Koalas in crisis: Australia Post and WWF-Australia launch nationwide education drive

Australia Post

Only 37% of Australians reportedly believe we are in an extinction crisis,1 despite Australia’s most iconic and loved animal, the koala, being officially listed as an endangered species on Australia’s east coast.

To tackle the issue of koala conservation head-on, Australia Post has partnered with WWF-Australia to produce a series of curriculum-aligned educational resources designed to raise awareness among school students, promoting the protection of this quintessentially Australian animal.

Developed in conjunction with Cool.org, a leading educational not-for-profit, the Earth Hour Educational Resources equip Aussie kids with knowledge about biodiversity and the serious threats pushing koalas towards extinction. Launched in March in the lead up to WWF’s Earth Hour event on 23 March 2024, eight school-based lesson plans targeting primary and secondary students have been made available online.

Habitat destruction, climate change and extreme weather events have had a significant impact on the koala population, with the marsupials officially listed as endangered in New South Wales, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory. While 78% of Australians report caring about the extinction of plants and animals,2 surprisingly, research shows that 40% of Australians still believe our natural environment is in a good or excellent state.3

Australia Post General Manager Community and Stakeholder Engagement, Nicky Tracey, said Australia Post was proud to partner with WWF-Australia on such a critical conservation initiative.

“Australia Post touches every corner of the country, and we are committed to making a positive impact in the communities where we operate. We are proud to partner with WWF-Australia to bring this program to life,” she said.

“The work WWF do is vital for the preservation of our native wildlife and ecosystems. The Earth Hour Educational Resources provide an accessible entry point for school children to learn about the threats to our koalas, the importance of biodiversity, and the impacts of climate change.”

WWF-Australia’s Species Recovery and Landscape Restoration Senor Manager, Tanya Pritchard, says this initiative will support WWF’s ambitious goal to double the number of koalas on Australia’s east coast.

“We can reverse the sad decline of this Aussie icon, but it will require rapid action and cross-sectoral partnerships to protect koala habitat. With the help of partners like Australia Post, we’re excited to roll out these pivotal educational resources to students across the country to build awareness and advocacy,” she said.

“Through this education we hope to make the threat of koala extinction a mainstream issue and promote the importance of conservation efforts to protect and restore their forest homes. It’s critical for us to arm future generations with the knowledge to affect positive change.”

The Earth Hour Educational Resources are now available to more than 175,000 teachers via the Cool.org network. Learn more about Australia Post’s partnership with WWF-Australia at www.auspost.com.au/environment.

1 Nature Segmentation Survey, Australian Conservation Foundation 2023

2 Nature Segmentation Survey, Australian Conservation Foundation 2022

3 Nature Segmentation Survey, Australian Conservation Foundation 2023

Media contact:

Morgan Griffin, Public Relations Advisor

M: 0459 703 383

E: [email protected]

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