Patron of Wildlife Queensland's Hervey Bay Branch, Joan Coutts, has been honoured with a  plaque and tree, planted in ESA Park, Point Vernon.  
Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Patron of Wildlife Queensland's Hervey Bay Branch, Joan Coutts, has been honoured with a plaque and tree, planted in ESA Park, Point Vernon. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle Valerie Horton

Lifelong activist recognised for her wildlife fight

THE work of the woman who stood on top of Lenthalls Dam in protest, fought for the survival of the Tooan Tooan Creek bat colony and founded ESA Park has been displayed for future generations.

When environmental activist Joan Coutts, 88, started fighting for Australian wildlife in the mid 1940s, conservationists were almost unheard of.

"People were just starting to learn more about it," Ms Coutts said.

"There weren't many around."

The former president and patron of the Fraser Coast Branch of Wildlife Queensland has been recognised with a plaque and a Burdekin Plum tree which was planted at ESA Park yesterday.

Society member Diane Christensen said Ms Coutts was an inspiration for people who believed in her cause.

"You have to admire people like Joan," Ms Christensen said.

"I wish we could all have that kind of courage."

Ms Coutts was brought up from her new home in Lismore to attend the planting ceremony.

She said she was happy to visit the people who had helped her raise awareness for the endangered wildlife on the Fraser Coast.

"Now that I'm away from the area, it's good to know that it's in good hands," she said.

"I wouldn't have been able to do it without all of the help."

Ms Coutts' daughter Rosanne said her mother's spirit had been passed along to other members of the family. "Mum's a real activist, but I care about the environment too," Rosanne said.

"My daughters are big on conservation too, like their grandmother."

Ms Coutts said she hoped the work she had helped to achieve would encourage others to protect the environment also.


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