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.

I’ve just heard of the sad and untimely death of Phil. I worked beside him in the National Parks Service back in about 1990-1991. What a tireless worker for the environment he was then and has been ever since. I can still see his face and steeley determined eyes. What a shocking loss for Victoria’s, and hence Australia’s, conservation estate. Condolences to his family and friends.

Geoffrey G Allen
2 days ago

I only just came across this news – what a loss for the world! Phil was always so willing to engage with new ideas and was incredibly well read. His opinions were uniformly well thought out and insightful. I will never forget how extremely kind and supportive of me he was when I was a young academic. We’ll miss you Phil.

Sarah Bekessy
1 week ago

I worked with Phil at VNPA from 2021-22. I’d moved to Melbourne on my own, and had immediately gotten locked down. It was a tough adjustment. A few weeks in, Phil offered to meet me for a 2m-distanced walk around Royal Park where he showed me the oldest trees in the city. I was so eager to talk to someone that I was all chatter. He was such a softly spoken person – I think I probably annoyed him on that walk (and at other times). But he always showed me great kindness and (mostly) patience. It was a privilege to learn from him.

Liz Morison
2 weeks ago

Phil worked for so long to protect our national parks, and in this work, he inspired so many people. The work on feral horses was so important, and he was relentless in his involvement in the issue, his reliance on a science-based approach, and his willingness to be a public voice in such an emotionally charged debate. He was one of the elders I relied on to understand campaigning in the high country and he was unfailingly generous with his time. Thanks Phil. The world is poorer now that you are gone.

Cam Walker
2 weeks ago

I met Phil when I was a brash young activist challenging the VNPA to support the aspirations of First Nations. He took kindly to this little upstart, accepting the challenge and showing me I had a thing or too to learn as well. Over the years the occasional tuition and coaching continued, including taking me out for coffee to debrief after an unsuccessful job interview. I formed a quiet love for this generous spirit who dedicated himself to making a kinder world where all species could flourish. His legacy is profound, woven through the intellectual fabric of Victoria’s approach to conservation and public land management. Thank you Phil. A life too short but exceptionally well lived.

Jono La Nauze
2 weeks ago

What a wonderful human Phil was. Condolences to Phil’s family and close friends. I was lucky to have worked with Phil for over a decade at VNPA. A well respected and effective defender of nature and parks and I have no doubt that his impact and dedication made a huge contribution to VNPA building such a loyal and generous community of supporters. Phil could always be counted on for sound advice and an interesting story.
Some memories include hearing his soothing “Om Namah Shivaya” mantra floating across the office; Phil losing his voice as he maintained crowd moral through a megaphone at Shine a light for the Prom; and his great sense of humour evident when he dressed up as a sea slug for a VNPA event and turned up to a zoom meeting with a banana on his head.
A fond farewell to Phil, a great friend to nature and so many of us.
Emily Clough

Emily Clough
2 weeks ago

A very special person who loved nature and helped to protect our special places in so many ways, he will be sadly missed by many.

Prue Daley
2 weeks ago

Phil was a very dedicated supporter of the VNPA and its role in the protection and management of nature areas. Moreover, he was a loud voice in promoting science based management. His passing is our great loss.

2 weeks ago

Phil. A softly-spoken, gentle person. A fierce, relentless, determined and dedicated environmental warrior. A friend to Victoria’s native ecology and to its indigenous people. A respected colleague and mentor to be sadly missed. I worked with Phil on the VNPA’s fire policy and watch with admiration as he played a major role in the VNPA’s eventual victory in removing cattle grazing in the Alpine NP – such a knowledge base. If there are environmental marauders in a next life, with the team of Phil and Jenny Barnett reunited, their road will be a lot harder.

Russell Costello
2 weeks ago

Phil was a tireless campaigner for parks and nature. I was lucky to work with him at VNPA in the late 90’s. ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick’ seemed to personify Phil’s way of working. His wisdom, humour, and tenacity was an inspiration to young (and older) campaigners working around him. He will be sorely missed. A true legend.

Heather Smith
2 weeks ago

I will always remember Phil for his passionate yet calmly put arguments, his evidence-based yet ‘everyday’ communication, as well his ability to find some humour in difficult situations. Phil has surely left his mark on the conservation of our State and both current and future generations will thank him for this.

Tony Varcoe
2 weeks ago

As a young researcher I first made contact with Phil for a photocopy of an old Park Watch article, and his generosity from there didn’t stop. I have very fond memories of the series of seminars he helped organise in the middle of the last decade contemplating what Victoria’s nature will be like in 2050. It was a pleasure to get to work with him a little bit on that, and that long range vision is what I, and I am sure others, will miss.

Tom Fairman
2 weeks ago

I think of Phil Ingamels as one of the great immortals of the VNPA. A friend and mentor always.
His contribution to the VNPA, and to the protection of the natural world, has been immense.
My condolences to all.
Charles Street

Charles Street
2 weeks ago

A courageous and honourable man who felt blessed by the opportunity to write and tell the stories of the things and the places that he loved. I have so much respect and admiration for his contribution and advocacy on the big issues confronting our natural environment, which continued on to the very last. Vale Phil

Phil Pegler
3 weeks ago

I want to pass on our deep condolences to Phil’s family and his many many friends and colleagues. He was an exceptional person whose commitment, energy, humour, tenacity, bravery and sheer doggedness was a force of (and for) nature. His huge support of Victoria’s natural riches and the parks estate was lifelong and made a major material difference on so many issues across land management, control of invasive species, preparing for climate change, visitor management, interpretation, education and compassion for our threatened species and systems. He always confronted bullshit with courage and facts. His quick barking laugh was always a joy to hear. He is, and always will be, sorely missed. We are still in shock and again express our deepest sorrow on his premature passing.

Mark Norman and colleagues, Parks Victoria
3 weeks ago

I worked with Phil at VNPA in the early 2000s. A great man and a sad loss. The world is a much better place for you walking through it Phil. Your honesty, humour, integrity and brilliance made a real difference to conservation in Victoria. Something too few people can say. I loved that you would have a field guide to give me when I was heading to the bush – one published by you of course. I will never forget your cattle in the high country bullshit ometer that you made for Minister Thwaites. Balls of peat moss that would fall through a circular gauge as they dried out and shrivelled up as they do after being stomped by hooves. You were brilliant at translating ideas into clear understanding in that way. You were a wonderful and excellent person. Vale

Carrie Deutsch
3 weeks ago

I find it hard to even think about not being able to ring Phil, or have a coffee with him, or exchange ideas, or talk through something, or just enjoy being with him – last time to see the Clarice Beckett exhibition in Geelong on the ferry with a mob of mutual friends. And that’s just the personal aspect of the friendship with him. What an extraordinary campaigner. There is no one quite like him – that quiet, clear, engaging way of convincing someone – from a cattleman to a fellow campaigner; that brilliant skill of design, photos AND such readable text clarifying complex issues – fire for one; and the creative, compassionate way of thinking something through like his last article in Parkwatch. And so, so much more.

Karen Alexander
3 weeks ago

So quiet and unassuming I don’t believe he ever knew how greatly he influenced so many major issues threatening our parks. A forceful advocate whose logic and pervasive persistence eventually but inevitably prevailed. A life too short.

mick lumb
3 weeks ago

Gentle, reserved and unassuming, Phil started with the NPS in the early 1980s and made an increasingly valuable contribution in park interpretation. His later work for the VNPA was outstanding – I always looked forward to his articles in Parkwatch and admired his strong advocacy for parks and the environment. And – what a small world we live in – my wife was in a school play with Phil in 1984 (Oedipus the King at Melbourne Grammar) though he is a bit hard to recognise! A life well lived; my thoughts are with his family and friends.

Robin Crocker
3 weeks ago

Such a shock to hear about Phil’s sudden passing. He was always a good friend and wise counsel on life and nature conservation. We first met in 1980 at a meditation course and I have always appreciated his friendship and conservation focus, particularly in recent years associated with the VNPA Conservation Committee. Phil has been a prominent spokesman for appropriate and effective solutions to environmental problems throughout his career in conservation. His tireless efforts have left a legacy of positive change.

I am grateful Phil got to hear of the Vic Government’s decision to bring forward the end to clear-felling of native forests ahead of previous predictions. In a recent conversation, we planned a peaceful walk in Toolangi Forest. Sadly, that walk will now have to wait.

Last week I took some time-out to drive alone into that special forest and felt a subtle and soothing change. For the first time in decades the magnificent tall trees are quiet and peaceful. Nature is grateful to those who care. Vale Phil

My condolences to family, friends and associates.

Bernie Mace
3 weeks ago

Although I didn’t know Phil, his name was very familiar to me, almost synonymous with the VNPA, so I was very shocked to see Matt’s message at the end of August.
Sending my deepest sympathy to all those close to Phil and to his family. How lucky we all were/are that he lived in our time.

Thank you Phil for all your hard work and what must have been an incredible passion for nature.

lisa lawrence
3 weeks ago

We are grateful for Phil’s ardent advocacy and support for the Grampians-Gariwerd National Park. The nocturnal fauna Night Display in the former national park visitor centre, designed and constructed by Phil, was a favourite with young visitors. Phil paid great interest in fire management in the Grampians-Gariwerd, always keen to understand the program, but never hesitant to provide clear feedback. Whenever there were major challenges within the park, Phil would make contact offering support to staff. More recently we appreciated Phil’s wisdom, knowledge and insights when he represented the VNPA at planning meetings for the Greater Gariwerd Landscape Management Plan. Thank you Phil for your passion, dedication and friendship.

Graham Parkes
3 weeks ago

A wise and gentle man who never took a step backwards.

Ross Williamson
3 weeks ago

Phil, you will be remembered by all involved in the 2013 ‘Hands Off ‘protest at The Prom as the tall, slim guy in the peaked cap behind the megaphone. While all of us assembled campers and hikers sat on the sand in our allocated positions waiting for dusk, you walked up and down in front of the crowd, seemingly tirelessly organising proceedings.

A valued colleague on the Wilsons Promontory Advisory Group, your well-reasoned, viewpoint, always based on science and government policy, and delivered in a quiet but convincing manner, was very welcome.

Thank you, Phil, for your care for the environment and the part you played in keeping ‘Hands Off the Prom.’

Carlota Quinlan
3 weeks ago

Thank you Phil for all your national park efforts.
1. your advocacy – so often effective.
2. your Park Watch articles – always engaging and informative.
3. your friendship – among VNPA members and beyond.

You have left a big hole in the universe.

Linden Gillbank
3 weeks ago

The pride and passion he had for Victoria’s environment is unsurpassed thru his work when with the National Parks Service and also with the VNPA.

He was always a joy to work with, even thou we had many robust discussions, he kept us on the right path and was so many times right on the money.

Victoria’s park system is a direct result of Phil’s love for our environment.

Neil McCarthy
3 weeks ago

I got to know Phil over many years as, I suppose, an adversary.

We saw eye to eye on some things and not on others and we clashed in public meetings and in the media – always ideas, never personal.

Away from the glare we had nuanced, civil and meaningful conversations. Phil never shied away from his positions and always answered the phone.

I am sorry to learn of his passing…way too young. My condolences to all of those who knew him well and loved him.

Barry Howlett
3 weeks ago

Vale Phil. Stunned at your passing; it’s only just beginning to sink in. Over the past 30 years hardly a month – and some months a week, and some weeks a day! – went by without your cheery “Hey Man” greeting kicking off another chat about threats to our protected areas, and how best to look after them. You were an exceptional communicator and taught us so much about how to tell conservation stories – whether to premiers, professors or punters. You were always well-informed, articulate, strategic and to the point. As well as being that most extraordinary combo – gentle, passionate and fearless. The world is poorer for your passing. Rest in peace my dear dear friend.

Dick Williams
3 weeks ago

Philip was a member and contributor to a fortnightly Zoom friendship group that began in early 2020 in response to the lockdowns. As a tribute to our late friend, I have put together a short video of highlights from four of the many presentations he gave to our group. It can be viewed at https://youtu.be/UpWoMTHyQiM.

Philip was a much loved member of our group and will be sadly missed.

Mike Scully
4 weeks ago

Only a few moments into your well earned retirement, you’ve left more footprints than we can follow. Your quiet way was informed, formidable, humble, eloquent, stubborn, unwavering, wise. The good places on the planet are only there because of the good people like you who wandered a different path, lived a different life. Keep wandering, Phil.

Luke Chamberlain
4 weeks ago

Oh Phil is was only days ago when I sat down with you and asked why you’re still working even though retired. You mentioned still wantingto help out with Wilson Prom . You Legend.
It was a pleasure serving your daily soy latte . We will miss you coming in with your back pack and newspaper.

4 weeks ago

Phil seemed indefatigable. He was an immense source of knowledge and strategic thinking.

He was always generous in providing wise insights on a host of conservation issues.

His contribution to nature conservation in Victoria has been lasting.I do not know how we can replace him.

In so many ways, we are much the poorer for his passing.

Brian Walters
4 weeks ago

There are lots of unique and lovely people who are part of nature and so defend it. I know I can find the qualities of Phil- wisdom, commitment, selflessness, silliness ond so on- amongst other “earthlings” (as Phil called living things).
I remember sitting on a rock in the alps with him after he had impressed Minister John Thwaites with his detailed and site-specific knowledge of how cows and alps dont mix. It was Phil’s idea to just sit on a rock for a while. Genius.
I remember working with him on a performance plan for his job at VNPA. Phil very gently taught us that the qualities listed above don’t lend themselves to codification and efficient acquittal.
I remember him proffering a colour transparency of a spider’s tiny egg-sac, to exemplify Box-Ironbark wildlife.
We’ll have to find another alpine rock to sit on.

Charlie Sherwin
4 weeks ago

Phil was a cornerstone of the best ideals of nature conservation. I worked with him in the National Parks Service and the VNPA, we shared projects as Consultants and were community volunteers for FOBIF.

His knowledge of Victoria’s parks, their recent history and current state of management was second to none and he shared his knowledge and belief on many committees, through dozens of submissions and through his elegant, seemingly simple articles for Park Watch.

But above all Phil was a constant friend, always ready with a joke, an anecdote, a sympathetic ear and a kind word.

Phil was a passionate but gentle person who always honoured others, even when he disagreed with them.

Deirdre Slattery
4 weeks ago

Thank you, Phil, for setting such a fine example of how to go about protecting the special places that we love. Your articles and interviews and occasional conversations provided the inspiration for an obedient public servant to speak out against government policy that threatened our national parks, in my case cattle-grazing in the Alpine National Park. While that threat may now be gone, many more remain, so let the memory of your persistence and dedication continue to inspire others to raise their voices.

Annie Leschen
4 weeks ago

Oh wow. Stunned to hear of Phil’s sudden passing. His was a name that seems to have been a constant for me over four decades of the conservation movement in Victoria. I still have fond memories of traversing East Gippsland on a reconnaissance tour with Phil way back in the early 80’s when I was volunteering with the Native Forests Action Council. I can still hear his expletives in the darkness of night whilst camped at McKillops Bridge on the Snowy as a rather rambunctious brushtail vigorously tried to break into his tent. And just to learn that he was also a founding member of Friends of Box Ironbark Forest alongside my mothers cousin Doug Ralph. Another giant has fallen but his legacy will last a very long time.

Jeff Dickinson
4 weeks ago

We are indebted to Phil’s untiring work for nature and protected areas and his understanding of that nexus with people and the community. His work in the alps is particularly close to our hearts and his relentless work on the campaign to end cattle grazing over and over! He was so talented and knowledgeable yet so unpretentious, modest and caring. He was always willing to put his had up for advisory committees and the like and influenced policy is his quiet but convincing way. Even in retirement he kept working with us on things that mattered to him such as the new Victorian Deer Control Community Network. His letter to the Age three weeks ago about fire management in Victoria being stuck in the past was spot on and only two weeks ago he apologised for not being able to attend a community meeting on deer. We worked with him for decades, he was a gem and we miss him.

Peter Jacobs and Gillian Anderson
4 weeks ago

Occasionally the phone would ring and it would be Phil. it could be during office hours or later, on the weekend or even a public holiday, it didn’t matter to him, there were things to do, He might want to check some fact or tell me about his latest encounter with those who would do harm to the places we love. The Alpine National Park was often the area of concern and we would talk about cows and deer, fire and weeds or a multitude of other issues that concerned him (and me).

I would smile every time I heard his distinctive voice on the radio or the television, how he kept his calm when dealing with often idiotic questions is beyond me.
His articles in Park Watch were always well researched and well written and to me at least were central to what the VNPA was about. His remarkable efforts for conservation of our protected public land were profound and we are so lucky to have witnessed the results of his dedication.

And now he is gone and no longer with us, he deserved a much longer retirement. My condolences to his family and friends we miss him greatly.

Peter Lawrence
4 weeks ago

Farewell old friend , I shall remember fondly your wit, tenacity and refusal to move an inch on the strong principles which guides you . Having worked with for many years, I recall the terror in the eyes of many a hapless minister’s adviser when you walked through the door! . Farewell and see you on the other side .

Nick Roberts
4 weeks ago

You are still supposed to be here Phil – I expect like others I was hoping to be catching up with you in the near future

Phil was a great bro, and I shall sorely miss his fantastic yarns over the tastiest of dhal (after my shifts at the hospital)

Phil seemed to live his journey and destiny to the full, a brave and adventuring spirit. He brought together the key players, knowledge and issues in an insightful and caring way – for great environmental effect.

Phil’s legacy and spirit will live on

Andrew Booth
4 weeks ago

Thank you Phil for your passion, protection and also education (enjoyed reading your many Park Watch articles) of our special national parks here in Victoria.

I really appreciated your care and commitment for the Alpine National Park.

Your tenacity in getting the cattle out of the Alpine National Park (twice), your organising of the VNPA volunteers for the Bogong High Plains – sphagnum moss bed rehabilitation, bushfire recovery and willow & hawkweed removal.

I have many fond memories:

– the packed Box Hill Town Hall protest meeting with the federal Environment Minister attending, with scientists, ecologists and yourself all advocating for a cow free Alpine National Park.

– your very informative and interesting slide show presentation for the ‘Friends of Bogong’ thirty year celebration at Mt Beauty (with many PV staff and friends attending).

– your Alpine National Park fun facts quiz at Howman’s Gap volunteer weekend – truly amazing.

I will miss your friendship, helpful advice, and your tenacious advocacy for nature and our national parks. Vale.

Rod Novak
4 weeks ago

Condolances to Phil’s family, friends and the VNPA “family”. What a loss this is! Those of us left must make renewed efforts to protect and maintain his legacy and the wild places we love.

Robin Baillie
4 weeks ago

Job well done Phil. We talked about going for a walk just a week ago. I hope to keep that date. You left many trails for us to explore and enjoy. ‘See you down the trail old friend’.

Bryan Walters
4 weeks ago

What an incredible loss to Victoria’s natural estate. I first knew Phil in our days together at the National Parks Service and appreciated his enthusiasm to educate the wider community about national parks and their values. He took this love of natural places onwards through his photography and incredible workload with the VNPA. While no longer resident in Victoria, when I visit I appreciate the work of Phil and others have done in protecting our national parks from those amongst us who see only the utilitarian aspects of these special places for profit or consumptive activities. Phil saw them as something much more noble and spent his adult life on their protection. If only more of us were so dedicated.

Neville Byrne
4 weeks ago

Phil’s passing is a tragic loss. The world has lost a wonderful human being, we have lost a dear friend, and the natural world – but particularly Victoria’s national parks and biodiversity – has lost a highly principled and committed champion, whose contributions to protecting our parks – and to nature conservation more broadly – were immense. Phil will be sorely missed.

Doug Hooley
4 weeks ago

A very, very sad loss. Phil was a fantastically effective campaigner, who has left a wonderful legacy of protected places. Multitalented friend of the earth, you will be missed and remembered. I use Phils guidebook to Mt Buffalo every time I visit and I will especially treasure now.

Peter Durkin
4 weeks ago

Some time in the latter part of the twentieth century I got to know Phil and found we had a mutual interest in natural history. When I moved from Melbourne to Castlemaine 20 years ago, Phil was in residence there and he introduced me to his friends in conservation, including the late Doug Ralph. Together they had been largely responsible for the formation of two important conservation movements there; Connecting Country and Friends of the Box Ironbark Forest. Both are a legacy to Phil’s achievements. He was also conducting his campaign to remove cattle from the high country in Castlemaine before he moved back to Melbourne.
I have memories of bushwalking and photography with Phil in the high country and his beloved Wilsons Prom. Ever the Gentleman, he was known for his advocacy and deep commitment to conservation issues but always showed respect and compassion for his friends. It was a privilege to have been one among the many.

Noel Young
4 weeks ago

I am so saddened to hear that Phil has passed away. He was such a passionate and dedicated advocate and campaigner for nature and the environment. I was privileged to know him a little while I was a volunteer at VNPA many years ago and loved reading his informative and well researched pieces in Park Watch. Victoria is a better place because of Phil.

Ann Brewster (Buik)
4 weeks ago

Oh dear, Phil, you’re gone. For the 18 months I worked in the VNPA office on the Victoria Naturally Alliance project you were a tremendous source of fun, wisdom and warmth. I cherished your eye for good design, and your way with words. The bush was your church, as it is mine. Travel well brother.

John Sampson
4 weeks ago

That’s very sad news. He was a lovely person, who I always found to be calm, informed, insightful, caring and supportive. My last memory of him was at the protest at Tidal River, 2013, megaphone in hand, supervising the peopled HANDS OFF OUR PARKS formation. [I worked as a campaigner for the VNPA 1994-8, Mt Stirling, Alpine Parks/Resorts]

Rodney Waterman
4 weeks ago

A very sad loss to all who knew him. I was fortunate to work with Phil in the National Parks Service, before he moved on to the VNPA – where he seemed to find another, powerful, advocacy side to his skills and personality.
Always thoughtful, incredibly thorough, creative and ever positive, Phil opened many people’s eyes, ears and souls to nature.
Rest in peace Phil, your work is done.
Rob Saunders

Rob Saunders
4 weeks ago

Phil, I can’t think of you as permanently gone from us. So, to my mind, you’ve simply moved up to the Alps to wage war on the brumbies. I can see you now luring them down the mountain to an uncertain fate, like the Pied Piper.

Thank you for all you have done my friend and for all that you have taught us.

Until next time, Au revoir mon ami.

Effie Kene
4 weeks ago

So sorry to hear about Phil’s passing. When I dropped into the VNPA office I was always greeted with his quiet smile and soft spoken welcome. I was usually handing over a sheet of photographs for use in a publication or campaign and he would take time to explain the issue and current state of play. He was always generous in his praise and took an interest in the images.
He once said how he admired the hard work of the photographers he worked with. I felt guilty and told him I was out in the wild enjoying the places that he worked so hard to protect. While I was up on the High Plains or walking at the Prom he was researching, gathering the data, putting together eloquent arguments to convince the public and those in power of the need to protect the areas others had more time to enjoy.
So thank you Phil for your dedication, passion, humanity and unstinting efforts to preserve our precious natural places.

Paul Sinclair
4 weeks ago

I worked closely with Phil during the campaign to exclude cattle out of the Alpine National Park. The fact the battle was won was mostly due to him. He knew his stuff because he studied it on the ground, through scientific research and from the experts who spent their life studying it. He lobbied politicians, he spoke to the media at every opportunity, he wrote articles constantly. He was always calm, measured, polite, friendly and wonderful company. He will leave many legacies, none greater than an Alpine National Park free of heavy hoofed cattle destroying sphagnum bogs, an Alpine National Park now consistent with the aims of the National Parks Act of 1975 and a jewel amongst Victorias great National Parks. RIP Phil, you were an absolute legend.

Tom Guthrie
4 weeks ago

We ALL have lost someone of incalculable value. It was not just his remarkable political successes that are his epitaph (altho they would be enough for anyone). The failures to win campaigns taught us that good people have little choice. Good people seek to do the right thing not because they may win the battle nor because they may influence the thoughts of others. Good people have no choice. They enjoin the battle because they must – that’s what good people are obliged to do. Phil was most determinedly a ‘good’ person and a model for so many of us. Si monumentum requiris circumspice (if you want to see his monument, look around you), from St Paul”s Cathedral in London.

1 month ago

Farewell Phil Ingamells! A true green knight and champion for the preservation of Victoria’s parks and forests. We didn’t know each other well but we met in passing on many occasions at VNPA in Carlton. You were there far too often, hard at work campaigning for better outcomes as the authoritative voice on forest preservation and management. You always made time for a greeting or to open a door as I struggled to carry out (or return) field equipment or escape another meeting but I knew you would quickly get back to your trusty pen, preparing another fine written discourse for a government submission, magazine or stakeholder brief. You have certainly left this world a better place and will be greatly missed. I wish we had made stronger connections but your writings will remain close to me for a long time. I will remember your contributions most when I stand amongst the tall ash forests of Victoria – you will always be a true knight of our great forests!

Ian Vaskess
1 month ago

So sorry to hear this news. We have lost a great campaigner for Victoria’s wild places. I worked with Phil on the Alpine Advisory Committee some years ago and was impressed by his meticulous preparation and knowledge, and the way his passion was cloaked in his quiet demeanour. Deepest sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues.

Eileen Clark
1 month ago

I am so sorry to hear the sad news….Phil Ingamells was such a champion for the environment and a tireless campaigner on behalf of the VNPA in standing up for our natural world.
He will be sadly missed .

Bette Mitchell
1 month ago

As a long-time VNPA member and one who has long appreciated the expertise, dedication and advocacy of Phil to the organisation and to the environment, particularly the High Plains in Victoria, I am very much saddened by his death. We cannot thank Phil enough for his huge contribution to so many environmental causes, saving our parks and natural resources from inappropriate uses and development. Such an untimely, tragic loss.

Kaye Oddie
1 month ago

Phil will also be remembered for his exceptional photography that supported his work and he travelled far and wide for this. May he rest in peace.

Allan Wishart
1 month ago

I was first struck by the intellect, knowledge, imagination and passionate advocacy for nature in Phil’s marvellous pioneering audiovisual documentary on Gariwerd/Grampians at Halls Gap, years ago. Such an altruistic, modest and powerful influence – a magnificent leader and exemplar of the values of VNPA.

Angela Munro
1 month ago

Thank you Phil for the thoughtful approach you took to standing up for nature. You were considered, passionate and effective. Nature in Victoria is safer, thanks to your hard work.

Working with you over many years was always a pleasure. You brought humour, wisdom and kindness to the VNPA office. I have quite a few ‘wise stories’ that you told me tucked away in my mind that come back to me every now and again. These are all stories that make me feel better about the world, they are all stories that I find reassuring. I can’t thank you enough for sharing them with me.

1 month ago

I didn’t really know Phil, other than by repute. And I do remember one very brief conversation.

We have lost a great champion of the environment.

Colin Smith
1 month ago

Folk like Phil make the world a much better place for all species, but often leave the world far too early. Remembered as an always articulate, passionate and informed human who fought (and won!) to conserve our natural environments.

Gerry Rayner
1 month ago

It’s individuals like Phil who inspire others to action to protect our precious environment. I didn’t have the privilege of meeting Phil but I’d like to express my sympathies to his family and friends. It was inspiring to read his achievements and view the photos.

Steve Milton
1 month ago

Sorry to hear that such a fine stalwart for the VNPA is no longer with us, so unexpectantly too. Vale, Phil, there should be more people like you on Planet Earth.

1 month ago

Condolences to Phil’s family, colleagues and friends. We didn’t know Phil personally but we enjoyed reading his interesting and insightful articles in ‘Park Watch’. Though he is a great loss to the conservation movement, his work and passionate advocacy for the environment will live on through those whose lives he has touched and the many he has educated through his work, articles and example.

Meryl & Hartley Tobin
1 month ago

Over and over on reading Park Watch, I found myself saying to myself “Good God, Phil Ingamells and Matt Ruchel are doing yeoman’s work here – what legends!
I must send them both a Christmas card or note of appreciation” . Coming from a total stranger out of the blue, this might have felt a bit odd for both, but I hoped possibly gratifying – because it was really good work and a *lot* of it.
So sad to think that the chance has disappeared now and that Phil is gone, and that the nominal Christmas card is a chance seen – but missed.
His writing was of high quality and prodigious quantity both.
Requiescat in pace.

Hugh Denton
1 month ago

I am shocked to hear of Phil’s passing. He was a giant of the conservation movement – always a conservation activist first and foremost, he never considered the VNPA a job. His work resisting development proposals in National Parks and maintaining their integrity as places for wild creatures was outstanding, and Victoria is in his debt for this work. He showed great courage taking on the tough issue of fire management and burning off. He took an evidence based approach even when the evidence led to difficult places. I hope his legacy of courage on this topic will endure, and fear for our forests and grasslands if it does not. I last saw him only 2 months ago in North Melbourne, he was well and enjoying life. He is gone much too soon, but leaves behind a mighty legacy.

Kelvin Thomson
1 month ago

Phil was a treasure. His commitment and passion was always there along with his lovely dry wit. Very sad to hear this news.

Pip Walsh
1 month ago

Really sorry to hear about the passing of Phil Ingamells, always a great source of accurate information on any new or existing threat to our National Parks. He will be sorely missed.

James Thyer
1 month ago

When I first started at VNPA, doing the job Phil had done quite a few years before, he was incredibly generous and honest in his assistance and praise. And, of course, his submitted articles were always impeccable, requiring zero edits or corrections! He presence at VNPA will be sorely missed.

Paul Clifton
1 month ago