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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

11 August 1997


A Joint Statement with the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Senator the Hon Richard Alston

Forget Spielberg's Lost Worlds. Australia's own lost worlds are about to come to life with today's release of Tales from the Kangaroo's Crypt: 4 billion years of extraordinary Australia by the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, and the Minister for the Environment, Senator Robert Hill.

'With creatures such as flesh-eating kangaroos, tree-climbing crocodiles and the world's largest known dinosaurs, Tales from the Kangaroo's Crypt makes Australia's amazing prehistory more accessible not only to young people, but to Australians everywhere,' Senator Alston said.

Tales from the Kangaroo's Crypt is the second CD-ROM to be released under the Commonwealth Government's Australia on CD program, and follows the recent release of Under a Southern Sun: Stories from the Australian Landscape. It was developed by the National Museum of Australia, the ABC, the University of NSW, Energee Entertainment and the Riversleigh Society.

'The CD-ROM recreates more than 20 prehistoric worlds illustrating how Australia has changed through time to become the very different continent it is today,' Senator Hill said.

'It also teaches young people the importance of looking after the environment with a wide range of animations, games and activities very much in tune with young people's learning styles today.'

The CD-ROM includes information about Australia's creatures and their habitats, an Aboriginal keeping place with dreamtime stories narrated by tribal elders, and plate tectonics where users can watch Australia change through time. There is also information about collecting fossils, and about pursuing palaeontology as a hobby or profession through high school and into university.

'Far more than a catalogue of fossils, the CD-ROM offers the most comprehensive summary of our biological and geological history that's available,' Senator Alston said.

Australia on CD showcases Australia's cultural endeavour, artistic performance and heritage achievements, and brings together Australia's multimedia industry, national cultural institutions and leading content creators.

Other CD-ROMs in the series cover topics such as Australia's military history, indigenous culture, performing arts, science, sport and music, and will be released over the next 12 months.

Copies of CD-ROMs are sent free to all Australian schools and public libraries, and Australian Austrade offices and missions overseas as they are released.

'As well as an invaluable educational tool, Australia on CD promotes understanding of significant aspects of our national culture both here and overseas. This is particularly important in the lead up to the Sydney 2000 Olympics, and also our Centenary of Federation in 2001,' Senator Alston said.

Terry O'Connor (Senator Alston's office), (06) 277 7480
Matt Brown (Senator Hill's office), (06) 277 7640

11 August 1997

Commonwealth of Australia