In the spotlight: Belinda Daly
In the lead up to the Peel Island heritage tour on Saturday 16 August, we asked one of the facilitators, Moreton Bay environmental educator Belinda Daly, if she could share some insights into her work and what she thinks makes Peel Island so unique.
Museum of Brisbane: Tell us what you do for a living and some interesting factors about your job
Belinda Daly: I am one of those fortunate people whose passions and lifestyle are intertwined with my work. I have a great interest in the environment and history, enjoy inspiring children and love the outdoors.
I am working as a teacher at the Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre, where we immerse ourselves in mangroves, boats, the foreshore and cultural sites around Moreton Bay with the aim of inspiring students to become “Champions for the Bay.”
For me, some of the most interesting aspects of my work is being able to access some isolated and stunning sites all around Moreton Bay and also to hear and feel the responses from the students as they experience these places and the stories attached to them for the first time.
MoB: How many times have you visited Peel Island?
BD: About 7 or 8 times. I am lucky enough to have been at the lazaret many times and also enjoy Horseshoe Bay and have snorkelled around the coral beds surrounding it.
MoB: What do you feel is the most memorable feature of current day Peel Island?
BD: I love the walk from Horseshoe Bay through the quiet forest and then suddenly emerging into the starkly contrasting lazaret site. The isolation and uniqueness of this is unmatched anywhere else.
MoB: Peel Island has a varied history. What do you find most interesting?
For me, individual stories always bring a place alive. Some of the stories of the Hansen’s disease patients living on the island are sobering and give such an insight into society’s views and actions at the time.
MoB: What do you feel visitors will get out of this unique experience to travel to Peel Island?
BD: This is a very one off chance to see many parts of the island and be able to hear the layers of history that are part of the site. No place I know looks or feels like Peel Island and visitors will definitely come away feeling different as a result. The day is also fun, beautiful and peaceful, so we all need those types of days in our lives!