Select Page

Lesson 3.

Forest Spirits

The Heart of the Bush


In this lesson we explore animism and totems before discussing the power of Art in society. Students are challenged to raise awareness of the challenge to save the koala through art.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand that wild places have cultural, community and spiritual significance.
  • Explore the role of the Arts in expressing thoughts, feelings  and spiritual connections.
  • Understand that the Arts can move people to action.

Links to:


Persuasive texts and oral debate

The Arts

Fine Arts, Media Arts, Drama: Interpret and create art

This content is restricted. To access, please login or register. Koala Smart is FREE for all schools and educators, to access our exclusive content and resources register today!


Get some inspiration from these classes which have created some amazing artworks with Koala Smart!

Street Art - 2019
Hastings Westport
Hastings Westport - 2019
Melville High - 2019

Resources for Students:

Research, Videos and Interviews

Relevant materials for this lesson can be accessed by all students here

Recommended Interviews:

Rebecca Montague-Drake

Koala Ecologist
Learning Areas:
Science, Technology, Geography
Rebecca is a scientist whose love of being outside and curiosity about koalas has led to a life working in the forests, radio-tracking koalas, seeking to understand what makes a tree an especially good koala tree (not all trees are equally yummy) and how we should protect koala habitat – the trees in which koalas live.

Kai Wild

Arborist and Koala Rescuer
Learning Areas:
Civics & Citizenship
Kailas Wild is a pro tree climber, or arborist. He had experience of koala rescue, so when he heard about the Kangaroo Island bushfire in the summer of 2020 he immediately wanted to help. He spent seven weeks with the rescue effort, climbing trees to bring injured koalas down so that they could be treated and released. He’s been in the media and campaigns for koala conservation.

Chels Marshall

Cultural Systems Ecologist
Learning Areas:
HASS – History, Science
Chels has a PhD in traditional seasonal knowledge and climate change. She talks about the experience of saving a joey koala as a young Ranger. She is involved in many things including Aboriginal cultural koala management plan and a koala sanctuary. We talked about the koala storyline for the Gumbaynggirr people and the mountain whose name means ‘koalas rolling down the hill’.