Free drinks, crocheted coral reef, film night and more, biodiversity in December

International Year of Biodiversity

Welcome to our December bulletin celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity (IYOB).

If you are in Canberra next week, join us at CSIRO’s Discovery Centre for a reception and public forum to celebrate the achievements of the International Year of Biodiversity. The forum, Biodiversity and You is chaired by Tony Peacock. The invitation is below.

Here’s a taster of other events occurring in December and into the New Year

  • Margaret Wertheim, the Australian-born science writer and co-creator of the crocheted coral reef , will be talking at the Melbourne Museum on 21 December
  • Join the Ecological Society of Australia at its annual conference, Sustaining biodiversity: the next 50 years, at the Australian National University in Canberra.

In total, there are 21 events taking place around the country over the month including the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand’s end-of-year party in Sydney (non-members welcome); an exhibition of mammals, birds and reptiles from around the world at the Melbourne Museum; biodiversity at sea and the Port River dolphins at the South Australian Maritime Museum; and more.

And have you visited the biodiversity website lately? You can find out what would you look like as a snail, fish or bat with Monkey Me! Try it out at

Other contents

Biodiversity events coming up
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Northern Territory
South Australia
Western Australia
The biodiversity hub: have your say

Thank you for supporting the International Year of Biodiversity. We hope you have had the opportunity to participate in a range of events over the year.

For full details of events and activities near you, read on and visit

The website is open for events, blogs, essays, photos and more. Please use it to promote your own events and ideas. It is the only source of event listings for this bulletin.

We are keen to communicate with anyone with an interest in biodiversity. Please pass this bulletin on to others you think might like to receive it.

Our next bulletin will be in January and will include a wrap of the achievements of the Year.

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year

Teresa and Valerie
Coordinators, International Year of Biodiversity (Australia)
Teresa Belcher ( | tel: 08 9212 3760)
Valerie Gregory ( | tel: 02 9320 6342)

This bulletin has been sent by Science in Public, on behalf of the Council of Australasian Museum Directors (CAMD) and the International Year of Biodiversity Coordinators.

International Year Of Biodiversity 2010 is an initiative of the Council of Australasian Museum Directors, funded with assistance from the Science Connections Program within the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.


The Council of Australian Museum Directors invite you to a reception and public forum for the International Year of Biodiversity

To be held on Tuesday 7 December at the CSIRO Discovery Centre, Clunies Ross Street, Black Mountain, ACT from 7 pm.

The reception will celebrate the achievements of the International Year of Biodiversity activities coordinated in Australia by the Council, and introduce you to keynote speakers from the 2010 Annual Conference of the Ecological Society of Australia.

Then join us at 7.30 pm for a free public forum Biodiversity and You presented by the Ecological Society.

The discussion will be facilitated by Tony Peacock, CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre Association.

Guest speakers will be:

  • Dr Peter Bridgewater, Chair of the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee will discuss “Who moved my magic pudding? Seven steps to sustainability”
  • Professor Charles Krebs, Retired Fellow, University of British Columbia will tell us “What ecologists know that now underpins sustainability”
  • Dr Lorrae van Kerkhoff, Lecturer, Australian National University will explore “Science in the age of democracy, or democracy in the age of science”

Please RSVP for the reception and forum to Niall Byrne,, ph 03 9398 1416.

Sustaining biodiversity: the next 50 years – Public events

Join the Ecological Society of Australia at its conference, Sustaining biodiversity: the next 50 years, at the Australian National University, Canberra. If you can’t make the public forum there is also a film night on Thursday 9 December.

6-7.30pm, Thursday 9 December: An Ecological Restoration Film Night will provide an exciting opportunity to view several engaging films showcasing successful ecological restoration projects around the world. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session.

More details and registration at

Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2010-2030 released

Released by the Australian Government on 27 October, the strategy is a guiding framework for conserving Australia’s biodiversity. It outlines the current crisis of declining biodiversity, and sets priorities for actions which will:

  • engage all Australians in biodiversity conservation;
  • build ecosystem resilience in a changing climate; and
  • produce measurable results

You can read or download the strategy from

Update: Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

In September 2010, the Commonwealth department responsible for biodiversity had its name changed and received a new Minister.

It’s now the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC), and is responsible to The Hon. Tony Burke, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and Senator The Hon. Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water.

Find out more at

Margaret Wertheim – Live

21 December 2010, The Age Theatre, Melbourne Museum

Margaret Wertheim, science writer and co-creator of The Melbourne Reef—a satellite of the worldwide Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project created in 2005—will be presenting a public talk at the Melbourne Museum.

Margaret will be talking about the project which fuses higher mathematics, crochet, environmental awareness and marine biology.

For more information visit

UN Climate Change Conference

Mexico is hosting the 16th Conference of the Parties for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 29 November to 10 December.

Among key issues being discussed will be the challenge of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation by rewarding developing nations for protecting, restoring and sustainably managing forests. This may be one of the cheapest ways to cut global greenhouses gases and is also important for biodiversity.

More information at

Forest Day

Forest Day 4 will take place on 5 December 2010, alongside the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 16th Conference of the Parties in Cancún, Mexico.

More than 1800 participants will attend the day which is themed Time to Act. Forest Day 4 aims to highlight the urgency of ensuring the survival of the world’s forests, the biodiversity they embrace and the hundreds of millions of people who depend on them. The event will serve as a bridge between the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity and the 2011 International Year of Forests.

More information at

XVIII International Botanical Congress (IBC)

24-30 July 2011, Melbourne, Australia

Australia has a vibrant scientific community active across all botanical disciplines and its researchers play a prominent and highly collaborative role in international biological sciences.

Australia’s botanical community is eager to welcome colleagues from around the world to the 2011 IBC for an intellectually stimulating and socially memorable occasion.

For further details see Registration is now open.

Biodiversity events coming up

Click on the link or visit for full details of each event, and to see newly added events.

Australian Capital Territory

Biodiversity and you

7 December 2010, CSIRO Discovery Centre

Public panel discussion facilitated by Tony Peacock and featuring Peter Bridegewater, Charles Krebs & Lorrae van Kerkoff. As part of the 50th anniversary of the Ecological Society of Australia, this public discussion will explore what biodiversity means to people, and the future challenges for sustaining it.

Sustaining biodiversity – the next 50 years

6 – 12 December 2010, Manning Clarke Centre – see conference listing above.

New South Wales

Ocean Care Day

5 December 2010, Manly beachfront, Sydney

The Manly Environment Centre hosts the 17th Ocean Care Day Festival, a free community event by the sea with 30+ eco exhibitors. Visit our Ocean Lab to see marine animal displays, jellyfish jumble, marine environments, and magic under the microscopes; meet the ‘Princess of Plastic’ at the Project Plastic Free area; view the work of our local artists; and more.

Biodiversity discovery project

1 November – 31 December 2010, Mid-North Coast, Red Rock to Urunga

The Biodiversity Discovery Project aims to connect a diverse cross-section of the mid-north coast community (Red Rock to Urunga) with its local estuarine wetland. Targeting community members that not only heavily utilise the coastal environment but consider it an important part of their social identity, the project will seek to reach an audience that have a large role to play in the sustainable use and on-going protection of estuarine wetlands.

Murray-Darling biodiversity photographic exhibition

1 November – 31 December 2010, Lockhart

This stunning photo display has been created to show the importance and beauty of biodiversity outside your front door.

It highlights the fact that biodiversity is not simply an abstract scientific concept or a pet project of the greenies. The Murray-Darling Basin supports a number of natural ecosystem processes and services, such as air quality, climate, clean water, pollination, and prevention of erosion

Environment Institute of Australia & New Zealand (EIANZ) end-of-year celebration

14 December 2010, Cargo Bar, Sydney

Can China & Australia save the world‛s biodiversity? Join EIANZ NSW members, meet colleagues in the environment profession, and meet and hear from guest speaker Dermot O’Gorman, CEO of the World Wildlife Foundation Australia, Australia’s largest environmental NGO. Non-members welcome.

S.O.S Aussies

Until 31 December 2010

Save Our Species Aussies is a mobile environmental education program which uses live reptiles and a hands-on student-centered approach to environmental education and related topics.

Northern Territory

Exhibition: Supercrocodilians: Darwin’s ultimate survival story

Until 20 January 2011, Museum and Art Gallery, Darwin

Come face to face with one of the largest crocodilians known to have ever existed, which may have measured more than 12 metres in length.

Exhibition: Wildlife of Gondwana

4 December 2010 – 13 March 2011, Museum and Art Gallery, Darwin

Wildlife of Gondwana describes the wildlife of the Great Southern Supercontinent, Gondwana, from 3.8 billion years to the present.


Dinosaurs to dunnarts

15 November – 18 December 2010, Australian Age of Dinosaurs, Winton

It’s up and running! From insects to arachnids to reptiles to frogs to wallaroos! You name it we’ve got it! The wonderful world of Jump-Up country has the most weird and wonderful flora and fauna. The environment is arid, dense and dusty! If you want to be a part of the project come and visit us on The Jump-Up!


Ongoing, Queensland reefs

CoralWatch is a non-profit organisation built on a research project at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Very little is known about trends of coral bleaching on a global scale. Currently, coral health monitoring mainly occurs around a few reefs that are regularly visited by scientists. There are many questions that have to be answered in order to try and save the reefs. This is where you can help!

South Australia

Diversity at sea: Port River dolphins

Until 10 December 2010, South Australian Maritime Museum, Port Adelaide

School students of all year levels can explore the rich biodiversity of South Australia’s marine bioregions. The program draws in depth from the local and topical example of the Port River dolphin pod and students will engage in innovative and experiential activities, including role-play and storytelling, using the South Australian Maritime Museum’s resources. The program will be available during school terms in 2010.


A year of wonder in the island arc

Until 21 December 2010, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart

Hands-on real science and the wonder of discovery! Choose one or more of these elegant and achievable programs at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.


Victoria’s marine treasures

4 December 2010, Burrinja Gallery, Upwey

Come along and find out more from the master storytellers of the Dolphin Research Institute as they take us on an unforgettable journey of discovery as to what lies ‘beneath the waves’ of Victoria’s beautiful coastal marine environment.

Hyperbolic crochet coral reef project – the Melbourne reef exhibition

Until 9 January 2011, Burrinja Gallery, Upwey

The Melbourne Reef is a satellite of a Global Community Endeavour created in 2005 by Australian sisters Margaret & Christine Wertheim of The Institute For Figuring in Los Angeles. Fusing higher mathematics, women’s handicrafts, marine biology and environmental activism, this project has captured the imaginations of people all over the world with ‘Satellite Reefs’ now having been made on every continent except Antarctica.

Margaret Wertheim is talking at the Melbourne Museum on 21 December (see news, above)

Wild: amazing animals in a changing world

Permanent exhibition, Museum Victoria, Carlton

Be surrounded by the wonderful diversity of mammals, birds and reptiles from around the world. Experience Victorian environments such as the alps, grassland, and wetlands, and discover why biodiversity is under threat. Learn about how we can create a more hopeful future.

Western Australia

Whiteman Park presents Super Natural Elements

Until 31 December 2011, Whiteman Park, Perth

Super Natural Elements is an environmental education program which aims to educate students about important aspects of the natural environment, including biodiversity.

Wetlands from Bunjip to Beautiful – touring exhibition

27 November – 10 January 2010, touring

There are many different stories to be told about our heritage.  Touring exhibitions present an important opportunity to uncover new stories and to share those stories with new audiences.

From Bunjip to Beautiful is the first in a series of small touring exhibitions to be developed by Museums Australia WA.

Mini Muses – multiple events

24 February 2011, WA Museum, Albany

Mini Muses is a fun series of junior sessions (children 5 years and under) which will introduce your child to the wonderful native creatures of Western Australia.

The biodiversity hub: have your say

Our website ( is a ‘biodiversity hub’ for events in Australia where you can promote your biodiversity news and events, and share stories and ideas. We encourage everyone with an interest in biodiversity to contribute to the website, and to hold events to promote biodiversity during 2010.

To get your event mentioned in the next bulletin, please add it to the online biodiversity event calendar. You can ‘Add an Event’ at Your event is then added to our searchable calendar and distributed via this news bulletin.

You may also like to create a ‘story’, to tell everyone about your biodiversity activities. You can also add photos (via Flickr), or videos (via YouTube) or interact with us directly on Twitter (

We look forward to seeing your contribution!


This bulletin has been sent by Science in Public, on behalf of the Council of Australian Museum Directors and the International Year of Biodiversity Coordinators.


Teresa Belcher,, tel: 08 9212 3760
Valerie Gregory,, tel: 02 9320 6342

IYOB 2010 is an initiative of the Council of Australasian Museum Directors (CAMD), funded with assistance from the Science Connections Program within the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.