Home > Awareness > Saraya and the turtles

Update about Rehab Centre in Cairns

Over the past few months the Cairns rehab centre has been receiving and releasing turtles exponentially. The amount of phone calls each week is increasing rapidly meaning that the number of turtle strandings along the Queensland coast has also increased. Last year after cyclone Yasi swept through the Northern Queensland coast, there was a 500% increase in turtle strandings, this figure was alarming and overwhelming for the rehab centres along the coast. This increase was caused by the depletion of the sea grass beds leaving the turtles -starving, the slow recovery of the sea grass beds has not helped- Mr Barnes (Cairns rehab) has said the number of strandings is rising to last year’s level.

The Cairns rehab is at full capacity at the moment and there is no sign of it slowing down, the other rehabilitation centres along the coast are also full. Hope is not lost though, there been a clear sign of the sea grass beds regenerating and in the past few months, the rehab has released 5 turtles back into the wild. The Cairns rehab centre is the largest of its kind and runs entirely off public donations. There are currently 30 volunteers working at the centre who are each scheduled on different days to clean the tanks and filters, feed the turtles, and keeps tabs on general maintenance.

Grace College bake stall

Over the past semester at school I have been visiting the middle school Geography students. I did a few presentations about where the environmental journey began with the Pangaea expeditions and how I became involved with the Cairns project. The year 9 students were so enthusiastic and eager to learn, many of them wanting to come up and help during their school holidays. The students were keen to help the project that we decided to have a fundraiser stall at school.

We organised who was baking, who was making posters and doing awareness at school- the 20 or so students worked beautifully together. It was great to have a strong team because the more people you have working towards the same goal makes it so much easier to get the somewhat 2000 students and teachers at my school involved. The 29th of May was aware day at my school so we decided that was the perfect day to have the stall. On the day we sold turtle cookies, turtle cupcakes, brownies, chocolate freckles, soft drinks, turtle t shirts and so much more!

By the end of lunch everything was sold and there was a grand total of $1,200 dollars!!! Huge thank you to the Grace Lutheran College student body, the year 9 Geography class and the year 12’s who all helped out with organising and running of the stall.

Young Star Awards 2012

Last Saturday night was the Young Star gala dinner in the Brisbane city. The finalists from across Brisbane travelling into the city for the awards dinner. The Young Star awards is to celebrate and recognise the talent and passion that lies within the youth of our community. There are four categories in total- Arts/Education, Community, Sport and Groups. Each newspaper has a winner for the three categories (excluding groups) and then there is an overall winner for each category who receive $5000 dollars to put towards a project or goal. I was honoured to win the ‘Community’ section for my newspaper. This award will enable more publicity towards the Turtle rehabilitation project and gain more awareness from a wider audience which is fantastic!

Quick Info:
  • Date: June 2012
  • Location: Brisbane, Australia

One Coment, RSS

  • equatorastronomy

    says on:
    01/07/2012 at 15:53

    Cool, great job on creating awareness and fundraising for the turtle rehab project! Congrats Saraya, you deserve the award!! Btw, I’m thinking of planning a trip to Brisbane next year (once my exams are over), maybe I could help out at the rehab centre then!

    Greetings from a fellow YEP from Malaysia!

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