Meet the Kreative Koala Kids who are saving our threatened species

In our second post sharing our 2020 Kreative Koalas entries we connect with you the big ideas and the call to action from the schools who chose to focus on how we can work together to save Australia’s threatened species.

Life on our planet, whether that be on land (Sustainable Development Goal 15) or below the water (Sustainable Development Goal 14) is affected by our production and consumption (Sustainable Development Goal 12). Students in our Kreative Koalas competition recognised this and highlighted the plights of threatened species on their imaginative koalas.

Koalas have been headline makers throughout 2020 and Penrith Valley Learning Centre chose this topical avenue to look at urbanisation, land degradation and destruction of habitat as they asked: Can we save the koala? The result was this super impressive koala named Urban Connection.

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Urban Connection has 3D sculptures protruding from all over his body, representing buildings and road encroaching on the koala habitat. He has building waste representing land degradation and a bundle of sticks representing loss of trees. He has burnt bark representing fires from last year and a red cross representing the Port Macquarie koala hospital. He even has a coin and note slot for donations to help save the koala.

This [the coin and note slot] allows students, staff, family and community members to contribute money that will be donated to the Koala Hospital, or a like organisation. It is our hope that these creatures will be here for future generations.

When you hear the wind rustling the leaves high up in the trees, stop and listen, for it is the spirit of the koala calling to you.

Dungog Public School in the Hunter Valley designed a superhero koala named Gydgy to highlight the cause of local endangered animals, in particular the Red Goshawk that is on the brink of extinction.

“We decided we should split the koala in half and represent things that are destructive to our environment and the endangered animals in our area on one side and the things that protect it on the other side. On one we placed things like hunters, pests, pollution and bushfires. We felt these had the biggest negative impact on the environment in our area. On the good side we placed some of the endangered animals in our area, a beautiful lush forest, and some people working on planting trees. We felt these showcased the biggest positive effect we have on our area. We wanted to give the koala a superhero mask so that he felt like he was ready to fight for our endangered animals!

Gydgy also features a film-strip representing the ‘heroes and villains’ movie the students made with heroes including Eucalyptus Woman and Red Goshawk.

Also looking at endangered species in the Hunter Valley was St Brigid’s Primary School who focussed their attention on the Hunter River Turtle and gave their koala the Gathang language name for turtle of Hunter Bila Guraa. So this creation is half koala, half turtle!

Hunter Bila Guraa’s head is the colours of aboriginal flag making him a biodiversity warrior. The school vegetable garden is strategically placed on his tummy, his sides represent the good and bad outcomes for threatened species, his front legs are the local Hunter and Williams Rivers and the Hunter River Turtle (and new school mascot) straddles his back.

“Our koala is unique as he is the only koala who wanted to become a turtle. We researched lots of designs to ensure we did something original. With his large turtle back and a Gathang name to identify him, we think our turtle is one of a kind. The situation of the Hunter River Turtle is dire and we feel passionately about changing this.”

Through their fundraising efforts St Brigid’s was able to donate $300 to the Australian Reptile Park for specific use on their new Hunter River Turtle enclosure.

You can watch St Brigid’s digital learning journey here

Two schools chose to research the impact of our actions on bees. They were Gol Gol Public School and Primbee Public School. Queen Koala Bee was the entry from Gol Gol Public School in Mildura.

Queen Koala Bee, with her grey head and dark green body, is lovingly covered in a swarm of hand-made bees – both European Honey Bees and Australian Native Blue Banded Bees. Together the bees form a crown on her head.

 “Queen Koala Bee sits majestically in our school office to welcome guests and visitors. Her loyal swarm of bees are hard workers and keep up the important task of educating the importance of bees to our community and environment. Students are now excited when they see a bee, especially a native Blue Banded Bee and they thank them for what they do.

The Gol Gol KK project incorporated putting together seed packets and ‘how-to-make’ bee hotel instructions in a sealed packet. A packet was then given to the youngest sibling of each family. The students are excited to watch their flowers grow and attract their own bees.

Primbee Public School in Warrawong (Wollongong) cheekily combined their school and suburb names to come up with Warrabee, the rainbow coloured koala championing bees.

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Primbee students participated in OzHarvest’s FEAST program growing and cooking their own food and realised the importance of bees in their own garden.

“On the back of our koala we have a silhouette representing our gardens. Every class has a session where they go out to our playgrounds and contribute to making our gardens more presentable. Above the silhouette, we have a selection of colours that represent our classes. pink at the top for Grevillia, red for Bottlebrush, yellow for Wattle, green for Eucalyptus, blue for Bluegum and lastly purple for Jacaranda.”

Bees represent the sustainability initiatives Primbee Public School is undertaking including worm farms, gardening, collection and recycling of food waste, and the construction of a wooden bee hive. Warrabee illustrates their ideas on sustainability and shows their true colours!

#KreativeKoalaKids #GlobalGoals #SDG12 #SDG15


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