039 | 100 Cheyne Flanagan: Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
The outpouring of public support to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital during the Black Summer bushfires confirmed an Australian truth: koalas are among our most beloved species. As populations dwindle due to deforestation and worsening environmental conditions, dedicated staff at the hospital, including clinical director Cheyne Flanagan, are helping these incredible animals persevere.
See Cheyne Flanagan in conversation with investigative journalist Yaara Bou Melhem, recorded live at the Powerhouse as part of 100 Climate Conversations. Entry is free, but bookings are essential as places are limited. Doors open at 2.45pm for a 3pm start. No late admittance.
100 Climate Conversations is a two-year survey of visionary Australians who are accelerating the net zero carbon revolution. To find out more and subscribe to the podcast visit 100climateconversations.com.
Cheyne Flanagan is the clinical director and head of the wild koala breeding program at The Koala Hospital. The non-profit research and rehabilitation facility and popular tourist attraction is seeing koalas increasingly threatened by urban sprawl and worsening bushfires that are destroying habitat. Flanagan warns that habitat loss contributes to a range of animal health issues, noting that stress on the marsupials is a significant contributing factor in the east coast koala chlamydia epidemic. Flanagan worries human development is threatening the few remaining koala populations with encroaching housing turning koalas into ‘urban refugees’.
Yaara Bou Melhem is a Walkley award-winning journalist and documentary maker who has made films in the remotest corners of Australia and around the world. Her debut documentary feature, Unseen Skies, which interrogates the inner workings of mass surveillance, computer vision and artificial intelligence through the works of US artist Trevor Paglen was screened in competition at the 2021 Sydney Film Festival. She is currently directing a series for the ABC and is the inaugural journalist-in-residence at the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism & Ideas working on journalistic experimental film.