The theme for the past two days has been ‘bringing nature to people’ – we have welcomed a visit from our sister sanctuary ZEALANDIA and launched an engaging augmented reality game at Canberra Airport.
Another First – an Augmented Reality Game to capture new conservationists
Yesterday the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust celebrated an innovative way to share our conservation message. The launch of a giant ‘interactive billboard’ at Canberra Airport puts bettongs, quolls and the plight of woodlands centre-stage for all visitors to Canberra.
We funded the development of an interactive augmented reality game that hints at the experience of joining a twilight tour at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary. As far as we know this is the first time biodiversity conservation has been presented to the Australian community in this fun and engaging way.
The bustling interest in the wildlife presented on this interactive display, was a testament to the gravity of bringing nature to people. The everyday life of Australians, even within the Bush Capital, is increasingly disconnected from the natural environment. Developing innovative and creative ways to infiltrate cities with nature contributes to bridging that gap. Ultimately, it is hoped that these initiatives will encourage people to step out of their homes and into the bush.
Welcoming our Sister Sanctuary and exploring biophilic cities
The aim of Mulligans Flat to restore our nature, transform our thinking and inspire action for conservation is shared by another world-renowned sanctuary – ZEALANDIA, of Wellington, New Zealand. After signing an MOU with them in May this year, we have been active in working together to share knowledge and ideas. Currently we are hosting three visitors from ZEALANDIA. That is, CEO Paul Atkins, Chair Denise Church and board member Pam Fuller.
“After visiting ZEALANDIA several times, I am thrilled to share the Trust’s work with key members of our sister sanctuary” said Trust President Alison Russel-French.
A presentation from Denise and Paul highlighted shared aspirations to engage people with nature and conservation.
“The work of ZEALANDIA is as much about bringing nature to the people outside of the sanctuary, as it is within the sanctuary” said Paul Atkins.
ZEALANDIA, having been established as a Ecosanctuary for over 20 years, works to inspire the city of Wellington every day. Whether that be through education programs, bird paintings on buildings, or the presence of the cheeky reintroduced Kaka parrot that now ventures beyond the predator-proof sanctuary into the suburbs.
“Our visit to Canberra has revealed just how similar ZEALANDIA and Mulligans Flat are” said Denise Church.
“There are so many opportunities to collaborate and strengthen the conservation and outreach work that we do. With the direct flights to and from Canberra, exchange opportunities are now just a hop skip and a jump away”.
At the unexpected location of the Canberra Airport, members of two sister sanctuaries watched in awe as people engaged with an augmented nature experience. This experience could lead to a visit to Mulligans Flat where people can see bettongs and quolls in the flesh. Perhaps they might take their family to see these unique animals? Or maybe it will encourage them to spread the word about protecting native wildlife. In any case, projects like this contribute to a much-needed public dialogue about the ways we can protect our wildlife, and Mulligans Flat will continue to help facilitate this conversation.
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