September 26, 2023


Dancing Shadows.

‘Erin M McCuskey is a film artist of the highest calibre, utilising dance and music together with archival footage, to create a sensual and experimental aural and visual feast. Her work celebrates families and communities, through a female sensibility, and through the richness of memory and the lands we live on and come from’. Bill Mousoulis.



This month, film maker Erin McCuskey took her film ‘Dancing Shadows’ (including Precious Fragments created in collaboration with Wadawurrung artists Dr Deanne Gilson and Tammy Gilson) across the seas to screen in Belfast (at The Darkroom), Dublin (Stand Arts Centre) and London.



Each screening has been unique. The screening in Belfast included a workshop about dancing with the ghosts of family archive. The screening in Dublin was a 3 channel projection while in London, twirling was the theme.


Dancing Shadows 


Travelling by plane is costly, in turns of time, money and carbon! And so, as a gift to a woman who cares passionately about family, connections, creative projects and the planet, we have have planted 50 native trees on her behalf.




Raakajlim is a 490ha conservation property in the Mallee of northwest Victoria. Raakajlim borders Hattah-Kulkyne National Park and is the land of the Latji Latji people. It was there that we organised the planting of 50 trees on the behalf of Erin McCuskey.


The trees were planted by students from Carey Baptist Grammar School.


Some of the species planted included;  Sugarwood, Cattlebush, Umbrella Wattle, Gumbi Gumbi, Pimelea Daisy-bush, Slender-leaf Mallee, Red Mallee, Elegant Wattle, Silver Hakea, Mallee Teatree, Common Emu-bush and very importantly the Slender Cypress Pine.


Endangered Pink Cockatoo.


The Slender Cypress Pine is a key food plant for the Pink Cockatoo. This beautiful bird was listed as endangered under the federal EPBC Act in March 2023. The decline of Pink Cockatoos is closely linked to the decline of native Pine in Victoria. As well as being a food plant, Cockatoos nest in hollows of Pine trees that are at least 100 years old. This revegetation project is investing in the future for this bird.


With your contribution, Mallee Conservation can restore habitat for the beautiful, endangered Pink Cockatoo. It also supports Traditional Owner self- determination for our local mob and inspires school students to love our beautiful Mallee landscape.

Yep, tree planting, really can do all that!

Fiona Murdoch | Secretary | Friends of Mallee Conservation


Travel well Erin, turn the UK on it’s head! We shall see you back in our hometown of Ballarat on Wadawurrang Country very soon.



If you would like to know more about sponsoring community tree planting projects and how we can assist you in becoming a more sustainable artist please contact Colleen at <[email protected]>.


Writer: Colleen B. Filippa


With a background in Environmental Science, Colleen is the Founding Director of Fifteen Trees. In 2009, after 20 years in primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions, Colleen left the classroom to start the company. Fifteen Trees is a social enterprise assisting individuals and companies to reduce their carbon footprint by supporting community groups such as Landcare, schools and environmental networks.











June 12, 2024
Individual actions really do matter! Individually we can really only make small differences to the world around us, but collectively our numbers add up. And if enough individuals are involved then forests can be grown!


June 10, 2024
We have a handful of organisations who purchase trees when they can. These organisations are masters of ingenuity when it comes to incorporating tree planting into their business practices.


May 21, 2024
The Institute of Public Accounts has supported one of our revegetation projects by purchasing a tree for every attendee at their recent Victorian Conference held in Ballarat, VIC. The trees (70) were planted in the district, in the weeks following the conference.