Gus Balbontin is a fireball of energy; inspiring people into the unknown and unpredictable side of life. And this is where Gus believes that we can truly live – with love, creativity and passion.
I met Gus at a Commerce Ballarat Business Conference a few years back and was totally taken with his original and disruptive ideas about industry, education and the environment. I promptly followed him on his socials and reached out to see if he would be interested in getting some trees planted.
As I had guessed – he was all in!
Over the years Gus has enabled us to plant many hundreds of trees (find them here) and this year, Gus wanted to celebrate the merger of his business and Neu21 with another 500 trees for our native environment. These trees are the start of a fabulous new initiative called The Forest of Us. Stay tuned for invites to come planting with Gus and co. Gus’ plan is to have planting days annually with not only Neu21’ers and their families, but also their clients.
We organised the planting of these trees at 2 sites in the Murrindini Shire of Victoria by the Upper Goulburn Landcare Network (UGLN).
Thanks to Gus, longtime Landcare members Bev and Dale Dick were able to plant 300 native trees and shrubs on their property at Acheron.
I am very appreciative of the support we received to put these habitat plants in on what were otherwise bare hills.
The Red Box trees will link up with the remnant stands nearby and the shrubs will provide food and shelter for little birds, for the insect pollinators and the micro bats that I see aplenty at dusk.
It feels the best use of my muscle power to be re-wilding my patch.
Bev Dick | Member | Upper Goulburn Landcare
Ben and Ellen Richmond from Kinglake West very much appreciated the assistance from the supporters of Fifteen Trees which has helped them revegetate their back paddock.
The planting has complemented similar planting on neighbouring properties and helps connect a wildlife corridor between remnant native vegetation private land and the roadside.
Chris Cobern | Landcare Facilitator & Project Officer | UGLN
Huge thank you to Gus for making all this possible. Five hundred trees for 2 revegetation projects right in the heart of the Central Highlands of Victoria.
Writer – Colleen Filippa
Colleen is the Founder & Director of Fifteen Trees. Established in 2009, Fifteen Trees has helped community groups across Australia plant thousands of native trees.
Fifteen Trees helps individuals and businesses reduce their carbon footprint through sponsoring Australian community tree planting projects.
Fifteen Trees acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional custodians of the lands where we work, live and learn.