Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli visits Moree schools and “The Babbler Project”

Media Release

MINISTER for Education Adrian Piccoli was joined by Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall for his last day of his Connected Communities schools tour where they visited Moree East Public School and Moree Secondary College on Wednesday.

Students at Moree Secondary College’s Carol Avenue Campus provided a firsthand viewing of The Babbler Project – a local initiative to raise awareness of native birdlife that has gained statewide attention.

Supported by Northern Slopes Landcare and conducted by six Year 8 and 9 students of the Secondary College, the project aims to study and promote the vulnerable Grey Crowned Babbler, which is native to the Moree region.

“I commend the students and staff of Moree Secondary College who are passionate about their environment,” Mr Piccoli said.

“It’s great to see students taking an active interest in the Grey Crowned Babbler, it seems like a fantastic way to encourage learning and to promote awareness.”

Northern Slopes Landcare Regional Facilitator Sally Foreman said the concept developed after a field trip to the Dubbo Zoo, from which teacher Peta Gallagher encouraged students to take up the promoted ‘Babbler Challenge’.

“Peta Gallagher has gone above and beyond the call of duty in instilling a pride and passion for the environment within her students and hers is a project Northern Landcare is thrilled to support,” Mrs Foreman said.

Education Minister in Moree Babbler project

Northern Landcare’s Sally Foreman, left, with Moree Secondary College Students Amanda Leifels, Shelby Robertson, Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli and Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall.

“Stage one is to find and study the Babblers in their natural habitat. This is being supported by Narrabri National Parks Ranger Michael Mullholland and Andy McQuire from the Office of Environment and Heritage.”

Once identified and monitored, Mrs Foreman explained the next step would be to develop and publish an illustrated book promoting the species to primary schools across the region.

“We are very excited about this concept, and thanks to Janelle Boyd of Moree Plains Art Gallery the book is sure to be beautifully visual, helping to facilitate learning and education,” Mrs Foreman said.

She aid said that Moree Primary Schools, as well as Gravesend, Pallamallawa and Warialda Primary School, are all on the book tour agenda, set for term 2, 2016.

Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall also believed The Babbler Project was extremely worthwhile.

“This is a great way to firstly capture the student’s attention and then follow through with practical and engaging experiences,” Mr Marshall said.

“The Grey Crowned Babbler sounds like a unique bird, and I’m sure the students will be feeling very protective about ‘their’ bird well into the future.

“I commend this project and look forward to seeing the results of the student’s work.”