By Lisa Field
The Natural History Centre is the bright idea of NatureWest staff and volunteer committee members who have created a natural history gallery at the Homestead at Werribee Park. With support from Parks Victoria, the Natural History Centre provides the community a unique insight into our local living history, both past and present, of the western region of Melbourne including the Werribee River catchment area.
The Natural History Centre currently consists of 3-4 rooms of displays that cover marine life and coastal themes, megafauna and geology, waterways and wetlands, and the fauna and flora of the Victorian basalt plains. The Centre has a small library and resources for the student researcher and is a bit of magnet for those who want to connect and protect the environment. It is open weekdays between 10am – 3pm and Volunteer Guides are available to provide a description of the displays. NatureWest welcomes group bookings and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0401 645 468.
NatureWest’s Coordinator, Colleen Miller, is always busy. Aside from the regular duties of supporting local landcare and environmental groups, together with partnering with organisations and running events to support the natural environment, she now has the Natural History Centre as a major project. Whilst setting up and maintaining the Natural History Centre is quite time consuming, this ambitious project has the support of the community, and many people have already contributed to it’s planning, design and purpose.
The Coordinator Colleen asserts, “We do rely on dedicated volunteers to help with the displays, to volunteer as guides, to do general organising tasks, plus we are seeking funding for part-time staffing to attend to the business development side of the project.” One keen supporter of the Natural History Centre is local Werribee resident Lisa Field who assisted the centre with signage and communications, and affirms “This project has all the makings of significant long term community asset, but needs more of the right people to come along at the right time to help it fully succeed.”
NatureWest is also involved in the Wyndham Learning Festival between 1 – 8 September and will be running 9 free community events across the week. The events are for a range of ages and interests and everyone is welcome to attend. The activities include Meet Our Local Waterbugs, Plastics and Whales, Walk, Talk & Plant, Mega Fauna of the West, Heritage Orchard Tour, a Weaving Demonstration, The Ocean at the End of Our Street, A Garden Tour and the Film Screening of Melbourne Down Under. Please check them out at eventbrite.com.au/o/naturewest-4641092817
If anyone has an interest in the further development of the Natural History Centre, please come by the Homestead at Werribee Park, access is available from Gate 5, K Road, Werribee. NatureWest can also be contacted at email@example.com, www.naturewest.org.au or www.facebook.com/NatureWestMelbourne