Mis D. Light was on the A List of invitees for the opening of an exhibit at Melbourne Zoo that I was organising. Another event, another A List, and there was Miss D. Light again. Her address was in Mt Evelyn – not a notorious spot for hookers!
I resolved that at this event I would identify her and say ‘hello’ or ‘welcome’. But in the midst of organising the media and ensuring the function was functioning, I was unable to identify her amid the gaggle of glamorous women.
Her name kept coming up over the next little while, always respectful, acknowledging her professionalism and always with a hint of glamour! These references always involved Australian native wildlife. I was intrigued.
A short time later, Miss D. Light was to be the guest speaker at the opening of a Wildlife Art Show in East Melbourne. Fortunately, I had also been invited to the opening, non, not A List. This time I would be able to identify her!
During her presentation Miss D. Light spoke with compassion about her life-long love affair with Australian wildlife. She told of how she set up her own wildlife rescue group, Help for Wildlife, a 24- hour Wildlife Emergency Service. Her dedicated team had attended oil spills, heat stress events with flying foxes and many bushfires, including Black Saturday – where they searched for injured animals, built shelters and provided food and water for starving and displaced animals every night for 10 monts. To close, she bemoaned the lack of interest in the genre of wildlife art in Australia and grandly, and with great enthusiasm, complimented the artists whose work we were about to enjoy.
I boldly introduced myself – that was how we met.
From the moment we met I was inspired by her passion, experience and determination, and continue to be in awe of her.
Denise and I enjoyed a great friendship for many years, sharing our love of wildlife and wildlife art, until her death in September 2015.
“Each and everyone of us can make a difference in some way. The only limit we have is what we put on ourselves. The difference I have been able to make is through a very deep respect and love for our wildlife.” Denise Garratt, nee Light
Find out about Help for Wildlife & read ‘In Loving Memory of Denise Garratt’ at https://helpforwildlife.org.au/