Held Saturday 16th September
An Exploration of Lamington/Woonoongoora – a biological perspective.
I was a great turnout to hear Dr Bill McDonald (aka Google of Lamington)impart his extensive knowledge and discovery story telling of the unique biology within our park. Many thanks to Bill for his time. Special thanks to Warren Smith (GMNHA archivist and past secretary) for organising the event and all the time taken to put together the amazing display of memorabilia. Last of all thank you all attendees for your interest and making the day a success.
Vincent O’reilly 1931 – 1999
Vince was born in Brisbane and lived his early life with his parents Mick and Anne and younger brother Peter on a dairy farm at Conondale. In 1945, Mick O’Reilly returned to the Guesthouse at Green Mountains to eventually take over as a Manager. After his education was completed, Vince spent some time working in Brisbane, but the lure of the mountains brought him back. With his brother Peter in the early 60’s, he took over the management of the Guesthouse which for more the 30 years was his whole life as he and his wife, Lona, brought up their family on the mountain. After his (and Peter’s) retirement, the third generation of the family, their children, took over the management of the Guesthouse and continue this role today.
Dr W.F.J. McDonald
Dr McDonald joined National Parks Branch, Qld Department of Forestry in 1974 and transferred to Botany Branch, Qld Department of Primary Industries (incorporating the Queensland Herbarium) in 1977. He initially worked on surveys of parks or areas identified for park acquisition, but at QDPI assumed a broader role in vegetation survey and mapping projects in both south-eastern Queensland and the rangelands of western Queensland.
He developed a particular interest in rainforest floristics and ecology and was awarded his PhD from the University of New England in 1998 for a study of semi-evergreen vine thickets (softwood scrubs). These communities once occurred widely through subtropical inland Queensland and NSW but were extensively cleared during the 1960’s and 1970’s.
He is the co-author of popular field guides to subtropical rainforest trees, shrubs and climbing plants. He and colleagues have also released an interactive, computer-based key to rainforest plants based upon the above publications. This key is available as both a USB and a mobile app.
In 1984 he published an account of the biogeographical affinities and conservation status of the plants and plant communities of coastal south-eastern Queensland (Noosa to Coolangatta) and initiated and co-authored the first report on rare and threatened plants of Queensland in 1987. He was appointed a member of the inaugural Scientific Advisory Committee to the Minister for Environmental and Heritage in 1994.
In 2008, he was appointed to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Species Technical Committee, which is responsible for assessing proposals for changes to the conservation status of plants and animals under the Nature Conservation Act (1994). He has continued in the role since his retirement in December 2012.
Up to and following his retirement, Dr McDonald has been involved in the Queensland Herbarium’s vegetation survey and mapping projects in the Wet Tropics, Central Queensland Coast and South-East Queensland, with responsibility, for the collection and classification of rainforest data. He is co-author of the Queensland Herbarium publications Methodology for survey and mapping of regional ecosystems and vegetation communities in Queensland and Vegetation of Queensland: Description of Broad Vegetation Groups.
He had a major role in the preparation of a recovery plan for the rainforests of South-East Queensland (WWF-Australia 2005) and, also the nominations of ‘Littoral rainforests and coastal vine thickets of eastern Australia’ and ‘Lowland rainforest of subtropical Australia’ endangered ecological communities un the EPBC Act 1999. He also contributed to the preparation of the Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan – NSW & Queensland (2010 and wrote the national recovery plan for the ‘Semi-green vine thickets of the Brigalow Belt (North & South) and Nandewar Bioregions’ endangered ecological community (2010).
In 2002 he was appointed a member of the Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee for the CERRA (now Gondwana Rainforests of Australia) World Heritage Area. He was also a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Fraser Island World Heritage Area between 2001 and 2008.
He was an Adjunct Fellow in Griffith University’s School of Environment between 2009 and 2018, providing botanical expertise for the IBISCA project’s altitudinal studies in Lamington and Border Ranges National Parks, Eungella National Park and Mt Lewis (Daintree National Park).
Since 2012, he has also spent 1-2 months each year as a volunteer at Danum Valley Field Centre in Sabah, assisting with identification of plant vouchers collected from the 50-hectare plot established under the South East Asian Rainforest Research Programme (SEARRP).