A personal and poetic Natural History series authored by and featuring much loved and inter nationally acclaimed Australian author, Tim Winton. This visually evocative and editorially poetic series explores the isolated North West tip of the Australian continent, a vast desert region that encompasses three remarkable landscapes; Ningaloo Reef the largest fringing coral reef on earth - the stark beauty of The Cape Range with its intricate network of ancient limestone caves and the often overlooked Exmouth Gulf, the nursery for many of Ningaloo Reefs marine species.
A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing
Imagine a place where garbage isn’t piled in dunes on the seashore, where birdlife doesn’t fall from the skies with a belly-full of plastic, where insidious environmental chemicals from urban or agricultural runoff aren’t poisoning life on land and in the sea.
In this place the weather is still the most powerful force shaping the landscape, the familiar cycles of nature continue much as they have for millions of years, a unique intersection of environmental conditions creates an explosion of marine and terrestrial species.
If we ever found such a magical place – wouldn’t we do everything in our power to protect it for future generations?
This series explores one of the planet’s last remaining biodiversity hot spots - Australia’s North West Cape and its surrounding but interlinked ecosystems, Ningaloo Reef and the Exmouth Gulf. Whilst Ningaloo is now world Heritage-listed, Exmouth Gulf is not and both are at risk from industrialisation and global warming.
What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?
Tim Winton has long been an advocate for the environment and specifically for Ningaloo. We wish to increase the world’s awareness of this fragile part of the planet and to highlight the importance of protecting the inter-connected ecosystems not only to preserve the precious breeding grounds for so many plants & creatures, but as a sustainable eco tourism hub.
What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?
For families across the world to be inspired by nature and to value it. Wildlife films have been proven to do just this. We want our audience to understand and value the importance of this fragile ecosystem and the need to protect our natural environment from pollution, degradation and industrial pressure.
The series will help to encourage a positive, creative, steady and sustainable future for Ningaloo, Exmouth Gulf and the Cape Range. We want to raise awareness of proposed industrialisation both on and offshore to extend existing fossil fuel operations in the area - activities most people would think unimaginable in an area of this importance.
Through the issues and stories presented in the series, we hope it will continue to spread the importance of preserving other environmentally sensitive hotspots.
How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?
The series will be linked to an impact campaign with clear objectives. Alongside it will be an education campaign via schools and university’s. The series will be used to help our partners spread the word to the world about conserving this unique, fragile and threatened part of our planet.
We are currently approaching potential partners and will be devising an impact campaign over the coming months.
The ABC can facilitate the campaign connections.
How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?
Series writer and presenter Tim Winton is a long time champion of the environment including for Ningaloo and Exmouth Gulf. He represents the concerns of ordinary people inspired by the place and has long standing relationships with conservation organisations eg Oceanwise.
Other project partners include the traditional landowners of the Exmouth Cape - the Jinigudera People. Conversations about story ideas are ongoing.
We are speaking to numerous local and international partners through the development phase whose expertise, passion and networks can help extend the reach of the campaign vision but also assist with the research for the production. These include UWA, CSIRO, Murdoch University, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions- Western Australia, Australian Maine Parks, Australian Institute of Marine Science, and Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions & Curtin University.
Audience Engagement and Social Impact
What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?
The exact impact action is not yet determined. At this stage we envisage the following;
Engage with the resources of our project partners to increase audience knowledge and understanding of the issues.
Spread support for the series & campaign via social media platforms
Encourage donations to and/ or participation with campaign partners .
Utilise the educational materials produced from the series and the campaign in homes, classrooms and study groups.
Measurement and Evaluation
What is the projects indicators for success?
Audience connection – KPI’s to include audience figures/ratings spread across a wide demographic; social media shares and content in response to the TV series; testimony from influential community members (e.g. Ningaloo ambassadors) via press, radio ,TV, and social media. Increased coverage/visibility within the media of Ningaloo region and specifically of issues raised in the series and championed by the campaign partners. Continued funding of habitat and animal research by government and non-government organisations to increase knowledge and monitor the wellbeing of the Ningaloo ecosystems.