This email may read better online. Click here to view it online.
Edition 2, 2020
Newsletter email banner

Welcome to edition 2 of 'News from an Island in Suburbia'. We hope you enjoyed the first edition and that everyone is staying safe and well while we slowly return to 'normal'. Remember to Be Kind to You Mind.

 be kind to your mind


Whilst the EcoCentre staff have been working remotely, we have been very fortunate to have the staff from the Toohey Forest Environmental Education Centre (TFEEC) on site taking care of our building and environment. They have been busy maintaining and adding new features to our landscape, such as the new outdoor turtle enclosure,  beautifying the area around the bird feeder and the installation of a "Blinky Drinker" to provide water for the local wildlife. The indoor animal enclosures have also had a makeover. When the EcoCentre reopens, we would love for you to pop down and have a look at the results of all their hard work. Thank you very much TFEEC. We appreciate all of your efforts.

TFEEC have had a recent upgrade to their web site. Check it out here.

EC upgrades

We are currently putting together a 6-part webinar series on the biodiversity of Toohey Forest utilising the expertise of our Griffith academics.

Did you know that Toohey Forest was named after James Toohey, an Irishman who struck it rich in the California gold rush? He selected this land in 1872 and his family held the forest until the Brisbane City Council began acquiring it after 1945.

Toohey Forest covers approximately 260 hectares including the tough quartzite Toohey Mountain and Mt Gravatt which were formed around 380 million years ago. It is home to over 400 species of native wildlife and plants and features stunning rock formations.

reusables collage


Brad LambertThe spotlight this month falls on one of the Toohey Forest Environmental Education Centre's (TFEEC) teaching staff, Brad Lambert. Brad defected from Centenary State High school to join the TFEEC team in 2016 and is an integral part of both TFEEC and the EcoCentre. Around campus, Brad is known as the "Koala Whisperer". If there is a koala nearby, Brad will be able to find it. Living local to Toohey Forest, Brad and his family regularly hike the many trails throughout the forest where Brad is able to delight in one of his passions, photography.

In August 2018, Brad founded the Toohey Forest Wildlife facebook page with the vision of inspiring conservation by connecting communities to nature. On this facebook page, Brad shares photos of, and information about, the native flora and fauna that abounds in Toohey Forest. Brad has a knack for locating some of the more elusive animals and is happy to share his finds with the community.

Since the inception of Toohey Forest Wildlife, the Brisbane City Council,  State Government and Griffith University have taken a greater interest in protecting our local flora and fauna. There is now greater signage to inform motorists that koalas will be crossing roads at night, speed mitigation devices like speed bumps have been installed to enforce low speed (40km/hr) zones and a wildlife exclusion fence has been installed adjacent the M3 and in high traffic areas to reduce the incidence of vehicle strikes. Initially, there was little knowledge in the community about the volume of wildlife inhabiting the forest but thanks to Brad encouraging the community to post their own wildlife photos on the page, the community is becoming much more aware and engaged in the conservation of the forest.

Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all 193 United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.                                

Goal 01

 End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
(Click on the image to find out more about the targets for goal 1)


Goal 02

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable     agriculture.
(Click on the image to find out more about the targets for goal 2)


Goal 03

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
(Click on the image to find out more about the targets for goal 3)

Game cards 2

2030 SDGs Game

When restrictions end, we are planning to deliver the 2030 SDGs Game as professional development for teachers. We aim to hold these session towards the end of this year in preparation for the 2021 teaching year.

If you are a teacher, or you know a teacher who would be interested in attending a session, please share this information and email us at to register your interest. We will keep you updated with dates and times for the sessions when we are able.

 Focus on Toohey Forest

Australian brush turkey

​The Australian Brush Turkey is found along the east coast of Australia from the tip of Cape York to the southern coast of New South Wales. Within this range, this plump bird particularly likes inhabiting areas like rainforests and wet sclerophyll forests, but may be found in drier woodlands as well. These ground-dwelling birds are easily distinguished from other birds with their blue-black feathers, bare red head and bright yellow wattle around the neck.

Male turkeys can build massive nesting mounds that are about 4 metres in diameter and 1 metre high. Within these nests, they may incubate up to 50 eggs from many different females. After about 50 days, the eggs hatch and the chicks burrow out of the nests. The male turkey needs to maintain an internal nest temperature of between 33 & 38 degrees and they do this by removing or adding layers of leaves to the nest.

Brush turkeys feed on insects, seeds and fallen fruit. The nesting and feeding behaviour of scrub turkeys in urban environments can cause a problem when they destroy people's gardens as they scratch through the leaves.

Fascinating facts

•    Male turkeys check the temperature of their nest by taking a mouthful of compost and using special heat sensors inside their upper bill.
•    Brush turkey chicks are fully feathered and are able to walk, fly and fend for themselves within a few hours of hatching.

Sustainable Kids
scavenger hunt

With the school holidays upon us, here are some ideas to keep the kids busy and engaged with the environment around them.

The best way to show kids how important the environment is, is to engage them with nature.
  • Take them on a bush walk
  • Plant a garden
  • Build a bird feeder
  • Create a nature-based scavenger hunt
  • Use leaves and flowers to make art
  • Set up an insect hotel

Teach them about sustainability

It's never too early to teach your children about sustainability. Here are some easy ways to introduce kids to sustainable practices.

  • Sort the rubbish from the recycling
  • Reuse household items for art
  • Collect rainwater
  • Teach them about the 3 R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Lead by example - kids will learn by following your example

Create a compost bottle experiment

compost bottle
Using old soft drink bottles, create compost bottles to show how compostable items break down in the Earth. Simply cut the top off a 2 litre clear soft drink bottle and starting with soil on the bottom, layer compostable items between layers of soil. Use items such as grass, plant cuttings, food scraps, newspaper or any other organic items that can be composted. Add water to the bottle so it is damp all the way through and leave it in a sunny
spot safe from being knocked over. The children can monitor the bottles and see which items break down quicker than others.

As a longer term project, you could adapt the idea to include items that take time to break down such as biodegradable plastic bags, disposable coffee cups etc.

If you want to get more involved in community conservation activities, check out Conservation Volunteers Australia.

Sustainable living tip

Say no to plastic! reusables collage

Single-use plastic is one of the biggest pollutants in Australia right now. It is estimated that Australians use 130kg of plastic per person, per year and only 12% of that plastic is recycled.

Here’s how you can reduce the amount of plastic you use:

  • Invest in reusable shopping and fresh produce bags.
  • Avoid products packaged in plastic – try buying from a bulk food store that allows you to use your own containers.
  • Refuse plastic straws – invest in reusable stainless steel, bamboo or silicone straws.
  • Swap your plastic kitchen wrap for reusable beeswax or silicone wraps.
  • Say no to plastic water bottles – invest in a reusable water bottle.
  • Carry your own reusable cutlery and refuse plastic cutlery when out an about.
  • Use a reusable coffee cup – disposable coffee cups, although made of paper, contain a plastic liner to make the cup waterproof.
  • Switch to solid shampoo and conditioner to reduce the amount of plastic bottles going into waste.
Stay up-to-date

                                                                  Follow us on Facebook
 fb logo

                                    Sign up to our mailing list and never miss out on our news or events

This email was sent by Griffith University EcoCentre. To unsubscribe, please email with the subject line 'Unsubscribe'.

Privacy Statement

By using this service, you agree the personal information you disclose will be transferred to Cvent and treated in accordance with their Privacy Policy. Griffith University is also bound by the Information Privacy Act (2009) and has its own Privacy Plan.
Nathan | Gold Coast | Mt Gravatt | Logan | South Bank
Privacy policy | Copyright matters | Contact us