Join the crusade to save marine turtles with art!

01 August 2019

Calling all Queensland students and teachers, it’s time to get creative with entries to the World Science Festival Brisbane 2020 Hatchery Crusaders competition now open! 

Now in its second year, the competition, part of Queensland Museum and World Science Festival Brisbane’s educational program, aims to raise awareness about the plight of marine turtles and the impact plastic pollution has on their environment. 

In the lead up to World Science Festival Brisbane 2020, schools are invited to collect plastic debris from nearby waterways and produce artwork reflecting their learnings about plastic pollution and its impact on marine life.

Queensland Museum Network CEO Dr Jim Thompson said the inaugural Hatchery Crusaders program was very popular in 2019, but it’s more than just an art competition. 

“The Hatchery Crusaders is an educational program that is part of Queensland Museum’s commitment to support and foster STEM-learning,” Dr Thompson said. 

“It is also an extension of the hugely popular Turtle Hatchery display at World Science Festival Brisbane, which highlights just how much plastic and marine debris harms and maims our turtles.

“In 2019 more than 40 schools, including home schools, from around Queensland entered and created some incredible artwork with very powerful messaging, so I encourage all teachers and students to join the crusade this year and help make a difference.” 

Minister for Science and Arts Leeanne Enoch said it’s never been more important than now to look at solutions and raise awareness to the plastic pollution problem.

“The Hatchery Crusaders is a great starting point for students and teachers to start a conversation about the impact plastic has on marine life and the role they can play within their communities to help turn the tide,” Minister Enoch said. 

“It was wonderful to see the artwork on display at Queensland Museum during this year’s World Science Festival Brisbane and to see how Queensland schools are tackling a global problem at a local level.”

BHP Foundation has come on board this year as a supporting partner of the Hatchery Crusaders to help raise awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and its effect on marine life.

BHP Foundation Executive Officer James Ensor said it’s a great initiative to be a part of.

“We encourage young people to be involved in projects that brings communities and schools together and contributes towards improving our environment. So we are excited about the impact this program will have on increasing awareness and understanding of this important environmental issue.”

The inaugural winners of the Hatchery Crusaders were St Thomas More School from Sunshine Beach whose entry titled “Time to ‘Turn’ the table”, was a series of four Perspex cylinders created to bring awareness to the environmental issue of plastics in our oceans and encouraged people to question their own plastic usage and challenged their opinion on the urgent need for change.  

The beach debris inside the cylinders were a result of collection conducted by students in and around Sunshine Beach over a two-week period.

For more information and how to register for The Hatchery Crusaders visit

Students will have until December 6, 2019 to complete their artwork with finalists notified in early February 2020.

The winning school will have a special opportunity to name one of our turtle hatchlings, as well as first priority entrance to THE HATCHERY during World Science Festival Brisbane in March 2020.

The finalist artworks will be showcased during the World Science Festival Brisbane in March 2020 at Queensland Museum to raise public awareness about the plight of marine turtles.

Registrations close Friday 22 November 2019.


For further information, images or interviews please contact:


Kylie Hay, Senior Media Officer, Queensland Museum

M: 0434 565 852 or P: (07) 3842 9388


Christine Robertson, Senior Media Officer, Queensland Museum

M: 0417 741 710 or P: (07) 3840 7789