ANU munchkins raise funds for koalas in need

11 March 2020

Children at the University Preschool and Childcare Centre (UPCCC) have banded together and used the power of baking to help koalas left injured and homeless by Australia's recent devastating bushfires.

Their cupcakes and other baked goodies raised more than $730 for the ANU Koala Conservation and Protection Fund.

The fund provides care for koalas injured and displaced by bushfires, as well as supporting research to help protect them and their habitats from climate change.

UPCCC Director Helen Chan said the children came up with the idea for the bake sale following their concerns and recent discussions about the bushfires.

"The children were very vocal about the bushfires and the profound impact it had on our native animals including koalas," Ms Chan said. 

"For example they told us: 'We need to help the koalas, they were burnt in the fire. On their head, their paws and their fur'; and 'We need to take care of the koalas'.

"They also related the koalas' experiences to when they have been hurt and needed care themselves.

"The children were really motivated to help."

Children from the Nursery, Toddlers and Preschool sections of the Centre did majority of the baking. They also created and wrote on signs promoting the sale, and decorated donation boxes.

Three-year-old Finn from the Preschool section cracked open his piggybank to pitch in.

"The cupcakes are for us, not the koalas," he said. "But the money for is for the koalas. Yay!"

ANU researchers also visited the Centre to talk to the children about how the koalas are being cared for and to thank them for their fundraising efforts.

Ms Chan said the children were really pleased with the results.

"Following the bake sale, the children told us how happy they were. 'We can buy medicine, bandages and bandaids for the koalas now,' they told us. 

"They also told us 'They can take them back home to the same tree in the wild,' and 'The koalas don't need to worry until the next fire. The rain has done really good. All the fires all gone now. They (the koalas) are good for now'."

And the verdict on the treats on offer?

"Deeelicious!" said Finn.