The Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail has claimed numerous business and tourism awards but is now moving into a new phase of awareness raising.
At an artist’s talk at Sea Acres on Wednesday, the trail’s creator Margaret Meagher outlined plans for one of the latest creations – Ranger Riley – to become the ambassador for threatened species in NSW National Parks.
Ms Meagher said Ranger Riley will be taken on tour to 11 visitor centres around the state to head an educational campaign around how to be responsible about threatened species.
“Ranger Riley has been painted by local artist Pauline Roods. Twelve badges on the front of Ranger Riley’s uniform depict 12 key threatened species in NSW,” Ms Meagher said.
“On the back, Pauline has painted an extraordinary design featuring 37 threatened species (including the original 12) to promote the saving our species campaign undertaken by NSW National Parks.
“Aboriginal culture is at the core of Riley Ranger and what he stands for. Think about it, Ranger Riley’s ancestors were connecting with Aboriginal peoples long before European settlement.”
Ms Meagher said, in a broader sense, arts and cultural attractions and events are vital in invigorating the local economy and creating vibrant communities.
Ms Roods has now created eight sculptures for the trial.
The artist’s talk at Sea Acres was part of the Creative Ageing Festival.