Crusader Koala inspires in the classroom

Hello Koalas Sculpture project began another chapter in its success story with the launch of an exhibition and a pilot extension education program initiated by Hello Koalas Community Champion, Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Since September, Sea Acres has been home to the ‘Crusader Koala’ sculpture which represents threatened coastal rainforest species. Sea Acres manager, Janet Cohen said: “The masked Crusader was passionately created by Queensland Artist Dale Leach and the exhibition of Dale’s lively preliminary sketches show just how much thought and work has gone into developing Crusader”.

Hello Koalas Project Manager Linda Hall said: “We are also very excited that while in Port Macquarie Dale facilitated a workshop at Sea Acres with 30 Westport Primary School students from years 3 and 4, making threatened species masks inspired by Crusader Koala. Dale travelled to Port Macquarie all the way from her home at Doonan in Queensland to lead the creative workshop. The school was really very excited about this workshop, as they’ve already been doing some creative work based on the Hello Koalas project. The children’s artwork and their stories about Crusader will also be on display at the Rainforest Centre after the workshop”.

Artist, Dale Leach said: “It’s been great fun and very inspiring to work on the Hello Koalas project. The main idea behind Crusader Koala also fits with my continuing interest in protecting our natural environment and I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to pilot an education activity as working with children is a great investment in the future”.

Hello Koalas Project Manager, Linda Hall, said: “We have been overwhelmed with enquiries from a number of schools throughout the region since the opening of the Trail. We plan to launch the Hello Koalas Education Program early in 2015. However, this workshop at Sea Acres has provided us with the perfect opportunity to launch a pilot program now and see where it takes us”.

“I would also like to acknowledge the support of Derivan, who sponsored the paints for this workshop. Derivan has been a huge supporting partner of the Hello Koalas Sculpture Project. All of our koala sculptures have been painted using Derivan’s Matisse paint range”.

The exhibition of Dale’s drawings will be on show at the Rainforest Centre until early December, while the children’s drawings and stories will be able to be viewed at Sea Acres right through the summer holidays.

To view the “Crusader Koala” design go to: or drop in to Sea Acres Rainforest Centre.

Written bycrusader copy Linda Hall.

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