Moreton Bay

Nature lover’s dream home – A green haven for forest ecologist

Nature lover’s dream home - A green haven for forest ecologist


GemLife’s latest over-50s resort is nestled within an ecologically rich area with a diverse range of plant and animal species and will comprise luxurious architect-designed, eco-inspired homes with no rear neighbours.

Wollongong-raised Patrick is a forest ecologist who currently lives in Dubbo. He has had a fulfilling career surveying and advising on the management and protection of plants and animals in forested environments. Bushwalking is even part of his job!

Now semi-retired, he is looking forward to the transition to full-time retirement which involves moving to Queensland, where his three brothers are, and indulging more in his hobbies of woodwork, craft, photography, gardening, and anything environment related.

“I’d been looking into over-50s living, and because of my background in environmental work, one of my brothers suggested I look at GemLife Moreton Bay,” Patrick said.

“I was impressed by its environmental rating, the amount of open space, koala corridor habitats, the areas that will be rehabilitated, and how sustainability has been considered in the design.

“I was also drawn to the overall package – the facilities and being around like-minded people.”

One of Patrick’s favourite birds are Barking Owls (they grow to an impressive 40 cm with large staring eyes). He hopes to spot some in the Deception Bay Conservation Park, which edges GemLife Moreton Bay and has 50 species of birds to observe.

“I was really impressed by the diversity of birds in the Moreton Bay area, and I plan on immersing myself with some field guides when I move there. Various apps can also be downloaded to a mobile phone to assist with the identification of birds and other animals in the local area.”

Teaching ecology and working with government agencies and forestry companies to implement environmental standards was not just work for Patrick – he thoroughly enjoys time in nature.

And with 5 June being World Environment Day, Patrick shares some tips for homeowners.

1. Enjoy observing birds, but don’t feed them

Be aware of the birds in the area – they are fascinating to look at, Patrick said. “Avoid feeding them though, as they can become dependent on being fed, and food like bread is not good for them.”

2. Recycle whatever you can

If you’re uncertain of whether something can be recycled in a council-supplied bin, ask a few questions. “There has been some publicity about putting the wrong things in the recycling, and it prompts some people to not recycle at all. If you’re unsure just ask. There are also symbols on council bins and on the back of containers and bottles,” Patrick said. “If you have batteries, paints and electronic goods, they can all be taken to a recycling centre and kept out of landfill.”

3. Landscape with plants indigenous to your area

Where possible, shop at your local nursery and buy plants that are indigenous to your area. If you look for trees and plants that grow in similar soil and conditions to what you have at home, then you’ll have the best success. Select a variety of colours and shapes and mix non-natives that thrive in a similar climate.