Environment SA News

World-famous environmentalist visits Cleland to inspire future eco-warriors

Renowned environmental advocate Dr Jane Goodall visited Cleland Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills on the weekend as part of her global quest to inspire young people to care for and connect with nature.

World-famous environmentalist visits Cleland to inspire future eco-warriors

Dr Goodall is on the Australian leg of her ‘Reasons for Hope’ speaking tour, with an event held on Friday night at the Adelaide Town Hall.

The Cleland visit included a special youth event where Dr Goodall spoke with South Australia’s young environmentalists, with representatives in attendance from organisations such as Youth Environmental Council, Adelaide University and the River Murray Mallee Aboriginal Council.

The event also included a planting of 90 native trees to celebrate Dr Goodall’s 90th birthday earlier this year.

Dr Goodall has spent most of her life working as a champion for nature and people through her roles as an ethologist, conservationist and humanist.

Her groundbreaking research into chimpanzee behaviour in the 1960s and 70s discovered that chimpanzees were making and using tools and were capable of feeling and expressing emotions, much like humans.

On realising the huge challenges to chimpanzee habitat and conservation, she embarked on a mission to secure their future, and this expanded into a global network, the Jane Goodall Institute, established in 1977.

One of Dr Goodall’s flagship initiatives is Roots and Shoots – a youth program which aims to foster respect and compassion for all living things and inspire participants to take action to make the world a better place for people, animals and the environment.

World-famous environmentalist visits Cleland to inspire future eco-warriors

“I am looking forward to returning to Cleland Wildlife Park and hearing about their current work - especially how things are improving for the welfare of koalas,” Dr Goodall said.

“This is my 90th year and I've been travelling since mid-January. I am thrilled to see how many young people are working to find solutions to the problems facing our planet and its inhabitants.

“I also look forward to meeting those involved in our global humanitarian and environmental program for young people of all ages, Roots & Shoots - who like their counterparts in more than 70 countries, are working on projects for their communities, animals and the environment.”

South Australia has several youth conservation projects currently operating under the Roots & Shoots banner including McAuley Community School’s blue banded bees and microbats project and a regent parrot conservation initiative run by the River Murray Youth Council and River Murray Mallee Aboriginal Corporation Rangers.

Department for Environment and Water Tourism and Commercial Services Director Jo Podoliak said as a lover of trees and forests and the wonderful species that live within them, Dr Goodall is passionate about inspiring the next generation to lead the way in conservation.

“Cleland Wildlife Park plays an important role in connecting people to nature, especially children, so it’s a real honour to welcome Dr Goodall to this special part of the Adelaide Hills,” Ms Podoliak said.

“Since opening in 1967, Cleland Wildlife Park has played an important role in helping tourists and visitors connect with animals in their natural environment and understand the importance of conservation.”