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East Meets West via John Williamson and a Koala Link

Kath Ffoulkes was a long way from home – from Western Australia in fact.  She was visiting Port Macquarie, and with her son Callum, was at the Koala Hospital to check out the koalas.

While they were there, hospital volunteer rescuers brought in an injured koala.  This young male had been found in a distressed state in an industrial yard in Acacia Avenue.  Koalas arriving at the hospital are named by using the place they were found as the first part of their name, which in this case would be ‘Acacia’, and the second part is usually the name of whoever was involved with their rescue. 

As Callum and his mother were on the spot, and showed an interest in him, it was decided to call the second part of his name ‘Callum’, in honour of our western state visitor.

After returning home, Callum and his mother kept in touch with the hospital to monitor the condition of ‘their koala’.  As he had shown signs of the disease Chlamydia, he was treated at the hospital and released a few months later.  He may have been happy to be returned to the wild, as during his stay, occasionally trashed his unit and often refused to co-operate with the volunteers who looked after him.

Meanwhile, Callum Ffoulkes was a member of  the band ‘The Haptics’, who performed in Perth, and perhaps a bit of ‘koala luck’ was involved, as his band was chosen as the support group for John Williamson’s gig there earlier this year.

Justin Amos, Jack Cooper, Callum Ffoulkes and Jack Ward are pictured here with John Williamson, who is a much respected patron of the Koala Hospital, and actually composed his song ‘Goodbye Blinky Bill’ while on a visit to the hospital.  Kath suggested that he might like to write another song, called ‘Callum, the Koala with Chlamydia”!

What an amazing co-incidence!  Shows how the love and concern for our koalas can stretch across the continent and bring us all together.