Art project encourages cockatoo conservation

Asset Publisher

14 May 2024

Public school life

A creative arts initiative is helping teach students about a vulnerable cockatoo.

Coolbinia Primary School students were joined by artists-in-residence Melissa Spillman and Melanie Gray to take part in art projects to learn about the red-tailed black cockatoo.

An art piece created during the project.

The artists inspired the students to take action to care for the bird, which is known as kaarak in Noongar language.

Six hundred origami kaarak, paintings, and murals were among the artworks created to raise awareness in the school community about conservation efforts.

Coolbinia Primary School cross curriculum leader Dr Elaine Lewis said the aim of the project was to creatively engage students in a range of subject areas including the arts, English, biological science, two-way science, and sustainability. 

“The school is truly grateful for the work undertaken by Melanie Gray and Melissa Spillman through this initiative that links so clearly to sustainability action.

“These artists inspired the students, through different art projects, to take action to care for the kaarak.

“Their work culminated in spectacular displays to raise community awareness about the plight of the kaarak.”

The project was funded by a grant from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

It comes after previous initiatives at the school to support the survival of local birds, including tree planting activities to provide habitat and food as well as the installation of a ‘cockatoo café’ bird waterer.