Easter Bilbies & Bunnies…

Bilby_largeWill it be Easter Bilbies or Easter Bunnies appearing around your home this Easter, bearing loads of yummy chocolate and candy Easter Eggs and all manner of tasty treats for young, and older, alike?

Maybe it will be both Bilbies and Bunnies?…


Easter Bilby.2013




“VISITING wildlife parks with her parents as a child is how Rebecca Dunbar a then little known native marsupial heading towards the endangered species list. 
   In  bid to gain exposure for the Bilby’s plight, the then eight year old gathered signatures from class mates and sent a heartfelt letter to local chocolate makers Melbas and Haighs asking them to help – and the Easter Bilby was born.
   This year marks 20 years since the Easter Bilby became a chocolate icon in Australia, and Mrs Dunbar, of Gawler, says when she sees the bilby brought out for Easter, she stilll has to pinch herself.  “I’m humbled,” Mrs Dunbar said.
   “I’m still really amazed an idea could be ongoing and so influential in the public eye.
   “To be a young person…and hear about a cause…and be part of that change and find you made a difference is exciting and empowering.”
   Melba’s founding director Graeme Foristal said the company had been considering adopting the Bilby in 1993, but credited Mrs Dunbar for giving Melba the push to get it done.

   “The bilby changed Easter in Australia,” Mr Foristal said. “We were very unsure and then when the letter came we just couldn’t resist it. It was so cute.”
   Mr Foristal tracked down Mrs Dunbar this year through the threatened species network which help create the Easter Bilby, to include her in the 20th anniversary celebration and to unveil the new look bilby to the woman who inspired it as an eight year old.
   “It was very exciting – it was like seeing a long time family member,” Mr Foristal said.


Easter Bilby.2013.Haighs

HAIGH’s will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its chocolate bilby this Easter.

In 1993, Haigh’s Chocolates joined forces with the Foundation for Rabbit-Free Australia (RFA) to help increase awareness of the not-for-profit organisation’s programs.

Haigh’s Chocolates chief executive Alister Haigh said more than 500,000 chocolate bilbies had been made since the partnership started.

“We are determined to do more for a cause that is so important,” Mr Haigh said.

RFA president Nicholas Newland said the initiative raised money and awareness of the threat posed by rabbits.

“We all need to be vigilant against the threat that wild rabbits pose to our biodiversity, landscape quality, farmers, horticulturalists and foresters,” Mr Newland said.

Part proceeds from the sale of Easter bilbies go to the RFA’s work to protect the environment from wild rabbits.

Haigh’s Chocolate’s bilbies are available at its Parkside, Glenelg and CBD stores.


FEATHERDALE Wildlife Park wants the Easter bilby to be as loved as the Easter bunny.

IT’S the worst rabbit plague in Australia since the 1995 release of the calicivirus from Wardang Island.


Easter Chocolate gets the “taste test”…

Easter Chocolate Tasting

… and the winners are:

Easter Chocolate Score

Tasty chocolate is tasty chocolate… regardless of it’s shape    😀





Educational resources, such as this Worksheet, can be accessed at:


Save the Bilby:

Worst Rabbit Plague Since 1995:

Haighs Easter Bilbies – 20th Anniversary:

Eight year old girl from Gawler, South Australia, creates the Easter Bilby:

Students give Easter chocolate – 2013 – the taste test:


Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

10 thoughts on “Easter Bilbies & Bunnies…

  1. This post has brought back memories Catherine! At my primary school we had an annual “Easter Bonnet Parade”. In 1995 my bonnet was a Bilby with the slogan “Vote 1 Bilbies for Easter” (I must have been inspired by election how to vote cards but I cringe thinking of it now!!) Coming from a farm I knew how destructive bunnies were so I am still a Bilby fan. For the last two years I have made some bilbies with fairtrade organic chocolate and a Bilby chocolate mould!!
    Happy and blessed Easter to you and your family.

    • I’m so pleased it brought back happy memories Aillin 🙂 … Fancy you making a Bilby Bonnett for your “Easter Bonnett Parade”. That is absolute magic!!! “Vote 1 Bilbies for Easter” is so so good… you shouldn’t be cringing. Hope you have a photo!!!
      I had no idea that Bilby chocolate moulds existed… just purchased, what I’m told are the last 5 small ones, available in this shop, on E-bay 🙂 … my youngest grandson is spending the weekend with me and we’ll be making chocolate Bilbies if the moulds come through on time, as promised. Don’t think I’ll be able to source “fairtrade organic chocolate” before then but will keep it in mind for the future.
      Thanks for the heads up Aillin and the Easter greeting … lovely to hear from you.

      • The Easter Bilbie chocolate moulds turned up on Saturday, a few hours before the boy did… but we ran out of time because this precious 8 year old was too busy teaching his Mamo (me) how to use Excel :-)… Maybe next time.

    • So glad you enjoyed it Sheryl… I’m always fascinated hearing about how the world was there in Philadelphia, USA, 100 years ago and also in the present day.

      One of the most unexpecting things about “blogging” has been making “virtual” friends from all over the world who share their customs, experiences etc… and, as you know I am totally in love with your Grandmother, Miss Muffly, whom I only know as a teenage girl writing in her Diary 100 years ago. Thankyou for sharing her thoughts and thanks for your comment. Hope your Easter was full of family joy.

  2. I love the hot cross buns! They gave me my laugh before bed. It was also interesting to read about bilbies – a completely new animal to me!

    • Those “hot cross buns” are so cute eh Nancy? 😀 … Glad you found our beautiful Bilbies interesting. We have such a problem with our native wildlife under threat by those introduced “critters”… as well as the destruction of their habitat as we humans encroach further into their territory.

  3. This is lovely Catherine. We spent one Easter in Melbourne when the boy-child was about seven and a friend gave him a chocolate bilbie (and a little soft toy bilbie too). He was totally into nature and animals then and really interested in hearing about bilbies. We still have the toy (named Babbington Bilbie the third for some reason) 🙂

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