Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Further tributes to Doug Ralph

Posted on 5 August, 2015 by Connecting Country

doug resting on favourite tree

Photo by Beth Mellick.

For those that attended last week’s AGM of the Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forest (FOBIF), it commenced with a memorable photo-montage of the late great Doug Ralph.  Doug was the founding president of both FOBIF and Connecting Country, and he is sorely missed.  I’m sure that he would have had a wry smile following revelations from the guest speaker at the AGM that native Slime Moulds are spread throughout the local forests and woodlands.  Bernard Slattery, a FOBIF committee member, wrote a moving tribute to his good friend Doug which was published in the June 2015 edition of ‘Park Watch’, the superb magazine of the Victorian National Parks Association.  A scanned copy of this article is provided (click here).

He passing was also noted in the Victorian Parliament, with the following text taken from Hansard on 17 March 2015:

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan)—I would like to memorialise the life and passing of Doug Ralph, a Castlemaine resident and dedicated Green. Doug’s family was part of Castlemaine since the gold rush, and Doug grew up in the area, as did his three children. He worked at various jobs over the years, including 12 years at the Castlemaine Bacon Company, but he also worked on developing part of the goldfields trail between Castlemaine and Daylesford. He was active in so many community affairs and environmental issues, from the Chewton progress association to the Mount Alexander diggings association, the South Castlemaine Kindergarten committee and the 1851 re-enactment committee. He was also involved in permaculture, Landcare, the environment and so many other areas.

dougWe had a wonderful memorial event for Doug in the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens the weekend before last, when hundreds of citizens came together and shared stories—some inspirational and some quite funny—about the impact Doug had had on their lives. It is clear that his passing has left a great gap in the community’s life. It was described as the falling of a great tree in the forest, but hopefully as the light comes in and the seeds he laid start to grow we will all rise up and fill the gap he has left.

Thank you to Bron Silver for providing the pictures for this blog, and for also making me aware that Wikipedia now has a ‘Doug Ralph’ page –


One response to “Further tributes to Doug Ralph”

  1. Denise Jepson says:

    Wonderful to read this tribute to Doug and to see the Wikipedia entry. What a very good idea as a lasting memorial!

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