Last Friday night the launch party for the ‘Celebrating the Rainforest’ exhibition was held at the Old Fire Station in Kiama. The exhibition has been brought together by local artists Jamie Cole, Greg Vale, Karen Wright and Mark Lucas and will continue on for a few more days this week.
To open the event was a beautiful Welcome to Country from the Illawarra Flame Trees, an all young aboriginal women performance and leadership group, followed by a rendition of the National Anthem in local aboriginal language and a spectacular dance performance celebrating the fauna and bird-life of the rainforest.
The Launch party raised $500 for the Friends of the Minnamurra Rainforest with approximately 70 guests attending.
Dr Kevin Mills, an expert on the Illawarra rainforests spoke about the history of rainforests in the area and the importance of the rainforest to biodiversity and tourism in the Kiama region. Kevin Mills is a botanist and ecologist and has lived in the Illawarra for over 35 years. He has studied the region’s rainforest for many years and is currently working on various projects in the region, including studies of all offshore islands on the South Coast, a review and field study of the ferns of the south coast. He has authored or co-authored several books on plants including Native Trees of Central Illawarra, Rainforests of the Illawarra District and Native trees of the NSW South Coast. He is continuing his rainforest studies here and on Norfolk Island, on which he has also written extensively.