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In November last year, friends, neighbours, volunteers, activists, writers, photographers and scientists, bound by a shared love of the Merri Creek, came together to celebrate an incredible story of restoration and transformation – a story told within the pages of Merri Creek: A Ribbon of Nature in Melbourne’s North. The book is artfully designed and beautifully written to reminisce on a half-century of achievement for our much-loved creek. A Ribbon of Nature first came to life as the vision of the four directors of the Merri Creek Environment Fund (which funds some of the work carried out by Merri Creek Management Committee) stewarded by Ann Sanson, but soon became a passion project for many people revelling in the telling of this inspiring story.

 


The gathering celebrated more than the new book, but also the contribution of so many people whose stories are told within its pages, including Ann McGregor, who was recently awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to conservation and the environment. The occasion also highlighted Ray Radford’s 28-year contribution to the creek and recent retirement, alongside the leadership of Luisa Macmillan, who recently handed over the Merri Creek Management Committee leadership after 21 years. Speeches recognised the sustained community effort that has been required to bring the Creek to life, as captured poignantly within the book’s pages:

For thousands of years, the Creek and surrounding lands were a source of food and culture which sustained the Traditional Custodians, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people. But by 1970 the Merri was in crisis. Heavily polluted, with much of the native vegetation and wildlife gone, it had become a drain and a dumping ground. Over the past few decades, the story of the Merri has been one of transformation.”

Many copies of the book have been sold and made their way into the community. Copies are still available at the CERES Nursery or online at Merri Creek - A Ribbon of Nature in Melbourne's North - (friendsofmerricreek.org.au)

Our thanks go to the many people who collaborated on this book, including David Redfearn OAM (Chair), Glenys Romanes (AM), Jo Connellan and Ann Sanson from the Merri Creek Environment Fund; and Anna Carlile from Viola Design, plus many, many generous and inspiring others. Thank you.