21 Dec 2022
“WHY DO WE STICK WITH WWF? BECAUSE YOU’RE DOING A GOOD JOB – AND WE FEEL A PART OF THAT.”
Couple Carole and Christina share a long relationship with WWF, dating back to the very foundation of the organisation. Their love for wildlife and conservation has led to many wonderful experiences. We are incredibly appreciative to be sharing their story with you.
Carole and Christina both grew up in North-Queensland. Carole’s dad was an honorary ranger, so they spent a lot of time in the bush, swimming in creeks, feeling the fish nibbling on their toes and watching turtles swim by.
“I would go with my dad after school to see what we could see. We’d be immersed in nature. Our family would camp out in the bush with no tents. My brothers and their mates would go out a couple of weekends before and set up some posts, with some frames across the top. They’d chuck corn sacks over that and then a tarp for a roof. It was pretty rough, but we thought it was fun.”
Christina enjoyed three trips to Africa. She describes feeling as though humans somewhat coexist with wildlife there. She recalls encounters with wildlife very comfortable among their human neighbours.
One evening when walking to dinner with her friend she was startled by guards yelling “Stay in your hut, stay in your hut”. Two bull elephants were charging through their accommodation. “Luckily we got back into our rooms in time. Later that night, we heard the villagers bang saucepans to drive them away, so it seems like it happened regularly.”
That wasn’t the only incredible encounter with wildlife that seemed to be a normal occurrence in parts of Africa. Christina had a fantastic experience on arriving at Pom Pom Island, in Okavango Delta, Botswana. “When I landed at the airport, there were lionesses with their cubs lying on the runway. We just had to wait until they left. We watched them for ages, just lying there and playing. It was so beautiful.
“On the day we were leaving Pom Pom we couldn’t take off from the airstrip because there were these tsessebe antelope on the runway. We had to abort take off and wait for them to leave”.
Carole and Christina both share a love for cats, big and small. They have had twenty-one cats over the years together, with twenty of them being rescued animals. So, when WWF introduced a project involving tigers, they couldn’t wait to be a part of it.
In fact, Carole and Christina’s partnership with WWF goes back to the very foundation of the organisation. They still recall when they first decided to place their trust in WWF upon learning of The 1001: A Nature Trust. 1000 individuals each contributed US$10,000 to the financial endowment set up in 1970 which helped fund WWF’s administration costs. “An absolutely brilliant concept,” comments Carole, “that was one of the reasons we thought—this is a good organisation”.
Conservation is a very important part of Carole’s and Christina’s lives. They believe every generation has a responsibility to take care of the planet, and to leave the planet a little better than they found it. “If we don’t stop destroying our planet—there is nothing for anybody.”
Perhaps most importantly they have hope. "You’ve got to keep trying”, says Carole, “and organisations like WWF are trying to do the right thing. We feel a part of it all.” **
Christina and Carole’s remarkable commitment to WWF-Australia as both Partners in Conservation and members of our Living Planet Legacy Society will live on for generations. They are both true champions of nature.
At WWF-Australia, we are inspired and energised by supporters like Carole and Christina every day, and by the real impact we can all make together.
Partners in Conservation is a community of passionate and committed supporters who donate $1,000 or more each year, helping to make a real difference for nature and the people and wildlife that depend on it.**
Have you thought about leaving a gift in your Will to WWF? It’s easier than you might think and is the best way to ensure your favourite causes are supported into the future.