Fiona Corke has gone from Ramsay Street to rescuing animals in the Macedon Ranges.
She talks to Esther Lauaki about her greatest passions.
What’s your connection to Macedon Ranges?
I grew up in Chewton near Castlemaine, so I have travelled up and down the Calder my whole life.
I’ve always loved the area, and worked in the region for a number of years.
What brought you back?
I had been living in Melbourne since I was 18.
We wanted to get out of the city and, as I have always loved the area, we decided to move here – and very glad we did!
We have been here for 14 years.
What’s your work with Macedon Ranges Wildlife Network.
I was a co-founder of the Macedon Ranges Wildlife Network back in 2007 with other local wildlife carers and rescuers.
Our aim and our work has been to raise awareness of the plight of our local wildlife, to provide a support network for our very busy local rescuers and carers, to liaise with council and community in emergencies, such as bushfires, where we also commit to large and ongoing search and rescue efforts to locate fire-affected wildlife, which is a massive task.
Also, the ongoing work of our network rescuing and rehabilitating injured or orphaned wildlife on a daily basis.
What is your current role?
Currently, I am vice president of the Australian Society for Kangaroos, a national organisation, and have been for the past eight years.
Most of my time is now concentrated on raising awareness of the horrific cruelty involved in the culling/shooting of kangaroos under government permits on public and private land, and the kangaroo industry.
It’s something most Australians don’t know about.
I didn’t, but was so appalled, I just had to do something about it.
If people are outraged at the cruelty involved in greyhound racing, live exports, bashing of seals and whaling etcetera, then they should be equally outraged and concerned about what really happens to our kangaroos.
People may recognise you from Neighbours. What’s your fondest memory from that time?
Lots of memories, too many to list!
It was an amazing time but my fondest memories are of the people I worked with, and the support we all gave each other because no-one expected it to be as huge as it was.
Do you still act?
I did take some years off due to a bad skin cancer on my face, but yes, I recently did some Winners and Losers – it aired a few weeks back.
I am also currently working on some of my own projects for the future.
What’s the best thing about Macedon Ranges?
I love the country, the mountains, valleys, creeks and, of course, the incredibly diverse wildlife that lives here.
I also love the sense of community.
There are so many amazingly committed and dedicated volunteers doing all sorts of incredible work, it’s really very inspiring and heartening.
What would you change if you could?
I wouldn’t change anything, that’s the thing!
Let’s look after it, let’s try and keep the natural heritage of the area and protect our bush.