Anne-Marie Dineen and Joe Schick are the owners of Oakview Wildlife Refuge, a property situated approximately 37km west of Gympie, Queensland. The property is located on the fringe of known koala habitat, and provides a corridor of natural bushland in an area largely dominated by grazing properties.
Covering 79.31 hectares, the property is characterised by open eucalypt forests of spotted gum (Corymbia maculata) and other eucalypt species, grass trees (Xanthorrhoea spp.) and riparian zone vegetation. The property also features several creeks and water holes, rocky outcrops, gullies and hills that provide habitat for a range of species including swamp (Wallabia bicolor), black stripe (Macropus dorsalis), whiptail (Macropus parryi) and red-necked (Macropus rufogriseus) wallabies, eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), greater gliders (Petauroides volans), northern brown bandicoots (Isoodon macrourus), koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), lungfish (Dipnoi spp.), lace monitors (Varanus varius), a myriad of birdlife and many reptile species.
The riparian zone is fed by a creek and waterhole that provides habitat for the wildlife that Anne-Marie and Joe rescue and rehabilitate. They specialise in macropods but also care for a wide variety of other animals including flying foxes. Registered with the Land for Wildlife program, they also had a binding conservation agreement finalised in 2009.
Anne-Marie teaches cruelty free cooking classes on the refuge, and is passionate about saving wildlife and educating people about how loss of habitat is in part due to our dietary choices. “Removing animals from our dinner plates in turn reduces cruelty to cows, sheep, pigs etc. and improves our health and the health of the planet. 80% of the world’s grain is grown to feed farmed animals, which contributes to world starvation.“