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Friday, May 14, 2021

Quest offers koala-ty fun

The ‘Scoop’ is in, or more precisely, at the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) this March.

Cub reporter Scoop is one of 20 larger-than-life Hello Koalas sculptures to be on display in Canberra and is set to greet visitors to the ANBG as part of the Carramar Koala Quest.

Hello Koalas is an imaginative sculpture project which was founded in Port Macquarie, NSW.

Each of the one-metre high fibreglass koala sculptures is adorned with unique artwork which promotes messages of conservation of plants and animals. This is the first time a travelling exhibition of the sculptures has been staged.

Hello Koalas project director, Margret Meagher said: “Our company, Arts and Health Australia, is proud of its award-winning Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail and especially excited that 20 of our Hello Koalas sculptures are travelling to Canberra as guests of the ANBG.

“Each Hello Koalas sculpture has been selected for its important environmental and cultural message and the Gardens provide the perfect setting for our Hello Koalas to shine as conservation ambassadors to ensure that threatened species in Australia are well cared for and treasured. And, of course, everyone loves koalas!”

The ANBG will host 14 of the 20 Hello Koala Sculptures with the Carramar Koala Quest also providing an opportunity to promote World Wildlife Day on 3 March and National Eucalypt Day on 23 March.

Scoop, by artist Rebekah Brown, is a pop art styled koala representing the Port Macquarie region, depicting oceans, rivers, music, art and vibrant colours.

Joining Scoop at the ANBG is a new sculpture, Buzzy, who highlights the importance of native bees and the native plants bees thrive on. Visitors are also encouraged to try and discover the elusive Carramar (an Indigenous word for ‘shade of trees’), for the chance to win two nights’ accommodation in Port Macquarie (the Hello Koalas Festival in Port Macquarie is on 6-9 June). For more information about the Carramar Koala Quest competition and how to enter, visit parksaustralia.gov.au/botanic-gardens

Megan Donaldson, ANBG visitor services coordinator, said “each koala has its own special story to tell and we’re inviting everyone to come and say hello”.

A selection of Hello Koalas sculptures will be popping up at other iconic Canberra destinations including the National Zoo and Aquarium and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

Visitors to the Enlighten Festival can also join in the Hello Koalas fun with Guula, a koala celebrating unique Indigenous artwork and traditions, on display in the Parliamentary Triangle on 1-17 March. Some of the koalas will also feature during Luminous Botanicus IV: shade of trees at the ANBG which is part of the Enlighten Festival.

The Enlighten Festival is on 1-17 March. For the full program and ticketing information, visit enlightencanberra.com

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