Ludwig Leichhardt was a German-born naturalist, who explored much of Australia in the 1800’s leaving numerous animals, plants, rivers and localities named in his honour many of which are in Queensland. He was also a great admirer of Alexander von Humboldt, who was a supporter of Leichhardt’s endeavours. In celebration of the anniversary of Leichhardt’s birthday on 23 October 1813, Queensland Humboldtians gathered on two occasions. The first was a formal reception on 22nd October at the Brisbane German Club on invitation by the German-Australian-Business-Organisation. Some 150 guests, including the German Ambassador Dr Christoph Mueller, the Scientific Officer of the German Embassy Dr Anne Braun, as well as Dr Enno Aufderheide and Dr Katrin Amian from the Humboldt-Foundation attended the event. We were welcomed by the Liederkranz choir with the German and Australian anthems, and enjoyed hearty German fingerfood with German beer. The reception concluded with the launch of the newly published Leichhardt diaries. The next day, on 23rd October, Humboldtians gathered at the University of Queensland to attend the Leichhardt Symposium on Biodiversity and Conservation, initiated and organised by UQ Humboldtians Peer Schenk and Judith Reinhard. A distinguished delegation of speakers from German institutions participated in the symposium and the public lecture, highlighting the strong collaborative links between Germany and Australia in the field of biodiversity research.
Judith Reinhard, QLD representative