Helen Kershaw, Jude Crighton (WPSQ SC)
Jude Crighton grew up in in Maryborough, spending weekends and holidays by the (then very) quiet waters of Hervey Bay. Inspired by early visits to Fairhill Nursery and by the writings of Kathleen McArthur, Jude developed an interest in the local flora and fauna. After returning permanently to the Sunshine Coast in 2009 Jude joined the Friends of Ben Bennett Bushland Park and thence the local branch of WPSQ, as well as local BushCare and DuneCare groups. The Sunshine Coast Wildflower Festival, started by Kathleen McArthur and the Caloundra Branch of WPSQ in 1967 and carried on by local environmental groups with the support of Sunshine Coast Council is now an annual highlight and ongoing education for Jude, as are outings with WPSQ’s Faunawatch project. The mentorship of Jill Chamberlain of WPSQ has been a profound influence.
With a love of the wild places of Caloundra since early days of holidaying in the 1950s and 60s and then living and working as a librarian in Council public libraries since 1978, Helen Kershaw has participated in the activities of the Australian Littoral Society, the Sunshine Coast Environment Council and WPSQ’s Caloundra (now Sunshine Coast & Hinterland) Branch. Knowing some of those pioneering leaders in the Coast’s environment movement, and in particular Kathleen McArthur and her inspirational work as a botanical artist, has led to greater involvement in WPSQ for Helen. Helen is an Accredited Editor with the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) and has collaborated with local and other authors on history and memoir projects, and currently edits the group’s newsletter Conservation News. Participation in local BushCare groups keeps Helen fit and connected with like-minded folk and those almost-wild places that survive in Caloundra.
The legacy of early community environmental groups is coloured by their founders and followers who set the pace and steeled the nerves in battle against those with an eye for making capital out of our natural environment. WPSQ Sunshine Coast and Hinterland Inc is one such group whose focus is sharpened through the work and attitude of founder Kathleen McArthur (1915-2000). All groups past and present (and there are many acronyms out there) no matter their size or particular their focus are part of the essential checks and balances required in environmental advocacy.