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Faces of FOK: Q&A with Aliison

What is your FOK story? When did you join and why?

I joined Friends of the Koala in 2015 after learning about their amazing work at a market stall. I filled the role of Secretary which was vacant at the time and was quickly sucked into a vortex with a whole lot of other people who love nature as much as I do! FOK has become a major part of my life now and I love it dearly.

What roles have you been in during your time at FOK?

Since joining in 2015 I have been on the Management Committee filling the role of Secretary for 5 years, Vice President last year, and now 2021/2022 President.

I did volunteer as a koala rescuer for a short time, but the first koala I rescued bit me which resulted in a weeklong stay in hospital and two operations to clean the wound out. I have done a few more rescues since but I’m scared of them now so figured I’d stick to what I am good at!

What has been your biggest achievement/special memory during your time at FOK?

Working with past President Ros Irwin on launching and coordinating the Regional Koala Group – a forum for organisations involved in koala conservation in the Northern Rivers region to work together, to share information, ideas and resources. The group meets bi-monthly and started with a representative from all 6 councils and FOK and has now grown to involve representatives from 17+ organisations including state government, IFAW and WWF. The group not only keeps everyone up to date, it has grown to create strategic plans that benefit all the groups including joint communication and partnership-led projects. Together we are making a difference!

What are you hoping to achieve during your time in the President role?

I am humbled to work alongside our passionate volunteers and amazing supporters to build on the significant legacy of Friends of the Koala. One of the things I would like to achieve during my time as President is for staff, volunteers, and coordinators to work more collaboratively across our key areas of operation. We all value the same thing and love the organisation so being kind and supportive of each other is paramount in making our time at FOK pleasant and enriching for everyone.