by Janine Duffy
Remember the Black Summer bushfires? Think of how you felt when those shocking pictures of burnt koalas hit our airwaves. (Sorry, I know it hurts.)
The last thing you want is to feel that way again. (Sorry again, but that’s how I felt in 2019/2020, and in 2006 in the Anakie fires, so I imagine you might feel the same).
You shared, posted and donated your heart out.
Yet, still, we are hearing that our koalas are not safe. (Hell, it could happen again.)
After those megafires, the emotional energy in support of koalas was tremendous, and global. The world became aware. So why do koalas still have problems?
Awareness is only Stage 1 in a plan to save koalas. We’ve done that, and we’ve done it well. Now it’s time for Stage 2: Taking Action.
Luckily, taking action is easy, and it won’t take much time. But it will be time well spent.
If you are like me, and Black Summer ripped out your heart, I know you are willing to do as much as you have the time and resources for, so I’ve broken it up into time slots and costs. Do what you can. And know you are one of a growing group of warriors keeping koalas alive.
Taking Action #1: 1 to 5 minutes
(the time it takes to share a picture on socials)
Phone a politician. FREE. Here’s how: https://koalaclancy.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/contacting-politicians-about-protecting-koalas/
Join your local koala /environment group. COST: VERY LITTLE. Here’s a list of great grass-roots koala groups.
Make a donation to a koala/environment group. COST: WHATEVER YOU CAN AFFORD. See list above.
Take Action #2: 5 to 15 minutes
(the time it takes to write comprehensive, well-researched post on socials)
Register to join a tree planting day. COST: VERY LITTLE Here’s a list of groups Australia-wide planting trees for koalas.
Email a politician. FREE Here’s how. Or see the examples from Save Ferny Forest and Save Sydney’s Koalas below.
Taking Action #3: 15 minutes to 2+ hours
(the time it takes to create a reel or TikTok video)
Write a story for your local newspaper/newsletter. FREE. I know, this sounds hard, but it depends on the publication. Most regional areas have a small local newsletter that is dying for articles. Rewrite some content from wildkoaladay.com.au Make sure you include a Call To Action. Or write a Letter To The Editor of your big city daily.
Plan a fundraiser. FREE. Platforms like Go Fund Me and MyCause are really easy to set up. Do anything at all. Check out what our friends Les & Shreyash did: https://www.mycause.com.au/p/277960/cycling-160km-in-a-day-for-koalas I can promise you, the koala charity you fundraise for will be very, very grateful.
Lastly, there’s one final thing you should do.
Share your phone call, letter, donation, registration or plan on socials. FREE.
Because then you’re enacting Stage 3: Making Action Popular & Widespread. Others see what you’ve done, and realise they can do it too.
Check out this marvelous action on Wild Koala Day by Save Sydneys Koalas @savesydneyskoalas
And this one, from Save Ferny Forest: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1306167879854750/
NOTES & REFERENCES:
A few studies have investigated whether Raising Awareness actually does any good. In some cases it does, especially when it is followed by action. If you’re interested in this subject, read more at the links below:
Christiano, A., & Neimand, A. (2017). Stop Raising Awareness Already. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 15(2), 34–41. https://doi.org/10.48558/7MA6-J918 https://ssir.org/articles/entry/stop_raising_awareness_already#