Film team digs deep for cassowary conservation

Actors Roz Hammond and Russell Dykstra, front centre, are pictured in the C4 Environment Centre at Mission Beach with members of C4 (Community for Coastal and Cassowary Conservation).

Mission Beach, November 16, 2021: Cassowary conservation on the Cassowary Coast has received a celebrity financial boost from members of the cast and crew of the Netflix series ‘Irreverent’ while filming at Mission Beach.

Actor Russell Dykstra, an ardent conservationist and nature lover, encouraged the team to donate to C4’s ‘Give Now’ fundraising platform to buy critical land for cassowary conservation.

A delighted Peter Rowles, president of Community for Coastal and Cassowary Conservation (C4) at Mission Beach, said Mr Dykstra’s efforts had added more than

$7600 to the land-purchase scheme.

“One of the biggest single threats to the survival of the cassowary is loss of habitat through clearing and fragmentation of crucial corridors,” Mr Rowles said.

“C4 has partnered with Queensland Trust For Nature (QTFN) to buy important parcels of land that provide critical habitat for cassowaries and other species. These are covered by protective covenants and sold to people who want to live amid nature and respect other species’ right to share the same habitat as them.”

C4 committee members hosted a low-key thank you on Thursday (Nov 11), attended by Mr Dykstra and fellow actor and writer Roz Hammond, each of whom has an impressive list of theatre, film and TV credits to their name.

Ms Hammond also supported cassowary conservation, including running Sunday morning yoga classes for her colleagues at Sundance Studio in Mission Beach, asking only for donations to C4 for the land purchase fund.

The actors said they had been awed by the region’s natural beauty and touched by the friendliness of the community, and were sad to be leaving after calling Mission Beach home for several months.

Mr Dykstra said he was actively involved in bush care and conservation groups near his home on the New South Wales Central Coast and wanted to do something for cassowary conservation.

He was thrilled to finally see a cassowary and his stripey chicks in Mission Beach on Friday (November 12), just a week before the Cassowary Coast component of Irreverent wraps up and he heads south for studio filming.

Both he and Ms Hammond spoke of fond memories of time spent in the bush as children and of the challenges for parents today in finding the balance between children’s desires to connect with computerised devices and getting outside to discover the beauty and wonder of the natural world.

Mr Rowles presented Mr Dykstra with a copy of C4 member Laurie Trott’s recently published (Playlab Theatre) play, ‘To Kill A Cassowary’ to thank him for his great work. The book will be launched at the C4 Theatrette on Saturday, November 27 at the C4 Christmas party, which is open to the public.

For more information visit the C4 website www.cassowaryconservation.asn.au


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