Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Celebrating our 2022 volunteers and donors – and a quiz!

Posted on 13 December, 2022 by Ivan

Connecting Country celebrated our amazing collective of volunteers and donors at the Castlemaine Botanic Gardens Tea Room last Sunday 11 December 2022, with an evening of trivia, conversation and tasty treats. We couldn’t achieve what we do without our amazing volunteers and donors, and are most grateful for their support.

The relaxed evening celebrated community, volunteering and donating. Our Monitoring Coordinator, Jess Lawton, provided a summary of our substantial monitoring achievements for 2022, which were only made possible through our volunteers and donors. Our management committee is run by volunteers, our monitoring programs rely on skilled citizen scientists, our landholders give time and resources to landscape restoration, and others help with events, Landcare, engagement, plant guards and in countless other ways. We appreciate their dedication to our collective vision of restoring landscapes across central Victoria.

It was a great pleasure to host the thank-you celebration. The delicious and creative catering was much appreciated. Jess and Hadley ran an entertaining game of ecological trivia, followed by plenty of chatting and laughter. Thank you to everyone who came and made it a wonderful evening with great company. Special thanks to Jane R and Duncan for setting up and helping the event run smoothly, and to all staff for assisting with setup.

We are blessed to have an engaged and enthusiastic community who support us. If it wasn’t for your contributions, we simply could not continue to collect valuable long-term wildlife data, engage our community in caring for local landscapes, support Landcare, or empower landholders to manage their land as wildlife habitat.

To everyone who has helped Connecting Country in 2022: a huge thank you! We are so grateful for your support and encouragement.

To find out more about volunteer and donation opportunities at Connecting Country, please – click here

Volunteer celebration trivia – play along!

If you didn’t attend our event, we have published the trivia questions to test your knowledge against the region’s best! Answers are provided at the bottom of the page.

  1. What does ‘pigeon-toed’ mean in humans?
  2. Phaps is a genus of native Australian pigeons, the most abundant and widespread of which is Phaps chalcoptera. What are the Phaps species commonly known as?
  3.  What is the collective noun for a group of quails?
  4. What are the two common names of the largest lizards that occur in the Mount Alexander area? (bonus points for latin names!)
  5. True or false: Kangaroos emit far less methane via flatulence than other, similar sized mammals?
  6. What does ‘going on the Wallaby’ mean?
  7. What possum species is rated as ‘vulnerable’ in South Australia, but is a major introduced pest in New Zealand.
  8. In 2019 a native Queensland mouse, the Bramble Cay melomys (Melomys rubicola), was formally declared to be extinct. Why did this extinction make world headlines?
  9. Professor Wood Jones was an academic polymath, who in the early 20th century had a seminal influence on Australian biology. “Though once a familiar animal to settlers whose homes were in the more wooded districts, P.penicillata is unknown to the rising generation of country people … it seems a remarkable thing that so well equipped a carnivore should have been reduced to a state bordering on extinction in so comparatively short a time” – 1923. He argued that humans were descended from tarsiers, not apes, and opposed Darwinism. What was his first name?
  10.  What are the Dja Dja Wurrung names for the three Mounts in the local region?
  11.  What is the name of the ancestral creator in Dja Dja Wurrung dream time culture?
  12.  Who wrote: ‘I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, 0f ragged mountain ranges, 0f droughts and flooding rains.’
  13. December 2022 is the 20th birthday celebration of what local event?
  14. December 2022 is the 171st-anniversary celebration of what local event?
  15. Which of the following is not a genus of Australian native wallaby grass? (a) Amphibromus (b) Austrodanthonia (c) Danthonia (d) Rytidosperma?
  16. What is the official date of National Wattle Day in Australia?
  17. What species of prickly wattle, endemic to the south-eastern Australian mainland, has common names including ‘kangaroo thorn’, ‘hedge wattle’?
  18.  Bush regeneration work targets the most degraded areas of a site first. True/False

(scroll down for the answers)
















  1. Answer: Feet point inwards
  2. Answer: Bronzewing 
  3. Answer: Bevy (‘covey’ or ‘quail’ also accepted)
  4. Answer: Sand Goanna (Varanus gouldii) and Lace Monitor (Varanus various)
  5.  Answer: True
  6.  Answer: Travelling around, usually looking for work
  7. Answer: Brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)
  8. Answer: It was believed to be the first mammal extinction caused by anthropogenic climate change
  9. Answer: Frederic
  10. Answer: Leanganook, Lalgambook and Tarrengower – but Yapenya (aka Mount Barker) was also accepted
  11. Answer: Bunjil, The Wedge-tailed Eagle
  12. Answer: Dorothea Mackellar
  13. Answer: Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park
  14. Answer: The 171st anniversary of the Monster Meeting itself being celebrated the same day – what other surprises might be in the pipeline?
  15. Answer: Danthonia – but this was highly controversial and created lots of heated discussion from the experts!
  16. Answer: 1 September
  17. Answer: Acacia paradoxa
  18. Answer: False – bush regeneration generally targets the best native vegetation for protection first

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