Dr Josephine Castillo1
1 Wildcare (Friends of Tasman Island), Tasmania, Australia
Tasman Island is a remote, precipitous island off Tasmania’s south-east, accessible only by helicopter. Its lighthouse guides shipping to Hobart, including the Sydney-to-Hobart yachtrace, and a close view of Tasman Island is the highlight of the famous Three Capes walk. In the days when the lighthouse was manned, the keepers needed to be self-sufficient. They cut down all the thick growth of trees for fuel, created pasture for sheep, cattle and other animals and grew vegetables. Now that Tasman Island is part of a national park, the vegetation is returning to its natural state and the removal of introduced weeds is being tackled by volunteers.
Josephine Castillo (PhD Law) recently retired from a career as a lawyer with government and, from a love of the Tasmanian wilderness, has found herself coordinating a weed eradication program for the Friends of Tasman Island, a volunteer group that formed in 2005. Its aim is to restore Tasman Island’s natural and cultural treasures, degraded since the lighthouse was demanned in 1975. The Friends welcome interested people with the right skills onto their twice-yearly working bees.