THREE giant, and very symbolic, Australian animals are set to tour Queensland again this year, spreading cheer and joy along the way.
Many people will remember the giant kookaburra that travelled across the sunshine state – including parts of the Fraser Coast – at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
The mobile kookaburra sculpture made special ‘fly-bys’ past schools, hospitals, nursing homes and markets and stopped over at public parks and ovals to help cheer up communities.
Well, the kookaburra was soon joined by a giant mobile koala and they will soon hit the roads this year with a giant talking cockatoo joining the crew.
The Carnival of Joy is the product of the magnificent artwork by Dr Farvardin Daliri OAM.
As a sculptor, community development professional and mindfulness trainer with a PhD in Education, Dr Daliri knows the importance of bringing people together and lifting their spirits – especially when faced by a crisis like COVID-19.
“Imagine a giant cockatoo calling out ‘g-day mate’ or ‘cheer up, we’re in this together’,” said Dr Daliri.
“The giant cockatoo, koala and kookaburra, are more than a photo opportunity, they’re a conversation starter and focus for public talks and workshops on the importance of creating communities where everyone can have a sense of value and belonging,” he said.
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Dr Daliri came to Australia in 1984 as a refugee fleeing religious persecution in Iran and has spent the past 35 years working in communities across Australia.
Over the past six months, with the support of the Townsville Intercultural Centre, he has driven the Giant Laughing Kookaburra 10,000km while visiting more than 200 schools, nursing homes, hospitals, markets and community events.
Welcoming Australia, the national not-for-profit organisation behind the Welcoming Cities initiative, is a key partner in the development of the Giant Talking Cockatoo and the upcoming road trip – currently scheduled for July.
CEO of Welcoming Australia, Aleem Ali noted the importance of Dr Daliri’s work and significant opportunity for communities across Queensland to support his endeavours.
“COVID-19 has placed significant stresses and strains on our communities, but we’ve shown once again that we can come together, look out for each other and be great neighbours in the face of a crisis,” Mr. Ali said.
“Dr Daliri’s amazing trio of giant animals provides a focal point for us to celebrate our diversity, cultural richness, and the importance of working together in both good and tough times.”
“Welcoming Australia is proud to support this initiative and invites local councils across Queensland to welcome the koala, kookaburra and cockatoo to their towns.”
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Queensland’s 2021 Australian of the Year recipient, Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM has also offered his support.
“The Giant Cockatoo has a message of joy, acceptance and resilience for everyone,” said Dr Palipana.
“We need to recognise that we are all in this together and spark a chain reaction for a better tomorrow.”
You can contribute towards the Carnival of Joy’s crowdfunding initiative, here.