The desertSMART EcoFair is Central Australia’s premier science and sustainability event and is organised by the Arid Lands Environment Centre as part of National Science Week.
EcoFair aims to educate, inspire and activate the community around science and sustainability issues, and features high profile speakers, engaging panels and workshops, and films. Since 2009 the Ecofair has connected thousands of people to science and sustainability in Alice Springs.
In 2019 the event will feature keynote science communicators, desert scientists, renewable energy professionals and school educators in a series of community events encouraging discussions on the issue of science and sustainability.
desertSMART Ecofair 2018
In 2018 desertSMART EcoFair celebrated its 10th birthday, with thousands of people over the last decade having enjoyed high profile speakers, engaging panels, workshops, and films.
desertSMART EcoFair not only provides great learning opportunities for local community members, it also profiles Central Australian initiatives to travelling visitors and a national audience through its partnership with Inspiring Australia and National Science Week.
Thursday 9th, Friday 10th August
Eco-Science Schools Days @ Olive Pink Botanic Garden
600 local school students participated in hands on workshops on the issues of energy, water, land management, climate, health, science and technology. With workshops by Engineers Without Borders Australia, Australian American Fullbright Commision, Ekistica, Museum and Art Gallery NT, Alice Springs Desert Park, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, NT Parks & Wildlife, Land for Wildlife, Olive Pink Botanic Garden and National Rural Health Students Network. This event was supported by the Northern Territory Government.
Friday 10th August
783 ABC Outside Broadcast @ Olive Pink Botanic Garden
Community members were invited to test their science trivia skills at the Great Science Quiz as part of the 783 ABC Outside Broadcast from the Bean Tree Café Courtyard. Guest speakers included Amanda McKenzie (The Climate Council), Professor Jenny Davis (Charles Darwin University) and Sara Johnston (Intyalheme Centre For Future Energy).
Transitions Film Festival @ Olive Pink Botanic Garden
More than 100 people enjoyed a special event screening of two films from the Transitions Film Festival, Living in the Future’s Past and Operation Jeedara under a star filled desert sky.
Saturday 11th August
Garden to Plate @ Alice Springs Community Garden
More than 100 people enjoyed an engaging Garden To Plate event at the Alice Springs Community Garden. Exploring Bush Foods with Rayleen Brown (Kungka's Can Cook), including bush foods tasting, was very popular, Costa Georgiadis (Gardening Australia) provided a high energy Science of Gardening workshop and the information provided in the Growing Healthy & Disease Free Plants with Dr Karen Barry (University of Tasmania) provided some great information about growing healthy plants.
Sunday 12th August
EcoFair Stalls @ the Todd Mall Markets
There was great community feedback about integrating the EcoHub stalls into the fortnightly Todd Mall Markets event which attracted hundreds of community members. A special visit by Costa the Garden Gnome and Dirt Girl was a highlight.
The Future Energy Forum @ Andy McNeill Room, Alice Springs Town Council
70 people attended the Future Energy Forum, which wasopened by Hon Dale Wakefield MLA, Minister for Renewables & Essential Services. The event feature three inspiring women who are working towards the renewable energy transition, Sara Johnston (Intyalheme Centre for Future Energy), Sonya Williams (Cities Power Partnership - The Climate Council) and Harshini Bartlett (RePower Alice Springs) and Alice Springs Mayor Damien Ryan who talked about the Council’s solar and environmental achievements.
Women Changing The World @ Alice Springs Cinema
Amanda McKenzie, science communicator and CEO of The Climate Council was the feature speaker at Women Changing the World. 80 community members also heard fromProfessor Jenny Davis (Charles Darwin University), Dr Karen Barry (University of Tasmania), and Deepika Mathur (Charles Darwin University) who talked about their experiences of careers in science and research.