November 30, 2020


Planted in

David’s Legacy.

We are very privileged when asked to plant trees in the memory of a beloved parent, sibling or friend. And this was certainly the feeling when we were approached by Sue Myatt to plant 3,000 trees in memory of her brother David Gerard Carey (6th June 1963 – 20th December 2019).



In consultation with David’s sister Sue, the trees were distributed to 3 Victorian sites, The Otways, Bellarine Peninsula and Mt Worth.

David, our gorgeous brother was born and bred in Adelaide, the youngest of the three children born to our parents Peter and Marie Carey. After a small stint in Canberra, David adopted Melbourne as his second home. David loved the buzz, the arts, tennis, diversity of people, the excitement, and the events in Melbourne.

David was treasured by his family, and he in return was proud of his family, especially his nephews and nieces. David was our family historian, the keeper of memories, beloved by his extended family and friends. David’s incredible sense of humour was wicked, irony, satire and the absurd his bailiwick.

David adored beauty in all its forms, heritage buildings, beautiful books, films and music, inner beauty of kindness and camaraderie, urban landscape, countryside, and nature. He reserved great fondness for the beaches, especially the sandy metropolitan Adelaide beaches of his childhood. David’s love of the beauty of nature and landscapes led him to this legacy of preservation for future generations. Preservation of the natural environment was a reflection of his strong sense of social justice and fairness. He was very proud and interested in his nephews and nieces, and their children, and he was keen to endure the next generation would have access to the beauty and majesty of the nature and the forest. He felt this was only fair to pass on the opportunities for beauty that his generation had to the next generation, chances to walk among the forest and appreciate its wonder. In this spirit that David decided to leave a legacy to contribute to the continuity of the environment for now and forever.

The areas where David’s are planted hold special meaning for him; the Bellarine Peninsula is home to his much-loved aunty, uncle, and cousins. Gippsland and surrounding district to the sea (Inverloch) was special to him. It had been a dream he discussed frequently to live in this area.

Social justice and equal opportunity were ideals he devoted much of his life to pursuing. David was a proud, gay man, volunteering for various AIDS causes. He worked for the Victorian Government in DHHS on developing policy for mental health for the aged sector. He placed emphasis on fairness, kindness, equal opportunity, and access to assistance for all.

At the young age of 53, David suffered a major stroke and was not found for nearly 36 hours. He was left with an acquired brain injury and physical disability. Living with a disability took a great deal of adjustment but his sense of humour and sense of the absurd helped him cope with this major change in his life. Again, he wanted to contribute to the debate on living with a disability, speaking out about his experience to the Royal Commission into Disability. David’s life was more than last 4 years of his stroke, but it was a defining event in his story. David’s family worked with him to provide care, look after his affairs and work towards as independent and fulfilled life as his health allowed. In December 2019 he died suddenly of another stroke.

We miss him greatly but are reassured his name and legacy live on through the 3000 trees planted due to his bequest. David would have loved that a community of like-minded people planted the trees in his name. We thank the volunteer community too. David’s gift is one given to Australia and the state of Victoria, the environment, nature, wildlife for the benefit of the next generations.

We, his family, are enormously proud of him and his thoughts for his fellow citizens.

Sue Myatt on behalf of the Myatt and Carey families.


Site 1. The Otways, VIC.

Katrina Dance and the Otway Coast Regenerative Farmers planted 500 trees thanks to David’s Legacy. The trees were planted in a project aimed at revegetating the Johanna River. The group are focusing on local waterways to help manage erosion of the river banks, increase biodiversity and to encourage wildlife back into the district.


Hills of the Otways.


Site 2. Bellarine Peninsula, VIC.

Matt Crawley and his team at the Bellarine Catchment Network were delighted to receive 500 trees from David’s Legacy. The trees supported their tree planting projects to the west of Geelong at 3 sites; The Bellarine Rail Trail, Narrows Queenscliff and Bonnyvale Wetlands, Ocean Grove. All critical habitat sites. These trees have enabled  the continuation of these projects and continued revegetation works on the Bellarine.


Usually school groups plant the trees, but in a Covid year, the professionals (Bellarine Catchment Network Staff and Working for Victoria team) were called in.


Site 3. Mt Worth, VIC.

At Mt Worth in West Gippsland, Robert East and his team from the Mt Worth and District Landcare Group got busy distributing 2,000 of David’s trees to local landcare members. The aim across the region was threefold; to revegetate steep pastoral areas and protect them from landslips, to prevent erosion in creek lines and to improve habitat for native wildlife such as lyre birds, platypus, Giant Gippsland earthworms and native species such as the Burrowing Crayfish.


Members of the Mt Worth and District Landcare Group.


We are truly honoured to be helping Sue Myatt and the Myatt and Carey families with this living legacy for their beloved brother David Carey. Thank you for entrusting Fifteen Trees with this task and for sharing David’s story with us.


Colleen Filippa | Director & Founder | Fifteen Trees.


Writer: Colleen 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.




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