Rottnest Foundation & BHP – Wadjemup Bidi Partnership Project Complete

Posted on 17 May, 2017

Rottnest Foundation & BHP – Wadjemup Bidi Partnership Project Complete

Rottnest Foundation partnered with BHP in December 2014 and over the course of two and a half years, BHP contributed $559,000 towards the Wadjemup Bidi project.

BHP was the first corporate partner of the Wadjemup Bidi project and has provided the largest corporate philanthropic investment the Island has ever seen in support of conserving the environmental assets of Rottnest Island.

Ricey Beach AccessBHP supported the project:

- To ensure the conservation of Rottnest Island for future generations

- To recognise and celebrate Indigenous culture and heritage and their connection to the Island

- To improve the safety of areas COY_002where adhoc access had contributed to erosion and instability

- To foster knowledge sharing, networking, skill development and capacity building for Rottnest Island volunteer groups

- To provide a new outdoor recreational experience that the community can enjoy

DON18855BHP funding specifically has been used for the establishment of the Karlinyah Bidi and Wardan Nara Bidi sections of the trail. These sections are now complete and open to visitors.

The Karlinyah Bidi (approx. 6km long) starts 300m after the turn off to Little Parakeet Bay and leads DON18759visitors through the beautiful bays of the northern beaches before ending at Narrow Neck.

The Wardan Nara Bidi (approx. 10km long), starts at Narrow Neck and allows visitors to explore the world class surf break at Strickland Bay, the Wadjemup Lighthouse and the WWIIdirectional-marker_fairbridge_amc guns & tunnels before crossing to the coastline to experience the beauty of Salmon Bay. Both trail sections are one way and can be started at either end.

Below is a summary of everything that was achieved as part of the partnership project.

DON18925Construction

- Improved beach access has been constructed at Narrow Neck, Catherine Bay, Little Armstrong Bay and Armstrong Point.

- Directional markers have been installed to guide walkers.

A8_(5) City of York- Picnic Table- New facilities have been installed to improve visitor experience including seats, bike racks, shelters, picnic settings and bin enclosures.

IMG_0025rf-rex-planting-day-2016Volunteers

- Over the course of the partnership, 161 BHP employees volunteered their time, participating in planting 2858 endemic seedlings and spreading brushing to help close informal access as part of the trail project.

- The partnership paid for all logistics to get a number of volunteer groups over to the Island to help with revegetation and construction aspects of the project including Rottnest Society, Conservation Volunteers, the Winnit Club and the Rottnest Foundation.

- A total of 1590 volunteer hours contributed to the project, converted into a value of $47,700 hrs of in-kind support (valued at $30/hr).

20161016_143856Revegetation

- A total of 7158 seedlings (Inc. BHP’s contribution) were planted to close informal adhoc access and rehabilitate damaged areas, equating to 5444 m² that has been revegetated. These seedlings were propagated in the Rottnest Nursery.

DON19199Aboriginal Culture

- Two hand cranked audio signs have been produced and installed at Ricey Beach and Strickland Bay, which relay stories told by Aboriginal Traditional Owners.

DON19209- Peter Farmer, an Aboriginal Noongar artist, created and installed the Mamong Djoororts (Whale Tracks) sculpture located at Strickland Bay.

- Two Aboriginal artists, Aurora and Cassandra Abraham, designed the cut out artwork that features on the interpretive signs at major intersections of the Wardan Nara Bidi and Karlinyah Bidi.

DON19100Interpretation

- A short documentary that explores the history of surfing on Rottnest Island can be accessed by scanning the QR code located on the informative sign or inside the surfing hut at Strickland Bay. The doco includes interviews with well-known local surfers and commentators, webinterweaving iconic footage and images of surfing since the 1950’s to the current day. The RIA also contributed funds to produce this documentary.

- All interpretive signs found along the Karlinyah Bidi and Wardan Nara Bidi were funded through the partnership.

DON18759Staff

- BHP funded a Walk Trail Operations Officer for a period of 18 months to help implement the Wadjemup Bidi project.

Our Foundation is proud to have completed all objectives of the Trail to Catherine Bay3partnership project with BHP. Working with such a high profile global corporation has been a privilege. We thank BHP and in particular our project contacts, Rebecca Samulski and Anna Aitken, for their professionalism and constant guidance throughout the project.

Throughout 2017, our Foundation (working together with the RIA) are collecting data to measure the success of the RF/BHP partnership project and our Foundation will submit these stats in a Measurements/Lessons Learnt report to BHP in the beginning of 2018.

Data being collected includes>

- Project Evaluation Feedback by Operational Team and Volunteers/Community Groups

- Visitor Survey data

- Trail Counter data

- Photo monitoring of revegetation

- Success rate of plant species via colour coded stakes

- Marketing opportunities that were utilised to promote the trail.

- General feedback received by the RIA from visitors during the year.

Four sections of the 45km Wadjemup Bidi are complete and the Rottnest Foundation is actively seeking funding to implement the fifth and final section, the Ngank Wen Bidi (West End section).

Please contact Rosalie Small our Grants & Sponsorship Coordinator on 0447 853 820, grants@rottnestfoundation.org.au for more information about this partnership opportunity.

The Wadjemup Bidi is open all year round and information on the open trail sections can be attained from the Rottnest Island Visitor Centre.