History Repeats

Written by Binna Burra


December 3, 2020


Binna Burra Chairperson joins Council of National Parks Association of Queensland Inc.

In early 1930, environmental pioneers Romeo Lahey (President) and Arthur Groom (Secretary) met at a small gathering at Barker’s Bookstore in Brisbane convened to discuss forming an organisation to do more for the conservation of Queensland’s natural areas.

Subsequently, nearly one hundred people turned up at the Lord Mayor of Brisbane’s Reception Room at City Hall on 15 April 1930 when Lahey and Groom were part of the leadership group that founded the new National Parks Association of Queensland Inc.[1]


Three years later, in 1933, Lahey and Groom led the formation of Binna Burra Lodge (the original company being called Queensland Holiday Resorts) with many of the first customers in the decade to follow coming from field visits by members of the NPAQ and the University of Queensland.

Now, nine decades later the current Chair of Binna Burra Lodge, Steve Noakes, takes up a position as a member of the Council of the NPAQ.

‘The connection between Binna Burra and the Association goes back to the origins of both organisations’ explained Noakes. ‘It has remained strong and is destined to continue into the future as Binna Burra continues to recover from the devastating bushfires in September 2019.’

‘NPAQ is one of the oldest and most enduring environmental organisations in Queensland. Since it’s foundation in 1930, about 70% of all national parks in Queensland were either gazetted or extended following recommendations made to the State Government by NPAQ. It’s a remarkable organisation of volunteers which has done much for Queensland’s network of protected areas.’

‘There is still much to do so that future generations can be assured of the integrity of the  biodiversity represented by protected areas in Queensland. As a State, we only have 8.2% of our land as protected areas (of which only 5.2% is national park), less than half the State and international goal of 17%’ concluded Noakes.

Media contact: [email protected] or [email protected]

Photo: Steve Noakes, Chairperson of Binna Burra Lodge at Lamington National Park.

About National Parks Association of Queensland.

NPAQ is a charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) as an Incorporated Association in the State of Queensland. Councillors have duties and responsibilities that all charities must meet.

The Association promotes the preservation, expansion, good management and presentation of National Parks, and supports nature conservation in Queensland.

The objects for which the Association is established are –

  • To preserve the National Parks and other protected areas of Queensland in their natural condition, to the greatest possible extent, and to endeavour to ensure the reservation and preservation of other areas considered to be suitable for protection;
  • To foster member and public interest in, enjoyment of, and respect for National Parks and nature conservation;
  • To promote the appropriate management of National Parks and other protected areas, and appropriate management of environmental factors which may affect existing and potential National Parks;
  • To promote effective legal and environmental protections in respect of National Parks and other protected areas, and to ensure the enforcement of provisions for their protection;
  • To promote appropriate and balanced measures for visitors to experience National Parks while conserving and protecting the natural environment.

About Binna Burra Lodge Ltd.

Since being established in 1933, Binna Burra Lodge has been a uniquely special place for millions of visitors from Australian and overseas. Binna Burra Lodge has been recognised many times for its cultural heritage and environmental significance providing access and services to the Binna Burra side of the Lamington National Park.

Binna Burra is wholly within the World Heritage listed Lamington National Park, in the northern end of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, a serial, cross-jurisdictional property comprising the major remaining areas of rainforest in south east Queensland and northeast New South Wales. In 2021, Binna Burra is launching an annual Gondwana Festival event which will showcase the significance of these central continental rainforest to Australia.

Binna Burra’s national significance was illustrated in a short time after the September 2019 bushfires when the Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, along with the Federal Emergency Services Minister, David Littleproud, as well local Federal (Hon Scott Buchholz) and State member (Jon Krause) of Parliament made a visit to Binna Burra. The Premier of Queensland (Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk) and the State Minister for Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning (Hon Cameron Dick) also made visits, as did the Governor-General of Australia and his wife (His Excellency David and Linda Hurley).



[1] Among their distinguished colleagues were the then Queensland Governor Sir John Goodwin as Patron, Archbishop James Duhig (the Archbishop of Brisbane for 48 years from 1917 until his death in 1965); Professor E. J. Goddard (a remarkable scientist with the Goddard Biological Sciences building fronting the Great Court of the University of Queensland named after him); George H. Barker (started Barker’s Book Store with his father 1907 and active leadership roles with the Royal Australasian Ornithologists’ Union, Australian Booksellers’ Association, Queensland Naturalists’ Club and the Royal Australasian Ornithologists’ Union ); Government botanist Cyril White; the Conservator of Forests Dr E.O. (Ted) Marks (who for many years also served on the Board of Binna Burra Lodge); Queensland Museum Director Dr Hebert Longman; Prof H.C. Richards – the first Professor of Geology at the University of Queensland; Dr. W. Bryan – the first student to be awarded by UQ a Doctor of Science degree he served as President of the Royal Society of Queensland and as the second Professor of the UQ Department of Geology (1948); and UQ botanist Dr. Desmond Herbert who served terms as president of the Queensland Naturalist’s Club, the Royal Society of Queensland, the Horticultural Society of Queensland, the orchid Society of Queensland and the QLD branch of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science.


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