Issue 14, April - June 2000

Savannah Guides' new recruit

David Bellamy, centre, with Savannah Guides

David Bellamy, centre, with Savannah Guides in Mareeba
Photo: Wendy Hillman

THE Savannah Guides has inducted one of the world’s most famous botanists and conservationists into its ranks: Prof. David Bellamy. Prof. Bellamy attended the April Savannah Guide School in Mareeba, which took place at the new Mareeba Wetland Foundation (click here for separate story). He was not only full of praise for the guiding group and the unique qualities of Australia’s savannas but also took part in a video on the savannas and its guides.

Prof. Bellamy first met the guides last year when he visited the Mareeba Wetland Foundation (he is on its Council of Governors). He became interested in the organisation, and a year later came back—as a recruit, and willing to earn his Savannah patch just like any other interpreter.

Generally, it takes a new recruit some time to be awarded site interpreter status but Guides’ president Tom Warnes said the latest recruit had proved himself (after scrutiny of the rules) ready for induction.

“At the school we invested him as a site interpreter for the Mareeba Wetlands. Let’s face it, his interpretive skills and conservation values are well-known, so we thought as a guide he would pass!” said Tom. “He insisted on coming in at entry level though, just like any other guide.

According to Prof. Bellamy, the Guides and the Mareeba Wetlands have got nature tourism right.

“He recognises the Savannah Guides as a worthwhile and positive force for conservation and interpretation in the savanna’s north,” said Tom. “And his endorsement of the Savannah Guides is huge for us.

Prof. Bellamy trekked westward after the school, visiting and filming Savannah Guide sites that included Cobbold Gorge, Undara Lava Tubes, the Tyrconnell Mine, Normanton, Cryoden and Lawn Hill Gorge. It is envisaged the video will be available at these and other Guide sites across northern Australia.

Savannah Guides

President: Tom Warnes
Tel: (07) 4055 6504 Fax: (07) 4057 7226