KOSCIUSZKO HUTS ASSOCIATION

Mark was President of KHA from May 2002 until his resignation in January 2007. Prior to his presidency he served on the committee as Huts Maintenance Officer, Namadgi, and as an ordinary committee member. Mark passed away after a long illness, in 2009. In retrospect he was one of three key KHA Presidents who made a real difference and achieved a considerable amount for KHA, largely un-heralded.

 

In Mark's time as President, KHA was successful in getting the cultural heritage values of the high country huts officially recognised by land managers and government. This was achieved through the development of the Kosciuszko National Park (KNP) Huts Conservation Strategy, which forms part of the KNP Plan of Management, and also through a Memorandum of Understanding between KHA and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, which ensures that the heritage values of the huts are properly conserved and protected for future generations.

These achievements went a long way to meeting the objectives of the group of concerned high country hut enthusiasts that formed KHA some 35 years before at Sawpit Creek, when huts were being demolished by land managers as environmental hazards.

Mark would tell anyone who will listen that the proudest achievement of KHA during his tenure is the agreement by NPWS to rebuild Broken Dam Hut (lost to fire in 1998), which he attributes to the ferret-like tenacity of Rex Cox, who never let the dream subside.

While Mark happened to be President through this period of great change for KHA, he recognised that the achievements were only possible because of the extraordinary efforts and fortitude of many KHA members over 35 years and more, ensuring that the community retained a strong cultural link to the huts.

Mark finally worked with the Australian Greenhouse Office in the Department of Environment and retained a keen interest in KHA and the cultural heritage values of Australia's high country. After resigning from the Office, he mortgaged his house to continue working as President of KHA for some years.

It is largely as a result of Mark's work, with three other members of the Committee at the time, that the hut re-building program was finally approved.

Profile updated 24 January 2010.