Books and Bandicoot Burrows

When considering ideas for the Rotary Club of Tamar Sunrise’s Rotary Expo display, the small committee challenged members to come up with some unique ideas to showcase the club and its projects.

From an initial idea to feature the club’s Books for Kinder Program by displaying children’s books and performing an hourly book reading, the idea to combine the conservation project the club supports – saving the habitat of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot – was born.

PICTURED: Visitors to the club’s interactive display loved the hard work members had put in to recreate the bandicoot’s habitat, including a bandicoot burrow and native flora.

It was decided to have an interactive display and ask children to help members write a children’s book about the adventures of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot.

“We then needed a fun way to engage the children in the project, so the bandicoot burrow came next, with question cards to be filled out by the children and given to the bandicoot, who would then take the child’s idea back into its burrow for safe keeping,” Past Assistant Governor Lesley Dare explains.

Children were also encouraged to draw an animal or a setting that may appear in the story book.

Club members contributed in many ways and many hidden talents were unearthed. One member painted a beautiful scene of little bandicoots to inspire the children, another painted a clock face to use to display the time of the next reading. Others developed posters and a PowerPoint presentation.

PICTURED: Club President Rodney Spinks encourages young visitors to draw a picture to appear in the children’s book the club is producing as part of the project.

A teacher in the group helped with questions for the children to answer. Other club members, who championed the conservation project on their farm, helped with information about the bandicoot and the bandicoot burrow. Different members provided plants and helped decorate the burrow to make it look like the bandicoot’s natural habitat.

Members provided children’s books and one member even volunteered to dress up as a possum on the day to read to children and to promote the display. Other contributions included prize donations and, of course, staffing the display on the day.

The interactive display proved wonderfully popular with children, which of course brought their parents along to the display as well.

For the Rotary Club of Tamar Sunrise, this was just the beginning of a wonderful project to produce their own Rotary sponsored children’s book about native bandicoot and his friends of the forest. Members are currently talking to a children’s book author and will be taking the display to local schools and other events over the next few months to continue to engage children in the project.

Every child who participates by submitting a drawing or answering a question card will have their first name and suburb listed in the back of the book when published.