The Friends of Kooyoora is a group of people with an interest in supporting the Kooyoora State Park. We work in cooperation with Parks Victoria. Friends groups (there are over 200 in Victoria) are affiliated with the Victorian National Parks Association.
To support the effective conservation of native flora and fauna, to provide support for and to foster interest in the Kooyoora State Park, and to assist with projects in conjunction with Parks Victoria.
Interpretive signs for the park, flora and fauna surveys, photographic recording of flora and fauna, identifying and recording significant sites, eg. threatened native flora, scar trees, gold diggings, mapping of areas of special interest, guided walks, assisting with pest plant and animal control.
Rheola resident Ross Reading took the initiative in forming the original Friends of Kooyoora State Park in the autumn of 1987. This followed the establishment of the Park in 1985.
Ross Reading, who had set up the famous Reading’s Bookshop in Carlton, came to Rheola in the mid 1970’s and grew to love the Kooyoora area.
About 30 people attended the 1987 inaugural Friends meeting which was chaired by Korong Shire Councillor Merv Mason and addressed by Victorian National Parks Association representative Geoff Durham and the first ranger John Kneebone. Ross Reading was appointed Convenor with a committee consisting of Collis Needs, Ann Adam, Ted Schurmann, Adrian Verrinder and Shane Brennan.
Outings and working bees were organised to learn about the Park, clean graffiti off huge granite rocks, remove horehound, collect seeds and clean up rubbish. Ross sometimes conducted interested groups around the Park.
When Ross returned to Melbourne to establish the Greens Bookshop the Friends lapsed into inactivity. After a prolonged illness Ross passed away in March of 2000 and the Park lost a devoted friend. He would be delighted that the group he pioneered has been resurrected.