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Rainforest Rescue
History and Background

Rainforest Rescue''s History

Rainforest Rescue started in 1998 when Kelvin Davies and Dr Tony Parkes met to bring together their ideas for rainforest conservation. They soon gained the interest of Kathryn Biggs and Dr Julia Playford and together they formed the team that established the focus and direction of Rainforest Rescue.

On the 25th of March 1999 Rainforest Rescue was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee, registered with the Australian government, providing maximum accountability to our supporters. Kelvin, Tony, Kathryn and Julia became the founding directors of the Company.

We were assisted in this early stage by an initial group of over fifty members and supporters. Our inclusion on the Australian government’s Register of Environmental Organisations also provided us with tax-deductible gift recipient status, enabling Australian residents to make tax deductible donations to the organisation.

In 1999 we established the Big Scrub Restoration Project to support the award-winning Big Scrub Rainforest Restoration Program of the Big Scrub Rainforest Landcare Group. We also established with that Group the Big Scrub Rainforest Day, which has expanded to become the largest and most successful annual Landcare community event in Australia. We also began our support for tree planting projects in Queensland and New South Wales.

As activity started to grow we published the first edition of Rainforest Rescue News, which continues to be produced each year as a hard copy newsletter for supporters.

In 2000 we established the Daintree Buy Back and Protect Forever Project. This project is buying back World Heritage Value freehold rainforest land in the Daintree at risk from development for rural residential development.

In 2000 we furthered our relationship with TP Health establishing a community business partnership. TP Health becoming a major sponsor of the Big Scrub Restoration Program for two years. Rainforest Rescue was also registered as a Landcare Group in 2000.

In 2001 Mike Oswald became a director and Julia moved aside as a director following her switch from academic life to a government role. Biologist and author Tim Low joined the team and became our Patron.

In 2002 Southern Cross Credit Union became a major sponsor of the Big Scrub Restoration Program for two years. To celebrate the success for the project the Booyong Open Day was held to recognise the partnership.

In 2003 we established the Research to the Rescue Project. This project brings together research scientists with important projects examining the conservation of threatened species and rainforest communities.

We also broadened our support for the environment with a partnership with The ReGenesis Foundation to undertake work on a significant rainforest restoration project and other environmental projects at ReGenesis Farm in Northern NSW.

Another project established in 2003 was Ecuador Save a Hectare with the Rainforest Information Centre and Rainforest Concern (UK). Through this partnership we are assisting an established project to protect the Cloud Forests in Ecuador.

In 2005 and 2006 we continued to build on the success of our existing projects and support our partners and continue the progress of Rainforest Rescue towards our mission: To save our rainforests for current and future generations.

Rainforest Rescue does not receive government funding. This approach has ensured that we keep a strong focus on service to our supporters in the community.

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