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Science Grants Go To Regional Arts Initiatives


NSW Trade & Investment and the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education has announced the recipients of $40,000 of funding. This money has been allocated to inititatives which will function as Science Hubs around the state during National Science Week and beyond.

Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner  said ‘When communities work together, funding of this nature goes a long way and can produce great outcomes.’

‘A key benefit of having a Regional Science Hub is to strengthen the many disparate science communication networks in NSW and build stronger community engagement with science by encouraging people to work collaboratively,’ he added.

36 regional applications were received, and nine initiatives were ultimately chosen to form Regional Science Hubs.The full list of Regional Science Hubs can be found here.

Murray Arts have received $5000 for a project called Charcoal Night which is designed to inspire curiosity in science, photography, storytelling and animation. The project will engage a group of young people from Albury-Wodonga Community College who are aged between 14 and 20 years of age.

The project will involve an excursion to Wymah where students will camp overnight and observe the night sky.  Three speakers will share knowledge with the students about the science, art and astronomical mythology. Gregory Gibbs (photographer) will share how to photograph the night sky, David Thurley (from the Albury Wodonga Astronomical Society) will enlighten students about the planets and Dr Duane Hamacher (academic at Nura Gili Centre for Indigenous Programs at University of NSW) will present Aboriginal storytelling.

The students will then participate in a workshop facilitated by Carolyn Martin-Doyle (Murray Arts) where they will capture the students re-imagining of the night sky on paper, and then animate their work. The project will be documented by award winning filmmaker Helen Newman and screened during Science Week at The Cube, shown on ABC Open and in the Albury Library Museum.

‘This is fantastic for the team at Murray Arts to be part of a new partnership with such an enthusiastic group of people. From the very beginning, everyone has jumped at the chance to champion a project that connects science with the arts,’ says Carolyn Martin-Doyle.

The SMART Tree Project in Armidale will receive $6000 for a unique science meets art collaboration to be held at the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM). Science meets art workshops will introduce upper-primary school children to interactive and creative experience with local trees.

Sound specialists will work with children to record tree sounds and create soundscapes of leaves blowing, bark expanding, sap moving etc.  Musicians will compose music around the captured sounds and artists will work with children to build a large-scale model tree with recycled materials which will be on public display at NERAM.  Young visitors to the museum will be able to enter the tree, experiencing sights and sounds of its living insides during Science Week.

Carrathool Shire Council has partnered with Goolgowi Public School and South West Arts to present Stars of the South West Skies, a regional astronomy festival including talks, workshops and a Stargazers’ Ball. This project also received $4000 funding.  RADO for the area, Juliette Winterflood, is very happy about the news.

‘South West Arts are thrilled to be working in collaboration with Carrathool Shire and Goolgowi Public School on this fantastic project. We will be working together to establish a science hub in the South West with various events being held across the region with hope of inspiring the community’s interest in astronomy and science,’ she said.


National Science Week will take place from the 10th – 18th of August, 2013.



Image credit: Photograph Gregory Gibbs “Beam Me Up”