Koalas, koalas, our much-loved koalas, no longer everywhere.
There’s a truly awful fact that, according to the Australian Koala Foundation,
“During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Australia wide, as many as 8 million koalas were killed for their pelts.”
That is hard to believe!
Fortunately, we no longer kill koalas and send their skins off to be made into lush furs for wealthy women in Europe.
But we have found other ways of killing off these precious native animals.
I have this old photo, taken in 1943, showing a small child sitting on a bench seat at the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary, in Victoria. A curious koala has come to check out her hair.
Koalas were plentiful then – nearly eighty years ago. Colonies had largely recovered from the slaughter of earlier years and were valued, no longer for their fur, but for the part they played as an important inclusion in the life of Australian fauna.
The koala in the picture is not behind cage wire or even a fence. In those bygone days, koalas roamed freely in the sanctuary – as well as in many areas in the country.
In the 1950s and ‘60s, koalas could be seen in abundance, sitting in their eucalypt trees all over Phillip Island, Victoria. People could walk in among the trees and see them everywhere. Often a koala would be perched quite low down in a tree; near enough to the ground to be seen and stroked by a child.
About ten years ago, I visited Raymond Island in Gippsland, Victoria and was thrilled to see four or five koalas sitting high up in gum trees. (Someone said they once had too many!)
More recently, near my home on the Gold Coast in Queensland I have seen four koalas, on four different occasions in a park near my home. But it’s taken about six years to see that many.
No longer do koalas randomly come up close to little girls to check out their hair.
No longer is Phillip Island home to hundreds of the creatures – living unobtrusively in the bush and beside the tracks. Where there once was bush, houses now crowd out the trees.
Koala habitat has been destroyed to make way for roads and housing development. All over the (mainly) eastern states, our cars have killed koalas as they search for their gum-leaf trees.
Our dogs have mauled and killed them as they venture into suburbia.
Last year’s horrendous bushfires, due largely to Climate Change, caused deaths of “as many as 10,000 koalas — a third of New South Wales' total population”.
And now, “The Australian Koala Foundation estimates that there are less than 100,000 Koalas left in the wild, possibly as few as 43,000”.
It is sad indeed that the few places for us to now see a koala is in a zoo or wildlife rescue hospital, where tourists queue to have a photo taken with a koala, to show family and friends the precious, unique animal that once climbed the eucalyptus trees all over Australia.
I may be late at working this out, but it has occurred to me that the more power one has, the more ability one has to act – and contribute - in the interest of those around one.
In other words, the more power one has, the more ability one has to DO GOOD.
Then I look at those who are ‘powerful’ and see that this is not often happening.
Why not? Does anyone know?
Looking at our PM and his cohorts. They seem to wield a great deal of power, so what good have they done lately?
Well, so far, in the past three years, (apart from buggering up foreign affairs), they have….
I could go on….but...
Not many ‘good deeds’ there!
The other fact that has occurred to me is that the more MONEY one has, the more POWER one is seemingly magically given.
To have lots of money - and I mean LOTS - gives a person power, meaning access to people who own resources to be able to help others in massive ways.
So, do they use their power and their money for the good of others, as well as themselves?
Well, not usually.
This is what they do:
The powerfully rich give money to other powerful people (in government) to benefit THEMSELVES.
No, not to benefit others, but to benefit THEMSELVES.
One might use a tiny fraction of their 29 billion accumulated wealth to donate to charity, (to silence the critics) while being surprisingly hateful towards their own children and making more money than they would ever be able to spend in eleventy-thousand lifetimes.
There’s a bloke who creates his own charities, only to then instruct the Government what to do, who to 'help' (in a mean & cruel way) and what to buy…including worthless PPE gear and Covid testing kits he sourced in China for which he charged the Aus Gov.$325 MILLION. (Geez!)
And the man who donated over $9 million to political parties and then benefited greatly from countless Gov decisions. In one instance, this bloke donated $1.5 million and then had the cheek to claim $10 million from the bush fire foundation. And got it! (True!)
There are a lot more examples, but they make me sick.
I am seriously wondering why those in power, only think of themselves?
AND, which came first? Are these people selfish because they are powerful, or are they powerful because of a lifetime of being selfish?
These are genuine questions.
Sure, there are some exceptions to the rule, such as the occasional philanthropist and benefactor, giving freely of a portion of their riches.
There is the occasional generous billionaire in Australia, including one who is actually helpful towards others, in the area of climate change.
But I have witnessed people who have little money being far more generous (relatively speaking), using a bigger portion of the little they have to help others.
Why is this so?
Winston Churchill was once quoted as saying:
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.