Koala Fence Project by Students

Students work on concept perimeter fence to protect koalas.

University of Newcastle Architecture students have tested their design skills on a project to help the endangered koala species.

Koala Elective student Greta Thompson assisting Senior Ecologist Chris Slade in calculating the bio mass of the surrounding Maria River State Forest where Shazza and her joey were located. Image credit: FCNSW

As part of a hands-on two-week intensive elective, students were tasked with designing a perimeter fence and entry for a new Koala Breeding, Rehabilitation Education & Tourism Precinct to be built in Cowarra State Forest.

A prototype of their timber design and a virtual reality experience will be presented to a panel of guest critics today, including the project client, Forestry Corporation NSW (FCNSW). The architectural design includes fencing, entry feature walls, Indigenous art and signage into the precinct.

To gain a holistic understanding of the challenges koalas face and their habitat, the students visited Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, participated in a koala tracking expedition where they spotted ‘Shazza’ and her joey, and witnessed an Aboriginal Cultural Burn.

Multi-award-winning architect, Professor Ken McBryde of the University of Newcastle, is leading the course.

Mick Wilson Protection Supervisor Mid North Coast & John Shipp Aboriginal Partnerships Leader for FCNSW, showing the Koala Elective students the Cultural Burn in Cowarra State Forest. Image credit: FCNSW