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Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island is approximately 600km east of Port Macquarie in NSW. It is a World Heritage site with high biodiversity, including seabird nesting sites, flightless birds such as the Lord Howe Woodhen, and the world’s rarest insect, the Lord Howe Island Phasmid. Approximately 75% of Lord Howe Island’s original natural vegetation remains intact and undisturbed. Likewise, its beaches, coral reef and marine environment are pristine. These conditions make Lord Howe Island an excellent place to observe evolution, in particular: natural selection, speciation, and the impact of introduced species on native flora and fauna.

Because of its isolation and size, Lord Howe Island makes for an interesting study site into adaptation and evolution as there is little interference from external forces. However, the size and remoteness of Lord Howe Island have also made it vulnerable to the few external forces that have made it to the Island. These include rats and mice who have caused considerable damage to the ecology of the Island. However, eradication programs have seen both these species removed from the Island. These programs are a demonstration of the work that can be done to preserve and conserve precious habitats and the value of engaging local communities in these programs to ensure success.

In the lessons in this unit, students will explore the geographical and ecological features of Lord Howe Island, the work involved in eradicating invasive species, and the unique evolution and speciation that has occurred amongst the island’s flora and fauna.

Artist in residence – Joshua Yeldham

Cool Australia is proud to announce its collaboration with one of Australia’s most loved and honoured landscape artists Joshua Yeldham. Joshua Yeldham is an award-winning Australian artist that has held collections and exhibited all around the world. His spiritual connection with land and nature is ever so clear in his detailed artworks and how he interacts with his environment to create and build on his art.

At a young age, Joshua knew that creativity, painting, drawing and making was innate to his character and found himself to discover and rely on creativity just as one would a friend. Making and exploring materials became a means of expression just as one would speak or write stories; Joshua would draw.

As Joshua got older, he practised his craft like an artisan and developed his own artistic process. He relies on nature to fuel his creativity and uses art to create a dialogue about mythical teachings, spirituality and the land. The unforgettable detail, varying texture and use of colour depict wondrous paintings of the Australian bush, rivers, mountains, flora and fauna.
Joshua’s works consider the protective care of nature as a spiritual power and highlight the refuge natural spaces have offered us.