O'Reilly's to host birder biography book launch

TRIBUTE: Author Russell McGregor will be at O'Reilly's next month to launch his book.
TRIBUTE: Author Russell McGregor will be at O'Reilly's next month to launch his book.

THE biography of renowned ornithologist and pioneer conservationist Alec Chisholm will be launched at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat in recognition of his life-long dedication to Lamington National Park.

The author, Russell McGregor, is an Adjunct Professor of History at James Cook University and, like Alec Chisholm, a keen birder.

"The book tells the story of one of the most popular and influential nature writers in twentieth-century Australia," said Professor McGregor.

He said the bulk of the biography recounted Chisholm's work as an author and dedicated advocate for Australian bird-lore and natural history, including his first scientific camp in Lamington National Park in 1918.

Chisholm's studies of Australia's natural history were highly regarded by his peers, teachers and the Queensland government, who he advised on legislation protecting native fauna.

His conservation efforts and service to Australia's natural history were recognised with numerous awards and honorary fellowships in Australia and overseas.

Professor McGregor said the book also reflected on Chisholm's time as a journalist for newspapers such as the Sydney Daily Telegraph, The Herald and later editor-in-chief of the Australian Encyclopedia which earned him the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

He said Idling in Green Places: A life of Alec Chisholm is the first biography to be written about Chisholm and is based on research conducted under a David Scott Mitchell Fellowship at the State Library of New South Wales in 2016.

The book launch will be attended by second generation Peter O'Reilly, retired Queensland Parks and Wildlife officer and journalist Don Marshall, author Russell McGregor and birding enthusiasts.