100 years old and still volunteering

Until two years ago David Goodall could still be found getting his hands dirty weeding and planting at Yellagonga Regional Park.

It took a series of falls during his last planting session at the park - 30km north of Perth - to convince the botanist, then 98, that his days of working in the field were numbered.

Dr Goodall, who celebrated his 100th birthday last month, laughs when asked why he now spends his days volunteering with the park's advisory committee and editing scientific journal submissions in his capacity as an honorary research fellow at Edith Cowan University instead of relaxing.

"I am rather keen on my subject," he said.

This week is National Volunteer Week and Dr Goodall has been recognised by Environment Minister Albert Jacob as the Department of Parks and Wildlife's oldest volunteer.

"His ongoing commitment to nature conservation over the years is to be applauded," Mr Jacob said.

Born in London, Dr Goodall arrived in WA in 1948 and has spent his life studying changes and variation in vegetation, notching three doctorates to his name.

These days his work on the Yellagonga advisory committee makes him something of a liaison between the public and the department. He is also an associate editor of scientific journal Tropical Ecology, which requires him to consider and edit papers submitted for publication.

Dr Goodall said he enjoyed the work and had never considered putting his feet up. "I'm a botanist by training and have been in ecology and vegetation science all my life," he said. "I am keen on my subject and it brings me into contact with people with similar interests."

The West Australian

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