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50th Anniversery News:



In 2021 we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our State bird emblem, the Helmeted Honeyeater and State mammal emblem, the Leadbeater’s Possum.  Both are critically endangered.

The Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater and the Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum are running a whole year program of events to help celebrate a message of hope for our treasured native species. See pages 3&4 of the Autumn edition of the HeHo Herald for information about the events we are holding this year.  Some events are members only, and others are open to the public.

Once common in in the Victora, around the Yarra Yalley and south down to the Bass River, Helmeted Honeyeaters are now only found in a single location in Yellingbo, about 50 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD.  A decade ago, it was estimated there were only 50 Helmeted Honeyeaters in the wild. Thanks to the efforts of the Friends of Helmeted Honeyeater volunteers and a multi-agency recovery team today there are around 250 birds in three separate colonies.

The Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum are tireless advocates in their efforts to preserve known habitat of both the lowland and highland populations of the Leadbeater’s Possum.

The species is critically endangered and the small lowland colony at Yellingbo is under especially severe pressure. Unfortunately, efforts to breed the possum in captivity have so far been unsuccessful and a trial translocation was abandoned due to cat predation. We must continue our efforts as a volunteer community group to do all we can to protect our unique species in the forests where they live.

50th Anniversary media releases

15th July 2021:


We are calling for passionate artists to donate work for an art exhibition celebrating our State Faunal Emblems. The exhibition will run from 16 October to 14 November 2021 and will be held at Burrinja Gallery in Upwey.

We are asking wildlife artists to join us by donating their work to this exhibition.

Exhibition Dates:                  16 October to 14 November 2021
Gallery:                                    Burrinja Gallery, 351 Glenfern Road, Upwey
Artist contact:                       Marita Hanigan, 0487 048 225




25th May 2021:

Internationally renowned pianist Coady Green, composer Dr Jane Hammond and leading musicians are premiering a new musical work celebrating the Regent and Helmeted Honeyeaters on Wednesday 26 May at the Melbourne Recital Centre.
Read more here.




One of this breeding seasons crop.

10th March 2021:
Dedicated volunteers, the Victorian Government, and Zoos Victoria today celebrate the 50th anniversary of Victoria’s precious Bird and Mammal Emblems, cutting a specially decorated cake to mark the occasion at Melbourne Zoo.
Read more here.


One of this breeding seasons crop.

Other news:

18th April 2021: Rory Ellis and Jack O’Connor have put their design and artwork talents (respectively) to work, partnering with the Friends to produce some new merchandise profiling our favourite bird, the Helmeted Honeyeater.
See the range in our shop here.


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