Save Fraser Island Dingoes members Norma Hannant, Malcolm and Karin Kilpatrick and Cheryl Bryant.
Save Fraser Island Dingoes members Norma Hannant, Malcolm and Karin Kilpatrick and Cheryl Bryant. Alistair Brightman

Group shines a light on Fraser Island dingo plight

IT BEGAN in 2009 as a group without a name.

But what the small collection of volunteers did have was a question - what was happening to the dingoes on Fraser Island?

Today, Save Fraser Island Dingoes has grown into a registered charity as well as a recognised environmental organisation dedicated to raising awareness of the conditions faced by the dingoes on Fraser Island.

Founder Karin Kilpatrick recalls how her concern for the distinct Australia species began with an article in the Fraser Coast Chronicle written by former mayor Mick Kruger.

"There was an article on the front page of the paper that said 'Our dingoes are starving'," she said.

"I remember seeing the picture of an emaciated dingo and wondering what was going on?

"So I inquired further and this prompted a second article in the newspaper, this time from my perspective on the issue as a local resident.

"As a result I received hundreds of emails from tourists and residents about their experiences and concerns regarding the treatment of dingoes on the island.

This is when I decided something needed to be done."

While the group's motivation to raise awareness of the poor health of dingoes on the island has always been at the forefront, Karin says that the journey hasn't been straight forward.

"When we first put the question to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services, we were told that the conditions faced by the starving dingoes were normal and natural.

"Similarly, when we approached the former Queensland Government, the problem was dismissed."

However the group persisted, calling on environmental experts, politicians, RSPCA, as well as the media as a way of engaging the public and prompting action.

Today, despite conflicting reports on the issue, questions about the wellbeing of the dingo are finally being brought into the spotlight as Save Fraser Island Dingoes continues to collaborate with people and organisations throughout Australia.

"We are always looking to get people involved in fundraising or the research side of things," Karin said.

"Particularly people headed over to Fraser Island who can provide us with feedback on what they've seen."

"There is a lot of work that still needs to be done."



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