Plant a tree – save a threatened species, with Kreative Koalas and TheBEATS

Schools involved in the 2022 Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future challenge are well advanced on their SDG journey of discovery and are in the process of designing and delivering their Community Action Project (CAP). To empower students’ further Action4Agriculture connects them with influencers in our communities who work with us to create change and offer opportunities to engage with special projects. One such special project is TheBEATS. Let’s find out more.

Tommy Viljoen, in his natural state, is a bushman. He grew up on a farm in Africa and although his career directed him to accounting and then cybersecurity, the natural world was always close to his heart. Later in life he spent three months travelling outback Australia.

“It was absolutely beautiful but there were parts that surprised me. You think ‘this is remote Australia, I should be able to see all the Australian species’ but the main things I saw were goats. I wondered how this could be,” he says.

His surprise and questioning became the motivation to form, an evolutionary return to his roots.

Tom Carroll theBEATS co-founder with Tommy Viljoen theBEATS founder holding quolls at Aussie Ark

TheBEATS is a charity that beats the drum for Biodiversity, Endangered And Threatened Species and it needs our Kreative Koala kids.

“We want do education from the bottom-up and work with people who are going to make a difference in the future, and who will be most impacted by climate change. Those people are our kids. Along with getting rid of feral predators we want to inspire our kids to help us return habitat that is so important for threatened and endangered species, and ultimately ourselves. Children influence their parents who, in turn, influence communities,” Tommy says.

In order to inspire young people to be part of regenerating habitat is launching a challenge pilot program called Trees for Nature. It calls on students to research an endangered or threatened species in their local area (helpful hint: check out this interactive website developed by the University of Queensland), and then submit an artwork (maybe a Kreative Koala!). For every artwork submitted a tree will be planted in one of two theBEATS projects.

The two projects are situated in the Clarence River area of northern NSW. The first provides additional food resources for koalas, while the second provides safe passage through road developments for threatened coastal emus {insert emu crossing photo}. Six specific tree species (red gum, tallowwood, small fruity grey gum, swamp mahogany, white mahogany and grey ironbark) are being planted.

Jane Beattie, a high school teacher and nature lover has teamed up with Barbara Linley who owns two parcels of land on the mid-North Coast of NSW between McLaren and Broome Head, very close to Yuraygir National Park. With a team of committed folk and the help of Envite they have just planted out 1000 trees for koalas near Tullymorgan.  

“We will allocate one of these trees to every child who submits an artwork and provide them with information about the tree and why it is important. They, in turn, can see that action is being taken due to their efforts,” Tommy says.

TheBEATS is looking for two Kreative Koalas schools to be part of the inaugural Trees for Nature challenge.

“Our scientists and nature lovers tell us one of the most important things we can do at this time for our endangered creatures, is to stop habitat loss and regenerate it wherever we can. We want to get people, and especially kids, to make the connection between habitat and biodiversity protection, and to recognise how important that is,” Tommy says. “

If your school wants to restore nature one tree at a time and return habitat to our threatened and endangered species, now is the time to act.

Want to know more about TheBEATS? Contact:


  • Tommy Viljoen at
  • Louise Denver


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