunities to locate and install possum boxes around the Yarra Ranges and Central Highlands out of Healesville, as well as at Yellingbo Conservation Reserve.

The group began to provide merchandise in the form of clothing (t-shirts, vests and beanies), as well as keychains, brooches, self-adhesive ‘stickers’ and books.

Upon establishing a website, the group was able to gain greater reach providing information and resources, and merchandise. The merchandise offering continued to grow, including cards, knitting kits, posters, jewellery, olive oil, cookie cutters and tea-towels.

By now the group was gaining attention and seeking out grant opportunities to financially support its activities. It was through the successful tender for a grant in 2012 that the Nesting Box program was able to be increased.

The group then celebrated its 10 year anniversary in 2014.

Then, in mid 2017, the group was approached to become the lead plaintiff in a court case being developed by Environmental Justice Australia (EJA) against Victoria’s state owned logging agency, VicForests. In November 2017 the case “Freinds of Leadbeater’s Possum Inc. vs VicForests” commenced in the Federal Court of Australia in Williams Street, Melbourne. The case shone a light on many of the logging practices in place in Victoria, where the federal Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act interfaced with Regional Forestry Agreements (RFAs) and Victorian environmental laws that allowed commercial logging in Leadbeater’s Possum habitat.

 

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