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The founders of this project are Ray & Delphine Archer. They have recently retired after owning and operating a successful business ‘empire’ in growing Olive trees and making Olive Leaf Extract on their properties near Gatton, Esk & Grantham. This entrepreneurial couple have holidayed on Bribie for many years and have fallen in love with our island lifestyle. They always knew that one day they would leave the farm and retire to live on the island. Due to business stresses, Ray developed a keen interest in breeding butterflies which started at their Gatton/Esk property. 

Ray said “We were flat out with our business involvements and desperately wanted some more peace in our lives. We had successfully attracted hundreds of little sweet-singing birds to our garden and then we thought about butterflies. Butterflies are beautiful and very peaceful insects. They don’t yell at you or pee and poo on you. They don’t growl at you or bite you. They bring a lot of peace into your life”. So Ray built his first butterfly house back in 2009 and he’s been crazy about butterflies ever since. 

Ray and Delphine’s business and personal interests have always been related to people’s physical, mental and spiritual health. So as a part of their retirement plan they bought the residential property at Banksia Beach where the current project operates from. There are various FREE activities on offer for all locals to participate in – no matter what age or physical capabilities you have.  These include:

Enjoy coming to see hundreds of butterflies fluttering by you in our butterfly house. Learn the life cycle and how to hand-raise and care for these amazing creatures. Experience the joy of seeing the butterflies emerge, then make a wish and let them go free. 

Help Bribie’s second name become ‘Butterfly Island’. Learn as you help to raise plants that we give away free to plant in your gardens on the island. We have already given away over 3000 plants and are beginning to see the results with many more butterflies on the island.

We have also started a ‘Foster Care’ program where you can care for the many potted plants we need for planting in the upcoming new butterfly house. We have now ‘fostered’ out over 1000 plants in pots for the new project. If you love caring for pot plants then please let us know as we still have many more to care for. Thank you for you help.

Learn how to grow your own vegies at bench height – no sore backs, no weeds, no grubs, no dirt in the salad, no washing needed. Take some nice fresh vegies home to try. No classes, just learn as you help.


We will continue to run the butterfly and plant project as an operational sister to the new butterfly house we are constructing. We will continue to grow the hydroponic plants required to feed our hungry caterpillars and vegies for the caring volunteer helpers. We must stress though, that this original project at Banksia is not a tourist destination. It is located in a residential area and we must respect our neighbours’ privacy and friendships. 

We have recently became an incorporated body called ‘Bribie Butterfly Volunteers Inc’. This incorporation consists of valued volunteers including:
President & Founder – Ray Archer
Secretary – Peter Hunt
Treasurer – Norbert Pothin
Butterfly Breeding Manager – Glen Cleminson
Nursery Manager – Scott Lambert
Research Officer – Peter Sampson
Volunteers Roster Manager, Website & Promotions – Angela Blinco

For the many activities and jobs we need doing please visit our ‘Volunteering’. ‘Current Projects’ & ‘Contact Us’ Section for details. Thank you in advance for your wonderful help.