Global March Melbourne

More than 135 cities will join the Global March for Elephant, Rhino and Lion on the opening day of Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) to demand these species are listed as Appendix 1 to offer the highest protection possible. The Melbourne event will start at 11am at Alexandra Gardens, walking down South Bank to Red Stair Amphitheatre.

GMFERL Logo  Global March for Elephant, Rhino and Lion – Melbourne

Despite the serious message, this event is asking people to onesie up for wildlife and #MarchAsOnesie for a family friendly event. We want children to be engaged as the future guardians of these animals, to reconnect them to the natural world and show that we deeply care about the plight of Africa’s wildlife, the environment and all species.

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In communities worldwide, extinction anxiety is building and more-and-more concerned citizens are turning to their governments to ask them to step into the void and enact domestic bans.    

The continued slaughter due to poaching, trade, illegal trafficking, human animal conflict and loss of habitat is pushing these species to extinction. If world leaders and Governments around the world don’t take immediate action they will disappear before our very eyes.

The recent elephant census has chilling results. The only place where elephants aren’t being decimated is Kruger National Park in South Africa but then we hear there are whispers of a cull due to the current drought. Heartbreaking news to hear that 26 elephants have been poached in one of the last safe houses in Africa – Botswana.

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The demand on wildlife products from Asia and specifically Vietnam is having a brutal impact. We’re at a loss to understand why there’s still discussion and debate about opening trade on rhino horn and ivory. Despite tough border security Australia is complicit with more than enough evidence of items for sale through retail stores, auction houses and online – many aren’t antiques and certainly don’t have appropriate paperwork.

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There’s also concern that the burgeoning taxidermy industry does fall outside the capacity for officers to appropriately investigate, only able to seize illegal products but lack the authority to question or search.

If the slaughter continues at current levels, elephants, rhinos and lions face extinction in the wild within a generation.

But this is not an inevitable scenario, if all countries act now to eliminate demand by closing domestic ivory markets. If demand ends, the poaching will too, giving elephants and rhinos a chance to recover their numbers. The CITES conference is where critical decisions affecting the future of these species will be made, may be the last chance to take bold, principled steps that will give elephants, rhinos and lion a final lifeline to survival.

The captive breeding and canned hunting operations in South Africa feed the lion bone trade and despite Australia banning the importation of lion trophies and body parts in March last year, with France and the Netherlands following and the US putting strict import laws in place other countries are slow to act. The change in Government in the UK has put back efforts by local NGO’s with their Government seeking advice from Safari Club International, one of the drivers of canned lion hunting. You have to question the moral code of any human who thinks killing a hand reared animal in a fenced area is ethical or even possible to be considered “hunting”. Despite the fees paid for a hunt, the carcass remains the property of the farmer who can further profit by selling to the Asian market for approximately $5000 a carcass.

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“Unless immediate action is taken by all countries to put an end to the ivory and horn trade, we may be the last generation to see elephants and rhinos in the wild,” said Denise Dresner of Action for Elephants UK. “We hope everyone who cares about their survival will join the march on September 24th and demand action from their governments to save them.”

We ask that Australia takes decisive and clear action now, within it’s own jurisdiction, to target the matters at the very heart of this issue: consumer demand and legal domestic markets.  

Ivory Necklace

Ivory necklace for sale through Leonard Joel Auction House

A domestic ban would close down markets which ultimately provide a means to legally dispose of illegal rhino horn and ivory – an activity that undermines the rule of law, international trade bans and the CITES processes. A publicly announced domestic ban would help to reaffirm ivory and rhino horn as unacceptable commodities.

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Items for sale in South Yarra, Melbourne.

As a collective we ask for action throughout the Oceanic region.  It’s time for courageous and visionary leadership from all corners of the globe, to ‘do their bit’ to stop the slaughter. Too much is being asked of Africa’s wildlife, particularly the elephants, rhino and lion, under the ‘if it pays it stays’ approach – animals have a right to exist, well beyond being viewed as mere commodities.

We commend the Australian Government on their global leadership as demonstrated with the implementation of a ban on the importation of lion trophies and body parts – a visionary and courageous step taken by Minister Greg Hunt. Announced in March 2015, months before the death of Cecil, this ban could well be considered the biggest step for lion conservation.

We cannot bear to be witness to the continued annihilation of these animals and on this day, we mark the CITES CoP17 in Johannesburg and the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions commencing on 24 September 2016, we stand as one, we stand for wildlife.

We are very proud to have guest speakers Lynn Johnson, Breaking the Brand, Fiona Gordon, Gordon Consulting New Zealand (thanks to IFAW) and Director of For the Love of Wildlife, Donalea Patman presenting at the event.

Lynn in Kenya

Dr Lynn Johnson interviewed over 50 people from the Kenyan Maasai, including Maasai warriors to understand what rhinos meant to this group. She also interviewed people who were of Kikuyu, Samburu and Luo decent about what rhino meant to the people of Kenya.

Journeying into nature with deep reverence

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King and Queen.

Sacred Safari – May 2016

We made a conscious choice to work in the world differently, to take courageous leaps of faith and enter into the unknown and then find valid support for our efforts: this is why we chose to offer our first deep nature immersion journey. To share another perspective on entering the natural world, on what our impact as humans has on the silent and magical animal and nature realms.

Our first group was small but we had decided from the outset that regardless of the number of participants it was important to lay the foundation for this work, for these Sacred Safaris.

On our first day we gathered our fellow journeymen in Johannesburg, giving our guests time to recover from their long flights.

Those that were up for it took an afternoon at the Origin Centre at the University of the Witwatersrand which has fascinating exhibitions covering the depth of Africa’s history and Bushman heritage and it’s devastation due to European settlement. There  are beautiful artworks, intriguing artefacts and archaeological finds.

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We set out on our journey beginning at the sacred site of Adam’s Calendar near the tiny town of Kaapsche Hoop in Mpumalanga Province. Older than time itself, this rocky wilderness is protected by herds of wild horses.

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We have a history of visiting this site and it’s not always been as clear energetically as it was when we entered on the dusk of our first day. Beautiful large dolmens and other huge rocks stand like keepers, emitting their own heartbeat, a pulse emitted from the central heart. To enter into this landscape is surreal, the strange rock formations coupled with surrounding pine forests and organic moonscape of rocks.

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Adam’s Calendar is dated anywhere from 35,000 to 72,000 years old and is reminiscent of something like Glastonbury, without the extensive tourism and policing. The rock formations line up with constellations, celestial and seasonal events. Some time back, a group had started illegal excavation on the site and the scars are still visible.  Metal stakes were put deep into the soil between dolmens and around to measure the stars, the moon and the sun’s alignment and the energetics of what lay beneath. It’s common knowledge that when flying over the site in a small aircraft the instrumentation can either drop out or go haywire.

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Our entry into this natural kingdom was guided by a local woman, Mary Ross, who knows the area extremely well and showed us other energetic power points and portals. We had very powerful meditations and openings, which set the magical, mystical tone for our journey.

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None of the wild horses came close that day but the funky little village had quite an array of animals – all very happy to come and say hi and spend time with us.

Boondocks was the next stop with a very beautiful welcoming at the gate by the owner. It’s like entering the underworld. A stunning landscape of wild African bush and mountains with the accommodation right in the centre of surrounding mountains, not far from the Mozambique border.

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A shower with a view!

The outlook is breathtaking and the outdoor shower has the most magnificent view over a vast valley alive with leopard, baboons and buffalo  – an absolute must! The incredible offering by Anne and Stewart, who have lovingly developed this retreat centre, in what they hold on this land is exquisite. The highlight is the labyrinth they built which is an exact version of the one at Chartres.

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Such an incredible honour to be able to walk this labyrinth.

To walk this labyrinth on the land, in the middle of a forest and stream creates such a fine frequency, a direct portal to the inner and outer worlds, held by tree guardians. Both mystical, mythical and magical. One must experience it to be able to truly understand what is offered to the world. We had a difficult time saying goodbye, knowing we had deepened and opened ourselves to the animal kingdom, having full permission to enter.  Stewart’s wonderful stories and heightened intuitive perspectives were valued insights, his stories around the night fire had us all captivated and we found our hearts yearning for more. What they’ve created is remarkable, mostly a sharing of love and a great gift to the world. A universal architect who’s left a stunning and beautiful legacy.

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All the crew with Stewart on the left and Anne on the right.

Entry into the Kruger National Park welcomed us with amazing animal sightings on the bridge before we even entered the Malelane Gate. A multitude of animals greeted us just before we entered the park – crocodiles, hippo, multiple birds – an absolute celebration of life!

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A rare baby grounded hornbill.

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This adult grounded horn bill was with two others and two babies.

Our drive in was purposeful as we wanted to get to our accommodation, the Rhino Post Lodge, in time for the evening game drive – we were all bursting with excitement. Seeing a group of rare Ground Hornbills was such a treat, they were curious and friendly, the young ones coming very close to our vehicles.

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Our first night out we were blessed to see many rhino but being a full moon knew that protection for these animals is always paramount. We pray for their protection and that the senseless and cruel killing stops.

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The drought in Kruger brings many animals to man-made waterholes and watching hippos trying to stuff themselves in to tiny water sources is heartbreaking, they are certainly suffering the most.  We had seen a leopard kill, visible up a tree so our driver was committed to getting a sighting. We had a quick glimpse but scared the leopard with our driver not quite as sensitive and aligned with our intention.

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This guy really loved the toning.

The next morning we where all wide eyed and bushy tailed and headed out layered in warm clothing to meet the cold African winter dawn. Our guide was once again committed to seeing the shy leopard of the night before and got a little frustrated when we asked him to stop the vehicle and allow us time to connect in and calm our intentions. When you head out with a mission to see “something”, or to tick off a list of animals you want to see, you carry with you the energy of the “hunt”. Animals sense this and are long gone before you have a chance of a sighting – they pick up on another “predator” in the field.

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A newborn close to camp.

With our intentions softened, our gratitude activated and hearts open we started again. And what did we see? A rare Black Sable. At first it was indisdinguishable, looking like a man bent over in deep thought but then we saw the enormous black horns. Pan? He had been lying down and when he arose he took our breath away: in the distance he looked like a Centaur, our Pan, a Black Sable! We all knew the significance, and the rarity of such a sighting and were so excited and blessed to see such a magnificent creature.

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Such a rare sighting of this magnificent black sable.

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Hippos having a terrible time during the drought in Kruger.

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Trying to squeeze into whatever water they can find.

 

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A hippo in a dam with water levels very low, terrapins sunning themselves on it’s back.

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And then nature blessed us with it all. A herd of elephants of all ages from babies to matriarchs walked by, surrounded us, on their way to the dam. Hippos, rhino, giraffe, and the list goes on to the place where we stop to watch hippos, looking skinny in diminishing levels of water, terrapins using them to sun themselves. And we look to our left – leopard. Sitting atop a termite mound. Calm, relaxed, stretched out – shimmering. The jewel of the animal kingdom. Such exquisite beauty. Stella shared that they are the Kings of medicine. Ancient, wise, shape-shifters. Their fluid bodies move in sensual caress of the earth, collecting knowledge.

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We had it all, our drives included two golden lions mating just a few metres from our vehicle, with several males on the periphery about to compete with the dominant male. The tiniest owls, the enormous eagles – Crowned and Battler, mighty seers of the wilderness.

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The king and queen, the mating pair.

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On guard as other males close in on his territory.

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This lion moving in to challenge the mating couple.

On a night drive we came across a young hyena looking over the edge of a bridge and on our arrival she walked off. We were out of our vehicle on the bridge, on our guides invitation, all lights turned off looking down on hundreds of fireflies dancing on the river bank when our driver put on his torch and was surprised to see the hyena back on the bridge, strolling closer and closer to check us out. What an extraordinary meeting! No fear from either the three of us left standing or the hyena (did I mention half the group had returned to the vehicle…) just a curious exchange. We heard hyena calls all night – beautiful sounds, the soprano of the bush veld and early before dawn, there was a group very close to camp.

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Stella and I had awoken early and were first to get to the viewing platform to see a very similar hyena (in age and size) in the middle of the river bed, standing observing us before slowly wandering off on the loose sand.

A few days in Kruger was such a blessing, a numinous experience. Entering the animal kingdom with deep respect and reverence, being open hearted, calm and in love with nature really does invite the magical and profound. We left seeing more lions – the King and Queen in loving embrace. A herd of dozens of buffalo sitting in circle on a sandy river bank with elephants surrounding them, trumpeting and dusting themselves, all having to co-exist with the critical amounts of water available.

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We were astonished to see yet another huge herd of elephants in another waterhole having the absolute time of their lives splashing and playing, trumpeting and snorting, bathing, rubbing, looking out for the babies, the youngsters slapping the water with their trunks in complete celebration. The joy in their expression was something stunning to witness knowing that we too felt that celebration in what was shared with us in Kruger.

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The interactions with nature have left us all dramatically changed. You cannot take those experiences as anything other than a blessing. Deeply grateful for nature’s generosity and compassion we continued to attempt to express our deep love for the creatures and each other as our time together strengthened and deepened.

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A herd of buffalo had formed a circle, laying on the sand and elephants walking past to access the water.

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An incredible sighting.

Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world, was our next destination to rest for a day, take it easy and have a nurturing and soft time to ourselves. To catch our breaths and have a gentle weaving back into life outside of the magical field of Kruger.

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Bush buck on the water’s edge.

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Kudu.

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Baby croc only 12 inches long. Apparently he’s going to be moved away.

We spent a morning on the water of the huge dam with the boat completely to ourselves. We stayed quiet and witnessed creatures along the shoreline go about their daily business – bushbuck, kudu, crocodile, hippo, baboons. The true beauty of the canyon seen from the centre, looking up at the amazing rock faces, waterfalls and scenery.

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On our way back to the lodge we stopped at the waterfall for a quick (freezing cold) dip for the brave at heart. This location, part of a UNESCO protected biosphere is where “I’m a Celebrity, Australia” was filmed. To see how they’ve damaged the area, built huts, paths and bridges, dumped piles of river sand sand from another biosphere at the waterfall, a site many consider to be a sacred feminine place shows their absolute lack of regards or sensitivity to the protected area. Locals and tourists who come from all over the world to see this spectacular canyon are locked out for 4-5 months whilst they prep and film. You get a sense of how insensitive big business can be and how money speaks – isn’t it astonishing that this kind of thing can go on in a UNESCO designated biosphere?  I’m sure they justify their use by donating money to local charities and foundations with little understanding of what their impact actually is. When wealthy networks can buy off poorly managed parks boards and buy their way in, promising to leave the site in it’s original condition and doing nothing of the sort when they’ve finished filming has no integrity.

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Icy cold!

The next day we ventured to the tops of the Drakensburg Mountain Range visiting a view site overlooking the Three Rondavals, part of the magnificent massive rock formations. We looked down on the very water way we’d been on the day before where the Blyde River snakes through the canyon. Such a dramatic shift of perspective to be way up high! Ruth knew of the ancient altar on the site,  hidden from most tourists, an initiation site to some highly regarded African mystics. We spent time there meditating and realised that the top of the altar, eroded from years of wind and weather, looked so much like the landscape, mirroring the mountains, gorges and rivers. We ventured into a township for some shopping time for our guests and bought huge bags of avocado, passionfruit and mandarins for R100 (about $10 Aussie).

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Windy and cold on the edge!

Our final and finishing piece was the White Lion Protection Trust. Seeing the Royals was something else. These are two arresting white lionesses – Nebu and Zihra, who looked stunning in the morning light, sitting like sphinxes in the rising sun. Linda Tucker (CEO and founder) shared the genesis and reasons for the twenty year old project, not just the physical but the purpose of their work in many realms – the metaphysical and ecological. We were very grateful to her for joining our drives and sharing her wisdom, taking in the starry night sky and the drives around the dry, thorny bushland of Timbavati, which translates as “the place where the star lions came down”.

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The gorgeous George who’s working at GWLT after being an anti-poaching ranger.

We also witnessed the two tawny lionesses on another piece of White Lion Trust land who were in hunting mode. They are Cleopatra and Tswalu and worked in tandem, hunting kudu. This was an incredible event to watch – seeing them work in stealth, one going around whilst one held her ground and then struck from the opposite side. We didn’t stay to see the end as we didn’t want to disturb their hunt – it’s hard work,  but we passed the kudu as we drove along the road, feeling their heightened awareness, their wide eyed alertness, the adrenalin at being targeted and hunted by an apex predator. The balance and power of natural world.

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A view of the rustic accommodation at White Lion Trust. Lovely to sleep in round rooms.

We were truly blessed to have such wonderful participants who wanted the depth of experience and heightened sensitivity to nature and her creatures. Who willingly and courageously followed our guidance, who trusted us implicitly. To work with Stella Horgan and Ruth Underwood has been a dream, such remarkable women who hold such refined sensitivity but have enormous and courageous hearts, authentic and solid. To journey with them and trust the unfolding of that which we’ve laid out, to have the level of joy, brilliance, heightened intuition and guidance of nature and the exquisite gifts afforded us. We are all very excited to share this work with the world and are already making plans for next year!

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Thank you to the courageous pioneers who walked with us, the dear and loved friends who held us whilst unable to physically join us, to the spirit, elemental and animals worlds who loved us deeply and held us safe.

To offer this work is a dream come true and allows us to continue campaigning for the rights for our non-human friends. To co-exist on this living earth in respect and harmony, to create heaven on earth for all.

Global March for Lions – Melbourne 2016

Gathering at Federation Square we marched to City Square with the fabulous Tracy Bartram chanting “ban canned hunting” “Global March for Lions” and then gathered for speeches. We are very excited to have Jason Wood MP, Bruce Poon (Animal Justice Party), Laurie Levy (Coalition Against Duck Shooters), Dr Lynn Johnson (Breaking the Brand) and Donalea Patman (Founder) as guest speakers.

A fantastic turnout despite it being a cold and dreary day, Tracy Bartram an absolute riot and had everyone in stitches even though the message for lions is a tragic one.

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So grateful for the incredible support and working together we raise awareness and educate the public about the issues of predators being bred for the bullet.

Many thanks Melbourne, you ROCK!

Last year we hosted a massive event at Federation Square to announce the global first with satellite connection to Ian Michler in Sth Africa who appeared on the big screen, Jason Wood MP and Donalea Patman were speakers and supported by Animal Justice Party, Holden and FOUR PAWS Australia.

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Environment Minister Greg Hunt announces the immediate ban on lion trophies and body parts, a global first.

Minister Greg Hunt announced that lion trophies and body parts would be banned from coming into Australia, a visionary and courageous stand against the cruel and barbaric industry of captive breeding and canned hunting. France followed our lead late last year with the US creating such strict import duties that hunters must prove that their hunt has been part of a conservation program approved by regulatory bodies.

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Photography Stephen Powell

This year we still march as the industry still continues to grow, Sth Africa refusing to act on the global outrage, PHASA and Predator Breeders in opposition about aligning with canned lion hunting. Recently the African Lion Working Group made a public statement saying that captive breeding and canned hunting has no conservation value as it doesn’t benefit wild lion populations.

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This year we also support Coalition Against Duck Shooting as their founder, Laurie Levy has been fined and banned from being on the wetlands this hunting season. We support his 30 years of campaigning to stop the brutal slaughter and wounding of Australia’s water birds and many endangered species that are also killed. Authorities prefer to support the less than 0.4% of Victorians who still wish to kill despite the public support for a complete ban.

For further details about the march:

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And we are very excited to host an exclusive screening of the full length cinema quality of Blood Lions at Cinema Nova in Lygon Street immediately following.

Click on the image to go direct to ticketing.

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Blood Lions Melbourne Screening

Global March for Lions

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Friday 13th really was “lucky for lions, unlucky for hunters” where the Global March for Lions in Melbourne had a brilliant turnout awaiting the anticipated announcement by Environment Minister, Greg Hunt.

For the Love of Wildlife hosted the event at Federation Square in the centre of Melbourne which was abuzz with activity. Not only could you hear the background noise of Formula One racing due to the Grand Prix but Shabba and his band entertained the crowd with African music and dancing for an hour leading into the main event and it was a beautiful clear evening.

The founder of For the Love of Wildlife, Donalea Patman (also Australian Rep for CACH) present her speech first to then cross live to Ian Michler in Cape Town where Minister Hunt announced, via the big screen a global first, that Australia would ban the import and export of lion trophies and body parts. Very emotional and heartfelt with Jason Wood MP being the fierce politician who’s tenacity and commitment saw this through to the end.

Ian had been in Australia in October the previous year to brief the Minister in Parliament alongside Economist, Roderick Campbell and Donalea to reveal the truth about the hunting industry and ask for Australia’s assistance in taking a stand against the cruel and barbaric industry of canned hunting and captive breeding.

This has been a very long campaign by many groups and individuals who have worked tirelessly to bring awareness and action in stopping this hideous industry. Very special thanks to Bev Pervan and Chris Mercer who have created a global movement with the Global March for Lions and CACH.

A very proud moment for all involved…may the domino effect take place with the rest of the world to follow suit. We know that the European Parliament will be briefed week beginning 16 March by stakeholders around the world, advising 28 countries about the cruel and barbaric practise.

 

 

If you wish to have high resolution or print quality of the following brochure just email us at fortheloveofwildlife@gmail.com

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Global March for Lions 2014

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Earlier this year 62 cities participated in the Global March for Lions which was organised by Chris Mercer and Bev Pervan of Campaign Against Canned Hunting, South Africa.

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http://www.cannedlion.org/

Thousands across the globe gathered to march to show lions need protection. Poaching and canned hunting have had a severe effect on wild lion populations with many suggesting that they could be extinct, in the wild, within the next 15 years.

Here’s a video of the Melbourne March in which we estimate around 300 or more wonderful lionhearted people attended. The March in Melbourne began with a blessing from Tanishka to go forward with our hearts and not our anger. African drummers drummed our journey from Parliament House to City Square, with a very upbeat crowd. At City Square the speeches were started with JM opening the day, Rheya Linda (Wildlife representative of Animals Australia, Bruce Poon (Victorian Head of Animal Justice Party), our Founder, Donalea Patman and lastly, Jason Wood MP. Some wonderful talent sang us through the afternoon…a new and improvised version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was almost as funny as this clip!!!

The Lion Sleeps

Although it looked like rain, other than a few spots we had a wonderful event.

The day wouldn’t have been possible without the help of many volunteers and suporters. Viv and John Benton (Benton Productions), Seven Senses Consulting, Voiceovers 4 Charity, Coates Hire (Richmond) and so many, many more.

In Australia it was held in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in March 2014. Will keep you updated as to the next Global March.

Thank you to John Sullivan for the following video: Global March Melbourne, March 2014

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An interview with Chris Mercer, Director of the Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH) and the Global March for Lions. Video by Trevor and Susan Barrett.

Wonderful community support with Bell Real Estate, Olinda putting a massive sign up in Mount Dandenong with the generosity of Mount Dandenong Vet Clinic allowing it at the front of their clinic.

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Cafe Beaumarchais in Sassafras helped with marketing and getting the word out as did Organic Fanatic, Mount Dandenong.

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Organic Fanatic

 

Radio ads were generously created by Vanessa Wilde, Voiceovers 4 Charity.

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http://www.voiceovers4charity.com/

Featuring the voice of John Benton, Australian actor who’s appeared in movies including The Castle and many television productions.

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