Doug Ralph, an icon of the box-ironbark country, passed away suddenly earlier this week at Little Bendigo.
Doug had a deep reverence for this country, which he shared willingly with anyone who took the time to sit and listen. His knowledge of the forces that have shaped the landscapes and ecology of the central Victorian goldfields was unsurpassed, gained from decades of walking slowly and patiently in the bushland around Castlemaine.
A humble and gentle man, Doug epitomised the box-ironbark forests and woodlands. Like the landscape, there was much more to Doug than ‘met the eye’. Richness and complexity can only be truly appreciated through careful observation, reasoning, discussion and respect. Doug was a fearless advocate for box-ironbark conservation – he was also intensely passionate in encouraging people to look harder, to question, to understand and share knowledge about a landscape he cared for greatly.
He will be sadly missed, but the depth of his teaching and his richness of spirit will remain for all of us who had the good fortune to know him.
The following links provide some insights into this remarkable man.