Thursday, May 4, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
A Mackay-based author, who introduced Billy the Aussie Easter Bilby to the world at the age of nine, is working to educate Australians about animal conservation.
64-year-old Rose-Marie Dusting wrote Billy the Aussie Easter Bilby at nine years old after an intimate interaction with a bilby near her childhood home in Richmond, Queensland.
Since then, she’s created a bevy of characters, including Billy’s friends Wally the Whale, Dudley the Dolphin, and Thomas the Turtle, to carry a message of preservation and conservation.
“Australia has the worst mammal extinction record in the world, with 22 mammals becoming extinct in the last 200 years,” Ms Dusting said.
“It would be heartbreaking and internationally embarrassing if we stand aside and witness another wave of extinctions.”
Ms Dusting said introduced species such as rabbits, cats and foxes have caused this decline, as well as environmental and human factors including fire, floods, and the clearing of land.
When the platypus, a species special to the Mackay area, came on the endangered species list, she said “enough is enough!”
“I am calling for a save an Aussie endangered species revolution,” Ms Dusting said.
“We need action now.”
Ms Dusting has been working with all levels of government as well as zoos and conservation organisations including Taronga Zoo to share her message.
“I have a proven IQ of 171, and I will use my God-given gift to help our unique Aussie species,” Ms Dusting said.
“There is no place in the world like what we have in Australia, and we have to look after it.
“I want our wildlife to feed our next generations’ imaginations.
“I intend to educate about our Aussie endangered species and take immediate action to help save them.
“I hope I inspire all Australians and people to use my motto, ‘I stand up for our wildlife.’”
Ms Dusting’s new version of “Billy the Aussie Easter Bilby” will be released in early 2024 with a book launch in Mackay.