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Canberra Today 7°/11° | Monday, May 16, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

National business award to local nature art group

Winner… Julia Landford.

CANBERRA‘S leading natural science art and illustration organisation, NatureArt Lab has been announced as ACT state winner in the 2022 Promoting Sustainability Award of the Telstra Best of Business Awards.

Director Julia Landford, who founded the organisation in 2017, told “CityNews” this morning (February 15), that last night while in a studio class at M16 Artspace in Griffith, she had received a call to tell her that out of 24,000 businesses nominated nationally, NatureArt Lab was one of the 19 frontrunners, an ACT finalist for four out of the seven categories – Building Communities, Accelerating Women, Championing Health and Promoting Sustainability – and winner in the last.

“We were nominated for the award and it’s taken nearly six months of interviews writing supporting statements and answering questions,” she said. “It was a wonderful experience and taught us so much about the breadth and depth of what we are doing.”

From a small start, Landford has now a team of more than 20 teaching staff, experts in art and science and said: “We’ve had such interest in our work that we’ve often had students from interstate and a lot of them travel here for classes.”

As well, she added, there had been such interest that they had established Maleny and Noosa studios alongside new branches in the Blue Mountains and regional Victoria, with plan for a studio in WA.

Landford, who  has a master’s in applied anthropology and participatory development from the ANU, is an executive committee member of the ACT Chapter of the of the Australian Association of Environmental Educators and was awarded the “Environmental Educator of the Year for the ACT” in 2019.

She also led Wildlife & Botanical Artists Inc from 1989-2018, and curated the first Australian symposium on wildlife art and science in partnership with CSIRO Discovery Centre in 2014.

She declares herself overjoyed at the recognition of NatureArt Lab, as a business that strives to promote sustainable change in the world,  with the goal of engaging with nature through art driving environmental education through citizen science and environmental custodianship within Australia.

State Winners will now go on to represent their state on the national stage where they will pitch their businesses to a new panel of judging luminaries.

An unusual feature of the process is that to help them craft their final pitch, they’ll be teamed with an expert presentation and speech coach before being flown to Sydney.


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Ian Meikle, editor

Helen Musa

Helen Musa

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