Colourful flock earns the top prize

Carly LadenBroome Advertiser
Grace Maglio amongst the shorebirds as part of her winning sculpture The Flock.
Camera IconGrace Maglio amongst the shorebirds as part of her winning sculpture The Flock. Credit: Carly Laden

What started out as a research side-project became an artistic masterpiece when a flock of colourful shorebirds earned local researcher Grace Maglio top prize at A View to Asia.

Ms Maglio’s The Flock Oz — Broome depicts a collection of shorebirds resting at Cable Beach in a side-project related to Maglio’s research on shorebirds in Roebuck Bay.

It was created in collaboration with the Broome Men’s Shed, Roebuck Bay Working Group, Rangeland NRM, Broome Community Resource Centre and the Parks and Wildlife Service.

Maglio said she initially did not consider entering the work in A View to Asia, Shinju Matsuri’s answer to Sculptures by the Sea.

“I ran Flock Oz — Broome last year as part of a school holiday program and Bran Nue Dae and we held workshops in front of Zanders,” she said.

“It was just a display in the restaurant last year but this year I wanted to give everyone a chance to be part of the exhibit at A View to Asia so other people can see their artwork too.

“The shorebirds that were on display in my exhibit were made from recycled materials made by the Broome Men’s Shed and painted by hundreds of children, parents, the elderly and more to promote and encourage awareness of the wonderful shorebirds of Roebuck Bay.

“I was incredibly surprised when I found out it won because I hadn’t really thought about winning prizes.

“I only thought about promoting shorebirds and getting the Broome community to take ownership of Roebuck Bay being the shorebird capital of Australia.

“After the shock, I was so proud to see community groups that wouldn’t normally think about shorebirds thinking about them through what they learned through the program.”

Maglio has been conducting independent research on the foraging ecology of migratory shorebirds on Roebuck Bay for the past three years.

“Around March each year, 80000 shorebirds gather in flocks to undertake a 12,000km migration from Roebuck Bay to their breeding ground in the Arctic tundra,” she said.

“The first leg of their journey certainly gives the shorebirds a view to Asia in a non-stop flight to the Yellow Sea, located between China and Korea.

“I hope the Broome community unites to celebrate this wonder and work together to keep Roebuck Bay Australia’s best shorebird destination.”

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