Call out: we want your bamboo donation for a World Whale Conference art project

Call out: we want your bamboo donation for a World Whale Conference art project

In preparing for the World Whale Conference in October, Fraser Coast Tourism & Events is working with the Fraser Coast Regional Council to develop a whale sculpture on the Hervey Bay foreshore to reinforce the region as one of the most significant humpback whale destinations in the world.

The design and construction of the sculpture is being undertaken by Sydney-based arts studio, Cave Urban, and it will be unveiled during the conference.

The conference, drawing educators, conservationists, scientists and whale watch operators from around the world, will take place in Hervey Bay on October 7-12.

The idea of the art piece is to leave a legacy from the conference that will be seen by all visitors.

It will highlight the conference theme, “Journeys that inspire change”, using the example of the largest mammal migration on earth to challenge humans to make changes in their own lives to better protect the environment and safeguard the world for future generations.

“To underpin Hervey Bay’s connection to whales, we are undertaking a community art project to show that whales are embraced through the cultural, economic, social, and political lives of the Fraser Coast community and we are at a place where people and cetaceans coexist in an authentic and respectful way,” said FCTE general manager Martin Simons.

The art piece, to be constructed of sustainable bamboo, will represent a humpback whale and calf, signifying the importance of Hervey Bay’s annual “whale nursery” in the calm waters between K’gari Fraser Island and the mainland.

Draft whale sculpture concept – Hervey Bay

“Scientific studies show that each year up to 8000 humpback whales stop with their calves for up to two weeks in Hervey Bay to rest, socialise and train their young.

“This is why whale watching in Hervey Bay is so special compared to other destinations. The whales aren’t on the move. They are relaxed and just as interested in the boats and whale watchers as we are in them,” Mr Simons said.

The sculpture will be built as part of the annual Hervey Bay Whale Festival program and unveiled on the Hervey Bay Esplanade during the conference.

The project will focus on the protection of the cetacean habitat and follow notable examples around the world where communities have been mobilised to collect ocean-destroying plastics or eco-friendly materials to create art that helps change human behaviour.

“We are calling on all the community to get involved by donating their bamboo. You may have some bamboo on your property that you no longer want and happy to donate to build the community artwork”.

If you are interested in donating your bamboo for the arts project, please do the following:

  • Take a photo of your bamboo, a close-up image with a hand next to the bamboo
  • Take a photo of your bamboo from afar with someone standing next to it
  • Advise geographic location of the bamboo
  • Email your submission to by July 19, 2019

Members of the public will also have the opportunity to be involved with the harvesting, splitting and build, starting from the end of July.

FCTE will also shortly be reaching out to schools to become involved in a sustainability project offering free whale watching and eco-marine trips to students.


Cave Urban is a multidisciplinary arts studio formed by artists, architects and sculptors. Founded in 2010 to investigate bamboo lightweight structures and their relevance to contemporary design, Cave Urban has developed into a practice that explores the intersection between art and architecture. The studio prioritizes collaboration, community engagement and the utilization of natural, local and recycled materials as key components of any project.

Article submitted by Fraser Coast Tourism & Events  – July 3, 2019

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