Celebrating the remarkable life of a dear friend and defender of nature

Philip Clark Ingamells was a legend in conservation circles and a tireless campaigner for parks and nature. We all owe him a great debt of gratitude for his work. Nature in Victoria is better for his efforts, and we are all the wiser.

A thoughtful, persuasive writer and eloquent speaker, he played a critical role in protecting Victoria’s natural places and national parks.

With his rare skill for clearly explaining complicated (and often dry) policy conundrums, Phil’s pieces in Park Watch transported us to the heart of Victoria’s natural places. He was a warm friend and colleague, a lover of robust conversation and argument – a talent that was not lost on ministers and officials alike.

With expansive skills and knowledge honed over the past two decades at VNPA and beyond, Phil played a key role in numerous park management plans. He filled his hours advocating for action to protect the incredible wildlife and places he spent so much time in, be that hiking, photographing or surveying.

Memorable highlights of Phil’s time with VNPA

  • A successful but long-and-hard-fought campaign to remove cattle grazing from the Alpine National Park (not once but twice)
  • Resisting the seemingly endless development proposals in our national parks’ estate
  • Fending off development proposals for Wilsons Prom in the 1990s, and again in 2012
  • Pushing government to control the feral animals destroying Alpine habitats
  • Tackling the difficult issue of fire management in our landscapes

He never played favourites, in Phil’s mind all of our protected areas are important, the cornerstone of our efforts to protect nature for all to respectfully enjoy.

After over twenty years with VNPA, Phil retired as a paid staff member in late 2021. We were honoured that he remained active on our various committees, frequently visited our office and continued to be a prolific contributor to Park Watch magazine.

While Phil certainly didn’t get enough time to enjoy his hard-earned retirement, he always had time for nature. His wisdom, dedication and tenacity will be sorely missed.

Phil died suddenly at home in late August.

In Phil’s words “I hope to see you somewhere along the track.

Explore Phil’s extensive collection of Park Watch articles.

View the recording of Phil’s memorial

Phil’s family have requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to VNPA to continue Phil’s legacy of nature protection.

We invite you to share any memories, condolences or photographs via the yellow field at the end of the page.