Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I received this postcard today from a friend who has recently moved to the other side of the continent.

A few weeks ago I sent her a postcard of Sydney Harbour in an infantile attempt to make her homesick; although, the harbour had been touched up a little and was a gorgeous, pre-settlement ultramarine so she may in fact have thought it was a Ken Done painting and that I was a touch loopy (and/or infantile) so quite happy to stay right where she was on the other side of the continent.

Anyhoo, so I pulled my friend's koala missive out of the letterbox and eagerly turned it over to read her latest news. What did I find on the flip side? This:

Thought you would like a postcard showing the many facets of the local fauna. They stretch and they sit and they all look the same... Who knew?

Ok so far. Surprisingly not unlike many of the letters I receive. Then she hits me with this bombshell:

The irony being the fact that there are no koalas in WA.

! and !! Surely it isn't so. Is it so? This raises many questions: is there legislation outlawing koala gangs in WA? Did all the koalas retire to a leafy Perth suburb with Carmen Lawrence? And, most crucially for all Phascolarctos cinereus-loving numismatists, is the Australian koala 2009 gilded 1oz silver dollar coin legal tender in WA?

So many questions, so few sensible answers.

After pulling the pin on the koalas-in-WA grenade my friend moved on to say: "So the real reason for writing is we found a new place to live. The address is..."

The real irony is that there's a big, smudgy postal mark right over the top of the address so all I can read is the bottom line: WA 6100.

I think all the koalas are working for Australia Post.


squib said...

The irony being the fact that there are no koalas in WA.

That's not true! I saw a couple at Adventure World only a few months ago

Kettle said...

Ah ha! So there ARE koalas! This is why the interwebs are so great: people on the ground everywhere, checking things out.

Although, what if all koalas in WA are in captivity? Does that count? In the same way that pandas aren't native to Australia but sometimes end up in zoos here - can we say they are pandas in Australia? This requires a cup of tea for further thought.

Miles McClagan said...

The greatest koala ever is the big camp one on the old Brisbane Bears Logo...


Now that's a koala that should be the mascot of Perth!

Kettle said...

Miles that koala looks like it has irritable bowel syndrome! What on EARTH were the Brisbane Bears thinking when they approved that design?

Thanks for the pic - kind of puts the whole koala thing in perspective ;)

words, wine, coffee, art said...

We recently met an English couple visiting Australia, who had been lured to Gunnedah (I think) because it promoted itself as the "koala capital"!
They found none, not even the koala who is strategically placed in a gum tree opposite the tourist information office.
I suspect the only real koalas are in zoos, some in Oz, but we have probably given most of them away to zoos in China, New York, London etc. - to tempt tourists to vist Oz!

sparsely kate said...

Hmm, I lived in W.A for ten whole years and you know, I can't honestly recall if I saw a koala or not.

I think not.

I think most of them are in queensland? is that right?

Kettle said...

You know, I think we're onto something here: a world-wide koala conspiracy initiated by Tourism Australia. I think you're right, Words and Wine, there aren't any koalas in Australia because they've all been shipped off to zoos around the world! All that's left in Australia are mechanised koalas with acrylic fur that get moved around from tree to tree outside tourist bureaus.

And Kate - hi! Thanks for stopping by (and love your butterfly). What do you say, Maddy, any koalas (mechanised or otherwise) up there in Qld with you?

Anonymous said...

All the koalas are on kangaroo island! they are an introduced species and they are considering a cull. maybe we should send them to WA! em x