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Find out about upcoming opportunities to learn and engage

  • Temporary Suspension of Events

    The health and wellbeing of our volunteers and community are extremely important. In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and to minimise health risks to our community the difficult decision has been made to temporarily suspend all our public events and activities. We are currently exploring virtual ways to deliver some of our public programming so please continue to check the Mary Cairncross website for news of upcoming opportunities.

  • Jinibara Clapstick Making Workshop

    POSTPONED: Make your very own clapsticks from scratch! Join Uncle Noel, Jason and BJ from Jinibara Arts as they lead you in a clapstick making workshop. You will be given a raw branch and all the tools needed to create this traditional Aboriginal percussion instrument. Learn tips to make a great sound and learn more about cultural practice of carving the clapstick.

  • Dung Beetles: Nature's Unsung Heroes

    POSTPONED! Mary Cairncross is home to many dung beetles and they don’t just eat dung. From beetles that have mastered the art of composting, to beetles that hitch a ride on their mammal host; dung beetles have evolved to use a variety of strategies to ensure they survive in a country where the dung is few and far between. Join entomologist Dr Kathy Ebert to gain an insight into their intriguing behaviours and lifecycles and the important ecological role these unsung heroes play. Photo credit: Kathy Ebert.

  • Eating insects: Securing food security, one chocolate covered mealworm at a time

    POSTPONED! Fancy tucking into crispy fried cricket or garlic and chilli roasted grasshopper? Did you know a quarter of the world’s population regularly eat insects! Increasing pressure on existing agriculture systems, means we need to rethink how we produce food. Insects are highly nutritious and sustainable, so grab the family and join Michelle Gleeson who’ll introduce you to the delights of insect-eating.

  • In a Bug’s World - You’ll see it when you know it

    POSTPONED! Insects are essential to the ongoing health of our ecosystem, they are the underappreciated workers in the forest. Yet despite their importance as pollinators, decomposers and as a food source, there are still many insects that need to be identified and their specific relationships to their ecosystems still need to be studied and understood. A huge contribution to this knowledge can come from the public. In this fun, interactive seminar with local conservationist Janet Carew, you can practise your observation skills and learn about different methods and tools for observing the natural world to help you become a citizen scientist.

  • Butterflies: the birds of the insect world – conservation and management

    POSTPONED: Because of their often bright colours fluttering in the sky, butterflies are sometimes thought of as the birds of the insect world. These amazing creatures have inhabited the earth for about 130 million years - around the same time as flowering plants. Indeed, it’s even thought that plants evolved flowers that attract butterflies as pollinators (bees weren’t around just yet)! If you found this fact fascinating, come and join UQ entomologist Professor Myron Zalucki for an amazing insight into the biology and ecology of butterflies as well as the key conservation challenges facing these delights of the sky.