Our branch meets monthly (except December) for an activity on the third weekend of each month, alternating Saturdays and Sundays. Activities are planned 12 months in advance and include outings to local remnant vine scrubs, Nature Reserves and National Parks. Following an invitation or successful request for permission, a visit will be planned to a local property of interest and a plant list compiled. The January activity is indoors: we take the opportunity of conducting an education day and, for example, learn more about using plant ID keys. All meetings commence with morning tea at 9.00am and continue until mid-afternoon.
The AGM and a General Meeting are held in March each year, and on three other occasions a General Meeting will precede the scheduled outing. Branch activities (dates, times, places and a contact name and number) are published in the Native Plants Queensland (NPQ) Journal and are listed on the NPQ webpage. Directions and information on carpooling are available from the Branch Secretary.
Our members, numbering 25 at present, are spread from Gympie and Tansey in the north, Proston toward the west, Bell to the south, Blackbutt and Linville in the east. Kingaroy, and the South Burnett region, is merely the hub. Our outings can cover a wide area, and consequently we do not gather in great numbers, but rely on our monthly newsletter to keep in touch. The newsletter contains planned activities, plus reports, photos and plant lists from recent outings. There are also articles on plant topics submitted by contributors.
Our backgrounds are as diverse as our locations, and our interest in native plants ranges from expert botanists to enthusiasts and interested students. All are unwaveringly committed to the conservation of local native plants and their habitat. Our members are growers of Australian plants and many are also propagators who contribute plants to local Council for revegetation works and to our monthly plant/produce raffle that raises funds for Branch expenses. The Branch maintains a library with many books on plant topics available. A seed bank is also kept for the benefit of members. Most members have an interest in birds, and because we have many who are also members of South Burnett Field Naturalists, we share several weekend outings during the year.
Visitors and prospective members are always welcome at our activities.
Members of the Branch frequently provide advice to local residents and organisations on plants suitable for our conditions. Examples are:
- local Golf Club being given assistance with selecting suitable koala habitat trees to plant and species selections for establishing a native garden
- using donated plants and labour, the group established gardens of Australian native plants at a local Kingaroy business and school
- interest is maintained in Embery’s Reserve at Coolabunia and Carroll Nature Reserve and Kingaroy Heights Environmental Park in Kingaroy
- after the discovery of the critically endangered Phebalium distans on a Kingaroy roadside, we continue our efforts to have the plant permanently preserved in an environmental reserve
- members are also supporting an ambitious plan to link properties within the buffer zone of the coal mine at Kunioon so that a vegetation corridor can be established.
The inaugural meeting was held in Kingaroy in August 1999. Founding Secretary was Caroline Haskard and Chairman Len Coe. Len was replaced by Anne Windsor in 2001 and Caroline remained Secretary for 10 years and Treasurer for 2 years after that. Due to Caroline's volunteer work on local plant lists, leadership in celebrating Threatened Species Days and preparation of publications still used by the Branch, she was successfully nominated as a Life member of the Branch in May 2009.