Budding young scientists vie for title of Biodiversity Champion

16 September 2016

Queensland Museum and BHP Billiton are on the hunt for the next David Attenborough correspondent, as part of their Natural Leaders biodiversity challenge for 2016.

Now in its second year, the competition promotes budding Queensland scientists in years 7, 8 and 9 to undertake an exploration of the biodiversity in their local environment and create a fun two minute documentary of their learnings.

Queensland Museum Network CEO and Director Professor Suzanne Miller said the calibre of entries in 2015 was impressive.

“The competition was created to encourage and inspire our young leaders to be passionate about diversity, challenge young people to look at the wonders of their own natural local environments and motivate people to see how they can contribute to its preservation and sustainability,” Professor Miller said.

“The 2015 entries were quite remarkable and we are all excited to see the 2016 entries.”

Queensland Museum’s exclusive biodiversity partners BHP Billiton are delighted to present this challenge.

“Environmental responsibility and sustainability is at the core of BHP Billiton’s values and the Natural Leaders program provides young leaders with unprecedented opportunities to engage in peer discussion around protecting the local biodiversity,” said James Palmer, Asset President of BHP Billiton Mitsui Coal (BMC).

“The program encourages participation and supports career pathways in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) which is a key focus for our organisation.”

Last year’s finalists’ examined the beauty and biodiversity they found in Queensland’s beaches, bushland, waterways, animal habitats and more.

The Gold Coast waterways were the feature of the video of 2015 winner, Aryan Sabet, who said he thoroughly enjoyed his year in the Queensland Museum Natural Leaders program.

“I’ve had such a fun time not just creating my entry and learning so many awesome facts about Queensland’s amazing biodiversity, but had some really cool once in a lifetime experiences in the Natural Leaders program,” he said.

“I just want to say to students everywhere, have a go; you could be the next champion!”

The winner will be crowned the 2017 Queensland Museum Junior Correspondent and receive prizes including: a Go Pro action camera, a day on the set of Totally Wild, and a once in a lifetime opportunity to delve into the mysterious unseen world of the Queensland Museum Collection.

Would be finalists have until Friday 28 October to submit their entries. A series of tips and tricks workshops will be held at the Queensland Museum over the coming months on biodiversity and story board creation to help students on their way. Winners will be shown on the Queensland Museum website along with the 2015 winners.

The Queensland Museum Natural Leaders challenge, presented by BHP Billiton is open to all Queensland year 7, 8 and 9 students until 28 October 2016. Find out how to enter at www.qm.qld.gov.au/naturalleaders

Queensland Museum will also be launching a new exhibition ‘Wild State’ in late 2016. Presented by our Exclusive Biodiversity Partner, BHP Billiton, Wild State will takes visitors through five breathtaking Queensland environments — the arid outback, iconic eucalypt forest, tropical rainforest, sun-drenched coastal zones and teeming marine environments highlighting the extreme beauty, yet fragile state of each environment and the need to protect and preserve our precious natural world for future generations.

The Challenge

Create a two-minute documentary about the biodiversity in your local area.

You decide what story you want to share, but you only have two minutes – so make them count!

Prizes

The most outstanding entry will receive:

  • A GoPro action camera
  • A customised behind-the-scenes experience at the Queensland Museum where you will learn how our scientists study biodiversity and how we use and share this valuable knowledge. Travel to Brisbane is included if you live outside the Greater Brisbane region
  • Spend a day on set with Network Ten’s Totally Wild
  • Spend a day in the field with BHP Billiton environmental scientists
  • A selection of the latest Queensland Museum publications
  • A limited edition Queensland Museum Natural Leaders tote bag
  • Become one of the Queensland Museum’s junior correspondents on biodiversity for 2017 - Have your articles and photos about biodiversity published in the Queensland Museum’s blog, social media or Antenna magazine

* For runner up and entry prizes see the website

Entry and Judging criteria and full terms and conditions are at www.qm.qld.gov.au/naturalleaders Parents or Guardians must give permission to enter.

Media enquiries: Christine Robertson, 0417 741 710 media@qm.qld.gov.au