“Our (Indigenous) people were the first scientists. We were the first astronomers. We were the first people to predict weather by looking at the stars. The first forensic scientists. The first engineers. Now, we need to get our kids back, looking at science, back to where we come from.” – Corey Tutt, Deadly Science
Kylie Kwong, renowned restauranter and community catalyst, distinctly remembers the moment when Corey Tutt, Indigenous scientist, texted her saying: ‘Hey Kylie Kwong I’ve got this idea – the largest ever school excursion to the zoo. We get the kids in there doing some zookeeper talks – then we make it into a video so kids in remote communities can see the zoo.’
Kylie was instantly onboard, and The World’s Deadliest Zoo Visit quickly sprang to life in the receding shadow of the COVID-19 lockdowns.
The World’s Deadliest Zoo Visit brought together a group of mixed age Indigenous children, to unearth strange and curious facts about lots of interesting native and exotic animals… from cuddly Koalas to Komodo Dragons.
Corey Tutt is passionate about expanding the opportunities for Indigenous children to pursue rewarding careers in science. He regularly sends shipments of paradigm-shifting books to remote Indigenous communities, including titles such as Bruce Pascoe’s ground-breaking “Dark Emu”, which rewrites our understanding of Australia’s pre-European history.
“Yes. I would love to be a zookeeper one day… I love to work with animals. That’d be so fun!” – Kyeemah, ‘Deadly Junior Scientist’
After a year of massive social disruption due to COVID-19, the children were so excited to go out to Taronga Zoo together and learn all about the animals.
Digital Storytellers were delighted to join up with Kylie Kwong and Sydney-based Media Producer Meenal Kumar, to support The World’s Deadliest Zoo Visit through storytelling and film production. We’re all in for these types of expansive experiences, especially for Indigenous children from our local community where we work, which is Gadigal land.
Digital Storytellers are also excited by projects that connect large corporations with grassroots initiatives. Kylie Kwong had first heard about Corey Tutt’s Deadly Science project through her community-based work with Mirvac’s Eveleigh South project in Redfern NSW. With Mirvac’s support, Kylie was able to pick up on the concept and take it right through to delivery with minimum friction or fuss. What we learned is that projects such as these showcase the endless possibilities of large corporations getting active in growing grassroots community, through experiences and storytelling.
All of the kids involved were positively engaged from being a part of “The World’s Deadliest Zoo Visit”. Some of them loved working with the animals so much that they even expressed interest to pursue careers as Rangers or Zoo Keepers.
Aaliyah, another newly recruited Deadly Junior Scientist remarked:
“I didn’t really look into the career of being a zookeeper, or anything to do with the zoo. It never crossed my mind at school, but it’s definitely something that I’ve opened my mind to.”
The future is looking bright for our Deadly Junior Scientists!
For more information about Deadly Science: https://deadlyscience.org.au
For more information about Mirvac’s South Eveleigh Community Program: https://southeveleigh.mirvac.com/about/community
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