21st CENTURY

2000 Sandy Gilmore from SCU study on the Albert’s Lyrebird is followed by Sandy Gilmore’s study in 2001. Research reveals there are 3,500 breeding birds in NSW & Qld within small fragmented genetic populations in only 10 locations. NSW has fewer than 800 birds with the main concentration in the Whian Whian SCA.

In 2000 Fox Road Landcare formed to monitor Rosebank’s koala population and enhance their habitat. 1000's of koala food trees were planted on private properties and many 100’s of trees were given to the general public to plant. The group was responsible for developing a passive koala identification process which identifies different koalas by photographing the blotchy markings found on their behinds-affectionately known as ┬┤bum prints┬┤.

2001 The spectacular Minyon Falls Viewing Platform (Lookout) was installed and the boardwalk was upgraded. 10 large trees were hit by lightning at Minyon Falls.13 eco-tourism operators were licensed in the Nightcap NP with 5 in the Whian Whian SCA.

2001 The Historic Nightcap Track re-enactment of the original mail service is undertaken by a party of 12 riders and a packhorse over 3 days.60 more local riders joined the trek at various points to celebrate the occasion.

2002 The Community of Rosebank lobby Premier Bob Carr supporting the formation of Whian Whian State Conservation Area. The “On the Brink” video was released on the endangered species in the Whian Whian and show cased The Endangered Species Project.

2002 Rous Water started regenerating 6ha of land adjoining Whian Whian Falls by planting 4,000 trees, in preparation for the future Dunoon Dam which is proposed to be built in 2025.

2002 Due to the drought, Coopers Creek and its tributaries have water restrictions announced by Dept of Land and Water allowing a maximum 6hrs pumping in a 24hr period.

2002 Rosebank’s fire captain of 14 yrs, Darrell Quirk, retires after 28 yrs of voluntary service. Bruce Stewart takes on job.

2002 Rosebank PS and the community build the Sorry Garden for reconciliation. Murals were painted by the children with assistance from local Aboriginal people and 2 CD-Roms were produced for the occasion. The school received state recognition for their efforts.

Rosebank 'Sorry Garden'

Mural in 'Sorry Garden'

2003 Rous Water pass a motion to protect the Rocky Ck Dam catchment from future logging. They also commence pumping water from the Wilsons River Source up to the water treatment plant at Rocky Creek Dam.

2003 The balance of the Whian Whian SF was added to the National Parks Estate as the Whian Whian State Conservation Area.

2004 Forests ecologist, Paul Meek, undertook complex surveys on threatened and endangered species for pre-harvesting surveys for State Forests of the NE Region of NSW. The result of the surveys showed that endangered species presence were in far greater numbers than previously thought.

2004 NPWS re-develop Rummery Park campground. Gates were erected on many of the Whian Whian management trails.

2004 Rosebank’s first official koala survey was undertaken by SCU student Virginia Seymour assisted by Fox Road Landcare. This work identified several different viable breeding clusters of koalas around Rosebank.

2004 WIRES (The NSW Wildlie Information & Rescue Service Inc) opened in the northern rivers region. Rosebanks community join as key members who actively rescue and care for injured and orphaned wildlife. Several large release and care enclosures were built on Fox & Maso Rds to care for Macrapods, Raptors, Rainforest pigeons, Tawney Frogmouths, Echidnas, Possums & Gliders, many of which are endangered species.

Darby Tickle
Photo courtesy of the Tickle family

Photo courtesy of the Tickle family

The Tickle Stockmen
Photo courtesy of the Tickle family

Photo courtesy of theTickle family

Some dairying exists
today in the neighbouring villages

In 2004 A Reunion was held by Col & Jean Tickle at their farm opposite Rosebank Hall. They invited all the old-timers who were the children of the original settlers and dairy farmers. Many of which were no longer living in Rosebank. Local film-maker, Kingsley Haxton put together a DVD of the occasion, called ‘Old Tales of Rosebank’. A copy can be purchased from Kingsley on 6688 2287

Some of the people who attended included Frank Matthews, Col Tickle & his wife Jean , Darby Tickle, Jan Upton, Stan Heywood, John Flately, Doug Hepburn, Mary Barlow, Margret Rishworth, Ron Blake, Gregg Stewart, Joan Mikkelesen, Don McQeen and many others.

They all expressed what wonderful childhood memories they had even though they worked very hard. They remembered that Rosebank had a wonderful community who all helped each other in the hard times with the farm chores such as fencing and milking. They made their own fun and loved attending the events that were put on at the Halls. Their childhood was spent on horseback and most families had a horse and sulky as there form of transportation to Lismore, which took a few hours, one way. Everyone remembered when the ‘hippie influx’ or ‘real alternates’ moved into Upper Coopers Creek. They had a bit of a giggle remembering them walking around with their long curly hair and no clothes on. But nobody minded as they provided work on their farms for the community.

Here are some of the stories they told.

Doug Hepburn lived on his family’s farm on Minyon Rd for 83yrs and helped run the farm. His family originally lived at Turkey Ck before moving to Minyon Falls. His Dad was an original selector and settler and had bullocks that worked up in Minyon along bullock tracks. When the road went through and sleepers were cut he and his brother would take them to Byron while his Dad would take logs to Lismore. He remembers when his Dad purchased a 6 wheeler lorry for hauling logs. The family also had the Repentance Ck telephone exchange with 13 customers on a trunk line shared with Rosebank & Corndale. Apart from hauling timber the family milked dairy cattle and kept pigs & ducks for extra income. They employed several locals to help out. The family home ‘Kilmanock’ is still located on Minyon Rd situated on the steep foothills of the Nightcap Range.

Frank Matthews lived on Fox Road on the family dairy farm. They also grew 5 acres of bananas and Frank tended these with his family when he was a teenager. He also cut cormwood and helped at his Uncles nearby dairy for extra income. He rode his horse to school. Frank has written his memoirs and drawn a map of the settlement pattern of those early years.

Ron Blake lived next door to the Matthews and his family grew oranges.

Gregg Stewart’s parents settled on several farms in the Repentance Ck area. Gregg and his family lived on Emerson Road for some time when it was just a bridle track. He remembers that the ‘little red hill’ made it difficult for Sandy & Clarie Williams’ car to traverse until the road went in. Bruce Stewart (Greggs Son) and his wife Bev now run the property at Repentance Ck while his brother Doug runs the farm on Emerson Rd.

Joan Mikkelesen lived at Repentance Ck and drove the school bus to Upper Coopers Creek (UCC) while her husband went to the 2nd world war. Before leaving he built the children a school bus so that children from UCC could attend school at Repentance Ck. Jean manoeuvred the bus back and forth along this treacherous road for years and needs to be awarded a medal for bravery for that feat. She remembers wonderful childhood years and the Italians from UCC as being a fun bunch and very helpful to everyone in the community. Her bus run also meant that she would deliver goods to many of the families along the route. On weekends she would go to Minyon to collect charcoal from the timber cutters fires to help run the bus which had a gas reducer.

Mary Barlow had a 4mile horse ride to Repentance Ck school and Sunday school and would often pick up others along the way. She loved her horse days when she rode to events and dances at each of the Halls.

Don McQueen owned the Rosebank butcher shop and remembers the days when they delivered to Corndale, Dorroughby and Minyon. They were always up early at 4.30am preparing the meat for the cream wagon. This would deliver their meat in the empty cream cans to the rest of Rosebank, including UCC and Repentance Creek. He remembers that Mr Exton ran the Rosebank Store and exchange and McNiff’s Bakery at Clunes would deliver the bread. Don said the local kids would always give him a helping hand with odd jobs around the slaughter house. Don reckoned he was the community rescuer for snakes in houses. He eventually sold his Butchery when transport became too costly.

John Flatley told of the first tractor being owned by Ken Armstrong who lived opposite the school. John left school early for a prized job with Mr McQueen in the butcher shop, but remembers when he was 5yrs old when he reared chooks and ducks. He told how neighbouring families would all share the meat when a beast was slaughtered as no one had fridges.

Margret Rishworth remembers the tough times where everyone pitched in sharing the jobs on the dairy. She recalls a great childhood.

Minyon boardwalk replaced

The Little Scrub Field Day at Yankee Creek

Di's Healing Centre at Rosebank

Bird Watching

Another exploritory mining licence

Nightcap NP track upgrades

Myotts old timber bridge over Coopers Creek being replaced-2012

Bridge construction

Col & Darby Tickle — Their Dad was born here and became a cattle dealer. The boys helped their father drove cattle over the Range to Uki. As young as 10yrs old they were both swinging brushooks to clear the land and later helped ploughing banana paddocks for the Italians with the bullock team. The boys were both riding horses from as young as 3yrs old and rode 3miles to Repentance Ck School each day. Sometimes they walked. The fellas Dad leased land from George Quirk for their cattle and they remember he was still working hard at 85. They recall that they knew everyone in the area from UCC to Lismore. In those days they said you could make a living off 80 acres.

2005 New upgrades were undertaken at Rummery Park campground. These include the construction of a new crossing over Boggy Ck where a new culvert was installed, the re-construction of the timber footbridge across Boggy Ck and installation of new fire pits.

2005 Minyon Falls Day use area saw the construction of a new metal boardwalk. The locals were very disappointed with this metal structure and lobbied NPWS to replace it with a more aesthetically pleasing timber boardwalk. This eventually happened some time later after vandals destroyed part of the metal walkway.

2005 The Little Scrub Field Day was held at Yankee Creek.

2005 Rosebank Roads Improvement Group was formed to liaise with Lismore Council. This results in major improvements to blackspots around Rosebank including improving the access to Rosebank Hall and improving sightlines around several bad corners & intersections on Repentance Ck Rd, Dunoon Rd and Maso Rd. Speed limit signs were installed along with our new entry signage for Rosebank. The group was unsuccessful in their submission for wildlife signage to be erected at known blackspots so the community made and installed their own.

2005 Rosebank’s first regional koala care and rehabilitation enclosure was built in Fox Rd.

Koala enclosure under construction

Rosebank Koala

2006 Dianne Freestone and several natural therapists open Rosebank’s Wellbeing Centre in the old Butcher Shop at Rosebank corner.

2006 NPWS survey threatened species flora along the roads and trails of the eastern end of the Nightcap NP and Whian Whian SCA and find 25 species. The green stick marking system is used to avoid disturbance by graders.

2006 Bird surveys undertaken in Rosebank by Fox Rd Landcare, Virginia Seymour (SCU) and Bird Buddies from Byron.

2006 The Rosebank Rural Bushfire Brigade hold another charity fundraiser called ‘The Rosebank Fire Rage’.

2007 An exploratory mining license was placed over 300km sq of our area by WA company Nea Kameni P/L. Lisc Application No 3127 for diamonds, rubbies, saphires. The Goonengerry Landcare initiated stop mining action and no more was heard of it

2007 The Rosebank Community successfully lobby NPWS to keep The Rummery Park Cabin.

2008 Rosebank koala populations found to have a different genetic makeup to those in Lismore & SE Qld. PhD student Kristen Lee of the University of Qld along with her colleagues made this fascinating discovery through her work in genetics.

2010 Some 40km of walking tracks in the Nightcap NP & Whian Whian SCA were upgraded, a project that took 9 months. The tracks were upgraded by the well known consultants Walking Track Services in conjunction with Mountain Trails.

2011 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia being inscribed on the World Heritage list.

2011 The Big Scrub Rainforest Day held its 13th event and is known to be Australia’s largest Landcare information and educational event.

2011 A Koala vaccine that prevents infection by chlamydia was developed by Professor Peter Timms of the University of Qld. Trials were undertaken on our NE NSW koala populations and resulted in a strong & promising immune response in all the Koalas, even those with severe disease.

2011 saw large development come to Rosebank. Landowners along Fox, Maso & Baldwins Road and supported by the Rosebank Community put on their protest caps once again to try to stop inappropriate large scale development moving into Rosebank. Large tourist development or any large scale development is considered by many to be unsuitable and developer mentalities are not welcomed. At the time of writing, the outcome of this issue was still unresolved.

2011 Exploratory gas drilling was causing major concern to our Community. Locals rallied yet again to protest against the establishment of this industry in their region.

2011 Rocky Creek Dam wall is raised and stabilisation work is undertaken after a major flooding event signalled an alert.

2011–12 Myott’s Bridge saw the erection of a new concrete bridge replacing the old timber bridge over Coopers Creek at Repentance Creek. Myott’s Bridge was named after the original selector who cleared the land for his dairy of 32 acres on the other side of the creek.

What does the future hold?

Rosebank welcomes people from all walks of life to our diverse Community, however inappropriate development is seen as a major threat to our regionally significant farmlands, food production, waterways and environmentally sensitive natural landscapes and wildlife.

Passive low key development and sustainable agriculture pursuits would be more in line with our Community ideals where the removal of further habitat is frowned upon.

This unique part of Australia is passionately protected by our Community.

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