I have been involved in growing native orchids for about 50 years.
I remembered seeing them growing in the forests when working on timber trucks.
I admired them from the beginning, their dainty flowers, and the way they clung to rocks on mountain sides.

I met other people who also liked them, this was when living and working in Sydney. We formed the Australian Native Orchid Society; therefore I was a foundation member. Meetings were held in Sydney.

At that stage I then lived in Thornleigh.
One person that I can remember well was
Wal Upton. Others were  Murray Corrigan,
Ronald Kerr and Ira Butler.

Later I also joined Berowra Orchid Society.
When with Berowra we staged a show in
the Sydney Town Hall, 1962, referred to in
the book by the late Frank Slattery OAM.
“The Blooming Years”. 
It was called Berowra Goes Native.

I often went with other growers into the bush
around Sydney, and collected plants - I had
a license to collect (off fallen trees).

During this time I was in correspondence with David L. Jones,
and he mentioned me in his book: "Native Orchids of Australia"
I passed information on to him to notify him of the location of
different Orchid Species that I found.




I moved to Queensland in 1974 with my orchids on the removalist truck. For quite a while when living in Pomona, I joined Nambour Orchid Society, but found driving to night meetings a little worrying, also Gympie for a while.

Then moved to Cooroy in 1989, built (again) a shade house. I was still working, and joined Noosa Orchid Society. Meetings were at night in the Cooroy Uniting Church Hall. When I retired, we built a new house and a new shade house, that was my priority to house my collection of orchids. I was made a “Life Member” of Noosa District Orchid Society because of my long involvement in growing Australian Natives and for being a member for so many years.

Noel Willis

Noel & Colleen
Stephen Clemesha and I used to go “bush” quite often.

My favourite Orchid has always been the Den. Kingianum in all its forms.