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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Hundreds of children from around Australia have shown their commitment to saving Australia's unique wildlife as part of activities to mark Threatened Species Day today.
The children, ranging from 5-12 years, entered drawings of their favourite threatened species in a National Poster Design Competition, sponsored by the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust, Cadbury Schweppes and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill personally congratulated the three winners at a special ceremony in Sydney.
"I am delighted by the huge response to this poster competition, which had the Olympic theme of Be in the Race to Save our Threatened Species," Senator Hill said.
"The judges had a very hard time deciding on the winners and highly commended entries with close to 1,000 entries received, all of which showed the children had put in a great deal of time and effort into their designs.
"Children have a key role to play in the preservation of Australia's threatened species, in fact they often have a greater awareness and concern about these issues than adults.
"The poster design competition sought to involve children and thus their parents and teachers, in the issue of threatened species. Entrants were required not only to draw their favourite threatened species, but also to answer questions on their habitats and why they like them, thus combining fun and creativity with education and environmental awareness.
"The overwhelming response to this poster competition shows us that children, the decision-makers of the future, really do care about the environment, and have much to contribute to environmental issues," Senator Hill said.
"Comments taken from their entries such as '....I feel that people can do more to help keep them all alive, not only in the wilderness but in our hearts' are testimony to their concerns and commitment."
Senator Hill also thanked the other sponsors of the competition for their support, the World Wide Fund for Nature, joint administrators with the Natural Heritage Trust of the Threatened Species Network, and Cadbury Schweppes.
"Cadbury-Schweppes' Yowie characters promote a very strong environmental message and we were more than happy to join forces with them to promote National Threatened Species Day," he said.
The winners of the poster competition were featured on a national poster and were presented with their prizes by Senator Hill and Yowies creator Geoff Pike at today's launch, where they also got to mingle with their favourite Yowie characters as well as the Olympic Mascots. 2.
Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill) 0419 258 364
Anne-Marie Delahunt (Environment Australia) (02) 6274 2240 or 0412 446 136
|Threatened Species Day activities are being held this week in every State and Territory. Details are available from Environment Australia's Community Information Unit on toll-free 1800 803 772 or on the internet at http://www.biodiversity.environment.gov.au|
1ST PRIZE Hayley Moylan, South Australia (Kowari)
2ND PRIZE Elise Gregory, Queensland (Loggerhead Turtle)
3RD PRIZE Nicole Pavitt, New South Wales (Bilby)
Emily Blackwell, SOUTH AUSTRALIA (Bilby)
Sam Davis, WESTERN AUSTRALIA (Richmond Birdwing Butterfly)
Tara Phelps, NEW SOUTH WALES (Gouldian Finch)
Michelle Fettus, SOUTH AUSTRALIA (Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby)
Andrea Morsby, QUEENSLAND (Northern Hairy Nosed Wombat)
Nayana Rathmalgoda, AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY (Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby)
Catherine Marci, NEW SOUTH WALES (Wollemi Pine)
Katrina Day, VICTORIA (Frilled-neck Lizard)
Amy Diana Lousie Pfitzner, SOUTH AUSTRALIA (Pygmy Possum)
Lauren Kajewski, NEW SOUTH WALES (Green and Golden Bell Frog)