We are sure you have noticed … Christmas is approaching. There is an air of well-intentioned panic in the air, as swarms of people race around to purchase gifts for their loved ones, hoping that this year, the candlestick/photoframe/novelty mug won’t end up in an op-shop or being re-gifted*, three weeks later. Gifting can be a tricky business, both on a personal and an ethical level.

*mind you we are big fans of op shops and re-gifting.

But there is a way around it. We have been so filled with gladness this year to see many people (48 to be precise) buying trees as gifts for friends, family members and colleagues. And not just for Christmas, but for birthdays, anniversaries, as a thank you to teachers and well …. just because!


All up 945 trees!

No panic involved, no rushing around, no looming landfill problem. Simply a loving thought, a promise of life, and a practical gesture of solidarity with our struggling planet.

And with that in mind, fifteen (15) trees have been planted on behalf of:

  • Andrea Dunkley for Sue Chan, ‘We love your passion for nature and your love of our local koalas‘,
  • Jessica Thompson for John Norman,
  • Melinda Tant for her niece, Jacinta Russell on her 23rd birthday,
  • Julie Allen-Waters for all those ‘big and small, furry or not‘,
  • Carol Ely for her sister Rae Neubecker,
  • Alicja Wnuk for her sister Kinga Beckett,
  • Amanda Lee,
  • Sandra Hawkins for Sarah Hawkins,
  • Mildi Jarvinen,
  • Sarah Flynn for Patrice Flynn,
  • Corinna Klupiec,
  • Andrea Hurt for her niece Courtney Frank, ‘to a unique and special girl on her birthday‘,
  • Marj Poutinen for her marvellous tree pose on our Insta campaign,
  • Annabel (Blossom Wellbeing) as a birthday gift for her father Paul Mason,
  • Jamie Pope for his mother’s (Jodie Henry) 50th birthday, ‘happy birthday mum, wish we could plant these together, hoping they will grow tall and strong‘. Love from Jamie, Stacey and Winston,
  • Sena Racunica for her new baby grand-daughter Elodie,
  • Joscar,
  • Tegan Dawes for husband Josh Dawes on their 9th wedding anniversary,
  • Edwin Natt for Julie Natt,
  • Yoni Prior for Anne & Chris Young,
  • Yoni Prior for her beautiful sister Sian Prior,
  • Joanne Ward for Ralph & Virginia Coghill,
  • Ben Lockyer,
  • Jon Bergen,
  • Jenny Worthy for Malcolm Worthy, ‘there’s always room for one more tree‘,
  • Sharon Link for the Link family,
  • Kathryn Hamer,
  • Caroline Ferris for Chris Collins, ‘Congratulations Chris, you are covered! Lots of love from Caz Christmas 2020′,
  • Simone Prior for her aunt Caroline Ferris (we see a beautiful connection happening here)!
  • Stephen Palmer,
  • Claire Wootten from Sovereign Press for her family,
  • Elizabeth Dalgleish,
  • Craig Patterson,
  • Storrm Rodwell on behalf of her daughter’s teacher. ‘Thank you Rosemary for nurturing and guiding our daughter through this most tumultuous final year of primary school. Because of you she has had consistency and calmness and is now so ready for her big adventure to high school’.
  • Jennifer McDonald for husband Rob McDonald,
  • Hayley Yuen for Voon Wong,
  • Miriam Wilson for the Berry Street L&OD team,
  • Melissa Strauss for Michelle & Nicci,
  • Jess Joannides for Rob & Jane.

Thirty trees (30) have been planted on the behalf of:

  • Melanie Marson for her son’s 2 kinder teachers, Jo Garner & Leanne Hinchliffe,
  • Wendy Roberts and her partner Allan,
  • Keitha Theodore for her sons Ry Parrott and Jedd Parrott, ‘what else would you give a 19 and 24 year old when they don’t want for much, just to be together for Chrissy with great food‘,
  • Natalie Davey for Greg Harrington and Justin Davey,
  • Marlie Grant for Kelly Hanson,
  • Margot Harman for the Antonetti and Harman families,
  • Kate Gorman for Jo & Jeff Gorman and Claire Gorman,
  • Alexander Pritchard, all the way from Reading in the UK. Stay safe Alex!

Forty-five (45) trees for 360Biolabs and seventy-five (75) trees for Carol McInneny and her extended friends and family.


This year, we organised these trees to be planted across 4 koala habitat sites with 4 amazing community groups:

SITE 1. Mt Arthur Reserve, Mornington VIC.

At the Mornington Peninsula, 500 koala habitat trees were planted by Dirk Jansen and the Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation. This group was founded 2 years ago and represent 12 Landcare groups on the Mornington Peninsula. Their aims are to increase koala populations through connecting patches of remnant bushland. Working with landholders, they are creating biolinks. Habitat loss is the biggest cause of koala numbers decreasing, and so this project is vitally important to the existing populations on the Mornington Peninsula.


Social distancing at the planting site on the Mornington Peninsula.


SITE 2. You Yangs, VIC.

In the You Yangs, Janine Duffy and the The Koala Clancy Foundation, planted 200 native trees. With the help of wonderful landowners, they are are putting back some of the River Red Gum forests that once grew in this district. There are benefits for koalas, birds, insects and of course enormous benefits to the river itself.


One of the beautiful volunteers from Koala Clancy.


SITE 3. Warrnambool, VIC.

At Warrnambool, Jane O’Beirne and the Friends of Hopkins River, planted 60 trees in an area above Hopkins Falls on the riverbanks of the Hopkins River. This project is a continued effort to increase wildlife habitat with focus on trees popular with koala populations.


Image by Jane O’Beirne


SITE 4. Phillip Island, VIC.

Geoff Trease and the Base Coast Island Landcare Group planted 185 of our trees at Ventnor on Phillip Island. The vegetation that has been established will link with existing roadside vegetation and some other remnant vegetation along a water way which is called Salt Water Creek.  David Rooks whose property the planting took place said, ‘We are so grateful to Fifteen Trees supporters program for your help in providing these plants. They will to help enhance biodiversity and provide many other positive environmental outcomes’.


Base Coast and Phillip Is Landcare.


Along with the trees as gifts, this year we included a beautiful enamel koala pin, handmade in Ballarat by the talented Michelle of Bok Bok B’Gerk. The pins were a great hit. We hope you all loved them.


We are all reeling from this crazy Covid year. We are all anxious about what it means for our future. So many of us feel the need to do something, to start somewhere, somehow. This is one small way to start. Every act of gifting and every dollar we spend says something. It tells a story about what we want our world to look like, as well as how we love.


Colleen Filippa | Founder & Director | Fifteen Trees