Welcome Marine Deliens to the Rainforest Rescue Team!
Marine comes to us from Belgium and made her way to Australia to start a new life in Far North.
She brings excellent qualifications and a powerful passion for Nature, plants and seeds...and the Daintree.
What brought you to Australia and where did you come from? And what drew you to the Far North and the Daintree?
I come from Brussels, the Capital of Belgium and at the end of 2016 I had decided to come to Australia to travel in this huge country for a year. It was something I always dreamt about and I felt that it was the perfect moment for me to do so. So I packed my small backpack and took a plane a month later.
During that first year I worked at different places and made enough money to travel and discover a small part of this huge country. After a year of travelling I flew back home for a few months, but something was missing... I felt like a urge to come back to Australia. In my head, this second year had to be completely different than the first one. It needed to make more sense for me and for the planet I live on. So, I packed my backpack again and arrived in Cairns with the idea to discover the wet tropics of Australia in the FNQLD.
My very first destination was the Daintree. I was amazed by the beauty of this environment, it seemed to me a powerful and a magical place. At that time, I decided that I wanted to live my life in a more sustainable way. I contacted Purple Pear Farm, a Permaculture and Biodynamic farm not far from Newcastle in NSW, and I decided to go there to study and learn as much as I could. I stayed at the farm 3 months. This experience is definitely one of the best things I have ever done.
After that, I really wanted to come back to the Daintree and learn more about this mystical place. I felt like my time wasn’t finished there... it was calling me back!! As soon as I arrived in the Daintree, I contacted RR and thought it would be one of the best places to learn about this amazing ecosystem.
What brought you to Rainforest Rescue and how do you feel about the organisation?
When I first decided to contact Rainforest Rescue it was because I was looking for a way to be useful for the environment. I also wanted to give my time and energy to a project that has good values that I share. I’m glad to be part of an organisation that works toward protecting our beautiful Daintree Rainforest.
What’s your favourite aspect of managing the nursery?
My favourite aspect at the nursery is definitely gathering seeds around the different rescued properties. I love identifying them and referencing the beautiful “Fruits of the Australian Tropical Rainforest” book by Wendy and William T. Cooper and the other tools at my disposal.
But honestly, every aspect of the job is rewarding. It is beautiful to be able to take care of little seedlings and see them grow into trees, ready to be planted back into their natural environment.
The greatest challenge I face is constantly experimenting different germination and propagation techniques as there are around 3000 plant species and 210 families in the Daintree. It’s challenging and it is something I find really interesting and very fulfilling.
What are your plans for the nursery?
One day I would love to see the nursery expand and to be able to grow even more different species, particularly to provide specific wildlife habitat and food sources for the rainforest animals.
Also, the nursery is such a great place for the soul and I would love to share it a bit more with the Daintree community.
If you could have one new thing for the nursery, what would that be?
I would love to have more time to create a small educational walking path around the nursery orchard. It would be awesome for volunteers, donors and visitors to be able to identify trees and shrubs using small labels that have names and the primary function in the ecosystem.
What has been your best day so far and why?
I will always remember the first time I saw a Cassowary wondering around the nursery property. What a beautiful day!
What is it you find most interesting or compelling about the Daintree?
The fact that the Daintree is the oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest in the world is something that doesn’t leave me unmoved. Also, since I was young, I have always been amazed by butterflies and when I discovered that the Daintree contains 90% of Australia's butterflies it was really exciting for me. Now that I manage the nursery, on top of having a large diversity of plants, it’s a pleasure to have a little focus on growing seedlings that are going to attract butterflies and also be food plants for the hungry little caterpillars.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Every day is really special working at the nursery, seeing butterflies flying and listening to all the animals’ noise around me. I feel very fortunate to have such an amazing job.