Every Koala Counts

“Every Koala Counts” documentary selected for International Social Change Film Festival in Los Angeles

Late last year Friends of the Koala commenced production of the FOK history project as part of its activity to celebrate a 35-year history that has tended to over 5,000 sick, injured and orphaned koalas, released 30% of them back to the wild and issued over half million koala food trees and native rainforest plants across the Northern Rivers region of NSW, Australia.

“Our people today stand on the shoulders of giants, the many volunteers who worked 24/7 to save koalas in our region.” said Aliison Kelly, current President.

The first stage was to create an archive of interviews with people who created and developed the organisation as we know it today. Filmmakers, Catherine Marciniak and Annie Benzie interviewed 25 of FOK’s inspiring volunteers including Ruth Barrett, Audrey Hyde and Mark Wilson who were there at the start and established FOK’s dual focus of habitat creation and rescue/ rehabilitation. Dr Geoff Tomkins was also interviewed and was the first vet who dedicated his down time for 16 years to the koala as well as Lorraine Vass AM who established FOK as the go to organisation for policy makers and Dr Ros Irwin who guided FOK through the horror of the 2019 bushfires, to name just a few past “giants”.

These interviews are now a valuable record of FOK’s history to be used for any number of projects into the future, be it books, podcasts or videos.

The first of those projects to be released is “Every Koala Counts” – a 45-minute documentary – also created by Catherine and Annie with our own President Aliison Kelly as Executive Producer.  Using some of the interviews the documentary is an intimate exploration of a group of people who have taken a stand to save the koala – past and present.

It’s first outing will be among the glitz of Los Angeles at the International Social Change Film Festival.

There will be some opportunities late this year to see the documentary in the Northern Rivers and FOK will also be releasing on social media in October a set of beautifully produced short videos featuring some of the people interviewed for the history project.  Stay tuned for more news about this exciting project.