Looking in the mirror I’m asking
Am I the change I long to see?
You know the world Is just a picture
Of what’s inside of you and me
Consultant to: Save Fraser Island Dingoes Inc
Vice President: National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program
Patron: Disability Aid Dogs.
Certificate 5 Masters in dog training & behavioural understanding with Honours
Author: ‘Vanishing Icon: The Fraser Island Dingo’ and ‘The Butchulla First Nations People of Fraser Island (K’Gari) and their dingoes’
Recipient: Australian Wildlife protection Council Conservation Award 2012 ‘in recognition of outstanding contribution to the preservation and protection of Australian native wildlife’.
Highly commended for the Wildlife Preservation Society of Australia Serventy Wildlife Award Medal 2011 for her years of volunteer work cleaning the marine debris onFraserIsland.
Commended by ‘KeepAustraliaBeautiful’
Supported by The Jane Goodall Institute Australia founded by Dr. Jane Goodall PhD, UN Messenger of Peace
Featured in ABC’s Australian Story ‘Dogs of War’ in 2011.
Bare Essentials Magazine July/Aug 2012 Edition ‘Desperate Dingoes
A regular contributor toHerveyBaytourist Guide and Bay Bulletin
CSIRO ‘Ecos’ magazine, other scientific journals including Journal of Science Education NZ WPSA Summer 2011 Newsletter. Front and back cover photo
Photos featured in books worldwide including a recent publication in Switzerland
Numerous Steve Parish publications & Australian Wildlife Magazines
Field Guide to Dolphins, and A Field Guide to Australian Mammals
WolfDogs magazine Canada.
Jennifer Parkhurst has a long history with fine arts including both painting and photography, starting at the age of 13 by winning her first major portraiture award.
She took her first trip into the outback at 18 years of age, and subsequently formed a deep love for dingoes and began a life of traveling Australia. She has had three solo exhibitions and was invited to exhibit with Pro Hart, Jack Absalom and David Browne in their ‘roving’ exhibition around Australia in the late ‘90’s. Jennifer spent 4 years working on whale-watching and dolphin watching vessels, photographing marine mammals and the maritime industry.
Jennifer moved to Rainbow Beach Qld in 2001 to fulfill her passion for photographing and studying Australia’s native dog. To date she has spent up to 6 days a week over a 6 year period working in the field on Fraser Island with wild dingoes.
Jennifer has had both her dingo and dolphin photos published in several books by Steve Parish.
She was also invited by the Anti-cancer council to exhibit her work at St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne.
She entered the Archibald Prize in the 90’s with a portrait of the then Speaker of the House, the Honourable Mr Jim Plowman (deceased), and did several sittings with him in his full gown and wig etc, in the Chair. The painting was valued at $5,000 and was subsequently purchased by the Plowman Family.
“Few people know the dingo as well as Jen and 5 years of patience and perseverance have allowed her to get closer to the dingoes than anyone else, which is how she could produce so many magnificent photos and gained insight into their lives. Her closeness to the animal has revealed to her the problems that dingoes face on Fraser Island and she has dedicated her life to champion their cause. Her fight for better conditions of the dingoes on Fraser Island has made her unpopular with the administrators of the Island who are fighting to stop her work. Jen’s determination to continue her work and share with the world the valuable information she has obtained from her daily observations of their lives over many years is very admirable.”
School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences
University of New South Wales
The Butchulla People
Traditional Owners of K’Gari (Fraser Island)
Add their Endorsement for Jennifer’s work:
I have been following the story and issues regarding the case of interference and feeding of the dingoes on Fraser Island by Jennifer Parkhurst.
I know Jennifer as a very kind and caring person with both people and animals and she only did what any caring person would have done if they had seen a starving animal, dingo or otherwise.I myself, an Elder of the Butchulla Tribe, a Traditional owner of Fraser Island would have done the same for any sick or starving animal dingo or otherwise on Fraser Island, or anywhere.
The reason for the dingo starving is becausetheir natural food, wild life has been disturbed by all the heavy traffic buses, bikes and 4 wheel drives which have gone into all the parts of the Island and especially into the wild life places where the dingoes used to hunt for their food. and traffic has gone into places which was the dingo special places (areas) so the wildlife have left and so the dingoes take any food they can given or otherwise.
I find this whole issue regarding Jennifer Parkhurst very degrading using her in this heavy-handed manner to try and stop other tourists from feeding the dingoes but until the Government take steps to have controlled number of tourists, buses bikes and 4 wheel drives on our Island there will be no more, a “beautiful Island” only another desert Island on this Planet.
I wish everyone would show consideration and respect for Jennifer.
Yours in Culture,
Marie J Wilkinson,
Butchulla Elder (age 77)
As a Butchulla Descendant of K’Gari (Fraser Island) I wish show my support for Jennifer Parkhurst. I have known Jennifer for quite some time.
Jennifer’s work and study of the dingoes on K’Gari has been done humanely, to try and help these unique animals that are under pressure from human impacts on their environment.
Photographing and interacting with the dingoes has given the people a better understanding and insight into the dingoes’ way of living.
Dingoes are not an aggressive animal unless they are provoked. They are in fact a very playful animal and are very different from a domestic dog.
As an indigenous person growing up I was told many stories by my great Uncles and Aunties that were born on K’Gari; they said the dingoes were an integral part of their life, they lived with them and the dingoes slept beside them and looked after the children as well.
Today it’s shocking to see the condition of the dingoes. These days their ribs stick out and some can barely walk from weakness.
As a descendant of the Butchulla people, I cannot believe what the government is doing to these beautiful Dingoes, the last of our purebred dingoes in Australia.
Jennifer Parkhurst’s photography has been done with my full support, and I do not feel she is doing any harm with the dingoes on the Butchulla people’s Island, K’Gari.
I am a service provider for Indigenous health services in the Sunshine Coast greater region. I have come to meet and know Jennifer from contacts within the indigenous community in relation to Jennifer’s passion and research in relation Fraser Island and the nature and wildlife which reside there.
From communications to me by Indigenous stakeholders, there is concern within the indigenous community in relation to the management of the Dingoes on Fraser Island and it has been expressed to me that Jennifer’s research and efforts are highly regarded.
Since meeting Jennifer I have come to know her as a person who is passionate about the environment and the preservation of its natural inhabitants. Jennifer has a connection and affinity with natural fauna and wildlife and this is evident to me in the way her native wildlife artistic subjects allow Jennifer to get so close to document, photograph or paint.
In my experiences with Jennifer, I have found her to be a very warm and engaging individual. She is well spoken and presented, articulate and respectful to people, cultures and natural fauna and wildlife. She has made efforts to barely leave her footprints in her travels in her research and communique with people and nature and in her artistic pursuits and endeavors.
Jennifer is respected not only by myself, but everyone I know who have also met and come to know Jennifer have always spoken highly of her. The words that come to mind when Jennifer’s name is mentioned is of a person of good character and good intentions with an affinity with nature, and a passion for its enjoyment and preservation.
Jennifer has been selfless in pursuit of her passion and seems to have an innate connection to Fraser Island and its inhabitants. Jennifer helps educate friends and visitors in her travels of how to have a safe and enjoyable experience on Fraser Island and how to make minimal impact on the environment.
Jennifer would be a great asset if she ever so chooses to apply for a position including but not limited to a Park Ranger, Tourist Guide or Researcher and the like as her innate character, knowledge and passion would be in my opinion an advancement to the experience of all visitors who would have the good fortune to spend time with Jennifer in an environment in which she knows and loves.