Judy Harrington hard at work.
JUDY Harrington is the Sydney Olympic Park Authority's (SOPA) longest serving ranger and while the 71-year-old has cut back her hours to spend more time with her grandchildren, she has no intention of fully retiring any time soon.
A keen birdwatcher and BirdLife Southern NSW volunteer, she is also heavily involved in an ongoing research project which broadcasts live 24/7 video stream of a nesting pair of White-Bellied Sea-Eagles who have just hatched two chicks, named SE21 and SE22, in the Newington Nature Reserve woodland.
The chicks are keeping Judy, along with other BirdLife volunteers and thousands of online viewers around the world, entranced.
"We are indeed privileged to have this view into their lives courtesy of Sea-EagleCAM@BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre at Sydney Olympic Park," she said.
A ranger for more than 20 years, she initially began as a volunteer coordinator in 1995, before becoming a park ranger for Bicentennial Park Trust and then continuing in a similar role with Sydney Olympic Park Authority.
"I've seen a huge change in the land uses and attitudes towards wetlands and natural areas," she said.
"I like talking to the public and sharing stories and knowledge of the environment and the parklands and showing people something they are not aware about.
"Over the years a delight and highlight has been engaging with younger children through interpretive programs … kids always delight when conversation turns to scats or 'poo'.
"A famous quote attributed to an anonymous US National Park Service ranger (re-quoted by Freeman Tilden) perhaps sums this up best: 'Through interpretation, understanding; through understanding, appreciation; through appreciation, protection'."