Category Archives: Daily Blog
With all the love and support pouring in from around the globe on my anniversary in the tree – I was left feeling a sense of connection to the world. Yet, something was missing, a still had a feeling of loneliness. A strange mix of feeling intricately connected to the an international community and campaign, yet alone in the tree and disconnected from my own family and friends. And so when my Dad made the journey all the way to (and up) the Observer Tree – I was so happy! And what’s more… he came dressed as Santa 🙂 Check it out:
I have already had my Mum and my sister visit in the tree. And I wondered if my Dad would get the chance to come up the tree. When he told me that he had some time off work before Christmas and was going to visit… I was so excited. He was worried about coming up the tree though… would we have enough to talk about to fill a few days? Usually when I spend time with my family, I don’t always get the chance to just sit down with my Dad and have the time to have long chats and get to know each other. So, being stuck on a small platform together for a few days, with nowhere else to go… it was a real gift! We had so much fun. I got to teach my Dad some card games. I got to tell him all about my tree top life (I think he was pretty impressed with my tree house structure). I will cherish the memories of those few days forever!
Last night I checked the comments on my blog, and my Dad had written this beautiful message about his visit to see me. I was so touched by this message, that I wanted to make sure you all read it, so I asked if I could re-post it here in this blog.
“Hi Miranda. I must say I am in total awe of you of your passion, conviction and courage to continue with your fight to save and protect the forest and the eco system that relies on it .
I have truly enjoyed the two days and two nights that I have had the privilege to spend with you in your tree top lookout. It is almost impossible to put into words the beauty that I witnessed, from the mist covered mountains in the early hours of the morning, to the changes in the whether, going though the four seasons in a very short time. One minute rain and wind with the tree swaying to and fro, to sunny and warm
One of the times I really felt at peace was during the night as I was wrapped in my sleeping bag listening to the sound of the rain in the canopy, waking in the morning and looking up at the blue sky.
It was beautiful to watch the birds come for a visit in the hope that they might snatch some food.
I loved, when we sat at the table and played uno or 500, with you winning the majority of the time I might add,or sitting having a chat and a laugh with a hot cup of chia tea and a tim tam while listening to the rain.
Being there is easy to see why you fight so hard to have these forests saved.
So Miranda I love you and support you in every aspect of the campaign as do the thousands of supporter around the globe, a big cheer for them,I don’t need to say keep up the good work because I know you will.
And I am so grateful that I have had the chance to have a visit from my Dad. I can’t wait till I get back to the ground and can continue on our card game and our conversation where we left off.
Wow! What an absolutely amazing and inspiring couple of days it has been. I have received literally hundreds of photos from around the world, of people supporting my action and most importantly, people calling for the protection of these precious forests. I want to say thank you, for the bottom of my heart, to everyone who has taken part. It has been the most uplifting experience to watch them come in, photo after photo, and see how many people across the globe are committed to seeing an end to the destruction of Tasmania’s forests. So THANK YOU! If you want to check out the images, you can view them on facebook HERE or Flickr HERE.
The livestream was fantastic! What a great evening. And there were people watching in from towns and cities across Australia and around the world. I hope you enjoyed Observer Tree’s very first livestream from the tree tops as much as I did. If you missed it… never fear because it is still up online. You can view it HERE. (Just note that each segment of the event is a separate video file and they are order from the most recent one down to the earliest at the bottom. So you will need to scroll down to avoid watching them in reverse!).
Observer Tree also got some great media coverage, including live video-link ups on ABC TV National Breakfast show and Channel 7’s Sunrise. There was also coverage on BBC world news across the globe and loads of other stories.
Well, a year in a tree, hey? It’s hard to believe it has actually been a whole year that I have been up here. I just take one day at a time (it’s easier that way) and then next thing you know, all four seasons have come and gone and it’s now day 368. I think back to this time last year. I would have been on the platform for a few days by now. Everything was looking a little bit different then. For one thing I had hardly any stuff up here. Just a very basic tarp, a small back pack of clothes and personal items, my computer and the solar set up. Since then my house has turned into a palace (by comparison) as I have been sent up a small table and a chair, loads of books, a camping stove to make my own hot food, a bowl (yes, I actually forgot to bring that up when I climbed up here last year!), solar-powered lights, curtains and best of all a fantastic new tarp structure that doesn’t even leak!! Yes, it’s looking pretty homely up here now.
This time last year I had no idea what I was in for. I had no idea that I would be up here a year later. In fact I positively thought that there was no way it would last that long. And to be honest, I didn’t know how long I would be able to handle it or even if it would turn out to be effective in getting the message out and protecting the forest. On my first two days I listened to the sound of chainsaws and trees falling, as logging encroached on the forest in this coupe. I thought my time up here would be spent filming the destruction day after day until the area had turned into a clearfell. I came up here because I wanted to expose this destruction to the world, to show the reality of what was going on here. At the end of the second day though, a logger came to the base of the tree and called up to me. He said they were heading off and taking their machines with them. That was it… the logging of coupe TN044B had come to an early end. I guess with all the media attention it was not in the interests of the forestry industry to have their operations watched by people across the globe. So they packed up and went home. They haven’t returned since. And so this forest has had its temporary respite. But I live every day up here never knowing if or when they will return. The coupe still remains on the logging schedule and so it could happen any day. The uncertainty hangs in the air. And will continue until this area receives a guarantee of secure protection.
A journalist asked me if I went back in time, knowing I would be up here for a year (and who knows how much longer) if I would do it all again. I didn’t hesitate to answer. I would. Knowing that I would have hard times, that I would get battered by wind and sleet and hail. Knowing that missing my family and friends would be an ache so deep it would make me cry. Knowing that I would have nights when the rain leaked in through the tarp and made a lake under my swag. Knowing that I would miss out on milestones in the lives of those I love. Yes, I would still do it again. Because this forest is worth it. How could I have gotten down knowing it could mean the end of this tree, this forest and the animals that call it home? I would do it all again because every day that I have been up here I have achieved something that is absolutely critical – I have acted as a constant reminder that our forests are STILL under threat. And through this the government, the industry and in particular Ta Ann have not been able to get away with the dirty business of forest destruction in silence. And I will continue to take this stand, until these forests are safe from that destruction.
Being in this tree has been worth it everyday, because everyday I get mountains of emails from people of all walks of life, from right around the world, who have been inspired by what I am doing and who have joined me in the call for forest protection. And it is this global support that is really what it is all about. Because alone in a tree I cannot protect Tasmania’s forests – but I am not alone. And Friday’s incredible show of global support is yet another epic testimony to that. I am joined by the global community. By you. And it is together that we can, and will, protect Tasmania’s forest. And the day that I get down from this tree and celebrate with you the secure protection of this world heritage value forest – on that day I will know that it was worth it a hundreds times over.
And for every hard moment, for every time I think I just don’t know how I can continue … there is a counteracting moment of inspiration. For every tear there are many smiles. Because living at the top of a tree is one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. Just imagine … I wake up everyday to a spectacular sunrise over the mountains, as light pours into the valley, streaming through the mist in golden streaks, accompanied by a symphony of birds. Imagine watching from above as the snow fall softly and silently coating the tree tops. Imagine seeing four seasons come and go, as the forest changes. When the scientists made their assessment in the independent verification process, they deemed this area to be worthy of world heritage protection. I read the reports, but I knew about those values in another way that could not be portrayed on paper. I knew those values from seeing them, feeling them, breathing them, living with them. I have seen the life that this forest supports, from the tiniest insects that live on my tree to the majestic (and endangered) wedge tailed eagles that soar the skies above. And so I know, first hand, that this forest needs to be protected, it deserves world heritage. And, along with the thousands of people around the globe who are standing with me, we will make sure it receives it.
The government has until February 1st 2013 to enact that nomination for World Heritage Protection of these forests. I will be passing on to them the support from around the world, all of your beautiful photos. If you still want to do one, it’s not too late. Make a sign about why you want to see these forests protected, take a photo and post it www.facebook.com/ObserverTree or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to say again, thank you so much. I was overwhelmed and teary looking through all of those images. I know that we can win this. Now more than ever.
I had the absolute privilege recently to talk, via Skype, to two community delegates from Sarawak. They are travelling around Australia sharing their stories about the fight to protect their homelands against the construction of dams. They are now on the last leg of the tour, with a talk in Hobart Tuesday night and a community vigil at Hydro Tasmania on Wednesday. Check out www.savesarawakrivers.com for more information.
Media Release: Indigenous Leaders from Sarawak Arrive in Hobart for Save Sarawak Rivers Tour
Indigenous leaders from the Malaysian state of Sarawak met today with Hydro Tasmania’s CEO Roy Adair in Launceston. This afternoon the delegation from Sarawak will meet with Tasmania’s Deputy Premier Bryan Green. The final public event will be held in Hobart on Tuesday 4 Dec at the Republic Bar in North Hobart at 7pm.
An Australian tour by Peter Kallang, Chairman of the SAVE Rivers group of Sarawak Indigenous leaders and James Nyurang, village headman from the Baram River Region, has called on Hydro Tasmania to pull their support out of controversial dam proposals in Sarawak that will displace tens of thousands of people from their homes and flood large tracts of forests and farmland.
“Meeting with the CEO of Hydro Tasmania has meant that the people of Sarawak could directly request Hydro Tasmania to withdraw from the controversial dam projects. Hydro Tasmania continues to supply staff and technical expertise to push these projects along despite a growing campaign in Sarawak against the dams, and deplorable human rights violations,” said Adam Burling, spokesperson for the Save Sarawak Rivers Tour.
Peter Kallang, from the SAVE Rivers group of Sarawak Indigenous leaders said: “People in Australia need to be aware that an Australian state owned company, Hydro Tasmania is involved in massive dam proposals that stand to affect up to 20,000 people who live along the Baram River in Sarawak.
“Hydro Tasmania is turning a blind eye to the human rights and environmental impacts of these dams.”
James Nyurang, village headman from the Baram River Region said: “If the dams go ahead I will lose my home, my land. I have no idea where my family will be moved to or how we will make our livelihood.
“Hydro Tasmania’s involvement in Sarawak will help to flood thousands of hectares of land belonging to the indigenous peoples of Sarawak. This will spell the end of our heritage, our means of livelihood, custom and culture. We will not stand by while our homes, our rice fields, our fruit trees go under water.” James Nyurang said.
While in Australia, Peter Kallang and James Nyurang have had public events in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, and Launceston. They have met with Federal Senators and Victorian and NSW Members of Parliament from The Australian Greens, Labor Senator Lisa Singh and Federal Independent member of Parliament Andrew Wilkie.
I recently had a visit from Lee Rhiannon, Greens Senator from New South Wales. It was great to have her make the ascent into the tree tops to see me. Check out this short video clip, and hear what she had to say about the Observer Tree:
Please help protect Tasmania’s forests! Click HERE to take part in the updated cyber action.
It was recently my Mum’s birthday. My sister sent me photos of the family celebration. With technology at our finger tips, it’s like you can be there without being there, right? Except, the instantaneous photos didn’t stop me from feeling that pang in my heart, that little stab of loneliness, of missing my family. Then I remembered the happy memories of when my Mum made the brave step to visit me. It was months ago now, but the happiness of those few days has kept me going through all of the challenges since then. Not just her presence and laughter in the tree, but something more than that – knowing how much she supports what I am doing, how proud she is of me and the stance I am making on behalf of these forests. And so my memories lead me to look over all the footage we had taken when she stayed here. And now… I have turned that footage into a short film for you. So that you too can enjoy those memories. And see what an adventure it was for my Mum to take her feet 60 meters above ground to visit her daughter. I hope you enjoy the video, and share it with your friends and family too!
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Hope you enjoy this slideshow of photos I took today. An absolutely beautiful day complete with rainbows over the forest!
In the pale light of the pre-dawn I watch the shadows of trees slowly take their form. The forest is changing shifts, as the nocturnal animals make their way home and the early risers start their calls across the valley. The air is crisp with the smell of the fresh rain and eucalyptus leaves. And the valley is shrouded in mist. It feels like a glimpse into another world, like I am privy to a special and beautiful secret.
I almost can’t believe this is real! That I am here in the tree tops of an ancient forest, witnessing an entire world that otherwise goes on without anyone knowing. If I wasn’t watching- the Currawong would still be making it’s morning calls, the forest would still hum to the pulse of the fan-tailed cuckoo’s cry, the mist would still be stumbling through the upper branches of these giant euclypts. I think of all the people who are asleep in their houses right now, not knowing that all that takes place in the forest as they sleep.
That’s the thing about the forest, it is a like a hidden treasure, a secret world. But the thing is that out there, in the human world, it is easy to forget that there are other worlds like, this one. As I sit and watch the forest, how many people around the world are waking up to walk across a floor, sit at a table and read a newspaper that are all made out of the ancient forest that once surrounded this one. Will there come a time when this forest too, makes it’s way into people’s kitchens … flattened, sawn and pulped?