Parkerville Steiner College: Black Cockatoo Crisis

Parkerville Steiner College

Black Cockatoo Crisis

Isla Southall with her painting and nesting box

Last Friday, Isla Southall came into Parkerville Steiner College’s Class 7 Ngoolyark to share her Class 9 Project for Perth Waldorf School with the children. She expressed her concern for the impact of development on the natural environment generally, and how this made her consider the plight of the black cockatoo, more specifically.  Numbers of both Carnaby’s Cockatoos and Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos are dwindling, and this is due to their loss of habitat, with less food available, and fewer ancient trees with the large hollows necessary for nesting.

Isla researched various designs for artificial nesting boxes that would appeal to black cockatoos and went about creating such a box.  Class 7 couldn’t believe how high the box stands, and one child remarked, “That must be why the trees need to be hundreds of years old.”

Isla’s painting of a female Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo

Isla connected with Silver Tree Education Assistant, Tahnee Moore, who has been raising awareness about the decline of the black cockatoo populations and is now organising a fundraising event to be held on the school holidays, on October 2nd at the Darlington Estate Winery.  On this day, attendees can purchase art inspired by black cockatoos created by local, concerned children and young people. Funds raised will go towards the production of a documentary called Black Cockatoo Crisis, by filmmaker, Jane Hammpond, which, it is hoped, will further raise awareness of the situation for these majestic birds.

L-R: Isla Southall, Sienna Mullins, Zara Jezdik, Scarlett Gott-Cumbers, Meredyth Southall

After showing the Class 7’s her cockatoo nesting box, Isla displayed an acrylic painting she painted of a female Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo. She then led the class to paint in watercolours their own image of a black cockatoo, from simple graphite sketch, to adding detail, layer by layer.  She was assisted by three very kind Class 11 students from Perth Waldorf School, Tooi, Ruby and Adeline, who were all serendipitously undertaking Community Service at Silver Tree Steiner School, and keen to pop into Class 7 to support their young friends.

Class 7 Ngoolyark were so inspired by Isla’s art lesson, and some were already wondering what they might choose to explore one day for their community service project when they have the chance.

Please see below the flier for the Black Cockatoo art event, and some beautiful pieces created by the children.

 

 

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