Help protect Australia's environment by participating in conservation projects around the Brisbane area. You will be participating on a property that has been turned over to the Nature Conservation Act of Queensland as a "Nature Refuge." On this property, you will be do work in areas of re-vegetation and rehabilitating an area which has been heavily grazed and removing weeds that will allow natural regeneration to take place. The wetland area is a breeding habitat for several birds including the Great Egret and the White Bellied Sea Eagle. As an IGS intern, you will be working with an organization that is nationally renowned throughout Australia. It will be a great way of meeting young Australians and potential leaders in the environment and to develop your skills in conservation efforts.
This breathtakingly beautiful, small, low island (the highest point of land is just about ten feet above sea level) is a National Park about one mile in circumference. Heron is a true coral cay, an island made of coral debris and sand, sitting right on the Great Barrier Reef. The island is covered by pisonia forest, with growth to a height of almost 50 feet. The environment consists of pandanus and casuarina near the beaches, with coconut palms, oaks, coral, sand and grass. From a distance and up close, Heron Island looks just like the proverbial tropical desert island. At low tide, visitors may walk on part of the fifteen miles of surrounding Great Barrier Reef. Heron Island is situated in the Capricorn Group, 43 miles northeast of Gladstone. It was first charted in 1843 and was named because of the presence of distinctive white, black, and gray herons. Although home to thousands of birds, the island is perhaps best known as a breeding ground of giant sea turtles. One of the islands' first commercial enterprises, in fact, was the establishment in 1925 of a turtle soup factory and cannery which also marketed tortoise shell products with little regard for depletion of these venerable and rather scarce animals. In 1932 an attempt was made to establish a resort on the island, but after World War II the effort foundered. The island became a marine national park in the 1940's, and in 1974 P & O Australia bought an interest in the resort and assumed full control of the resort lease in 1979. They upgraded and refurbished most of the facilities, and established the water desalinization system for the resort.
The waters surrounding Heron Island are a paradise for scuba divers, snorkelers and photographers. Manta rays, angelfish, cod - 1150 species of sea life in all--swim in these waters. Surrounded by approximately 10 square miles of what well may be the best, most easily accessible, coral beds in the entire region.