A WALK through Tatura’s popular Cussen Park will never be the same, following the launch of a special project there by the 2017 cohort of the Fairley Leadership Program. An innovative audio tour experience supported by interpretive signage and a suite of educational resources designed to increase the community’s interaction and understanding of the park, makes up the HEAR & THERE initiative.
The park now features 10 fully accessible interpretive signs linked to an acoustic map available on sound-streaming platform SoundCloud. Visitors can be guided through the wetland ecosystem by the voice of local ABC reporter Warwick Long and listen to the creatures that make up this diverse and culturally significant environment.
Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GBCMA) and a member of this year’s Fairley Leadership Program, Jo Wood said, “The walk will take you around the park and into the wetlands, and you can learn about the traditional owners of the area and how they use wetlands and the native plants, such as the gums and grasses, and animals such as the water birds that live there.
“Sounds used were collected at the park using eco-acoustic techniques, which monitor the environment.”
In her work with GBCMA, Jo uses eco-acoustics to monitor wetland response to environmental water.
“We thought it would be a great way to capture the sounds of the park using the same methods,” Jo said.
“It’s exciting to think we can use this innovative technology on a great project for the community.”
Goulburn Murray community leadership chief executive officer, Michelle Luscombe congratulated the 2017 cohort on the project, which required extra work on top of Fairley’s 15 seminar days, two weekend retreats and study tours to both Melbourne and Canberra.
“Each year the members of the Fairley Leadership Program cohort get a chance to share their individual gifts and talents by participating in a project chosen by the group,” Michelle said.
“This year they have chosen to enhance the natural environment of Cussen Park with state-of-the-art interpretative signage and a sound walk. I think they’ve all learnt a lot about leadership, working well within a group, and seeing a project through from start to finish.”