A Framework for Climate Action
ARC Climate Emergency Working Group Report 2020 for emissions reduction, carbon sequestration and climate change adaptation.
Armidale Vegetable Sowing Guide
This guide shows planting time periods that should allow you to get a crop in Armidale.
Lightbulb Moments
Take control of your electrical use & costs with this Resource Guide Online PDF and Print PDF for welfare agencies to assist clients, colleagues and community.

Vale Beth Williams

Photo from Armidale Express, 3 July 2015, ‘Beth still battling three decades on’. 

Beth Williams was well known to many of us in SLA  for her indefatigable submission writing, clarity of thought and focus. She was a valued campaigner against the destruction of Leard and Pilliga Forests and always willing to share her knowledge with novices.

We thank Lynne Hosking for permission to use this account of Beth’s life and work published in the NPA Journal ‘Nature’, 16 November 2018

Born and raised in country NSW, Beth and three younger brothers were home-schooled by their mother through Blackfriar’s primary school correspondence course. To attend high school, Beth boarded at Hay War Memorial High School, going home to the family property during school holidays.
In 1951 she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree with Honours in Botany from Sydney University. She married John Williams in 1956 and they moved to the Northern Tablelands to take up positions in the Botany Department of the University of New England. They made Armidale their life- long home with their much-loved family.
Beth is deeply committed and concerned for the preservation of native flora and fauna in healthy landscapes, terrestrial and riparian. Her activism began in the 1960’s with concern over a road proposed through New England National Park. She also became concerned with the plight of northern NSW rainforests threatened by logging in places such as Terania. She and John joined NSW National Parks Association (NPA) and in 1974 became founding members of the Armidale Branch, which owes much to their dedication.
Beth is Armidale NPA’s most indomitable submission writer. Her persistence, thorough research skills and commitment is legendary. Beth has always been willing to share her knowledge and skills, be it on countless trips identifying birds and plants, researching and writing submissions, preparing displays or lobbying politicians and bureaucrats. Beth transforms her conservation zeal into logical and objective submissions that often result in government departments adopting her suggestions. During the last forty four years as member of Armidale Branch, Beth has served as President, Vice-President, Secretary, Newsletter Editor, Campaign Officer and State Council Representative.
There are myriad issues that Beth has been involved including: Native Vegetation Conservation Act and implementation; its repeal and replacement by the Biodiversity Conservation Act; regulations and codes o practice for permitting clearing of paddock trees and endangered ecological communities; Transgrid; water reform and mismanagement; hydro scheme proposals on the Apsley and Styx Rivers; Gunnedah charcoal plant, and the preservation of western woodlands, particularly the Pilliga area threatened by Santos’ proposed 800 coal seam gas wells; protecting the values of travelling stock routes and reserves; and coal and coal seam gas developments. She has helped achieve new reserves in the Northern Tablelands including Torrington SRA (braving hostile local meetings to advocate floral protection) and additions to others including Oxley Wild Rivers NP.
Through the Regional Forest Agreement process in the 1990s Beth made submissions on a large number of specific north-eastern NSW forests, and many became additions to, or new, national parks and gained protection from logging.
The many local publications that Beth has contributed to include Family Outings Around Armidale. With Peter Metcalfe she co-authored Environmental Values of Travelling Stock Routes and Reserves in the Armidale District. Leaflets were also produced with grants from Save the Bush, NPA and Society for Growing Australian Plants.
Following this came the Regent Honeyeater mapping project and Beth became a member of the Regent Honeyeater Recovery Team. As an active member of the recovery program, Beth has inspired local school children to plant ironbarks.
She is also active in BirdLife Northern NSW and is, with Andrew Ley and Damon Oliver, co-author of a number of scientific papers. She received the BirdLife Australia Distinguished Service Award 2016 for the Bundarra-Barraba Regent Honeyeater Recovery program.
Her personal effort and dedication was recognised in 2001 by the Australian Government with the Order of Australia Medal for her contribution to conservation and the environment. It is well deserved.? Armidale NPA members consider ourselves fortunate in having such a treasure as Beth. She provides inspiration as she continues to harness her admirable intellect, striving to protect Australia’s natural values and sharing her knowledge, passion and appreciation of our special places so that they remain intact heritage for present and future generations.
Published in National Parks Association NSW Journal Nature 16 November 2018
Lynne Hosking, President Armidale Branch NPA

 

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>