NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we learn and tell stories, the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples, and we pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.

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NIDA students help bushfire recovery by creating wildlife bird boxes

Photo: Ruby Jenkins and Jasmin Gray in the Scenic Construction workshop at NIDA.

A group of first-year students from across NIDA have been working in the Scenic Construction workshop to make wildlife bird boxes from scratch. The boxes will be placed in burnt-out bush areas where animals are struggling to find shelter and food.

Lynsey Brown, NIDA Lecturer, Scenic Construction and Technologies, was on hand to guide the students in the construction. The exercise was part of the training the first-year students receive in the use of simple carpentry equipment. They will use these skills during their studies while building and designing sets and working on productions.

‘It helps them work together as a team, and they learn the equipment at the same time,’ said Lynsey. ‘They learn about  drills, countersinking and the cordless screwdriver. They learn and demonstrate that they can use them safely, which was part of their orientation. They used the nail guns, then screwed the boxes together, and used the orbital sanding machine. Then the box is ready for oiling.’

Lynsey spent time with her family in Batlow, NSW, on an apple and cattle farm. She was there at Christmas during the emergency fire alerts and was evacuated due to the bush fires. Sadly the family lost a dear friend while he was fighting the fires and defending the property.

Photo: Lynsey Brown and Chloe Langdon in the Scenic Construction workshop at NIDA.

‘Sometimes doing little things like this can make us feel better. A lot of our students were also affected by the bush fires. We are donating to an animal rescue organisation that takes these nest boxes and places them in the communities where they are needed. The birds came up as a priority, and boxes for the kookaburra and crimson rosellas were recommended. That’s what we are building here.’

Many NIDA students have also been sewing joey pouches in their spare time to donate to wildlife rescue centres.

Jasmin Gray is a first-year student studying a Bachelor of Fine Art (Costume) at NIDA.

‘I am from Foster which was severely burnt out,’ said Jasmin.  ‘When you feel you can’t do much it’s nice to know that you actually can help, using the skills that you have.’

‘It’s great to see the students learning new skills that they can apply to their studies and to help communities,’ said Lynsey. ‘It’s a win win.’

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