1 April 2017


From palaeontology to spiders and drones – the Chinchilla Cultural Centre will be transformed when the World Science Festival Brisbane regional program takes over for a supercharged FREE celebration of science!

In March 2017, the World Science Festival Brisbane will once again bring together the world’s best thought leaders to produce a stunning program that connects audiences of all ages with the concepts, challenges, discoveries and advancements that are shaping our world.

The Festival’s regional program is returning to Chinchilla on Saturday, 1 April for a FREE community event.

The World Science Festival Brisbane regional program takes science from the lab to the streets, giving visitors an opportunity to meet with a range of science professionals, including a renowned drone expert and 2015 Telstra Businesswoman of the Year, paleontologists, a biomedical illustrator, arachnologist, biomedical researchers and more! Visitors can also enjoy getting their hands on some seriously fun street science and science experiments, virtual reality, science meets art as well as a free exhibition, workshops and displays.

The community day activities will be recorded by a professional media company. Media may also be in attendance at this event.

Please inform the staff if you prefer not to be filmed or photographed.

The recordings may be used for the promotion of Queensland Museum Network, World Science Festival Brisbane and Future Makers.

Bookings are NOT required for this event.


Session Times

 chinchilla Community Event

01 April 2017

420mins 9:00am



Community Bus

Thanks to our Community Partner QGC, the World Science Festival Brisbane is pleased to provide a Community Bus service, helping residents from Wandoan, Miles and Tara get safely and conveniently to and from the festival.

To reserve your seat call 07 4592 6503 and reference “World Science Festival Brisbane – Chinchilla bus”. Download the timetable here.


Exhibitions and displays

  • Prehistoric Chinchilla


    Speaker: Dr. Scott Hocknull, Senior Curator & Vertebrate Palaeontologist; Kristen Spring, Collection Manager; Joanne Wilkinson, Senior Preparator and Christina Chiotakis, Masters Student, Geosciences, Queensland Museum Network

    Presentation topic: Prehistoric Chinchilla

    Items on display: Geosciences fossils and imagery focused on Chinchilla’s vertebrate fossil record, including a fossil finding activity and 3-D technology.

    About: Visitors will explore some of the fossils found around Chinchilla and discover what life was like 3.6 million years ago. Giant kangaroos crocodiles, komodo dragons and the strangest marsupials you have ever seen are just some of the mega-beasts you will learn about. Queensland Museum palaeontologists have been collecting from Chinchilla for over 100 years. Help palaeontologists continue this search through ancient sediment in the hope of discovering microfossils belonging to ancient species not yet known. New 3-D technology will allow you to see these fossils in ways never before thought possible. Together, we will be searching for clues as to Chinchilla’s Prehistoric Past at the World Science Festival – Chinchilla.

    Dr. Scott Hocknull began his palaeontological career at a very young age, publishing his first scientific paper when he was 16 years old. He started work at the Queensland Museum at age 17 and became curator of palaeontology at 22. Scott has discovered and named many new species including the iconic Australian dinosaurs Australovenator, Diamantinasaurus and Wintonotitan.

  • Wild State


    Speaker: Dr Robert Raven, Head, Terrestrial Biodiversity & Senior Curator, Chelicerata, Queensland Museum Network

    Presentation topic: Wild State

    Items on display: Wild State imagery, local specimens, Queensland Museum Rainforest Camouflage and Arid Adaptations loans kits

    About: Dr Raven has been spider Curator at the Queensland Museum for 30 years and is a spider bite consultant for the Poisons Information Centre. He has named over 400 species of spider including trapdoor, funnel web and tarantula spiders. His present interest is in the larger ground spiders that kill and eat toads including Racing Stripe, Huntsman and Water spiders. Come and get hands-on with Dr Raven and his spiders!

  • Testing the sun’s UV rays


    Speaker: Sally Gardner, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

    Presentation topic: Testing the sun’s UV rays

    About: Living in the Sunshine State, it helps to know how to be sun-safe. Make your own UV bracelet and watch the beads change colour with exposure to the sun. You’ll be able to test what blocks the UV rays the best!

    Not suitable for children aged 3 and under.

  • Street Science


    Speaker: Steve Liddell & Tyrone Anderson from Street Science

    Presentation topic: Hands-on Chemistry ‘Making Super Bouncy Balls’

    Items on display: Participants will use a variety of materials to mix and process PVA powders into amazing bouncy balls while getting hands-on with science!

    About: Join the Street Science Team as participants get hands-on whilst mixing and processing a variety of polymers in order to create their very own customised ‘Super Bouncy Ball’. Keep an eye out for their exclusive ‘Glow in the Dark’ colours right here in Chinchilla!


  • Power of Engineering


    Speaker: Katie Jones, Senior Process Engineer at Seqwater, engineering graduates and engineering university students from a variety of disciplines.

    Presentation topic: How can you change the world around you with engineering?

    Items on display: Engineering activities for both children and adults to enjoy. These include LittleBits electrical circuit kits, robotic Lego® and a giant marble maze run! Come and have a talk to our engineers at the booth from Boeing and Seqwater and learn how engineering can be fun!

    Come and take part in some small engineering challenges at the Power of Engineering stand.

    Marshmallow Challenge

    Think you’ve got what it takes to be an engineer? Then come over to the POE stand and participate in the marshmallow challenge. In this construction challenge you’ll compete against others to build a tall tower out of only marshmallows and pasta.

    About: We engage and inspire young people to create the future and change the world through engineering. We run free, one-day events for school students to demonstrate that they have the power to change the world through engineering. We change the perceptions of high school students in groups typically under-represented in engineering including those who are creatively-minded, female, rural, regional and indigenous.

  • Australian Science Innovations


    Speaker/s: Australian Science Olympiads Ambassadors

    Presentation topic: Australian Science Olympiads

    Items on display: Microscope; prepared slides including plants, insects, and animal tissues; plasma ball and laser water experiment.

    About: Do you have what it takes to be a Science Olympian? Test your speed, precision and hand-eye coordination in a series of tasks designed to see if you have what it takes to be Australia’s next Science Olympian. Science Olympians will be on hand to take you through your paces, give hints and tips and share their experience with you. You will hear firsthand what it’s like to travel the world and compete as a science student – and learn what it takes to win a medal.

  • Art Gallery Workshop



    Speaker: Madeleine Kersting Flynn, Biomedical Illustrator, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

    Presentation topic: Scientific Illustrations

    About: Visitors to the Art Gallery can combine their scientific knowledge and creative skills in an interactive workshop where participants will be guided through an illustration session with QIMR Berghofer Biomedical Illustrator, Madeleine Kersting Flynn.

    Madeleine has the privilege of being “behind the scenes” with some of the most brilliant minds on earth and has a love of studying and understanding how living things are put together. Madeleine works on the cutting edge of medical research and technology and has had access to places that are off limits to most – from cadaver labs to 3D imaging facilities.

  • VIVE in the Library

    Presentation topic: Virtual Reality

    Items on display: HTC VIVE™ headsets

    About: Come and experience the exciting world of virtual reality through with HTC’s VIVE™ in the Chinchilla Library from 9am – 12pm. VIVE is a first-of-its-kind virtual reality system designed to transport you to another world! Let yourself be visually, physically and emotionally amazed by awe-inspiring characters, sights and sounds.

    Paint your surroundings to reflect your individuality with the game Tilt Brush by Google. Tilt Brush lets you paint in 3D space with virtual reality. Unleash your creativity with three-dimensional brush strokes, stars, light, and even fire. Your room is your canvas. Your palette is your imagination. The possibilities are endless. The magic of this activity is that it is appropriate for young (from 6 years) and old!



Learn more about VIVE and get a taste of what you can expect here –


Throughout the day, various workshops and presentations will be held in the Wattle Room. Attendance is free, but capacity is limited.

Bugs, Biology and Bodies: The Diary of a Biomedical Illustrator

Speaker: Madeleine Kersting Flynn, Biomedical Illustrator, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

Time: 9.15am – 9:45am

Location: Wattle Room

About: Art meets science! Join Madeleine Flynn as she takes you on the fascinating, unpredictable and humorous journey that led to her career today as a Biomedical Illustrator.

Local Functional Foods

Speaker: Professor Lindsay Brown, Professor of Biomedical Science, University of Southern Queensland

Time: 10am – 10:30am

Location: Wattle Room

About: Functional foods are defined as foods that can prevent or reverse disease, in addition to providing nutrition. Many of these functional foods can be easily grown and produced on the Darling Downs. Our USQ Functional Foods Research Group investigates the potential of these functional foods.

Street Science Show

Speaker: Steve Liddell, Street Science

Time: 10:45am – 11:15am

Location: Wattle Room

About: Science Steve from Street Science brings his seriously fun and educational science show – perfect for entertaining both kids and adults alike with fiery and explosive demonstrations.

Spiders of the greater Chinchilla area: the good, the bad and the ugly

Speaker: Dr Robert Raven, Arachnologist, Queensland Museum Network

Time: 11:30am – 12pm

Location: Wattle Room

About: Dr Raven has been in Chinchilla over the last month laying traps to collect spiders local to the region in a citizen science activity. Join him in his presentation as he explains common myths, misunderstandings and fun facts about spiders with the chance of discovering a new species!

Drones for good (and for fun!)

Speaker: Dr Catherine Ball, Co-creator, World of Drones Congress

Time: 12:15pm – 1:15pm

Location: Wattle Room

About: Drones can save lives, protect the environment, and help empower communities.  This presentation will show what some drones can look like, and how we can use them.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research – Relating Science to People

Speaker: Greg Pratt, Manager of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

Time: 1:30pm – 2pm

Location: Wattle Room

About: Greg will take you on a journey of how his expertise as a practitioner in the area of mental health have been adapted to a managerial and policy development context, with a focus on the importance of community, family, school, tertiary study and health in the whole-of-life cycle that is humanity through humility.

Prehistoric Chinchilla

Speaker: Dr Scott Hocknull, Senior Curator & Vertebrate Palaeontologist, Geosciences, Queensland Museum Network

Time: 2:15pm – 2:45pm

Location: Wattle Room

About: Chinchilla was once home to some of the world’s most bizarre and amazing creatures. Around 4-3 million years ago Chinchilla hosted a menagerie of giant animals. From huge marsupials with monstrous cheek bones to the origin of the Komodo Dragon, Chinchilla’s fossil record is vast and intriguing making the fossils discovered in this region internationally significant. Dr. Hocknull will take you on a tour of these discoveries whilst painting a picture of life in Chinchilla’s ancient past.

Street Science Show

Speaker: Steve Liddell, Street Science

Time: 3pm – 3:30pm

Location: Wattle Room

About: Science Steve from Street Science brings his seriously fun and educational science show – perfect for entertaining both kids and adults alike with fiery and explosive demonstrations.

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