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Hello Koalas | Call for Artists


Arts and Health Australia (AHA) is calling for Artists, Designers, Photographers, and Community Groups to submit a design idea for the large-scale fibreglass sculptures that will dot the Port Macquarie Hastings landscape from the mountains to the sea to create an official “Hello Koalas Public Sculpture Trail”.  50 fibreglass koala sculpture designs (approximately 1 metre high) will be chosen to appear as part of the trail from September 2014 to December 2015.

The koala image links with the region’s high profile connection to koala habitation and conservation, including the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie and the NSW Koala Conservation Society. Linda Hall, Hello Koalas Project Manager, said: ‘We are seeking designs, which reflect the region’s natural attractions and the community’s cultural diversity.’

The project is inspired by the “Larkin with Toads” public sculpture project in Hull, UK in 2010, featuring 40 large scale painted toads. Over 120,000 people took part in the Toads Sculpture Trail in a 10-week period.  Elaine Burke, Toads Project Manager, is the international advisor to the Hello Koalas project.

Results from the Toads Project included:

  1. Hull Tourist information reported a 40% increase in footfall for July and August 2010, compared to figures for the same two months in 2009.
  2. 83% of cafes, restaurants and sandwich shops sited near a toad sculpture reported an increase in customers.
  3. Many people made return trips to the city to complete the Toads trail.
  4. Independent research showed that Larkin with Toads brought an economic boost to the area of 1million pounds in additional revenue over the 10 weeks.
  5. Larkin with Toads project won several prominent tourism awards including the Silver Award in the 2012 Visit England Best Tourism Event of the Year Excellence in Tourism Awards.
  6. 90% of people surveyed said they would like Hull to implement further public art projects, saying that they liked the “child-friendly, colourful animal theme.”


Arts Mid North Coast is a supporting Partner of the Hello Koalas Project. Executive Officer, Rod Howard said, ‘The project will engage a wide range of local and regional artists, providing the opportunity to promote awareness and visibility of the high level of cultural activity in the region.’

Arts Mid North Coast is the peak body for regional arts and cultural development across seven local government areas from Great Lakes to Coffs Harbour. ‘Our organisation has had a long and positive association with Arts and Health Australia and highly values their contribution to our region’s communities.’



Submissions accepted until 30 September 2013

How to Submit:

Enquiries: Linda Hall,  Project Manager