AroonaA working cattle station for over fifty years
History of Aroona
Originally, Aroona was eight separate lots of cattle grazing land and Dr Robin and Kathleen Stock purchased a parcel of land here in the early 1960’s to run a few cattle. Over the next 30 years they made further acquisitions, establishing a 2000 hectare landholding along the Little Liverpool Range.
Having developed a special connection to Aroona and a keen interest in its resident wildlife they wanted to see the property sustainably managed for both its production and conservation value.
Dr Robin and Kathleen Stock donated Aroona to QTFN in December 2015 and the balance of the property in November 2018, bringing the total value of their donation to over $5 million, creating a substantial and important conservation legacy.
The Stocks continue their amazing legacy through being involved on the Stock Foundation established to oversee the management of Aroona into the future. QTFN is working with many partners to establish a nature refuge at Aroona ensuring its protection in perpetuity.
Our vision for Aroona
In Queensland’s vast agricultural lands, there is massive potential to build on the value of natural capital, landholder know-how and collaborative co-operation.
As part of our commitment to facilitating research, QTFN is working with universities and researchers to better understand how grazing regimes and agricultural land management can deliver commercial value while also positively contributing to the health of Aroona’s native wildlife and ecosystems.
Aroona presents an opportunity to demonstrate that fauna and flora conservation and cattle grazing can co-exist. The results of this research will be extremely significant for Queensland’s 145 million hectares of grazing land.
Working cattle station
QTFN runs a herd of nearly 300 cattle on Aroona using sustainable grazing as a land management tool and to fund ongoing property management costs.
QTFN received recognition as a Grazing Accredited Producer at Aroona in 2017 as part of the Grazing Best Management Practices (BMP) program. Accreditation demonstrates that our conservation focused cattle operation is carried out in a way that meets and supports the industry more generally.
In 2018, QTFN topped the market for Charbray Cross Steers reared at Aroona. Not only is this a testament to the skill of Aroona’s cattle manager Chris Schreiweis but it also demonstrates that successful sustainable grazing practices can go hand-in-hand with large scale land restoration and ongoing conservation outcomes.
Little Liverpool Range
70km west-southwest of Brisbane, the Little Liverpool Range (LLR) provides a link between Main Range National Park and the Great Eastern Ranges and contains a significant amount of remnant vegetation. Within the LLR are properties with expansive vistas, open eucalypt forests and grazing land – a mix of rural properties for agriculture, animal husbandry and tourism.
Aroona sits in the heart of the LLR across two council areas who are proactively involved in conservation land management through the Little Liverpool Range Initiative (LLRI).
The Little Liverpool Range Initiative was set up to encourage sustainable management of the Range’s conservation values through a coordinated network of land managers. The Initiative’s key stakeholders are the Ipswich City Council, QTFN, Spicers Gainsdale Resorts, the UQ Threatened Species Research Centre, the Rural Fire Brigade and local landholders.
Opportunities to coordinate landscape level actions across the Range, improving the quality and quantity of threatened species habitat are significant. Working alongside private land holders and increasing community understanding of threats to species like koalas and brush-tailed rock-wallabies is essential to achieving overall conservation goals.
Learn more about the LLRI
In 2018, 20 Year 6 students from the Logan area attended the first Camp Koala held at Aroona to inspire a deeper understanding of the threats to koalas and other threatened species. CommBank Grassroots Grant funding, will enable us to run the annual over night camp at Aroona for three years.
Camp Koala is delivered in collaboration with the Wonder of Science program which has a particular focus on Queensland’s rural, regional and indigenous students who don’t often receive the same opportunities as kids in metropolitan schools.
Real-world classroom experiences including bushwalks and tree planting provide students attending Camp Koala with a taste of scientific site-surveys, habitat restoration and looking for signs of koalas.
Channel Ten filmed two episodes of Totally Wild at Camp Koala giving students experience in science communication and media training to share their adventures with a national audience.
Abundant and Biodiverse
Aroona is home to a range of threatened species including brush-tailed rock-wallabies, koalas, powerful owls and the glossy black cockatoo.
Represented by nine different ecosystems with approximately 45% mapped as remnant bushland, there are six regional ecosystems at Aroona with an ‘of concern’ biodiversity status. Aroona’s large areas of diverse native vegetation facilitates natural ecological processes at the scale necessary to support varied and viable populations of wildlife.
Since Aroona was donated to QTFN, we have identified previously unknown populations of the brush-tailed rock-wallaby living on the property.
Brush-tailed rock-wallabies were historically hunted widely for fur. It is thought that half a million were shot between the years 1884 and 1914, and the species is now listed as vulnerable by the Commonwealth Government.
Remaining populations are highly fragmented and have limited gene pool movement, making them highly susceptible to habitat loss and feral predators. We are supporting research to better understand their life-cycles and behaviours and undertaking habitat restoration to improve their chance of survival.