Scarlett Archer - Save Greater Gliders
Imagine a ten-year-old girl running about the family’s acreage in her school uniform and socks, climbing trees, communing with her pony forehead to forehead, quickly climbing into her sturdy treehouse to do some animal research. This is Scarlett Archer. She hopes that next term her school will host the raptor man – with his birds, of course. Scarlett is particularly interested in raptors. She’s climbed a special tree with the strap of a sound activated transmitter clenched between her teeth, then attached it to the tree. When she records the Powerful Owl she’s already seen, she’ll send the evidence to Birdlife Australia to include on their database.
Young Scarlett sets her sights appropriately high, and not just by climbing trees. She wants to be the leader of the Greens, or maybe a zoologist. The problem with the latter is that she knows some zoo animals are unhappy. She knows the symptoms of zoochosis and talks about “excessive grooming” as a sign of stress. Then she thinks zoos should be closed and she should be an illustrator for children’s books, using art to communicate the importance of nature. She was very excited when she saw the Greater Glider she drew for the QCC Art Competition in 2022 in her back yard. She still gets excited talking about it gliding in long, swooping movements between branches. Drawing calms her down. As an illustrator for children’s books, she would draw “an animal’s perspective on environmental change”. If she had her way, she’d limit the use of plastic bottles because, she says, if they’re being used “people will buy them”.
Scarlett loves being involved in the Kids in National Parks program, and particularly enjoys marine Parks. She remembers finding little red and white shrimps and the elusive transparent ghost shrimp which is smaller than her fingernail. She even (very carefully) rescued a puffer fish once. Despite loving the beach, she happily remembers watching a wallaby bouncing by in another National Park and seeing the joey with “just its head sticking out” to see where they were going. She goes spotting for brush-tailed possums and tawny frogmouths and can talk for a long time about different animals. Whether she becomes the leader of the Greens or the Environment Minister, one thing is for sure, Scarlett will bring her enthusiasm for nature to whatever she does.