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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

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Baron Ferdinand von Mueller

In their own words

Baron Ferdinand von Mueller
Audio: 2 minutes

Choice areas, not necessarily very extensive, should be reserved in every great country for some maintenance of the original vegetation, and therewith for the preservation of animal life concomitant to peculiar plants. Where the endemic riches are greatest, there also the danger is more imminent of these being swept out of existence, unless timely measures are adopted for the reservation of some sequestered spot, to which rural occupations should never be allowed to have any access with their disturbing influence on primeval harmonies. Such spots should be proclaimed for all times the people’s inalienable property, and every inhabitant or visitor of the locality should consider himself the co-preserver of such areas, so as to aid in preventing accidental invasion or casual ignition or intentional spoliation.

To such places of security should be transferred plants and animals of exceptional rarity occurring near these seclusions. ‘Floral commons’ thus established, would soon be among the most attractive features, and would afford future generations in various territories some idea of the wondrous natural beauty of vegetable and animal life in its once unique loveliness, pristine grace and unimpaired freedom.

More and more of rarities are commencing to succumb and to be made unrestorable, and scarcely a spot seems safe on the face of the globe against the defacing hand of man.

Acknowledgements

Mueller, Ferdinand von (c.1890) Inaugural address by the president Baron von Mueller, Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science, Bib ID 2236521 National Library of Australia

Attribution

Voiced by Tony Llewellyn-Jones

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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