Inspiring SA

Inspiring Australia

Wombat combat, the science of ageing live on stage and more.

South Australian winners amongst 63 Unlocking Australia’s Potential science communication grants announced today by the Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans.

Easing SA wombat combat – landowners and conservationists unite

SA’s Royal Zoological Society will bring landowners, conservation and government groups together in special workshops and site visits where they’ll discuss management of wombats in agricultural settings. The “Understanding the Wombat” project has received $4,750 from Inspiring Australia and hopes to ease the tensions raised by issues regarding people’s co-existence with these marsupials. With the support of Inspiring Australia, scientists will take the research to the people directly affected, enabling them to be heard and to have influence on decisions made.

Media contact: Morgaine Wallace –, 08 8230 1293 / 0408 929 347

Planets on the Road on the Eyre

SkyWatch Astronomy Education has gained a $5000 grant from Inspiring Australia to present accessible astronomy events for the people of the Eyre Peninsula. They’ll be bringing along a portable planetarium, a 360 degree movie theatre and computerised telescopes for night-sky viewing, so families and the whole community can engage with and learn about the wonders of our solar system and universe. “Night Skies on the Eyre Peninsula” will visit many community centres, libraries and schools bringing state-of-the-art technology to people who usually have no access to such resources.

Media contact: Dean Davidson – – 08 829 86523

The Science of Ageing

The Royal Institution of Australia has received $43,100 from Inspiring Australia to support an innovative theatre project exploring the stages of life from birth to the end with a real science focus. Local people of all ages will get involved with theatre practitioners in this interactive project that culminates in an accessible entertaining event with panel discussions and a lively Q&A session. The performance will tour to three regional towns in South Australia – Mount Gambier, Victor Harbor and Port Augusta. A simultaneous live internet broadcast means viewers can interact online during the actual event.

Media contact: Francene Connor –, 08 7120 8615

Locals dig Flinders fossils

This comprehensive and strategic project will benefit local people, tourism in SA and scientists as it provides the communities of the Central Flinders Region, including Indigenous Australians, the chance to be engaged in the geoscience of their own area. With a $90,000 grant from Inspiring Australia, the Straight Up group and SA Museum will design a multi-stranded program that will raise the profile and ‘brand’ of Ediacaran fossils, train locals as professional interpretive guides with fossil biology knowledge, develop quality tourist experiences and through all this build a real sense of pride among Central Flinders people about their own geological heritage.

Media contact: Ms Damia Ettakadoumi – – 0408 683 088

Other SA Inspiring Australia grant recipients include:

  • A $45,000 grant will bring a series of family science fairs to SA regional towns. ‘SciWorld Sundays’ combine science shows, self-guided and hands-on activities, science role-play, industry displays and educational institution information.
  • Researchers and indigenous owners will use laser scan and photogrammetry data to create 3D virtual tours and a 3D physical model of the 30,000 years old art and mining areas of Koonalda Cave on the Nullarbor. A grant of $40,000 was gained to support this innovative art, science and archaeology project.
  • SA Museum has received $5000 to collect and prepare fossils for their Megafauna gallery. Volunteers will be recruited from the regional community of Burra, as well as youth offenders, to assist in the fossil preparation and conservation process.

About the grants

A total of $5 million has been awarded across three levels of grant categories, small, medium and large, for projects to be delivered in 2012 and/or 2013 and/or 2014.

The prime objective of the program is to increase the engagement of Australians in science and it has prioritised projects that engage people who may not have had previous access to or interest in science-communication activities. Inspiring Australia is an initiative of the Australian Government.

For a complete list of grant recipients go online to

For more information: