The first libraries appeared over 5000 years ago. Since then, libraries have been a source of knowledge, solace, change and meditation for civilisations all over the world. Call us biased, but in our experience lovers of libraries tend to be among the most thoughtful, generous, and culturally engaged people you could ever meet.

Monash University Library has done nothing to dispel this belief, having decided to plant trees on behalf of each of the departing staff who worked at the institution this year. That’s over 500 trees celebrating the contribution of people who love libraries.


Sir Louis Matheson Library, Monash University.


The trees were all planted at Avon Plains in the Northern Grampians, known as Gariwerd to the Djab Wurrung and Jardwadjali people. This is a region rich in both story and natural beauty, but also heavily impacted by centuries of European style farming. Local Landcare groups and responsible landowners are working to re-establish habitat and biodiversity through a range of regeneration projects. The Monash University Library’s native trees will play a vital role in these projects and go on to provide shelter and food for native fauna for decades to come.


One of the trees at Avon Plains.


We love the idea of honouring library staff in this way. Planting a tree (or 15!) for them means they are leaving a legacy that will live on in more ways than one, for the benefit of many.


Monash University Library is delighted to be able to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution of departing staff through the planting of a group of native trees in the northern Grampians/Gariwerd region. In doing so, we are proud to support Fifteen Trees commitment to taking action in relation to climate change and environmental sustainability, and embrace Fifteen Trees principles of permanency, transparency and credibility.

Bob Gerrity | University Librarian |  | Monash University


Dougal McAllister


This  year Dougal has  moved back onto the family farm, attracted by the prospect of farming in a regenerative way that reduces synthetic inputs and fosters natural systems. Part of the plan is to have a greater percentage of the farm under native vegetation to help increase biodiversity and the many benefits it brings.  Shelter belts of native trees and shrubs are to be established and the costs and labour associated with such an undertaking are not insignificant. The support of sponsors such as Monash Library through Fifteen Trees, has helped to make this task possible.

The trees generously provided are the first to be planted for some years and will provide many benefits for the farm. They help to create a wind break for those chilling southerlys and they link the river with an older line of trees. They have been planted in rows of 5 so will provide enough density to offer shelter for the smaller birds. The diversity of species will mean there is a more consistent food source as different plants flower at differing times of the year.

Prue McAllister | Secretary | Avon Plains Landcare


It’s hard to imagine the world without libraries, and almost impossible to imagine it without trees. They are simply essential to our health and happiness as a society. Who hasn’t found pleasure in reading, comfort in the wisdom of the learned, or relief under the shade of a tree? The connection between libraries and trees is one we fully support and will do our utmost to help flourish.


If you would like to know more about sponsoring community tree planting projects please Contact Melinda at <[email protected]>.


Writer – Sarah Hart.

Sarah is an artist whose passions include the stories and experiences of women and narrative driven creative work. Her aim is to delight, to reveal glimpses of everyday beauty, and to celebrate flights of the ordinary. Sarah works across a range of media, with an abiding interest in pen and ink, mixed media and the human form. You can find Sarah here.