Three schools in our 2022 Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future challenge chose to use their fibreglass koalas to explore the benefits of bees in our world, and to highlight the challenges bees face. Interestingly , the study of bees incorporated multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals including SDG 2: Zero Hunger, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 13: Climate Change, SDG 14: Life Below Water and SDG 15: Life on Land.
Let’s take a look at their bee-utiful creations.
Collaborating under the banner of the Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education were students from three primary schools – Bilpin, Kurrajong East and Blue Mountains Steiner – who put their vivid imaginations together to produce a koala named “Ngalaya”.
“Ngalaya” is Darug for ally or friend in battle – fitting in our Koala who will assist us in educating students across NSW in how they protect the future for our pollinators.”
The honey-coloured Ngalaya features local native bees as alternatives to European honeybees and illustrates their habitat and honey production with 2D and 3D creations ranging from life-sized to macro. There is even a Fibonacci Sequence (mathematical sequence) that is so often replicated in nature.
“Our koala is unique because it is a means of demonstrating how native pollinators are essentially entwined with current and emerging sustainable agricultural practices in order to work towards guaranteeing future food security for Australia, and potentially the human race as a whole.”
Also on the bee-wagon were students from Hamilton Public School who created a bold yellow and black koala named “Clancy” to demonstrate the importance of bees to the ecosystem and food security.
“If we can put in place practices that protect bees in our own back yard, then the impact can permeate through the community and positively contribute toward achieving SDG 15, 2, 11 and 13.”
With motifs depicting beehives, antennas on his head and a pink rose in his mouth, Clancy is one smart-looking koala. Clancy will proudly stand in the school’s Blue Gate Garden, an established project that has been incorporated into previous Kreative Koala competitions, where he will be a symbol of sustainability and the pursuit of a better future.
The final school taking a deep-dive into the world of bees was St Brigid’s Primary School who designed “Girrga” (meaning native bee in the Gathang language). Girrga gives voice to the problems soft plastics present in the environment, the plight of local butterflies and bees and the challenges faced by bees by the current Varroa mite infestation.
As a result, Girrga is a vibrant koala with a bee for a nose, a giant butterfly across her back, and plastics on her limbs, surrounded by multi-coloured flower designs across her body.
“We really wanted to portray the bright and vibrant colours of country. The bees are on our koala’s toes to represent how they are currently missing in our environment due to the Varroa mite disaster. We believe our koala is unique because not only does she represent the concern we have for the environment and local habitats due to wasteful packaging, but she also spotlights a current issue of the plight of bees in our local area.”
Thank you to all students who have shown us the value of bees in our communities and environment and their contribution to our future food security.