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HomeIssue 1LETTERS: Bouquets for 'roo man, brickbats for NT Government after TV show...

LETTERS: Bouquets for 'roo man, brickbats for NT Government after TV show in the UK

Click for update in March 2013.
Sir,- My wife and I have just seen the first of the wonderful two-part mini-series here in the UK on BBC2.
It was very poignant yet often very funny, and I write to express my amazement that the government of the Northern Territory is so unhelpful as mentioned in passing in the program and also in various on-line comments I have just seen, most of which are from fellow-Poms.
We earnestly hope that the government will reconsider their attitude and become more supportive – Brolga (pictured – he runs a one-man kangaroo rescue service in Alice Springs – ED] doesn’t seem to need loads of money, but a bit more practical help rather than obstruction would go a long way to restoring the government’s reputation which is seriously tarnished by this revelation.
For starters it would be good to see the government looking at the feasibility of introducing some measures of avoiding such dreadful roadkill carnage.
At this rate, what with the alarming rate of kangaroo roadkill and the consequent high death rate amongst orphaned joeys, our grandchildren may only get to see a kangaroo in the zoo, along with so many other creatures already destined for imminent extinction.
Brolga doesn’t seem to seek publicity for himself, and we have huge admiration for a man willing to live in such sparse and lonely conditions with apparently so little concern for any of the luxuries of life that the rest of us take for granted and are so obsessed with, but who spends his whole life and what little cash he has pursuing his total commitment to caring for these unfortunate creatures.
Good on yer Brolga from a townie Pom – keep up the great work – we can’t wait for the second episode!
Tony Friedlander
Lexden, Colchester, Essex, CO3 4BS, England.
Sir – I would be grateful if any of your readers would tell Chris Brolga on my behalf, to say after watching the documentary broadcast on BBC2 Scotland, 26.01.2013, I would like to let him know that if he needs help on any more fence building or big projects requiring hard work, I would be happy to offer my services, both labour and financially.
The work he is doing is very important and should be given every chance to succeed after all, ask any person over the age of 35 in the UK and they will all know Skippy the kangaroo, which is part of the history of the outback in Australia.
Kenny Dodds
Edinburgh, Scotland.
Click for update in March 2013.


  1. Just watched the first documentary on BBC 2 last night – wow what great work Brolga is doing.
    Keep up the great work and I too am amazed that he doesn’t get any state help. Shame on them.
    He has a web site which has donation details etc:
    Martin Head
    Northamptonshire, UK

  2. I’m sorry I missed the first part of this riveting programme last night. Chris Brolga is a true hero and deserves much more publicity for his hard work, in such a lonely, hostile environment, in rescuing and treating orphaned, or hurt, joeys.
    Is there anywhere a financial contribution could be made for this work?
    I am a pensioner and my offering would be on quite the small side but I’m sure every little bit would help.
    Looking forward to hearing from you and please pass on my good wishes to this superb man!!
    Denise Galligan

  3. Roo Man Chris Brolga is gathering a serious fan base here in the UK. He is an inspiration, his compassion heartwarming.
    The NT Government are now under the spotlight and so is their attitude towards the issue of Kangaroo cruelty.
    Let’s hope they will find some compassion themselves to support and work with Chris and Emma to address the issues.
    I’d like to donate but want to be sure it’s going to their work, can you add a link on your site it so we know it’s legit.
    Thank you.
    From ED: Hi Evelyn … go to

  4. I watched the Kangaroo programme in the UK on Saturday. I don’t normally watch nature programmes as they are usually too distressing. Mother nature is so cruel. I thought I would risk watching this one as I too was brought up watching Skippy on the TV. What a wonderful programme and what a fantastic man Chris is! I was so moved by what he has achieved so far and is trying to achieve. He must lead a very fulfilled life, free of the baggage of “stuff” that we all are weighed down with – buying things we don’t really need and being stressed working to earn money for the things we think we should have. He certainly should have a fund raising facility, because people in the UK are usually great at dipping their hands in their pockets for a worthy cause.I can’t wait for the second part of the programme. I wish Chris all the luck and happiness in the world in his endeavours.
    N. Sheeran
    West Sussex, UK

  5. I was enthralled to watch Chris Brolga on BBC2’s Natural World. What a selfless man! He won my admiration with the dedication and care that he showed to these amazing creatures.
    I wish others were like him, making this world a much better place for all of us to live in. I can’t wait to see the second part of this documentary.
    My only worry for him now are the bush fires which have always seemed so distant to me over here in England when I see them on the news. Their destructiveness was thoroughly brought home to me by the programme. Now when I hear of them I will think of Chris and his Roos and wish them the very best of luck.

  6. This documentary was just sheer beauty to watch. This is dedication on a scale rarely seen and is truly special. Hats off to you Chris Brolga, for your wonderful and inspiring work. Thank you so much for letting us into, and bringing attention to, your world of Roos. Please pass on my best wishes to Chris and the others who are involved in this great work.
    Juliet Nursey
    Surrey UK

  7. What an absolutely amazing documentary. Chris deserves recognition for his amazing work. The world would be a far better place if we all cared for animals as Chris does.
    Donato D’Agrosa
    Eyemouth, Scotland

  8. What a magical program and an awesome man … I always thought kangaroos were cute but how could you fail to fall in love with their vulnerability. Can’t express how much this man’s passion has touched me 🙂 hope my donation helps his quest x

  9. I too was delighted by this man and his “mob” of kangaroos. What a nice guy, so modest, unpretentious and natural. I love the work he is doing and his two lady friends. I would love to give a big fat donation, but I am a pensioner and so could only afford a wee one, but if everyone gave a small donation it would soon mount up. I found this website with a paypal donation link.

  10. I was greatly moved by the two episodes of “Kangaroo Dundee” recently shown on BBC TV.
    My daughter now has Aussie citizenship and I share her love of Aussie wildlife. On my visits to her I have encountered numerous indigenous critters but the ‘roo still holds the number one spot in my heart!
    What a truly inspirational, dedicated and selfless person Brolga is. We were privileged to be able to share such intimate moments as the view of Nigel developing in his mother’s pouch, the minuscule, newborn “jelly bean” scaling his mother’s fur to reach the sanctuary of her pouch, and poor Daisy’s burial.
    On a lighter note, the sight of Brolga sparring with, and being chased around, by macho Roger will always remain with me and make me smile.
    What a shame that Brolga doesn’t have more support, both financial and practical, as he pursues his passion and noble vision to save and rehabilitate the orphaned “joeys” to enable them to be released back into the bush.
    Thank you Brolga for all your endeavours and long may you continue to be their saviour!

  11. We have also really enjoyed the documentary about Brolga and his wonderful efforts to save baby kangaroos. What an inspiring man and a true hero to the poor orphans. We went on the website and found the paypal link to donate. We wish we could donate a whole lot more but wanted to try and help however we could. Rest assured if we ever win the lottery we will be in touch. Thank you for brightening up a very dreary English winter!
    Tracy and John Phipps
    Bridlington, UK

  12. What a wonderful documentary. What an inspirational man. The kangaroo is a truly incredible animal. Thank you Brolga, wildlife needs more people like you.
    Samantha Chivers

  13. I’ve just watched both episodes of Kangaroo Dundee and I’m overwhelmed by Brolga’s extraordinary commitment and selflessness. I wonder if he has any idea what an impact he has had in the UK. All I can do to help is to make a donation but I do so happily and with gratitude that there are men like him in this world. My son now lives in Australia and when I visited for the first time last year I fell in love with the native wildlife, but nothing prepared me for seeing the tiny baby crawling up into the pouch and I was on tenterhooks watching Ella’s baby desperately trying to climb back into the pouch. I will keep following Brolga on Facebook and the website. Amazing documentary about amazing animals and an amazing man, good luck and keep up the great work.

  14. I too have been greatly moved, by this series of letters. What an adorable mother this man must have!
    [ED – Hi Bob, I’m not quite sure what you mean. The comments here on Brolga, most of them with the authors’ full names, all came from different emails. I guess one may have been from his mum but all or most of them? I we’ve published reports about Brolga, his astonishing one-man effort to build the sanctuary, his appearance on world-wide TV shows, publicity for the region which cost the taxpayer nothing, and the inexplicable refusal of Tourism NT (under the previous government) and Tourism Central Australia to give him a bit of a hand.]

  15. Erwin, re your comment to Bob Durnan, Feb 7th. There are always two sides to any story.
    This story represents what Brolga has told you and the BBC and nothing else. This is extremely biased reporting in this instance!
    You might want to talk to Parks and Wildlife, Wildcare, Tourism Central Australia and Tourism NT to find out the other side of the story!
    Tourism NT and Tourism Central Australia have advised on many occasions what Brolga has to do in order to get their assistance and he simply refuses.
    My business is very similar and yes Brolga is running a business to make money he is not doing this simply to “save kangaroo’s”.
    He is trying to support himself through this venture just like I do with mine and the best of luck to him.
    In my instance I pay for my Tourism Central Australia membership, I became an accredited operator so Tourism NT will support me in my endeavours.
    Brolga refuses to be a member of Tourism Central Australia and refuses to become an accredited operator yet he is telling all and sundry that no one will help him!
    He has been offered all the assistance under the sun by everyone involved.
    It is him and him only that refuses to help himself, he expects everyone to just “bow at his feet” because he saves kangaroos?
    I run a business and I am a proud member of Wildcare Inc Alice Springs. The Reptile Centre takes in sick and injured reptiles, rehabilitates them (at my cost) and releases them.
    We are the drop off centre for injured wildlife in Alice, the vet is as well, and if a roo or bird comes in they are passed onto other dedicated Wildcare members who look after these animals AT THEIR OWN COST and return them to the wild.
    Some of these people have looked after HUNDREDS of animals over decades quietly going about it without any fanfare.
    There is a much bigger story just there! Brolga is not the only person who cares for our wonderful Australian wildlife however he is the only one choosing to seek the limelight!
    Parks and Wildlife (read NT Government) have monetarily supported the PEAK wildlife body in this region which is WILDCARE INC ALICE SPRINGS. Parks and Wildlife does not fund my business and it will not fund any other private business such as the Kangaroo Sanctuary which Brolga operates as a private business just like mine.
    There is bad blood between Brolga and myself I will state that up-front, we do not see eye to eye at all.
    I do commend him for his dedication to our native wildlife however HIS destiny and that of his establishment relies on HIM and HIM alone towing the line in order to get the support he needs which he is telling everyone world wide he is not getting and can’t understand why?
    I hope this helps to clarify things.

  16. In the name of the wee man! I too followed this two part documentary and was literally a wreck thinking that this guy was just out there with no state help towards the care of those amazing creatures. After just reading Rex Neindorf’s contribution at the top of the page, the whole saga has now given me food for thought. Maybe all is not as it seems, and who are we to know folks what goes on on the other side of the world, when we’re not actually there. Again, the UK, committed BIG TIME to any animal plight because we love them so much. I hope we’re not being seen as soft touches, and I definitely wouldn’t like to think the nation is just been seen as another donation source. 🙁

  17. I watched both programmes and the repeats on the following Sunday. After seeing the first one I told all my friends to watch it and everyone adored Brolga. What a lovely, kind and sensitive man he is. HE DESERVES ALL THE RECOGNITION HE GETS for the wonderful work he is doing, rescuing little orphaned kangaroos in the outback. I expect he has had lots of marriage proposals as a result of that programme.

  18. Rex Neindorf is right. Wildcare Alice members have done a great job with abandoned joeys and all creatures large and small for many years, as have Parks and Wildlife officers. It is unethical for Kangaroo Dundee to make out that he’s the only one concerned about the wellbeing of abandoned joeys or voluntarily taking care of them.
    As Rex points out (Posted February 8, 2013 at 10:14 am), it is completely misleading for Brolga to claim that nobody is willing to help him: he just needs to grow up a bit and learn to abide by the same rules as the other players.
    His UK fans need to take the televised pleading with a bag of reality salt.

  19. I note with interest Rex Neindorf’s comments on Brolga and the work he is doing. I feel I must respond to and clarify some of the derogatory remarks he has made.
    Firstly it was Rex who led the refusal to allow Brolga membership to Wildcare Alice Springs some years ago. Those who supported him are no longer members. To keep the peace Brolga has not become a member, due to Rex’s negativity.
    To become a member of Tourism Central Australia and acquire accreditation requires money. This amount Brolga did not have and felt feeding his roos was more important.
    Brolga has worked cleaning busses to bring in an income to support his sanctuary, hardly a job that is an easy one.
    Rex has successfully grown his business to which he is to be commended, but has secured a contract with Parks and Wildlife for the capture of snakes that are bothering folk. I am sure this has also helped his business – not quite given funding but a contract with them that has a financial reward.
    I am the current president of Wildcare Alice Springs and feel the need to correct Rex’s statement re members looking after animals at their own cost. All food is provided to members by Wildcare with the contribution of members being time and effort.
    Brolga asked Wildcare to be involved in the filming, which we were. We were financially rewarded for this.
    Our income comes from Parks and Wildlife for manning a 24/7 phone service. (These moneys have been halved over the past two years.) We also apply for grants to further our education work etc. from other sources. It is a stipulation of our Wildlife funding that we raise equal amounts of moneys to maintain this grant. This is done by members and public donations, gathering of cans etc, plus BBQs.
    We as an association work closely with Brolga and Parks and Wildlife, tho keep this quiet from Rex to avoid further disruption. We do this for the sake of the animals.
    Only yesterday we received a young kangaroo that had been bought up with dogs as his companions. As he barks like a dog and will currently have nothing to do with other roos, it appears that he will not be suitable for release as dingoes are part of their release exposure. Brolga has offered to have him where he will have the freedom of the sanctuary, but protection from dingoes, dogs etc. This was approved by Parks and wildlife.
    Yes Rex , we are grateful for the work you do for Wildcare, but maybe it is time to put aside personal feelings and allow Brolga to become part of the associations you mention without your objections.

  20. Thanks Cynthia (Posted February 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm) for the wider view of the situation: maybe Kangaroo Dundee is more naive than unethical.

  21. Thank you Cynthia for setting the record straight for those of us over here, unfamiliar with the politics and machinations of such organisations! Having read the other negative and disparaging emails, I can only say that my admiration for Brolga, and his laudable efforts with the ‘roos, has soared! Surely, the continuing welfare and conservation of the Aussie wildlife should serve to unite rather than divide all interested parties … or is that just too naive of me?

  22. Well said Patty. I didn’t think my respect for Brolga could have been any higher until I read the bit by Rex that said that Brolga didn’t toe the line! Wonderful – don’t toe the line Brolga – do what you think is best for the Kangaroos. You are an inspiration Brolga.
    Cheers, Ray – another whinging pom.

  23. I have been following all the threads here, and on Facebook since watching the programme a couple of weeks ago. I think Rex Neindorf’s comments sound like sour grapes.
    Brolga never once complained about his situation during the programme. He seem quite philosphical about making do with very little funds.
    What the programme has really done is to highlight the plight of the kangaroos, get people talking and raise awareness. I think we should look at the bigger picture here, and agree that it has been a very positive move, and will hopefully benefit a greater proportion of wildlife as a result.

  24. I just wanted say I really enjoyed the Mother Roo Progs. I’ve donated at his site 🙂 I hope more Alice Springs folk are supportive of Brolga’s hard work?
    I think Rex Neindorf needs to have a hard look at himself, seriously! Maybe you should have a beer an try to settle your differences with this remarkable man.
    Pass on my Best Wishes to Chris an his Roos!
    Steven Royle
    Blackpool UK

  25. Further to my comments posted on 10th February in answer to a letter from Rex Neindorf re “Brolga”.
    This should not have been a letter from President of Wildcare, but an individual person.
    Not all members were contacted re this letter, so apologies to Wildcare members I may have offended.
    However, the comments made were all true and can be substantiated.
    As both Rex and Brolga are both tourist businesses. This unfortunately often conflicts with volunteer associations.
    I sincerely hope the work being done by all can keep the treatment and welfare of these animals as top priority.

  26. What an extremely bitter man this Rex Neindorf must be.
    People in the UK, and Europe, are still talking about Brolga, his roos and his dedication, his Facebook page now has over 6500 likes and the donations are still coming in. He touched hearts which is more than Sour Grapes Neindorf has done, only thing likely to be coming his way is bad kharma.

  27. Yes I too will be happy to donate as soon as I get my next paycheck. As for all the knockers I say get a life! On ya, Brolga.

  28. Can’t help noticing that the women such as Cynthia Lynch and company are rearing four times the amount of kangaroos as Brolga with less fuss!
    Cynthia – your my favourite! Well done to Brolga, even that Rex fellow (sorry mate, snakes just aren’t cute), and all the people at Wildcare Inc for their fantastic efforts, and to the BBC for highlighting their cause.

  29. I have just finished watching part 1 of this two part documentary, and after reading the comments posted on this site, felt that I had to add my views.
    Firstly I myself have raised young orphaned baby joeys and let me say, it is not an easy thing to do, but there are two ways of doing it.
    Being part of a dedicated team who donate time to a wildlife rescue sanctuary, is one way, but to me it is really the full-time carers and people like Chris who are the true people who give both their lives and love to these beautiful and very precious creatures.
    Chris does this by living alongside them, and being part of their mob, which to me is totally different to giving a few hours or a day here or there.
    It is evident that he is totally in love with them, and all I can say is God bless you my friend, and keep up the good work.
    Can I maybe suggest you write a book on these lovely creatures as you would be one of a few people in this country who would know and understand how they live, so that more people would have a deeper insight as to the life of one of Australia’s national emblems.
    I for one will be making a donation to your cause Chris, keep up doing what you love.
    L. Denny
    Western Australia

  30. Wow, just watched in Adelaide, truly an amazing man. I hope this guy gets funded he deserves it for the amazing thing he is doing, keeping Australia alive. The reason I moved here for freedom of kangaroo and its native animals. He’s a true inspiration.

  31. As a wallaby and kangaroo carer in NSW, I know Brolga spoke from the heart. He said all I have felt about raising these joey babies. If he has to sell a part of himself to help the orphans have a chance at life then so be it. He is not living a life of luxury, he is trying to provide food, medicine and a home, and I believe he is a genuine carer of these precious Australian animals. Keep kissing those babies, Brolga.

  32. Erwin, clearly here is a story that requires your journalistic inquisitive talents. I just watched the show on iView with my kids. I thought it was a wonderful effort by the small team from the BBC. Our Alice looked harsh, peaceful and beautiful. Brolga looked the real deal too for he is. Well done him.
    When his kangaroo nursing home was located at the old Melanka site it was an outstanding hit with the backpackers.
    Often guests would go back next day, some delayed their departure, and before too long newly arrived travelers would get off the plane asking where it was.
    Come on Erwin let us know why some people in town were so hostile to a simple concept which was fantastic for promoting Alice, and gave visitors something easy to do.
    And its still not too late. An animal nursing hospital in town with Brolga and anyone else interested involved. Perhaps stick it on the council lawn – we can not even get a statue up there. Kangaroos in nappies. It would be a hit.
    Go on ask NT Tourism if they could spare a bit of cash to get the whole thing going or have they blown it all on a Melbourne footy club.

  33. What a great setup this Brolga runs, and it’s great to know these abandoned joeys have a home.
    Just a note to UK readers … these kangaroos are in no way endangered. In fact in many parts of Australia, they are in plague proportions, and can be very destructive to the environment and other animals who need to feed on the vegetation the kangaroos denude.
    Culling is sometimes necessary to ensure 1000s don’t starve when food runs out.
    While they are incredible animals, they have very small brains and aren’t too bright when it comes to surviving with dingoes and traffic.
    For those interested, look up kangaroo reproduction … it’s incredible, eg they have three vaginas, and are perfectly adapted to the feast famine nature of the outback.

  34. Unbelievable Brolga!
    What a man, I am so proud to be Australian when I see dedicated people like yourself.
    You are an angel.
    Ps, are you single??

  35. Reading between the lines of Rex’s email one can almost of guess what “toeing the line” would mean for the way that Brolga works and all I can say is that his way is working in a quite remarkably inspirational way and he should just keep on keeping on and totally ignore Rex’s comments.
    As for Rex, I also fully commend his work and suggest that he tries to learn something from Brolga’s success and suppress his jealously and bitterness about it. The success of Brolga’s approach has not been in saving some individual creatures but in inspiring perhaps millions to care more about nature.
    Good wishes!

  36. What a truly wonderful, amazing man! If only there were more like him in this world! So refreshing to see these beautiful kangaroos being loved and cared for instead of persecuted.

  37. I just watched Kangaroo Dundee on ABC here is South Australia, as I taped it for my children, which they will love. I think you are doing an absolutely wonderful job, and I just wish there were more people like you in the world.
    I grew up in Broken Hill NSW, so it’s very similar to (A town like) The Alice (I hear).
    Whenever we have really hot days, my thoughts are always with the kangaroos out in the bush, and in BH would often go out the the local cemetery for a walk where the roos would feed on the cool green grass at dusk.
    They are definitely unique and I love them. Keep up the good work…

  38. Just watched the last TV program in the series.The sheer kindness and love that Brolga displays to his charges is self-evident.
    How many of us would be willing to go to these lengths to save orphaned animals?
    In the name of all humanity – WELL DONE BROGLA! May you and your kind flourish and make this world a better place.

  39. I watched the show last night and was amazed by this man. I live in Australia and I really don’t think people in the UK would know how awful the conditions that he lives in would be.
    The heat would be like living in an oven but he never moaned. The flies would drive you mad and go over all your food. Not having a fridge or freezer to have a cool drink or beer at the end of the day, how would you deal with that? The list goes on.
    Chris made it look so good because of his love for the Kangaroos. I have air-conditioners in my home and car and still moan about the heat when it gets to 40c it would get to 55c where he is.
    I take my hat off to him what a very kind man. I will donate hope he can make his living conditions better.

  40. What a wonderful compassionate man to WILDLIFE and these endearing creatures. LET’S HOPE HIS EFFORTS HELP CHANGE THE APATHY OF AUSTRALIANS TOWARDS THE CARNAGE OF THE SLAUGHTER OF KANGAROOS and THEIR JOEYS EVERY YEAR. I’ve signed petitions against this cruelty after seeing the pictures on the internet on etc and was astonished to see a handful of Aussie signers! I’ve been told by wildlife people there that this attitude is common. In the UK carnage like this to our wildlife would cause an uproar. SHAME ON YOU AUSTRALIA TREATING YOUR NATIONAL ICON IN THIS WAY!

  41. Dear Brolga,
    Having had an chance to live on a small property back of Eden NSW in the Hippy days with family and kids starting with a bare acreage, I can feel with your love of the land, Kangaroos and solitude of your surroundings.
    It is commendable that your love driven quest has made the news and perhaps assistance will be coming forth. At 76 years of age I cannot help but give advice if accepted.
    Keep it simple or you may end up with visitors coming in buses to see your humble surroundings and turn it into a Zoo which you wouldn’t like to end up with. Try to keep it simple, growth is not necessarily the answer. I have great admiration for your love of your mob. Give them a lick for me.
    Alex Podporin

  42. I am reminded by watching again the BBC2 series of Kangeroo Dundee of the fight for survival of joeys together with wildlife everywhere and my admiration for the efforts made by Brolga at his kangeroo sanctuary remain undiminished. Without dedicated like minded people everywhere the world would be materially and spiritually impoverished.


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