THE inaugural Port Stephens Koala Gala was held on 2 July providing an opportunity to celebrate our unique koala population and learn how to protect Port Stephens koalas.
Hosted at d’Albora Marinas in Nelson Bay, the Koala Gala formed part of the annual Port Stephens Naturefest program and featured educational workshops, environmental stalls, tree giveaways, activities, and free entertainment.
The event is part of an education program funded by the NSW Environmental Trust organised by Port Stephens Council.
Les Seddon, Council’s Natural Resources Coordinator said, “Port Stephens is one of the few places koalas call home and they are a critical part of our local identity.”
“Koalas are also a fantastic tourism draw card and an indicator species of ecosystem health, so we want to make sure they are around for many future generations to come,” he said.
One of the highlights of the Gala was the premiere screening of ‘Journey of Steve the Koala’ an animation designed by local artists and put together with the help of primary school children from across the Tomaree Peninsula.
You can watch the animation at https://youtu.be/DMxdaLJRiSs.
Community groups participated in the event alongside Council staff who handed out badges and stickers to kids on the day.
Carmel Northwood of Port Stephens Koalas told News Of The Area, “Our organisation cares for and rehabilitates injured, orphaned and sick koalas.”
“We are encouraging people to adopt a koala to help preserve our local koala population,” she said.
The Nelson Bay Probus Club turned out this week to plant koala feed trees at Lorikeet Reserve in Corlette, showing that there are plenty of ways community groups and individuals can participate in helping to keep our koala population strong.
By Marian SAMPSON