Featherdale Wildlife Park Pays Tribute to Australia’s Favourite Kangaroo Skippy Turns 50! Park Founders Commemorated
Wednesday June 8. 10.30am – 12noon.
At this important event, Featherdale Wildlife Park will pay tribute to the overwhelmingly popular Australian TV Series, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo that aired its pilot episode, “Skippy, Man From Space” 50 years ago in 1966.
This pilot spawned the worldwide hit TV series, which went on to air in 128 countries and was translated into 25 languages.
It also rekindled Australia’s love affair with the iconic kangaroo.
As the home of the largest collection of native Australian animals in the country, Featherdale Wildlife Park, is honoured to host this event and also pay tribute to the Park’s founders, Bruce and Margaret Kubbere who began the Park in 1972. Through their work, millions of visitors from Australia and overseas have been able to learn about these amazing animals and better understand the important conservation work being carried out by the Park.
- Skippy was the first international TV star from Australia.
- A documentary of the show titled “Skippy, Australia’s First Superstar” was screened in 2009
- Skippy was actually female and was played by over a dozen kangaroos
- At its’ height Skippy was watched by 300M people each week
- Skippy’s popularity was attributed to an increase in tourism and immigration to Australia
- Skippy’s theme song was one of the catchiest theme songs in TV history
- Skippy was the first TV series to be shot on colour film at a time when most shows were still shot in black and white
- Skippy still airs on television today
Featherdale Wildlife Park. 217 – 229 Kildare Road, Doonside
Please register at the front entrance
Tony Bonner, best known as Flight Ranger, Jerry King on the hugely popular TV series, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo will visit Featherdale Wildlife Park to speak to guests and will be given the “keys to the Park” ensuring lifetime free entry to Featherdale to recognise his role in bringing awareness of Australia and our iconic animals to the world.
Bonner has gone on to star in numerous TV shows and more than 40 feature films here and overseas. He also trains young actors and has recently collaborated on a book on World War 1.
Bruce and Margaret Kubbere
Bruce and Margaret opened Featherdale in 1972 on Margaret’s parents 7-acre plot, which had previously operated as a poultry farm. Trained in fauna, Bruce focused on the growth of the natural environment, which housed their burgeoning wildlife park. The Kubbere’s no longer own the Park but have taken an ongoing interest in its’ operations and still visit the Park regularly. They will be honoured with a plaque for their work with Australian native animals.
Chad Staples, General Curator at the Park is responsible for the Park’s animal welfare, education and conservation programs. He and his team of keepers will be at the event along with a number of the Park’s most popular animals including kangaroos, koalas and wombats.
Featherdale Wildlife Park factoids:
- Featherdale is home to 2,200 Australian native animals from more than 260 different species
- Featherdale is the only Park which allows visitors to pat the koalas (but they can’t hold them as it’s against the law in NSW)
- Featherdale is committed to animal conservation and environmental and education programs – it is the only Sydney Wildlife Park with an advanced ultrasound machine which assists with early disease diagnosis enabling life –saving treatments
- Featherdale has been home to numerous animal celebrities:
- Rufus Pademelons resettled from the fictional Waratah Park – home to Skippy and her human family
- Fatso the wombat from “A Country Practice”
- The koala used in the famous Qantas print campaign
- Archer the Koala – recently voted the cutest animal in Australia!
This presentation promises to be colourful and lively as we commemorate some of Australia’s great local heroes from Skippy through to Tony Bonner and Bruce and Margaret Kubbere.
Great visuals and images for a nostalgic wildlife story:
- Featherdale’s furry friends will be on hand to smile for the cameras.
- A kindergarten class from local Glenhaven Public School will be on hand to help us celebrate
- A super sized cake will be cut for the morning tea
Jill Collins 0417 654 474 or [email protected]
Katie Cahill 0439 775 656