A Royal Encounter

Australia’s most effective orangutan advocate, Daniel Clarke (17) had a Royal encounter on Wednesday that he will never forget.

Invitation to a Royal EncounterDaniel received an invitation from Her Excellency The Honourable Marie Bashir, Governor of New South Wales, to attend a formal reception for Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge at The Sydney Opera House, at the commencement of their Australian Tour on Wednesday 16th April, 2014.

Daniel, in his student leadership role at Northern Beaches Christian School (NBCS) as Student Ambassador, along with Alec Green, School Captain (NBCS), were nominated by their Principal, Mr Stephen Harris.

A Precious Five Minutes

A royal encounterDaniel was fortunate to spend five minutes talking with the Duchess of Cambridge on The Royal Highnesses first official function here in Australia.  Accompanied by his mother Penny, officially as Daniel’s carer, Daniel presented a toy orangutan for Prince George, along with a copy of the book that he and his brother William wrote about their quest to save the critically endangered orangutan.

The Duchess looked into the eyes of the toy orangutan and, with a big smile, said to Daniel, “George will love playing with this tonight!”.

Royal encounter

“Prince George will love playing with this tonight!”, Her Royal Highness

“The Duchess was really interested in our quest to save the orangutan and was very impressed with our book.  She asked about our trip to Borneo in 2008 and I mentioned we were planning another trip to Borneo this year where we are hoping to write another book”, Daniel said.  The Duchess responded by saying, “I am looking forward to your second book!”, which made Daniel grin from ear to ear and provided a whole new level of inspiration.

The Duchess flipped through several pages of the book, stopping to admire the photo of Daniel in his wheelchair with ‘Darren’ the orangutan (Page 41) as well as the photo of ‘Princess’ and her baby (Page 33).  Daniel mentioned to Her Royal Highness that the orangutan, ‘Princess’ was taught sign language and is still able to communicate her basic needs by this method today.  The Duchess was quite amazed by this.

A Royal encounter

Shaking hands with the Duchess

After spending five minutes with Daniel, on what was a very busy schedule, the Duchess said goodbye, shaking his hand and thanking him very much for the gifts.

Daniel was absolutely thrilled that the Duchess spent time with him and is hopeful that Their Royal Highnesses will be supportive of both his, and his brothers, efforts to save the orangutan going forward.

Hope for the future…

A Royal Enouncter - Signing the book for Prince GeorgeIn preparation of their Royal encounter, Daniel’s brother William penned a message in the front of the book to Prince George which read, “To Prince George, We hope that you too will be able to see the Orangutans in the wild as we have, Best Wishes, Daniel and William”.

Conservationists worldwide are saying how the critically endangered orangutan have less than 10 years left in the wild before they reach a point of no return.  Daniel and William are inspiring the next generation to make change and take action to save the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra and in turn saving many other plant and animal species that rely on the same habitat to survive.

Daniel and William hope that, with their passion for wildlife, the Royal couple will help them in their quest and, in some way, help the boys to continue to raise awareness for the critically endangered orangutan.

If you would like to help save the orangutan you can help protect their forest through The Orangutan Project’s Safeguard Program or adopt your own orangutan through the Borneo Orangutan Survival’s Orangutan Adoption Program

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The Orangutan Project Logo

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Official royal photographs in this blog were taken by Benjamin Townsend www.btphotography.com.au and have been represented here with express permission (Thank you Ben!)

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More Orangutan Habitat Protected

orangutan habitat

Their latest habitat protection certificate from The Orangutan Project

With contributions from schools and passionate individuals, Daniel and William have been able to protect another 9,504 acres of orangutan habitat, bringing their total money raised to $725,000 and the protection of 88,000 acres.

The boys are now planning on returning to Borneo in July this year to see the amazing work that has been performed by The Orangutan Project with the funds they have raised through their Safeguard Program.  They are also talking about using this trip to capture and write a second book in their amazing journey.

Can you help?

If you would like to help Daniel and William with the cost of their trip to Borneo please contact their father Rodney Clarke on rodney @ TearsInTheJungle.com

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Impact Youth Forum making an impact in Wyong

Impact Youth ForumThe Impact Youth Forum is an amazing initiative of the Wyong Shire Council to engage high school students from the Wyong Shire to find and follow their passion and develop unparalleled leadership skills.

Impact Youth Forum

Daniel and William were invited to present to the 100 high school students about their quest to save the orangutan as an example of what two young people can do when they set their minds to it and follow their passion.  William at 15 years old, and his brother Daniel at 17, who has cerebral palsy, spoke for 30 minutes on their quest to save the orangutan from extinction and then talked briefly on how their quest was only one of many examples of people taking action and resulting in leadership opportunities.

The boys received many questions after their presentation and were inundated at morning tea with students wishing to know more on how they can start their own initiatives.

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Over the course of the past 6 years Daniel and William have raised more than $715,000 to save the orangutan and protected 80,000 acres of critical orangutan habitat.

The boys used their quest to demonstrate to the students what can be achieved when opportunities are presented to you and how you can take those opportunities and empower others to follow your leadership and make a HUGE difference in our world.

The boys were able to demonstrate to the students their core values of doing the right thing, which includes; determination, persistence and following your dream as an unstoppable recipe for achieving your passion.

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Maraylya Public School promotes Eco Message

Maraylya Public School may be a small school situated in the beautiful Hawkesbury district of NSW, but it sure is big when it comes to understanding the importance of saving orangutans.

Maraylya Public School

Over the past couple of months their Stage 2 class (3/4) has been studying sustainability with their teacher Mrs Mackey.  Of course, ‘Tears In The Jungle’ was a key text they used as part of this unit.

“The class were so inspired by Daniel and William’s book they organised a mufti day, raising almost $280.00″, Mrs Mackey said.   The kids were asked to bring a gold coin donation, and their favourite soft toy animal, to enter in competitions on the day.  They had a fun-filled afternoon which was even covered by the local newspaper, the Hawkesbury Gazette (see photo).  The following Wednesday the school was on the front page of the Gazette with the book “Tears in the Jungle” featuring in the photo and some toy orangutans.

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Mrs Fiona Mackey and Class 3/4 at Maraylya Public School

Mrs Mackey and the class decided to use the money to buy 15 copies of the book “Tears in the Jungle” and donate the books to the other 14 small schools in and around the Hawkesbury district for their library. This way they were helping Daniel and William’s cause to save the orangutans and bring further awareness of the plight of the orangutan to all the children in the surrounding small schools.

The class, as part of their work in public speaking, attended each schools’ assemblies and spoke about the knowledge they had gained from the book and presented it to the school on behalf of Class 3/4 at Maraylya Public School.

Mrs Mackey said, “What an amazing journey from one book written by two boys who wanted to save the orangutans! Class 3/4 at Maraylya Public School would like to thank Daniel and William for producing such a beautifully inspiring book and hope many other schools, after reading this story, might consider following in our footsteps to empower schools around their areas to help this worthy cause.”

Thank you Mrs Mackey, your class and your school is truly amazing !!

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Young Hearts Saving Orangutans

Young Hearts Saving OrangutansFive year old Twyla from Sydney was inspired by Daniel and William’s quest to save the orangutans after hearing them speak at the Lady Game Kindergarten in October, 2012 in front of 100 children, family friends and guests.

Her Grandma, the director of the kindergarten, bought her a copy of the Tears in the Jungle book which she has absolutely loved and looks at often. Young Hearts Saving Orangutans According to her mother, Lilly, “She often hugs the book because of the beautiful orangutan on the cover”.  Her favourite picture is the orangutan with all of the bananas in his mouth. Continue reading

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Lone Droscher Nielsen

Daniel and William with Lone Droscher NielsenFrom  Air Hostess to owning and managing the worlds largest orangutan rehabilitation sanctuary, Nyaru Menteng, Lone Droscher Nielsen visited Sydney and met with Daniel and William in a national tour sponsored by BOS Australia last week. Continue reading

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University of Technology Sydney (UTS) calling…

University Technology of Sydney (UTS) Ku-Ring Gai CampusAn invitation to present to the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) on Thursday saw Daniel and William presenting their quest, to save the orang-utan, to thirty-five University Students learning to become our next generation of primary school teachers.

The invitation to attend the Ku-Ring Gai Campus of UTS came from lecturer, John Buchanan, who,  in regards to Daniel and William’s quest, identified the opportunity to demonstrate the potential of children and how it should not be underestimated.  With the passion of their quest behind them, Mr Buchanan understood how, with the right support, children can achieve the most amazing outcomes and wanted to convey this key message to his students.

University of Technology Sydney

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Orangu-TOONS !

Orangu-TOONS

Daniel and William with Ed Dyer, Animator

Daniel and William visited Luna Park today in Sydney and were captivated by the work of professional cartoonist and animator Ed Dyer. Continue reading

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Lions Clubs Support Orangutans

Over the past 12 months Daniel and William have been working alongside Gary Parker, Council Chairman for Multiple District 201 of Lions Club International, to sell their best selling Australian book through the Lions Clubs around Australia.

Taking Up the Challenge

Many of the Lions Clubs have taken up the challenge with funds raised from the sale of the boys book going to orangutan rescue, rehabilitation and release programs as well as causes such as the Lions Childrens Cancer Research Foundation.

Lions Clubs Australia

LtoR: Ann and Alan McDonald, William and Daniel, Gary and Lois Parker

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Merry Christmas from US !!

2013 Merry Christmas message from Daniel and William !!

Thank you for all of your help and support this year – it has made a MASSIVE difference to the Orangutans. THANK YOU !!

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