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Vale Macwake

August 13, 2020

Those who are regular readers of this blog will recognise the work of Macwake otherwise known as David Wakefield and Laurie Macmillan. Dave, Laurie and Bertram Lobert with the support of the Upper Goulburn Landcare Network set up the Focus on Fauna project in response to the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. As well as active field-work Dave penned (and Laurie edited) the original Focus on Fauna blogs. Sadly David Wakefield and Laurie Macmillan passed away this week.

Much will be said in other forums about the impact they have had on the community at large and the legacy they have left.


Coonans Reserve working bee, December, 2018

From a personal perspective, I first met Dave and Laurie at a Strath Creek Landcare Group function just after I had moved into the district a week prior to Black Saturday. I immediately saw in Dave a kindred spirit. He was a gentle man with a love of the environment and a vast understanding of the natural world and the interaction of things in it. We ‘clicked’ immediately. Over the years Dave has been a mentor to me generously sharing this knowledge. In 2012 he invited me to contribute to the Focus on Fauna blog and together, until recently, the two of us maintained the punishing effort of publishing two blogs a week (one each) on all manner of fauna in our valley…nearly 700 in total. We also talked about the Focus project at venues across the state and it was Dave who first encouraged me to deliver talks on the animals that we had found, a creative outlet I have enjoyed ever since.

Focus on Fauna will continue true to the vision of David, Laurie and Bertram. The hole left by David and Laurie however is immense. I had so much more to learn from them but am grateful for what they shared.

Chapeau my friends. It has been an honour.

ronlit (aka Ron Litjens)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Peter Mitchell and Barbara Moss permalink
    August 14, 2020 7:00 am

    Dear friends who will be very sadly missed but happily remembered.

  2. Karen Brisbane-Bullock permalink
    August 14, 2020 8:30 am

    my thoughts are with those closest to Laurie and David. I certainly will miss his knowledge and caring nature of our environment.

  3. Susan permalink
    August 14, 2020 9:12 am

    Thank you Ron for sharing … both were very much admired and their contributions to the environment as a whole was immense. Macwake will be sorely missed. Vale


  1. A toast! – Strathbogie Ranges – Nature View

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