Project Manning River Helmeted Turtle to take place in March

Did you know the Manning River catchment boasts one of the oldest living turtles?  An ancient species that has been in existence for around 55 million years? 

Take 3 for the Sea, in conjunction with Hunter Local Land Services, MidCoast Council and Taree Indigenous Development & Employment (TIDE) will run Project Manning River Helmeted Turtle on March 24 at the Taree Campus of the University of New England – located on the edge of Manning River.

This free workshop is open to students from secondary schools throughout the MidCoast region, and schools are invited to sign up now.

This diverse program aims to educate and inspire students to take proactive measures to reduce litter and plastic marine pollution and provide students with tools to take leadership on this important issue.

Past programs include Project Green Sea Turtle and Project Loggerhead Turtle, with this year’s hero species the Manning River Helmeted Turtle, being declared an endangered species in 2017.

Take 3 head of education and co-founder Amanda Marechal said: “Take 3 are excited to be diving into freshwater systems and inspiring students to be guardians of this ancient living fossil. Young people are the voice of the future and the choices we make each, and every day impact our children and our children’s children and the future they will inherit.

“So much of that is down to education, we are at a juncture in time and while there is so much awareness globally and young people are standing up for their future, it is important we help them and use some of the learnings Take 3 have made to help them on this journey.

“When I started exploring the waterways around the Manning River, I became more aware of the threatened species of the Manning River Turtle and it seemed a natural hero species to focus attention on.

“One of the main ideas behind Take 3 is about connection, and when you have an animal species which is endemic to an area you are more likely to want to care about it. Learning about its habits and the challenges it faces, as well as simple solutions can make all the difference.”

Students take part in the 2019 Project Loggerhead Turtle Workshop 

During this exciting student-driven project, student leaders become experts and advocate for marine and freshwater creatures – in particular, the Manning River Helmeted Turtle.

This program increases student’s knowledge of beach litter, threats to freshwater and vulnerable marine creatures and human activities that will help protect these animals. Students then utilise this knowledge to create an education campaign aimed at raising awareness within the school or local community about marine debris issues.

Students gain a deeper understanding of local Aboriginal cultural, historical and significant links to waterways and connection to land, from the perspective and guidance of Biripi elders and cultural people.

Young leaders are encouraged to share their ideas for simple solution, through art, music, storytelling, short films, podcasts, or any creative way to communicate and capture their efforts via short film, PowerPoint, podcast and share at MidCoast Council chambers on June 23.

Student numbers are limited so please register your interest as soon as possible by contacting Take 3 via

Pupils who attend the workshop will also be eligible for the inaugural Take 3 Youth Summit this June. Further details to follow.

The Manning River Helmeted Turtle Workshop

Date: Wednesday 24th March, 8.30am-2.30pm

Location: 1 Pulteney Street Taree, Taree Campus, University of New England

Thanks to Clare Rourke from Friends of Manning River Turtles for the lead image