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Student storytelling through dance

​Bundaberg students from 15 local schools performing in the opening ceremony of Milbi Festival

Culture, conservation and choreography collided at a spectacular opening ceremony of the Milbi Festival, where 120 Reef Guardian students from 15 Bundaberg schools came together to celebrate the beginning of turtle season.

Milbi Festival (Milbi being a local Indigenous name for turtle) is a special event for the region, showcasing all things turtles, arts, culture and Indigenous heritage.

Through dance and movement, primary and secondary students shared the important life cycle of turtles at Mon Repos with their community.

Kalkie State School teacher Judith Stutchbury, who coordinated the schools for the opening, said it was a wonderful opportunity for students, teachers, parents and schools to work together as one.

'Students beautifully told a story of the sea and river coming together, with sand covering the turtle eggs to protect them for hatching,' Mrs Stutchbury said.

'The costumes were incredible. Metres of flowing silk symbolising the river meeting the sea, gold capes signifying sand, and glow-in-the-dark balls representing turtle eggs.

'It truly was a sight to behold, seeing hours of rehearsals come to fruition. I have received excellent feedback from parents regarding the quality, creativity and wonderful opportunity for their child.

'It was great to see the older students leading the way for the younger ones, too,' she said.

Two former Queensland state schools students, Robert McLellan and Trevor Green, choreographed the entire 15-minute composition.

Bundaberg has the largest population of nesting marine turtles on the east Australian mainland and the most significant population of nesting endangered loggerhead turtles in the South Pacific Region.

The Reef Guardian schools program sees students, teachers, their communities and local environmental agencies make positive environmental changes for the marine environment.

For more information about Reef Guardian Schools, visit Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Photo credit: David Batt MP's Facebook page.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) ( )
Last updated
17 February 2020