A short film by a northern rivers filmmaker is set to bring the plight of the endangered koala to a new audience – in Tijuana, Mexico.
The video, filmed for WIRES by Bungawalbin filmmaker Jimmy Malecki, is part of an installation entitled The Koala Plagued by his Fate.
It will be seen by patrons of the Entijuanarte Arts Festival over next weekend.
Set in the northern rivers, the video features WIRES Clarence Valley koala carer Pat Edwards, Friends of the Koala committee member and carer Donna Graham, as well as Dailan Pugh of the North East Forest Alliance and respected zoologist David Milledge.
‘The WIRES clip is an exciting opportunity to educate a new audience about some of the threats that face the koala,’ Friends of the Koala president Lorraine Vass said yesterday.
‘The Koala Plagued by his Fate will be officially launched by WIRES in Sydney today. Simultaneously Friends of the Koala will be also releasing a short clip promoting its supportive involvement,’ Mrs Vass said.
‘It’s also an opportunity to tell the wider world that koala conservation engages numerous organisations and committed individuals, working together for the koala’s survival.
‘Friends of the Koala works collaboratively with WIRES locally,’ said Mrs Vass.
‘We have a longstanding agreement with WIRES Northern Rivers that they refer calls for koalas in need of care to us. WIRES Clarence Valley operates outside our licensed area but they also rely on our assistance with koalas in their care.’
The northern rivers, which remains a nationally significant koala stronghold, has a very long tradition of community-led koala advocacy and protection. In 1958 residents of Tucki southeast of Lismore formed a citizen committee dedicated to preserving the local koala population and its habitat. These days environment centres, forest advocates, rescue and rehabilitation groups, Landcare and many others all play a part in conserving and nurturing our precious koalas.
Next month they will be joined by citizen scientists from across the region participating in the Great Koala Count. Run by the National Parks Association of NSW in partnership with the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative from 7 to 17 November, the Count will boost our understanding of where koalas are as people record their koala sightings.