Festival of Flame in the Illawarra

A brand new play telling the story of the 1968 Illawarra bushfires is part of a huge line up of events that explore the science of bushfires as part of National Science Week 2017. The first Illawarra Flame Festival  will take place from 29 July to 20 August with a host of workshops, displays and hands on activities being planned across the region.

Highlights include a Flame Tree Propagation Workshop at the Wollongong Botanic Garden Discovery Centre, bushwalks led by Wollongong Council’s FireReady Team, activities at the Wollongong Science Centre and more.

The free Flame Tree Propagation Workshop on 29 July will introduce participants to the glorious Illawarra Flame tree and teach them how to propagate a tree from seed and cuttings. Then on Saturday 5 August there will be a free bushwalk at Madden Plains led by the FireReady Team to discuss why plants and animals live where they do and the role and impact of fire on different vegetation communities and habitats.

The Wollongong Science Centre will later present the Science behind Bushfires on Friday 11 August from 7 pm – 9 pm. This will include a preview of scenes from the new play Wet Wheat Bags. Written by Ian McColm for the Eaton Gorge Theatre Company, the play tells the story of the bushfires that swept through The Illawarra escarpment in 1968. In addition to the play, there will be presentations on the science behind bushfire, practical demonstrations, chilli tastings and fire twirling.

The Festival concludes with a full-day program that will bring all kinds of organisations and community members together with one common theme: fire!

Activities will include:

  • theatrical performances
  • presentations about Indigenous culture, the importance of fire and the Illawarra Flame Tree
  • the creation of a community art piece
  • workshops on 3D printing,
  • flame tree propagation
  • circus performances
  • live music and lots more.

The Illawarra Flame Festival is produced by the Illawarra Science Hub with support from Inspiring Australia. To find out more, follow us on Facebook.

This story was written by Juliet Scrine.