Museum megafauna partnership wins state award

04 September 2013

Professor Suzanne Miller, Queensland Museum Network; John Kingston, Toyota; and Jacqui McGill, BHP Billiton Mitsui Coal. Photo: Sarah Keayes. The Queensland Museum Network’s prehistoric partnership with BHP Billiton Mitsui Coal (BMC) was named a state winner at the 2013 Creative Partnerships Australia Awards on Friday. 

The Megafauna in Queensland partnership took out the Toyota Community Partnership Award.

The winning partnership has uncovered spectacular never-before-seen megafauna fossils at the BMC South Walker Creek mine at Nebo in north Queensland.

Since stumbling across the fossilised bone of the ancient predatory crocodile Pallimnarchus in 2008, BMC and the Queensland Museum Network have systematically excavated the South Walker Creek site to reveal more about the State’s ancient inhabitants.

Queensland Museum Network CEO Professor Suzanne Miller said the three-year Megafauna in Queensland partnership established in 2011 shows how business and cultural organisations can work effectively together, sharing expertise and resources to strengthen regional communities.

“The Megafauna in Queensland partnership has enabled the discovery and preservation of amazing natural and cultural treasures of the Mackay and Isaac region, and given us the opportunity to share these fascinating stories both locally and statewide through paleontological field work, expert museum consultation, hands-on learning resources and community events,” Professor Miller said.

“This partnership with BMC is enabling our Museum team to systematically excavate the site year to year and collate some conclusive baseline data on megafauna – their diet, their habits, and most importantly, why they fell to extinction.

“This award comes as our Queensland Museum team is currently on location at BMC’s South Walker Creek site doing just that, and we are looking forward to this season’s dig revealing more new insights into our ancient past,” she said.

Asset President Jacqui McGill said all BMC staff – from workers on site at South Walker Creek to administration and finance staff – are engaged in this partnership.

“Our collaboration with the Queensland Museum Network ensures our staff and the communities where we operate play an active role in the megafauna story,” Ms McGill said. 

Queensland Museum Network and BMC were named 2013 state winners along with Brisbane Festival and Santos GLNG; Brisbane Writers Festival and The Hoopla Family; La Boite Theatre; NARPACA and Holly Blattman; Griffith University, Clark Crystal and Wesley Mission; Live Performance Australia and Dynamic EcoSolutions; and Contact Inc.

This year’s win is the third award in three years for the Queensland Museum Network.

The Queensland Museum Network and BMC will now represent Queensland at the national awards to be held at Parliament House in Canberra on 18 November.