Orange-bellied Parrots mainland release

August 23, 2017 // Colleen Hughson // No Comments // Posted in Blog, Environment

The migratory Orange bellied Parrot is critically endangered and very close to extinction in the wild.

Less than 50 are left in the wild and the OBP National Recovery Team are doing all they can to save this beautiful little parrot.

One of the actions they are trialling is a mainland release.

DELWP, Zoos Victoria, Melbourne Water, Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, Parks Victoria and the Tasmanian Government are partnering to deliver a Mainland Release Trial Program in Victoria for the Orange-bellied Parrot.

These Orange-bellied Parrots have been released at the Western Treatment Plant in Werribee as part of an innovative program to try to prevent extinction in the wild. With less than 50 Orange-bellied Parrots thought to exist in the wild, these management actions have never been more important for the future of this species.


Surfers partner with conservation

July 14, 2017 // Colleen Hughson // No Comments // Posted in Blog, Community, Environment, Indigenous

In 2016, Corangamite CMA formed a new partnership with Surfing Victoria with the aim of encouraging surfers involvement in conservation. They established a number of new initiatives to encourage the involvement of the surfing community in environmental projects.
 By working together Surfing Victoria and Corangamite CMA can reach their common goals and values of increasing local participation in both surfing and natural resource management.

One of the projects implemented is the CCMA’s direct sponsorship of the Junior Category of the 2017 Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles. Thereby, improving Indigenous youth connection and recognition.

Corangamite CMA presents the Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles from First Ladies – Colleen Hughson on Vimeo.

The CCMA support a number of community environmental groups along the coast. If you’re involved in conservation then check with the CCMA what funding opportunities might be available to you. If you’re not involved in conservation but realise after watching this that you should be, then it might be a good idea to join your Landcare or Coastcare action group.


Oceanarium opens at COPAC in Colac in time for World Environment Day.

June 26, 2017 // Colleen Hughson // No Comments // Posted in Blog, Community, Community Projects, Environment, Video Art

Oceanarium was created for the 2016 Fun 4 Kids festival in Warrnambool. This year it travelled to Colac and spent a week at COPAC for the kids of Colac to enjoy. We are hoping that Oceanarium will travel further afield to educate and delight all those who experience it.

Oceanarium Video Projections installation at COPAC (Colac)

I am one of the four artists who created Oceanarium which was led by artist Becky Nevin Berger. I created the Open Ocean Video Sphere which is a series of video artworks interwoven into the main rocky shore installation. As part of my role I ran community film editing workshops and involved the community in the production of the films. During the 2016 Fun 4 Kids Festival, Open Ocean Video Sphere had a total of 87 short films screening over 21 screens (including 5 projections, 5 Old TVs, Digi-Frames and flat screen TVs embedded into Rock Pool Sculptures). There were 26 people who contributed over 200 Gig worth of video footage towards the project and a further 85 people involved in the video editing workshops creating short films with the footage for the space.

Below are some video interviews with all the four artists involved in Oceanarium.

The following words are by lead artist Becky Nevin Berger

Oceanarium is a multi-artwork installation developed especially for children from ages 2-12. It has been designed as a way to deepen children’s appreciation and understanding of the marine environment.
Four artists worked with Deakin University marine scientists to create a beautiful world that captures the different aspects of marine ecology. Oceanarium recreates the rocky shore, an underwater kelp forest, the dark, deep ocean environment and is interwoven with video screens showing footage of the many creatures that inhabit these worlds.

This child centred installation allows children to participate on multiple levels with an array of sensory mediums and different modes for exploration built in.

Rocky Shore Wonder Place

Oceanarium Installation at Fun4Kids, 2016 from distan bach on Vimeo.

NOTE: This video titled Oceanarium Installation at Fun4Kids, 2016 was created by Distan Bach.

A series of timber sculptures made by artist Becky Nevin Berger. It replicates the rocky shore environment along Warrnambool coastline. Children can climb on these sturdy timber cliffs, across bridges and through hidden caverns and tunnels. Coloured lights and Perspex illuminate this magical world which has rock pools and rock flaps filled with handmade marine creatures.

Open Ocean Video Sphere

Oceanarium Artist: Colleen Hughson from First Ladies – Colleen Hughson on Vimeo.

Combining projected video with various embedded screens woven through the installation this series of films has been made by film maker Colleen Hughson. Using an array of footage from Deakin University’s own collection, from divers and beach goers, as well as captured herself, Colleen has created beautiful and dynamic works that bring the ocean to life in this installation.
Woven Forest Whale Sanctuary

Oceanarium Artist: Deb Saunders from First Ladies – Colleen Hughson on Vimeo.

This hanging textile work has a footprint of approximately 25sq m, it was made by artist Deb Saunders with material knitted by more than 600 participants in a series of community based workshops. A set of seven hanging knitted tubes simulates an underwater kelp environment creating an immersive, tactile space that filters light and creates dancing shadows.

Deep Ocean Other World

Oceanarium Artist: Karen Richards from First Ladies – Colleen Hughson on Vimeo.

Presented in a dark room adjoining the main installation space this textile artwork recreates the very deep sea environment. Created by artists Karen Richards and Sue Ferrari this work is comprised of intricate embroideries using iridescent thread that illuminates when lit. Participants enter the space wearing head torches that reveal countless deep sea creatures rendered in amazing detail.

Keep up with the latest photos and events on the Oceanarium Facebook Page

Read my blog about the process of creating the Open Ocean Video Sphere.