Echidna Walkabout help Australia win Lonely Planet Best In Travel Award
Australia has won the Best Community Restoration Award in the Lonely Planet Best In Travel 2021, for the response to the Black Summer bushfires. Echidna Walkabout’s koala tree planting project is one of the community recovery efforts recognised in the award.
Echidna Walkabout owner Janine Duffy is the spokesperson for the award, and spoke to the judges of her experience with the bushfires and determination to take this opportunity to save koalas.
“In summer 2019 /2020 we had the worst bushfires in human history, in koala habitat” says Duffy.
“After the bushfires we started a project to get travellers to plant trees adjacent to the bushfire zone,” she said.
“We figure if you’re going to a place to see the animals, you may as well help them while you’re there.”
“How would a traveller feel if they planted a tree, next year, and in 4 years came back and saw a koala in it, knowing they helped save this threatened species?”
“We have the perfect opportunity to really save koalas now, with so much local and international attention.”
“We love it when travellers come and help our wildlife, and we’re going to need them to plant all these trees.”
The prestigious Best In Travel global list, established in 2005, sets the tone for the upcoming year, and drives focus on a destination. The awards changed in 2020 to reflect the changes to travel due to COVID and to show that travel remains a force for good. The three new categories: Sustainability, Community & Diversity reflect important shared values of travel.
Local, and when safe to travel, international travellers can get involved by joining one of Echidna Walkabout’s Koala Recovery Experiences, west of Melbourne or in Gippsland.
ABOUT ECHIDNA WALKABOUT
Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours is an international award-winning, social enterprise tour operator that offers small group wildlife conservation experiences for travellers who want to see wild animals and help nature at the same time.
ABOUT JANINE DUFFY
Janine Duffy has been a Koala Researcher for 22 years, specialising in Victorian koalas. She is also known for discovering that koalas can be identified by their natural nose markings. She is the co-founder and co-owner of Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours and the president of the Koala Clancy Foundation.
High resolution images and interviews available on request.
Janine Duffy Ph: 0427 808 747 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org