White Beech: The Rainforest Years

Germaine Greer

cover of White Beech

27 October, 2013

"This is the story of an extraordinary stroke of luck. You could call it 'life-changing', if only every woman's life were not an inexorable series of changes to which she has to adapt as well as she can" –– Germaine Greer

In December 2001, after two years of searching for somewhere in Australia to put her archive, Germaine Greer was taken to the Numinbah Valley in South-east Queensland, to see an abandoned dairy farm that was for sale. It was the last thing she wanted, totally unsuitable as a site for a library, but the battered subtropical rainforest that clothed the upper slopes of the property needed her. Since then she has spent every spare cent on rehabilitating the forest, and set up a charity to continue the work after she has gone to be recycled.

White Beech tells the story of how Europeanisation has devastated our landscape and what we can do to restore its biodiversity and uniqueness. In Germaine's view conservation is too important to be left to politicians; it is time ordinary Australians began doing it for themselves. No activity, she believes, could be more rewarding. Restoring natural heritage is much easier than struggling to raise exotic plants and animals.

Introduction by Dr Julia Horne, University Historian at the University of Sydney. Dr Horne has published widely on Australian cultural and social history of landscape, travel and tourism, and history of higher education.