News - 20 February 2019
‘Koala Crusader’ has a message for Australians
When asked what it was about koalas that first drew her in, Meghan is reflective. “If you look at a koala straight-on, they're very similar to humans. They have expressions, and something about being in their presence seems ancient and iconic.
“Because I came to Australia as an outsider originally, the first two things I wanted to see were koalas and kangaroos.
"If you talk to anyone who's travelling here from overseas, you'll hear that same thing over and over again—'Where can I see a koala? Where can I see a kangaroo?'
"These species are unique to Australia and found nowhere else in the world.”
Meghan was soon inspired to visit a local Wildlife Hospital, where she found out she was able to volunteer with koalas. Within just a few years, because of what she saw working there, she began to realise that Queensland’s koalas are “really, critically in trouble”.
“We need to stop cutting down the trees.”
“I saw the sheer volume of koalas coming into the hospital increase as their habitat shrunk,” she says. “Whether it’s for farming, whether it’s for developing, the trees need to be protected.”
Meghan now rescues koalas as part of a group she founded called Queensland Koala Crusaders.
“We get call-outs for koalas hit by cars or attacked by dogs, or suffering stress-induced disease as a result of habitat loss.“We just hope that every koala we release has a chance… and they're running out of places where they do have chances.”
“The policies have definitely failed.”“There has been EPBC protection of the koala for years. It has done absolutely nothing. There are too many state government policies that override it that make it absolutely obsolete.”
Instead, she supports the Wilderness Society’s campaign for new, national environment laws and an independent body to enforce them, in the lead-up to the federal election.
“I absolutely believe that the approval or disapproval of any development that’s going to affect [wildlife habitat] is critical to take to an independent value. Developers have their own agenda. Councils, State Government have their own agenda.”
You can make a difference today.
Meghan’s message to Australians is simple: do one thing to make a difference.
By supporting our campaign for new, national nature laws and an independent body to enforce them, your donation could change the future for koalas and struggling native wildlife across Australia.
Meghan knows just how important this moment is. “If we can’t save the fluffy, beautiful animal that people around the world come here specifically to see, then we can’t save the thousands of species underneath them… And God help us, how can we save ourselves?”
P.S. Australians like you are backing this ambitious campaign to overhaul Australia’s failed system of environment protections and save iconic species like the koala. Can we count on you to join them?