Vale Gerard Mills (23/06/54 - 27/12/16)
After an illness fought with the same courage and fierce determination with which he approached all life’s challenges, Gerard Mills passed away just after Christmas.
A photographer, an artist, a teacher and a man with a purpose and passion, Gerard had set himself an immense but enjoyable task of photographing the vast diversity of wildlife on USC's Sippy Downs campus.
He viewed it as a ten year odyssey and had walked thousands of kilometres in every direction of USC's 100 hectare campus to, in his words, “find out what's there”. We often saw Gerard about campus with his trademark brown hat and his imposing camera slung about his shoulder, or, later, pushed in a trolley so he could continue his work in spite of his illness.
Three years into his mission, Gerard had taken more than 30,000 photographs of USC's wild creatures and their activities on campus. Gerard was geo-tagging each photograph to precisely locate where a creature was and when. He worked closely with USC Animal Ecology scientists, Scott Burnett and David Schoeman, to scientifically identify the different animals and their species.
Gerard’s legacy will continue to be showcased on this website and we hope others will take up his cause to help USC record the extraordinary diversity of campus wildlife, their habitats, behaviours, numbers, interactions and other important environmental dynamics.
The potential of Gerard’s work to contribute to the future knowledge and protection of campus wildlife will be far reaching.
He will be greatly missed, and long remembered.
Land for Wildlife
The USC Sunshine Coast campus is a flora and fauna reserve, spread over 100 hectares (1 km2) adjoining the Mooloolah River National Park. In 2013, the University became a Land for Wildlife member with the Sunshine Coast Council to further commit to managing a large proportion of the site as habitat for native plants and animals. The membership provides access to support, services and incentives to enhance conservation and restoration of the reserve such as free plants, invasive weed control tools or nest boxes each year.