Australia Zoo Visit

Visit to Australia Zoo

Daniel and William were invited to visit the Australia Zoo, Beerwah, QLD.

four people with one person in a wheelchair feeding a giraffeUpon arrival the boys were greeted by Bill Ferguson, Government Relations Manager, who escorted the family for the day showing them all of the amazing improvements the zoo has made from almost 10 years ago since Daniel and William were last there.

The most amazing area to see was the African Savannah with 8 acres for the giraffe, zebra and white rhino’s to graze at their leisure.  The boys were able to feed ‘Forest’, the tallest giraffe in captivity in the world, which was incredible.

boy in wheelchair with meerkat on his shoulderThe boys also visited the meerkats and were able to have an amazing encounter with them with the keeper explaining all about them.  They were able to give the meerkats a few treats including  carrots, zucchini and their favourite mealworms.

Daniel and William were also given a tour of the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital which is one of Australia’s largest wildlife hospitals.  It runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the most incredible caring staff and relies solely on donations to continue its work.

Daniel and William with Irwin family inside veterinarian operating theatre presenting booksWhile at the wildlife hospital the boys were fortunate to meet with Terri Irwin, Robert, Bindi and Chandler.  It was a great meeting of incredible conservationists together in one place.

Daniel and William presented their books to the Irwin family and Bindi surprised the boys with a signed copy of her latest book for them! “Creating a Conservation Legacy” by Bindi Irwin.  inside cover of bindi irwins book titled a conservation legacyThe book celebrates Australia Zoo’s 50 years with Bindi including hundreds of photos documenting the early days of the zoo through to today’s achievements.

five people walking on a stone path with one person in a wheelchair with grass on the edgeThe Irwins were very proud of what Daniel and William have achieved in their conservation efforts to save the orangutan.  The day ended with Terri and Rosemary Booth, wildlife veterinarian and Director of the hospital, giving the boys a behind-the-scene tour of the hospital to see, first hand, the work they are doing to save all the wildlife that comes through their door.

Thank you to the Irwin family for an incredibly amazing day.  It was so great to meet and talk with you.

Steve has always been our inspiration from the beginning of our quest.

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Kindness is Everything Podcast

Anitha Rao-Robinson, creator of the “Kindness is Everything” podcast, is located in Ontario, Canada and she reached out to Daniel and William through The Orangutan Project to see if they would come on her show.  Her podcasts feature stories of young people talking about their amazing acts of kindness and is well worth listening to.

As Anitha is an animal lover, having many different animals on her farm, she was very excited to have Daniel and William on her show about their quest to save the orangutan.  If you would like to listen to Daniel and Williams interview, or even subscribe to her channel, please click below.

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ABC Sunday Extra with Julian Morrow

Daniel and William, as 2021 QLD Young Australian of the Year, were asked to be interviewed by ABC Radio National to be part of their Sunday Extra Program with Julian Morrow.  The segment is called, “The Year That Made Me!”.

The boys were asked to nominate a year that stood out on their quest to save the critically endangered orangutan and to also nominate a song that resonated with them throughout their journey.

The year they chose was 2012 as that year really kicked off world wide awareness of their quest to save the critically endangered orangutan of Borneo and Sumatra.  After their first book, Tears In The Jungle, was published at the end of 2011 and then being featured in an episode of the ABC Australian Story in early 2012 their quest really took off.

So many other events happened in that year including;

The song they chose is “I Believe” by Fantasia Barrino, as both Daniel and William believe that you can overcome any obstacle and believe in yourself to achieve your dreams.  If you would like to listen to the Podcast with Julian Morrow please CLICK HERE.

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Meeting our local MP – Kim Richards

Kim Richards

Daniel and William with Redlands Member for Parliament, Kim Richards

Daniel and William were invited to meet with their local member of state parliament for Redlands Queensland, Kim Richards, as she was very proud to have the 2021 QLD Young Australians of the Year from her own community.

It was great to meet with her and have her support for our quest.  We hope we can inspire students across Queensland to become passionate for the environment to believe in themselves and to know they can also make a difference.

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2021 Australian of the Year Awards

The 2021 Australian of the Year Awards was an action packed, whirlwind, 3 days with events held in our nations capital, Canberra.  Daniel and William are incredibly honoured and humbled to be among so many amazing people.

All the national recipients have incredible and inspiring stories to share.

The first official event was meeting with all the other Young Australians of the Year.  Australian of the year awardsThey were taken to the National Zoo and Aquarium where they were met by the keepers of the Zoo’s beautiful Cheetah.  They were then escorted inside where they were able to view the white lions and the Jamala Wildlife Lodge where you can stay the night next to the lion enclosure.

The group was then whisked onto the bus for an afternoon tea with his Excellency the Governor General of Australia and his wife, Mrs Hurley at their residence, Government House.

Australian of the year awards

An amazing few hours were spent with everyone at Government House.  The function was held at the gardens of Government House overlooking the lake.  An incredible experience, wonderful music, great food, speeches of course with inspiring stories shared by all.

All the national recipients for each Australia Day Award, from each state and territory, finished the day with a group photo on the lawn of Government House.

Australian of the Year Awards 2021 Reception at Governor General’s residence Government House in Yarralumla.

The next day we had the rehearsal for the National Awards at the Arboretum in Canberra.  Such an amazing venue.  We were escorted to where we would be seated for the evening awards and have a run through of the program for the night as the awards were to go live on the ABC that evening.

From there we went to Parliament House where we met with the Honourable Prime Minister Scott Morrison for morning tea.  We were able to meet and talk with the Prime Minister about our quest which was a fantastic.  We were then escorted to The Great Hall in Parliament House to a grand lunch with entertainment that was enjoyed by all.

The next event was the awards themselves, that night.  Back to the Arboretum where we were greeted by a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony as we via the red carpet.

Young Australian of the Year 2021 Isobel Marshall

It was a fantastic night and we congratulate Isobell Marshall from Taboo who was named the National Young Australian of the Year.

Although we were not the recipients of the national award it was an honour to be among so many incredible, inspiring young people from around the nation.

Every one of us has a drive and passion to make a difference in this world within our own causes, and we hope to inspire the next generation to also make change.

“William and I are so excited for the future and cannot wait to see what the next 12 months brings all of us, it really was an incredible few days that we will never forget”, Daniel Clarke.

The following morning, we were invited to the official flag raising ceremony held on the foreshore of Lake Burleigh Griffin looking up toward Parliament House.

Australian of the year awards

What a way to end the weekend – truly unforgettable.

At the zoo having a chat
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