Winners have been announced in a state-wide school art competition aimed at increasing young people’s knowledge of South Australian marine life and Australian Marine Parks. The students were inspired to create their art following a University of Adelaide organised roadshow.
School winners took home marine park experiences, such as swimming with the sea lions, a boat trip to go whale watching, and snorkelling with cuttlefish. Shortlisted students received a marine park showbag including Fab Five tote bags, national park passes, hats, entry to the marine themed museums, badges, and stickers.
The students’ art will be on display in an exhibition at the University of Adelaide Library’s Ira Raymond Room (level 3), from Tuesday 29 November to Friday 2 December, 9am-5pm, with an official launch event on Monday 28 November. The exhibition can also be viewed online: www.fabfive.gallery
Experts from the marine world judged the artwork based on the criteria the artworks had to include: one of the “fab five” South Australian marine species (sea eagles, white sharks, sea lions, southern right whales, and cuttlefish); something to represent a marine park; and something to represent Sea Country.
Throughout the year, a team of University of Adelaide scientists and Aboriginal educators and artists delivered a roadshow of school workshops to showcase the importance of First Nations’ Sea Country and marine parks as homes for invaluable species. As part of the workshops, students produced artworks to reflect their newfound knowledge.
“It was so interesting to see how creativity in the classroom significantly helps with learning. After the roadshow school visits, I’ve have had multiple students reach out saying they now want to pursue a career in the environmental sector, which is so rewarding.”
-Dr Nina Wootton, a marine researcher from the School of Social Sciences, the University of Adelaide.
Dr Nina Wootton, a marine researcher from the School of Social Sciences, one of the organisers of the roadshow said: “It was so interesting to see how creativity in the classroom significantly helps with learning.”
The team travelled to 16 schools, reaching more than 1500 students in regional South Australia, as well as multiple community workshops. The team visited Mount Gambier, Kingston SE, Kangaroo Island, Port Augusta, Tumby Bay, Port Lincoln, Elliston, Streaky Bay, Ceduna, Yalata, and Adelaide.
“After the roadshow school visits, I’ve have had multiple students reach out saying they now want to pursue a career in the environmental sector, which is so rewarding,” Dr Wootton said.
Joining Dr Wootton on the trip was leader of the project, Professor Melissa Nursey-Bray from the School of Social Sciences.
“Coastal communities have such a strong connection and reliance on the ocean and its resources, so it was great to be able to connect with students from these areas,” she said.
Shane Holland, the team’s cultural lead, and a key part of the educational roadshow, said:
“The project highlighted the strong and continuing connection to Sea Country for First Nations peoples in South Australia, and it was great to see these young people acknowledging and celebrating this connection in their amazing artwork.”
The Finding the Fab Five project was funded by the Australian Government through the Our Marine Parks Grants program, and the majority of competition prizes were generously donated by South Australian tourism operators.