I recently had an amazing experience joining a group of Bank Australia employees on a 3-day trip to our conservation reserve. The reserve is a group of four properties on Wotjobaluk Country in Western Victoria. These properties are under a conservation covenant with Trust for Nature, which means they’re protected from development forever.
This trip, being the first since the pandemic, had been eagerly awaited by not only the participants, but for our partners who help manage the reserve. We gained valuable insights into the history of the reserve and the efforts undertaken by Bank Australia, Greening Australia, Trust for Nature and the Barengi Gadjin Land Council (BGLC) to preserve it.
Bank Australia and our staff take immense pride in being the first bank globally to help steward a conservation reserve since 2008. Our conservation area now spans over 2,000 hectares, providing a safe haven for numerous native plant and wildlife species. This reserve holds great significance due to its meaning for Traditional Custodians, as well as the land’s importance to native animal habitat, water catchment, biodiversity and carbon sequestration.
Upon arriving at the reserve on the 10th of May, following a 5-hour bus journey, we were warmly welcomed by the staff at Little Desert Nature Lodge. After settling in, we participated in a welcome session where we delved into the reserve's history and discussed our expectations for the trip, eagerly anticipating all we were about to learn.
The next day, we ventured to Minimay, a short drive away from our accommodation. Here, we met Jess and Megan from Greening Australia, as well as Adam and Fiona from Trust for Nature. These organizations collaborate with Bank Australia to protect and manage the reserve. We gained insights into the various projects they were working on and even got our hands dirty by assisting in the removal of tree guards from 4-year-old Buloke trees.
Following a much-enjoyed lunch, we had the opportunity to explore the reserve alongside Adam and Jess, walking along two of the scenic trails. The beauty of the landscape left us in awe, and the abundance of diverse plants and animals was astounding. Within just 15 minutes, we encountered kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, and even a spotted marsh frog.
On our final day, we visited Salvana, a property that significantly expanded the conservation efforts when it became part of the conservation area in recent years. Once again, we met with Jess and Megan from Greening Australia, who informed us about the Big Spring Monitoring project. This ongoing research initiative aims to effectively monitor the plant and wildlife within the reserve. We also took another walk around the area, marveling at the contrasting landscapes between Minimay and Salvana, despite their closeness.
The trip to the conservation reserve was truly eye-opening, offering valuable insights into the reserve's significance and the collaborative work of Bank Australia, Greening Australia, Trust for Nature and Barengi Gadjin Land Council. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this experience, and I eagerly look forward to further exploring the reserve and uncovering more about its significance within the broader landscape and to see the results of our nature and biodiversity efforts over the coming years.
For more information about Minimay and Salvana visit our conservation reserve history page