Children to explore their natural creativity

Friday, 13 December 2019

Geelong school students will have their creative artworks displayed at a premier cultural institution as part of an expanded series of nature-based events.

The City-led Alphabet Bird Project will showcase the talents of Greater Geelong’s Year Four students through a week-long exhibition at the National Wool Museum.

The exhibition aims to highlight 26 threatened waterway and wetland birds in the Geelong region, and educate young people and their families about our local environment.

The Alphabet Bird Project is a key component of the Geelong Nature Forum, which will run from 28 March to 3 April 2020.

In its second year, the expanded Geelong Nature Forum will highlight the region’s natural wonders through a curated series of nature-based activities, presentations and displays.

The forum’s theme is Where The Rivers Run, providing a focus on the animal and plant life of the Geelong region’s rivers, creeks and wetlands.

The multi-dimensional program will include:

  • Talks and presentations
  • Manned displays by local community environment groups
  • Field-based expeditions, to encourage people to explore natural places
  • Nature-based school holiday activities, at venues including the Geelong Botanic Gardens and
  • The school students’ exhibition at the National Wool Museum.

The Alphabet Bird Project’s supporting educational material will tie in with the Australian Curriculum in Science and Visual Arts subject areas for the Year Four level.

The material has been designed by Geelong scientist and artist Mary-Jane Walker, who will be artist-in-residence at the National Wool Museum from February 2020.

An arts graduate who holds a doctorate in Molecular Genetics, Dr Walker uses creative arts to explore issues and actions surrounding climate change and our inbuilt need to connect with nature.

Her own exhibition, Now you See Us, will explore the 84 threatened bird species of the Greater Geelong region through hyper-realistic paper taxidermy sculptures of the birds.

The Alphabet Bird Project is supported by the Geelong Field Naturalists Club and the City of Greater Geelong.

Almost 1100 students, from more than 20 schools, have confirmed their involvement in the project.

The schools will have all of their artwork returned at the end of the exhibition and will receive a bird-attracting tree to plant as recognition of their participation.

For further information on the Alphabet Bird Project contact Karen Benham at the City by phone or or [email protected]

Couoncillor Stephanie Asher - Mayor

We are excited to see the Geelong Nature Forum return with a larger program of events, which will encourage residents to learn more about the region’s stunning natural features. The schools’ art exhibition is a creative new element, which will educate the next generation on the threats to our rare bird species and the impacts on our waterways and wetland areas.

The exhibition and wider forum will shine a light on conservation efforts and promote the variety of activities and initiatives being done by local environmental groups.

Mary-Jane Walker - lead artist 

The Alphabet Bird Project is a terrific initiative. Using art as the activity is really engaging for children and their families and is a way of connecting with the birds in a meaningful way. Importantly it focuses on making people think about what can be done to retain the biodiversity of this area and recognise the wonder of these beautiful birds on our doorstep.

We hear so much about the changing environment, which can often be overwhelming, but this project will help bring the bigger issues down to the local level.

Page last updated: Tuesday, 31 December 2019