The Project Pelican Sculptures unveiled – learn + love + protect + restore

by LukeAdmin

An extraordinary project, featuring eight remarkable Pelican sculptures initiated by Central Coast Council, but led by school children on the Coast, was unveiled today at The Entrance.

The Project Pelican is a fusion of environmental education and creative art to inspire students and the community to connect with the challenges and solutions involved in protecting and restoring the Tuggerah Lakes estuary.

Developed and delivered by Council’s Estuary Management team, in collaboration with Rumbalara Environmental Education Centre, with funding from the Australian Government, the project has involved art students in years nine and ten, from eight secondary schools.

Central Coast Council’s Director Community and Recreation Services Melanie Smith, said the aim of The Project Pelican is to help students increase their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the Tuggerah Lakes system and what is needed to protect and restore this fragile environment.

“Tuggerah Lakes is one of the most important and iconic estuaries on the Central Coast. Its health is important to the Central Coast community who value the estuary as a place to enjoy for recreation, for its scenic qualities and as a habitat for wildlife.

 “The Pelican Project is an opportunity to bring the community and Council together to share the challenges of managing a sensitive coastal lake, and to empower and inspire people to help make a change. There is always something new to learn and we can all play our part in protecting Tuggerah Lakes now and into the future.” 

All high schools within the catchment of Tuggerah Lakes were invited to participate, with eight high schools taking up the opportunity to be involved.   The schools are:

  • Northlakes High School
  • Wyong High School
  • Wadalba Community School
  • Gorokan High School
  • Mackillop Catholic College
  • Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College, Tumbi Umbi Campus
  • Central Coast Steiner School
  • Hopetown School

Over the last three months, Central Coast Council has been working with Rumbalara Environmental Education Centre on the creative art project.

“The project has involved the participating high schools working to create an artwork based around a sculpture of a pelican.  As part of the process students learnt about the Tuggerah Lakes system, the issues that impact on the health of this ecosystem and some of the solutions to those problems.

“Each art student created an A3 paper version of their vision for the pelican sculpture, with eight designs (one from each school) being selected to be made into sculptures. The winning designs were bought to life, being created into life-size fibreglass pelican sculptures.

“The sculptures are quite extraordinary, and the students should be extremely proud of what they have achieved, with the support of their teachers,” Ms Smith said.

The sculptures have been installed at The Entrance Foreshore (near the play area) as part of the Lakes Festival.  Each has been given a name, and an interpretive sign explains the sculpture purpose and what it represents.

Council Administrator Rik Hart said The Pelican Project is a fantastic example of how the community, in this case school children on the Coast, can raise awareness of the magnificent Tuggerah Lakes system and the need for us all to be involved in the sustainable management of this environment.

“We hope that this can then lead to greater protection and restoration of this environment through both the actions of and support from our community,” Mr Hart said.

The community are now invited to visit the sculptures and submit their “People’s Choice” for the most outstanding pelican sculpture. Voting closes 30 November 2022, with the winner announced early December.

To vote visit:

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