Mon. May 27th, 2024

The five meter high Giant Koala and her baby that attended the Armidale Autumn Festival will be appearing again at the Black Gully Festival this year.

The Black Gully Festival is a free, family-friendly event celebrating the vibrant spirit of Armidale as the weather warms up, offering a day filled with music, art, environmental and community engagement. The festival promises an entertaining experience for attendees of all ages. Head down to the creek lands at the back of NERAM this Saturday, November 11,  for the festival and from 10am to 8pm you’ll see the massive papier mache koala next to the music stage.

The giant koala was created to support raising awareness to save these wonderful animals and many others under threat of extinction. It took a wonderful team of hundreds of local Armidale people, volunteers and donations from businesses to build the Koala tableau designed by overseas artist Neil Turner. Brought to you by Renew Armidale and Sustainable Living Armidale, the Giant Koala sculpture highlights both the seriousness of the threat to the Koala population and showcases an impressive presentation of what can be achieved when community comes together.

Locally, the Northern Tablelands Koala Partnership Program of Southern New England Landcare and other organisations are working hard to raise awareness and provide koala support.  The Armidale Tree group has been a stalwart organisation in this regard with respect to the growing and facilitation of koala habitat plantings across the New England. It celebrates its 40th anniversary at Black Gully this year.

Contributors to the sculpture have included Maurice Anker, papier mache master, Kel Hughes welder, Brian Miller CNC machining, Garry Slocombe visionary, Gordon Cope facilitator builder, Annette Kilarr negotiator organiser, Julie Collins dancer and many others. Local Businesses helped with equipment and generous discounts in her creation, including Hubbard Hire, Armidale Building Supplies, Welding Rod and Johnson and Kennedy.

Find out more about the Black Gully Festival at www.facebook.com/blackgully

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