Rescuing our parks, one step at a time
When she arrived in Australia in the late-1980s, Katherine Isbrandt's first experience of Victoria's natural landscape was at Mt Bogong in the Alpine National Park. And it's held a special place in her heart ever since.
Katherine is a Certified Financial Planner, with 20 years of financial planning experience, and the director of ASIRE Financial Planning.
She is also a keen hiker and landscape photographer - and her photos are beautiful!
Katherine grew up in Warsaw, Poland, and like her father, Kazimierz, she loves to get out of the city and into nature.
As a child, her family spent many summers camping at the beach or staying in huts in the mountains.
The Victorian Alps are now Katherine's favourite place to hike. But her love for the Alps is not blind. Severe underfunding means the Alpine National Park is suffering from invasive pest plants and animals and there are not enough resources or staff to maintain facilities.
So Katherine decided to do something about it.
When Katherine and three friends from the Melbourne Women's Walking Club decided to hike the 223-kilometre Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory, she contacted the VNPA to see how she might maximise her efforts and turn her hike into a fundraiser.
Emily Clough, our Fundraising Manager, was both delighted and surprised. Delighted by Katherine's generosity and foresight, and surprised because Katherine wasn't an existing supporter of the VNPA.
But Katherine had heard about the VNPA and the work we do, and was keen to support an organisation doing something about our national parks and their lack of proper resources.
So, with Emily's assistance, Katherine set-up a fundraising page on the www.givematcher.com.au peer-to-peer fundraising website, and then contacted her friends and family, asking them to support her valiant efforts and VNPA's Rescue our Parks campaign.
Givematcher is itself a not-forprofit organisation, and is committed to making online fundraising free for charities. You can see some of the wonderful photos she took while walking the Larapinta on her Givematcher page.
The Larapinta Trail leads bushwalkers, like Katherine, through the stunning Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park. Aside from its remarkable beauty, one of the striking things that Katherine noticed while walking the Larapinta Trail was the impact that the proper funding of parks can make.
The camping facilities were of a very high standard, Katherine noted, and there were lots of international tourists walking the trail, which has positive impacts on the local economy in the Northern Territory.
So what's next for Katherine? Aside from checking out some of the alpine walks in the VNPA's quarterly Activities Program, Katherine has her sights set on southern Tasmania. And of course, another visit to Mt Bogong is never far off!
We are very grateful to Katherine for her terrific fundraising efforts and sharing our work with her family, friends and clients. Thank you, Katherine!
Get in touch
If you're planning a long hike, run, kayak or some other challenging activity, we invite you to consider making the most of your efforts by turning it into a fundraiser for the VNPA.
For more information or to seek assistance with creating your peer-to-peer fundraising page, please contact Amelia Easdale on (03) 9341 6505 or email email@example.com.
There is also more information about other ways to support the VNPA on our website.
More from Park Watch
This story first appeared in the September 2016 edition of our magazine Park Watch. You can read more stories in our online version, and if you become a member of the Victorian National Parks Association you will receive your own copy in the mail.