Artists, experts on kangaroos, birds and water resources, and senior UNSW staff including two Deputy Vice-Chancellors and two Deans, will visit Fowlers Gap Arid Zone Research Station near Broken Hill on Friday 9 May in recognition of the artistic and scientific significance of the site.

A newly completed artists’ studio will be officially opened and a book on kangaroos launched as well as a scientific project on groundwater.

Fowlers Gap is the only research station in the arid zone of NSW. Some areas of the property have been continuously monitored for more than 30 years, providing a unique, long-term ecological record of a dry region.

UNSW holds a lease in perpetuity on the property, which is an important site for teaching as well as research. Students from both UNSW Science and the UNSW College of Fine Arts make regular field excursions there.

The station’s scenic landscape is a drawcard for artists and a plaque will be unveiled to mark the official opening of the recently completed Silcrete Lodge artists’ studio. Philanthropists Julian and Annie Beaumont, who helped fund the project, will also be present.

The second edition of UNSW Emeritus Professor Terry Dawson’s seminal book, Kangaroos, will be launched. It explores the biology and ecology of these native marsupials, as well as urban and rural myths surrounding them.

A large project to monitor the movement of groundwater involving a network of nine observation bores has also recently been established at Fowlers Gap. It is led by Professor Ian Acworth, the Gary Johnston Professor of Water Management in the Connected Waters Initiative Research Centre at UNSW.

When: Friday 9 May from 12:00 noon.

Where: Fowlers Gap Arid Zone Research Station, 112 km north of Broken Hill.

What: Opening of artists’ studio, book launch and scientific research overviews.

Who: Senior UNSW staff including Professor Les field, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research); Professor Iain Martin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic); Professor Merlin Crossley, Dean of Science; and Professor Ross Harley, Dean of College of Fine Arts.

Scientists including Emeritus Professor Terry Dawson, UNSW (kangaroos); Professor Ian Acworth, UNSW (water); Professor Andy Baker, UNSW (water); Associate Professor Simon Griffiths, Macquarie University (birds), Dr Steve McLeod, NSW Department of Industry and Investment (kangaroos). 


12.00 – 3.00: Welcome, lunch, scientific presentations.

3.30 – 5.00: Tour of property.

5.00: Unveiling of plaque to open Silcrete Lodge.

Contact: UNSW Science media officer: Deborah Smith, 9385 7307, 0478 492 606,