Project Leader, Organisation

Tilly Davis, Buthculla Aboriginal Corporation




Exotic pests threaten cultural and environmental biodiversity values unique to Australia. The recent detection and subsequent spread of the invasive myrtle rust pathogen, Austropuccinia psidii, has highlighted the threat and challenges associated with managing these pests. Several reviews have highlighted serious gaps relating to Australia’s environmental biosecurity and significant exotic environmental pests continue to spread globally. This project will increase awareness, further expand capacity to detect and report on biosecurity threats, and increase our understanding of the cultural impacts exotic pests and diseases pose to native flora on K’gari (the globally significant Fraser Island World Heritage property) and Butchulla Country.

Objectives and Impact

This project will build on current PBSF projects (PBSF012, PBSF025) and an NHT project to further increase the capacity of Butchulla traditional custodians, to develop networks, increase surveillance and report on biosecurity threats to culturally significant flora and environments on K’gari.


  • Using the Biosecurity and myrtle rust training packages developed as part of the PBSF012 and PBSF025, develop specific training modules on biosecurity awareness and reporting for Junior Rangers (school program), Butchulla elders and community members.
  • Through a review of available literature and collection data, document the Myrtaceae present on K’gari and where possible map the distribution of key species; and
  • Through engagement with Butchulla elders and available resources, and using Myrtaceae affected by myrtle rust as a model, document the cultural significance to K’gari flora (and associated ecosystems).


  • Development of an ‘Environmental Biosecurity’ Pesky Pests module for delivery through the Junior Ranger school program and expansion of capacity to detect and report on environmental biosecurity threats
  • Increased awareness and capacity to report on species impacted by myrtle rust on K’gari and location details to help focus surveys and germplasm collections; and
  • Documentation of the cultural values of flora on K’gari – specifically Myrtaceae