Nature Conservation Margaret River lists Jane Scott and Leon Pericles to ‘ambassador’ program

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Jane Scott and Leon Pericles with Nature Conservation Margaret River Region chair Dr Ann Ward.
Camera IconJane Scott and Leon Pericles with Nature Conservation Margaret River Region chair Dr Ann Ward. Credit: Nature Conservation

Two of the region’s best-known public figures have assumed the mantle as Nature Conservation Margaret River Region’s first official ambassadors.

Author and wildflower expert Jane Scott and high-profile artist Leon Pericles were last week sworn in to the important new roles expected to bring added clout to the conservation group’s efforts to protect the region’s biodiversity.

The program would involve Scott and Pericles attending public workshops and events, as well as putting their names to Nature Conservation’s ongoing quest for philanthropic support.

Nature Conservation chair Ann Ward was pleased to make the announcement.

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“Both Jane Scott and Leon Pericles are household names who are passionate about our environment and the region’s natural wonders,” she said.

“And we hope their involvement will help us spread the word about how important it is to care for country.”

Pericles said he was “excited” to sign up.

Already beloved as one of the region’s most popular artists, the prolific printmaker, painter and sculptor said he developed a love of the Australian environment growing up in outback WA and channelled that into his art.

He’d also personally benefitted from Nature Conservation’s ongoing war on the invasive arum lily.

“I have a love of nature and everything about it,” he said.

“Even as a young child, I had a garden of plants in tins that I carried from one place to the next. I love anything that grows, and the insects and animals that come with it.

“But the situation we’re in now is really dire. The environment is needing our help, desperately, because we have gone too far,” Pericles said.

“An organisation like Nature Conservation is big enough and strong enough to do some really big and really powerful work, both politically and on the ground.”

As one of the leaders of the Friends of the Cape-to-Cape Track and a published author, including an official track guide, Scott was extremely well-placed to advocate with deep knowledge of the Capes environment.

“Having lived in Margaret River for around 40 years, I’ve seen a huge amount of change here, with a lot of growth and development,” she said.

“I’ve always been amazed at the huge diversity — especially in the flora — of this small South West Capes area of WA.

“I really notice now, as more and more people come to live here, a growing appreciation of our natural environment. But also the urgent need to protect it.”

Nature Conservation general manager Drew Mckenzie said he hoped the program would broaden the group’s reach.

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