People came from all over the West Coast to help celebrate science in Shark Bay at the Hamelin Science Fair. The Fair was part of the Shark Bay: Science is all around us weekend. It followed a great night of science talks at Monkey Mia.
The Science Fair was held at the Hamelin Outback Station Stay at Hamelin Station Reserve. Participants enjoyed a beautiful Welcome to Country by Malgana woman, Bianca McNeair. This was followed by a full-day of entertainment including: information stalls, science presentations, ecology tours, citizen science opportunities, Malgana basket weaving and more!
The Science Talks Program was full and fascinating. The scope of the presentations was broad and kept everyone interested throughout the day. Talks included:
- Bush Heritage rangelands ecology,
- Malgana connection to land,
- the Department of Parks & Wildlife (DPaW) Shark Bay Science Program,
- perennial grasses,
- Dirk Hartog restoration,
- Stromatolites and Hamelin Pool,
- Shark Bay sea snakes,
- Shark Bay sharks,
- international wildlife crime, and,
- the status of the Shark Bay World Heritage area.
Information Stalls around the Hamelin Station Stay included: Bush Heritage, Northern Agricultural Conservation Council (NACC), Desert Fireball Network, DPaW conversation trailer, Rangelands NRM, Ocean Park and local community members.
Ben Parkhurst (Reserves Ecologist, Bush Heritage) ran a couple of great ecology tours of Hamelin Reserve and for the early risers – a bird watching tour on the Sunday morning.
We had an amazing group of Bush Heritage volunteers support us over the weekend. Volunteers were posted down at the Stromatolites for the Saturday where they talked stromatolites and all things Bush Heritage brilliantly all day. Other volunteers helped with the ecology tours, running the Bush Heritage Stall, chairing presentation sessions, and generally supporting the running of the event.
On the Saturday night everyone relaxed, enjoyed the fabulous music of some travelling ukulele players and talked around the fire. Those that stayed enjoyed a great breakfast cook-up by Station Stay Manager Jackie Mahood. The weekend finished on a high with a stromatolite tour by Erica Suosaari (Bush Heritage Reserch Fellow) and an ecology tour by Ben Parkhurst.
It was a huge weekend and we're extremely grateful to all our partners, friends and volunteers who helped make the weekend a success. It's no mean feat to make an event happen in the bush. A big 'Thank-you' to the team at Bush Heritage, staff, volunteers and supporters, who did a phenomenal job. The Hamelin Station Stay staff took everything in their stride, ensured the Station Stay looked clean and beautiful at all times, were welcoming and warm with all visitors and cooly handled any hiccups along the way.
A special thanks to the Follow the Dream students who came all the way from Geraldton to attend the event. The students participated keenly throughout the weekend and were an absolute pleasure to have around.
Finally, the Hamelin Science Fair was supported by National Science Week and Inspiring Australia. More than 1.3 million people joined in 1,800 events around Australia over the week. It was brilliant to be one of them!