April 2020


Wear a gum leaf on Wild Koala Day, May 3 to celebrate koalas, at home.

Organisers of International Wild Koala Day on Sunday May 3 are calling everyone to go into their backyard, pick up a gum leaf and pin it on their shirt.

Koala expert Janine Duffy says a gum leaf is the perfect symbol for a day to celebrate wild koalas: they are 100% natural and critical to koala survival, and most Australians can get one, even in isolation.

“Koalas have had a tough year, and many people want to help them, but what can we do in isolation?” said Ms Duffy.

“You can’t wear a koala on Wild Koala Day, but you can wear the thing they need the most!,” she said

“Gum trees are everything to koalas: food, water, shelter, safety, a place to raise a family,” she said.

“It’s been a rough year for koalas: bushfires, drought, heat, habitat destruction and climate change all working together against them, but koalas have survived and now they need a bit of help from us.”

“On May 3 Wild Koala Day wear a gum leaf (or cut one out of recycled paper if you can’t get a gum leaf), share a pic on social media and tag #wildkoaladay to show you care about koalas.”

In preparation for Wild Koala Day you can take these actions:

• share a terrible koala pic from your phone on facebook group Koala Phone Pics and tag #wildkoaladay
• register to plant a tree – list of tree planting organisations here:
• sign a petition to protect a koala forest – list of petitions here:

Ms Duffy said that koalas have survived, and that is a good news story that the world needs to hear.

“Koalas are not extinct, and will not go extinct if we are determined.”

Australians wanting to celebrate wild koalas and forests can visit the website at

About Janine Duffy
Janine Duffy has been a Koala Researcher for 22 years, specialising in the You Yangs and Brisbane Ranges koala populations near Geelong and Melbourne. She is also known for her ground-breaking discovery of a method of identifying koalas by their natural nose markings. She is the founder of social enterprise wildlife tour operator Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours and the president of the not for profit charity Koala Clancy Foundation.


High resolution images and interviews available on request.

Media Contact:
Janine Duffy Ph: 03 9646 8249 or 0427 808 747 Email: