Recent events

2016-2021 – list of events – see below list for details of each event



Cooling your home 25-31 Oct online workshops – partnering with BZE Beyond Zero Emission

Science+Art+Party Sat 23 Oct 4-8pm online ZOOM event


Science Trivia Fun 11 Sept online Trivia night


Science + Dance – Masked Ball (plague theme) Sat 21 August, 7pm online ZOOM dance party


Fungi Foray talk Sat 10 April, 5pm Dungog CWA, in association with the National Parks Association (HunterBranch)

Fungi Foray walk Sun 11 April, 9am Upper Allyn River, in association with the National Parks Association (HunterBranch)



iNaturalist workshop Sun 20 Dec 10am Dungog CWA & Frank Robinson Park


Jackie Randles from Inspiring Australia visits PAWSH Sun 1 Nov  Dungog


‘Newcastle Coastal Geotrail’ PAWSH article October edition  Gresford News


Centre for Deep Reading Retreat events – partnered with PAWSH at Tyraman Retreat, Gresford

Landscape management fieldday at Tabbil Forest Mon 31 Aug Tabbil Forest

Conversation with Wonnarua elders James Wilson Miller & Laurie Perry joined by Deborah Swan Director of Firesticks Alliance Sun 30 Aug am Tyraman Retreat

Conversation with local landscape historian Cameron Archer Sun 30 Aug pm Tyraman Retreat

Conversation with Ross Gibson about Eric Rolls’ book A Million Wild Acres + screening of Ross’ 1993 film Wild Sat 29 Aug pm Tyraman Retreat

‘Spoilt for Choice – National Science Week 15-23 August’ PAWSH article August edition Gresford News


‘Going EV in Dungog Shire?’ PAWSH article July edition Gresford News

‘Bush & fire: reading for country’ PAWSH article about the Centre for Deep Reading July edition Gresford News

‘It’s winter survey time’ PAWSH article July edition Gresford News


‘Aussie Ark no place for pests’ science article June edition Gresford News


‘Home delivery’  May PAWSH email campaign

‘Have you seen masses of butterflies lately?’ science article May edition Gresford News


‘Hunter Medical Research Institute at the first Science Hub event’ PAWSH article  April edition Gresford News


3 short talks on lung health, aging & pregnancy Wed 4 Mar 7pm Dungog CWA

‘Body Talks + more – upcoming Science Hub events’ PAWSH article  March edition Gresford News


‘Citizen science project on tree health’ PAWSH contributed article February edition Gresford News


Stargazing at Trevallyn Sat 21 Sept 4-8pm Trevallyn Observatory – near Gresford

National Science Week

Paterson Allyn Williams Festival of Science
Sat 10 Aug 3.30-5pm Festival Launch + Conversation With Author Glenn Albrecht, James Theatre, Dungog
Sat 10 Aug 6.30-8.30pm Scinema film festival, James Theatre, Dungog
Wed 14 Aug 10.30-noon Junior Science on the Street, Dowling St, Dungog
Thurs 15 Aug 6-8pm Fermentation + Trivia Night, Tin Shed Brewery, Dungog
Sun 18 Aug 10am-4pm Future Paddock, Allynbrook
‘This project received grant funding from the Australian Government.’

Plastic Free July in Dungog

Opals Fri 17 May 6pm CWA Hall Dungog

Sustainability Spotlight on Dungog Shire Sun 26 May 3-6pmJames Theatre Dungog

Fungi Foray Sun 7 Apr 9am Upper Allyn River, in association with the National Parks Association (HunterBranch)

Talking DNA Sat 16 Mar 5pm James Theatre Dungog


Science & Engineering Challenge date Dungog High School

CORE: Community Owned Renewable Energy forum date James Theatre, Dungog

Blue: the film & talks around plastics & our pollution impacts on the environment date  James Theatre, Dungog

Scinema: science film festival & talks on soil, fungi & organisms  Aug James Theatre, Dungog

Tracks & Traces date Dungog Common

Native Bee workshop Nov CWA Hall, Dungog

Koalas date Gresford News

Toxic Consequences: ICE drug labs & firefighting foams date James Theatre, Dungog


Fizzics: Tick Tick Boom 18 Nov  Dungog High School

Bird Bonanza 20-21 Oct  Various locatons, Dungog

Scinema: science film festival  18 Aug  James Theatre, Dungog

Sustaining The Williams Valley:  Our River and Rainforest 24 June  Various locatons, Dungog

Dungog Common Aboriginal History 20 May  Doug Walters Pavilion, Dungog

Geological Story Of Our Area 10 May  James Theatre, Dungog

Power Choices 29 April  Dungog CWA Hall & various locations around Dungog

Talking Critters: Mozzies 12 Apr  James Theatre, Dungog


Getting to know the locals by Noel Jupp Mar-Dec  Gresford News

Fungi talks 16 Nov  CWA Hall, Dungog

Fizzics: Big Science Big Fun 29 Oct  (part of Dungog Festival) Uniting Church Hall, Dungog

Be Bird Alert: talk, walk & BBQ 14-15 Oct RSL, locations around the shire, Community Garden, Dungog

Scinema: Science Film Festival 24 Aug James Theatre Dungog

Boomerang Bags Environmental Program Launch 17 Aug  James Theatre Dungog

That NBN Thing talk 22 Jul James Theatre Dungog

.… ....…… …. …..


October – 2 new events + 2 citizen science activities

Free ZOOM party – Science + Art + Party Sat 23 October 7pm @ your place on ZOOM from Dungog

Book here on Eventbrite

Join us for this free event being held in connection with Dungog’s Sculpture on the Farm and celebrates the spirit of fun and discovery in both science and art. There will be trivia and games, dance music, live vision of us all and special guests to give us science & art micro-chats.

Visit this page to see the fun that has been previous Dungog Masked Balls


Cooling your home 25-31 October Free online workshop 

Bring along your plans and questions to any one of the FREE online workshops and learn about DIY adaptations that can make your home more comfortable and safe – for both owners and renters.

PAWSH is working with Beyond Zero Emissions to provide access to experts who can help you plan to stay cool at home in hot weather and extreme heat.

Presented by Dr John Shiel and other guests, this workshop is interactive and offers practical information on:

• installing cost-effective retrofits • updating appliances and using them more strategically • creating an efficient one-room Cool Retreat • simple behavioural adaptions to stay cool and survive heatwaves

The second part of the workshop is an opportunity to discuss with guest experts DIY changes you can make at your home.

Funded by the NSW Government ‘Increasing Resilience to Climate Change’ community grant program. BZE is also grateful to Hunter Joint Organisation for assistance with this workshop program.


• 6.30pm Mon 25 Oct – featuring Dungog • 11am Tues 26 Oct • 5pm Wednesday 27 Oct • 12noon Thurs 28 Oct – featuring Newcastle • 3pm Sun 31 Oct

*Residents of the Hunter Valley are welcome to register for any one of the workshops – with participation encouraged if your LGA is featured.

Book here:


2 citizen science activities this month:

Aussie Backyard Bird Count 18-24 Oct Taking part in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count is easy! Just spend 20 minutes in your favourite outdoor space and tell us about the birds you see during that period. You can submit your results using the app or the web form. Every count helps.

Great Southern Bioblitz 22-25 Oct

Be part of a global biodiversity survey – or use the iNat app. Australia and 13 other countries in the southern hemisphere will participate in the Great Southern Bioblitz (GSB) between 22-25 October 2021. Help survey flora, fauna and fungi in the Dungog region and contribute to the largest citizen science biodiversity survey in the southern hemisphere. This is a citizen science activity through iNaturalist. We are currently setting up a Dungog region project for the GSB.

All you need to do to contribute is to upload observations of local plants, animals & fungi to your handheld device or make an account on your computer and make observations over the collection period 22-25th October 2021. Don’t worry if you can’t identify the organism just make sure you get some good clear photos or sounds and ID at the highest level ie. plant. iNaturalist is a popular nature app with artificial intelligence built in to help identify the biodiversity around you. The platform connects you with over 1,200,000 scientists and naturalists globally each with their own interests and skill level.



Science Trivia fun

Massive thank you to the team of funsters that brought some more online science quizzes to our lounge rooms last month for the Science Hub – Michael Kelly, Tina Tiedeman, Sophie Breen, Tinshed Brewery & of course the virtual teams up for the challenge.



National Science Week 14 – 22 August

Highlights from the August Science + Dance Zoom Dance Party now online – it was such a hoot – as per Dungog Chronicle’s headline – “Science Week dance party proves fact: Zoom can be fun”

Visit our new YouTube Channel – PAW Science Hub to see highlights and extended interviews from the ZOOM party – Science + dance – Dungog Masked Ball online

See: • the extended interview with Dr Karlinterview with Dr Mark Temple who sonified the covid genetic codescience + cooking, dance moves, music playlist, …

Thank you Dungog Chronicle for the double page spread in the September 01 edition – And to the Gresford News for the article.


ZOOM party – Science + Dance (Plague theme) Sat 21 August 7pm @ your place on ZOOM from Dungog

Visit this page to see the fun that has been previous Dungog Masked Balls

In the Old Normal there were Masked Balls held in Dungog, with food, and drink, and dancing and comedy and prizes and fabulous masks and costumes. Welcome to the New Normal. This year it’s at your place – we’re having an online Masked Ball slash Dance Party. You provide your own food, drink, dancing, fabulous masks and costumes (and toiletry facilities), and we’ll provide the music, the comedy, the prizes, the special guests, the online links, AND

…… because this event is being run by the Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub, as part of its National Science Week program

…… there will be a smattering of fabulous science thrown in. We have just lined up some special guests to join us on the night – including Dr Karl!

The 2021 Dungog Masked Ball will be held on Saturday 21 August ’21, 7.00pm start. It will be short, sweet, and depending on how our use of technology goes either absolutely brilliant or a complete train wreck. It will be staggeringly watchable either way.

The theme is plague, fever, virus, lockdown, pandemic. The agenda is to get everyone a) vaccinated b) informed and c) partying legally in the comfort of your own homes.

The bestest way to participate is:

• Get a ticket (they’re free) on Eventbrite

• Tune in at 7pm on the night

• Wear a brilliant costume, a splendid mask, or invoke a magnificent Zoom background, preferably in theme, but we’re not too fussed – you might win a prize!

• Join in as best you can

• Maintain the love and be ready for some bad comedy and a couple of serious moments along the way.

Science + Trivia Sun 15 Aug, 6pm Dungog

Sadly this event has been postponed. Hopefully we will run another Trivia night at a time later in the year that is safer to meet up.

Book here on Eventbrite – limited numbers

Science & Trivia night @ Tinsheds Brewery with Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub

It’s a Fermentation Frolic – & a little alcoholic …for over 18s! Micro-chats on everything from beer to viruses & contagions with Science Trivia Comp. Prizes!

A National Science Week event in Dungog at a great local bespoke brewery.

Youth Science on display 13 – 22 August Dungog

Sadly this event has been postponed due to the lockdown. We will organise a Youth Science display when we can all meet up again.

Friday 13 – Sunday 22 August 2021

Youth Science on display @ Dungog’s CWA window & Lovey’s IGA – both in Dowling Street Dungog. Dungog High School Year 9 Science projects will be on display.


Also during National Science Week & beyond

…so much to see and do – visit the website

Around Newcastle

Intersections between Science & Art Newcastle Museum, 14 – 29 August Two National Science Week events, ‘Brain’ and ‘Biomes’, explore how brain health changes through life, the emerging problem of eco-anxiety, and how our wellbeing is inextricably linked to our environmental footprint. ‘Brain’ explores the impressive inner workings of our brains. ‘Biomes’ re-engages us with the wonders of the natural world. Together these exhibitions show how connected to our environment we really are.

Pollination in the Gardens Hunter Region Botanic Gardens, Heatherbrae, 14 – 28 August, 9-4 The Gardens presents an interactive exhibition in the Gardens’ Education Pavilion on the general theme of How Plants Work.

+ lots of events online

Here’s just a few….

Our Deadly Science Sunday 15 August, 5-6pm As the 2021 Sydney Science Festival Ambassador, Corey Tutt will deliver a keynote address celebrating the breadth and depth of knowledge of our first scientists – from bush medicine, astronomy, engineering and forensic science to chemistry, land management and ecology. With knowledge acquired through Community consultation, he will introduce the audience to boundary-pushing scientists, both past and present.

Future Food Perspectives: Food Security, Nutrition, and Culture Sun 15 Aug, 6.30-7.30pm An expert panel discussion about the future of food!

Who Helps Our Gardens Grow? Sat 14 Aug, 10am-12pm Discover the recyclers, pollinators and other wonderful mini-beasts hidden in our gardens. Family friendly.

Southern Sky Livestream Wed 18 Aug, 7.30-8.30pm Astronomy Ambassador Karlie Noon presents a livestreamed stroll through the cosmos, combining both Western and Indigenous understandings of the sky.

+ science films @ your place all August

Scinema Film Festival online, 1 – 31 August It’s back but on YOUR SCREEN – all the award winning films from the Scinema International Science Film Festival.



Talk – Fungi Foray Sat 10 April 5pm Dungog

Walk – Fungi Foray Sun 11 April 9am Upper Allyn

Fungi Foray talk – Sat 10 April 5pm there is also a separate but related walk on Sun 

Book for the talk. Bookings essential via eventbrite: Limited places due to COVID. If this event is booked out and you are keen to come along send us an email so that we can add your name to our waiting list.

Presented by Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub and National Parks Association (HunterBranch) with visiting mycologist Pam O’Sullivan (who co-authored a field guide to common fungi of the Hunter region) and Jamie Derkenne. At the talk you will learn about the fascinating and sometimes bizarre world of fungi and find out how these often overlooked organisms are a vital part of our natural ecosystems. The talk will also provide an introduction to the Fungi Foray guided walk and survey that will take place the next morning at the Upper Allyn River.

The Eventbrite registration is for the talk only. You don’t need to go on the survey to attend the talk.

If this talk is booked out email the Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub to get on the waiting list –

Fungi Foray walk – Sun 11 April 9am this is a separate event to the Sat talk

You are also invited to join us on a guided walk the next morning (Sun 11 Apr) to survey the Fungi at the Upper Allyn River. Fungi are at their best in Autumn. Recent rains and warm weather promise to make this an ideal time to see and learn about them.This will be the third Fungi Foray in the area. A follow-up survey is important to document variations. There will be experienced and knowledgeable guides very familiar with the area.

Anyone with an interest is invited to attend, and the day is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Participants need to bring suitable clothing, footwear and food, and be prepared for some walking off tracks. The day starts at Peach Tree Picnic Area in Chichester State Forest at 9am on Sunday 11 April finishing by mid afternoon.

Booking for the walk is essential. To attend the walk or for more information on the walk please contact Martin Fallding on T 6571 1208 E by Wednesday 7 April. Final details will be provided to participants by email prior to the walk.



Workshop – explore local plants & animals with iNaturalist app

Sun 20 Dec 10am


Jackie Randles from Inspiring Australia visits PAWSH Sun 1 Nov Dungog


‘Newcastle Coastal Geotrail’, Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub article October edition Gresford News


Centre for Deep Reading Retreat events – partnered with the Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub at Tyraman Retreat Gresford Mon 31 Aug Landscape management fieldday with guided walk at Tabbil Forest Sun 30 Aug am – Conversation with Wonnarua elders James Wilson Miller & Laurie Perry joined by Deborah Swan, director of Firesticks Alliance.  pm – Conversation with local landscape historian Cameron Archer. Sat 29 Aug Conversation with Ross Gibson about Eric Rolls’ book A Million Wild Acres + screening of Ross’ 1993 film WILD.

Photo: Stuart Mackenzie, Tyraman Retreat
Photo: Stuart Mackenzie, Tyraman Retreat
Photo: Stuart Mackenzie, Tyraman Retreat


‘Spoilt for Choice – National Science Week 15-23 August’, Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub article August edition Gresford News


‘Going EV in Dungog Shire?’, Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub article July edition Gresford News


‘Bush and fire: Reading for country’, article about the Centre for Deep Reading Retreat with partnership with the Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub July edition Gresford News


‘It’s winter survey time’, Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub article July edition Gresford News


‘Aussie Ark no place for pests’, Science article June edition Gresford News


‘Home delivery’, Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub email campaign

‘Have you seen masses of butterflies lately?’, Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub article May edition Gresford News


‘Hunter Medical Research Institute at the first Science Hub event’, Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub article April edition Gresford News


3 short talks on lung health, aging & pregnancy  Wed 4 Mar 7pmCWA Hall Dungog


‘Body Talks + more – upcoming Science Hub events’, Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub article March edition Gresford News


‘Citizen science project on tree health’, Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub contributed article February edition Gresford News

Local ecologist John Simpson and Martin Fallding from the National Parks Association will be at the Hotel Beatty to talk about koalas, their upcoming koala survey and to answer your koala questions. Then stay on for the Gresford Community Dinner and meet some other locals! This will be an entertaining night at the Beatty. If staying for dinner give Bernie a ring on 49389451 to make catering easier.

Festival of Science-NationalScienceWeek-10-18Aug2019

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‘This project received grant funding from the Australian Government.’


Sat 10 Aug 3.30-5pm Festival Launch + Conversation With Author Glenn Albrecht, James Theatre, Dungog

Sat 10 Aug 6.30-8.30pm Scinema film festival + special guest talk, James Theatre, Dungog

Wed 14 Aug 10.30-noon Junior Science on the Street, Dowling St, Dungog

Thurs 15 Aug 6-8pm Fermentation + Trivia Night, Tin Shed Brewery, Dungog

Sun 18 Aug 10am-4pm Future Paddock, Allynbrook – limited numbers, RSVP essential via Eventbrite 


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Sat 10 Aug 3.30-5.00pm

Festival Launch + Conversation With Author Glenn Albrecht

James Theatre, Brown St Dungog

Environmental Philosopher Dr Glenn Albrecht will be featured author during the Paterson Allyn Williams Festival Of Science, where he will help open the Festival, do a Dungog launch of his book Earth Emotions: New Words For A New World, and take part in a public conversation about Earth Emotions with the Science Hub’s John O’Brien. Glenn’s book introduces dozens of new words and ideas that will help frame the challenges, debate and solutions into the coming decades.
Words have power. A new word can help us recognise a challenge, shape a debate, understand ourselves and the world. At a time when many people, especially the young, are feeling loss and despair about the future of the planet, Glenn’s work will help us understand our feelings about the world and provides a guide to find a way forward.
Glenn Albrecht retired as professor of sustainability at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia in June 2014. He is now an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney. He was at the University of Newcastle as Associate Professor of Environmental Studies until December 2008. Glenn is also a noted bird enthusiast and now lives at Duns Creek.

After this event you might like to grab a quick bite or a drink from one of the local establishments before the screening of the Best of Scinema: International Science Film Festival 2019 at 6.30pm. Come along and be sure to bring your own questions.

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Sat 10 Aug 6.30-8.30pm

Scinema film festival + special guest talk

James Theatre, Brown St Dungog

It’s back – all the award winning films from the Best of SCINEMA: International Science Film Festival 2019. SCINEMA is the largest science film festival in the southern hemisphere, showcasing the best science feature, short, documentary, animated and experimental films from filmmakers around the world. AND among this year’s films will be the short “Smart Slime?”, which won the festival’s prestigious Scientific Merit award. Its award-winning director, Juliette Martineau, is flying out from England specially for the Dungog screening. 

This program is about two hours long & may not suit younger primary school kids. FREE.

Scroll to the bottom of this page for the full screening program.

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Wed 14 Aug 10.30-noon

Junior Science on the Street

Dowling St, Dungog

Fun for all ages! Join junior scientists from across the shire for over a dozen active experiments & demonstrations. Everyone is welcome to join in, watch science in action, & learn a thing or three. Some of them are hands-on too.

Pretty well every school in Dungog Shire is doing something, from robotics to chemistry, to biology & more. Challenge the kids with your questions!

The last time the Junior Scientist event happened in 2012 the response from folk in the street was fantastic. Don’t miss out. It’s FREE, too. You can catch it outside the IGA & inside the CWA Hall.

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Thurs 15 Aug 6-8pm

Fermentation + Trivia Night

Tin Shed Brewery, Dowling St Dungog

It’s A Fermentation Frolic – & a little alcoholic!

Fermenting is what you have to do to make – beer, yoghurt, spirits, kim chee, kombucha, pickles & bread. Discover yeasts, bacteria & fungi. Sample some, peer through a microscope at others, & enjoy the local lagers. Learn the gruesome truth of mother, sour culture, wort & other creatures, & enjoy micro-chats from a real brewer and others.

Necrotic flesh-eating bacteria may also get a mention.

Intersperse the fermenting fun with Science Trivia. Discover your inner genius! No truth too trivial! It’s a laid-back PRIZE-FILLED  evening with Master Of Trivia, local science teacher and musician Michael Kelly.

This FREEEEE event is for over 18s.

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Sun 18 Aug 10am-4pm

Future Paddock

Allynbrook – limited numbers, RSVP essential via Eventbrite

The future of agriculture from the soil to the skies. Come for a couple of hours or the whole event. Please BYO lunch, mug and camp chair. The venue is a private property at Allynbrook, about 30 minutes from Dungog & 15 minutes from East Gresford.

Future Paddock EVENTS  

• Agricultural Robotics 

First up at 10am – ‘Swagbot’ as seen on ABC-TV’s Catalyst program
Professor Salah Sukkarieh from the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics will explain what has been accomplished in field robotics for agriculture and animal welfare. He will discuss what is the future and what it means for farmers/growers.
• Q&A session
• Demonstration of some features of Swagbot robot including
o Swagbot capability to autonomously and optimally navigate around the farm,
o autonomously avoiding static objects
o taking soil samples
o Weeding capability (due to the existing configuration of robot, we may or may not demonstrate spraying)
o dynamic object avoidance (work in progress)
o animal tracking (work in progress)
• Q&A session as long as time permits.

• Lunch

Please BYO lunch, mug and camp chair.

• Drones in agriculture

12.30 pm
Sphere Drones team members Alex, Ari and Harrison will present some of the commercial drone industry’s most advanced technologies that serve industries such as agriculture, mining and surveying. Some of the products they will be discussing and will have on show are:
• Micasense RedEdge-MX Multispectral camera
• Sphere Drones Water Sampler V2.0
• Matrice 210 RTK
• Phantom 4 Pro V2 AG
• Delair UX11
• Flyability Elios 2
The presentation will be hands and attendees will be able to come up and see and touch the drones and there will be brochures and information available to take home.

• Ecological Restoration 

Biological Preservation Australia will introduce the principles of ecological restoration and explain the process from choosing a site & selecting plants to planting, care/protection and follow-up secondary species plantings. Will include a planting demonstration.

• Explore regenerative agriculture 

A Q&A about regenerative agriculture from the Kater family who are in the process of incorporating it into their farming practice – learning from their own mistakes and successes

let us know you are coming by registering via Eventbrite. The eventbrite registration is literally 3 mouse clicks and you provide your name and a contact email – under a minute all up! It means we have an idea how many people are coming and we can contact you with last minute information or changes.


Best of SCINEMA (CTC) + Special guest filmmaker talk
Saturday 10 August, 6.30 pm


2 hours

THE FACE OF A STRANGER (Canada) 50 minutes Best Film French (English subtitles) Directed by Geneviève Turcotte, Produced by Découverte, Radio-Canada, Written by Danny Lemieux

After a 2011 hunting accident, this Quebec man thought he’d live forever with half a face. Then a confident young surgeon made an extraordinary offer. Face of Stranger takes us on a medical journey of epic proportions – where the odds of success are less than ideal. That didn’t bother the prospective patient, 65-year-old Maurice Desjardins, who desperately needed a facial transplant operation. Jury comment: Story telling at its best with layers of brilliant cinematography, amazing human connections; emotionally charged and totally engaging.

VITAMANIA (Australia) 90 minutes (Excerpt only in the cinema program), Best Documentary, Directed, produced and written by Sonya Pemberton

Almost one billion people take a regular dietary supplements, mainly vitamin tablets, but how safe are these products, how are the regulated, and how can we make the right choices for our health? These surprisingly urgent questions are investigated by scientist Dr Derek Muller. Jury comment: A riveting tale uncovering the madness of enormity of the supplements industry.

THE MOST UNKNOWN (United States) 92 minutes (Excerpt only in the cinema program), Special Jury Award, Directed by Ian Cheney

This epic documentary film sends nine scientists to extraordinary parts of the world to uncover unexpected answers to some of humanities biggest questions. How did life begin? What is consciousness? How much do we really know? Jury comment: This film addresses some of the most fundamental questions in science..

SMART SLIME? (United Kingdom) 10 minutes, Award For Scientific Merit, Directed by Juliette Martineau – Special Guest at Dungog screening

It’s neither plant, animal or fungus, but a giant single cell that crawls around eating dead matter. Beautiful and mesmerizing time lapse videography, Smart Slime? introduces us to the quirky work of two high profile slime researchers. Jury comment: Exceptional technical detail and a great way to explain the network of a cell.

700 SHARKS (France) (English subtitles), 90 minutes (Excerpt only in the cinema program), Award For Technical Merit, Directed by Luc Mares-cot

In a ground breaking experiment, five of the world’s most experienced underwater scientists dive among 700 starving sharks. Jury comment: This film is technically brilliant. Exceptionally well-made.

JEREMY THE LEFTY SNAIL AND OTHER ASYMMETRICAL ANIMALS (United Kingdom) 15 minutes, Festival Entry, Produced by Dr Robert P Cameron and John Andrew Cameron

This is the fascinating story of Jeremy, one in a million snail whose shell coiled to the left rather than to the right.

A TINY SPARK (Ireland) 26 minutes, Festival Entry, Directed, produced and written by Niamh Heery

This film examines how research into blood clots and stroke could bring about big changes for people and medicine.

WHY THIS SKATEBOARDING TRICK SHOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE (United States) 9 minutes, Festival Entry, Directed, produced and written by Dianna Cowern

Skateboarding legend Rodney Mullen teams up with Physics Girl to explain the unusual physics behind skateboard tricks.

VOTE for your favourite film

Vote for the 2019 PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD and go into the draw to win a drone at

This National Science Week project is supported by the Australian Government.

National Science Week 15–23 August 2020

Info below from 2020 National Science Week email

Spoilt for Choice

Each year National Science Week extends an invitation for everyone to talk, see and do science, no matter where you are, how young or old you are, or what qualifications you have.

This year, even with pandemic restrictions, there are still hundreds of terrific virtual events to choose from. Live events will be held online, and many activities will be able to be done at home by adults, children and family groups. Some will be time based and others will be online whenever you are.

The best place to start looking is the National Science Week website. Hit the red tab that says ‘Find An Event’ then enter some keywords, topics or dates and see what’s available.

You can find some hands-on activities at their diy-science page here.

You can also check out Inspiring Australia’s New South Wales offerings or hop over the virtual border into Victoria or South Australia.

There really is so much to choose from – like…
– building your own weather station
– resurrecting extinct species
– food of the future
– aboriginal astronomy
– “legal personhood” for the moon
– design a marine creature
– meet a microbiologist
& more… So what are you waiting for!

To get you started we have highlighted some selections below.

Have a happy, productive and safe Science Week.


showcasing the best science films from filmmakers around the world

Now until 31 August
Register here

You may remember seeing selections from SCINEMA International Science Film Festival in previous years as part of our Science Hub offerings at the James Theatre. This year all SCINEMA films are available online and free for the month of August. We have been watching some of the program and it is fabulous. Just sign up and watch at your leisure between now and 31 August. Don’t miss out!

SCINEMA International Science Film Festival is the largest science film festival in the southern hemisphere.

People’s Choice Award
Watched a film from SCINEMA 2020? You could win a $500 JB HI-FI voucher, just for that! All you have to do is vote for your favourite film from this year’s festival. Submissions close on Sunday 6th September.

Vote now

Exploring Newcastle’s Coast

a virtual geology fieldtrip

Mon 17 Aug 5.30-6.30pm
Register here

by Geological Survey of NSW, Department of Regional NSW

Newcastle has some fascinating geological features. Join us for a virtual tour of the amazing geology of the Newcastle coastline. This public webinar will give you an insight into changing landscapes over 250 million years. Meet local geologists online and ask questions!

You will discover the vast forests of the supercontinent Gondwana. Hear about the opening of the Tasman Sea. Travel back in time, to the age of the dinosaurs and beyond! This webinar will take you on a virtual fieldtrip – visiting key sites on the Newcastle coastline with local geologists. Newcastle’s coastline presents a unique opportunity to enjoy the geological features along the Bathers Way coastal walk. From Nobbys Head to south of Merewether Baths, the prominent rock platforms and cliffs of the coastline record many different ancient geological environments. These ancient landscapes tell a story of major volcanic eruptions, river floodplains and swamps, plate tectonics, as well as more recent changes in sea level and the natural movement of beach sand.

The virtual tour explains the geological processes that created the landscape the city of Newcastle is built on — from the rocky ridges to the reclaimed land of the inner city, the use of natural resources by Aboriginal and European inhabitants, and the adaptation of plants, birds and animals along the coast. It highlights how different rocks were formed, and helps the public identify fossils and geological features. It provides engaging and accessible information on earth science for educators and students.

The virtual tour is a collaboration between the Geological Survey of NSW (Department of Regional NSW), the University of Newcastle and the City of Newcastle.

IHMRI’s Bite Size Science Webinars

Mon 17 – Fri 21 Aug 12.30-1pm each day
Register here

IHMRI’s Bite Size Science Webinars – Each day one of IHMRI’s researchers share their work for National Science Week.

Have you ever had a health related science question but haven’t had the opportunity to ask it? Well, now you can if you register for IHMRI’s Bite Size Science Webinars! Every day during National Science Week, an IHMRI researcher is available for you. Covering topics such as skin cancer treatments, cardiovascular health and exercise, learning about learning through the worm, and neurodegenerative diseases like Motor Neurone Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. From 17 – 21 August IHMRI researchers will be available to you, talking about their research and to answer your questions.

Dr Luke McAlary – Motor Neurone Disease
Mon 17 Aug 12.30–1pm
Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a disease of the motor system, in which the cells responsible for voluntary movement (motor neurons) progressively die, causing patients to lose the ability to walk, talk, swallow and eventually breathe. Having completed his PhD under the supervision of Professor Justin Yerbury, Luke has committed his research efforts towards understanding the causes of MND and also finding a cure for this terrible disease. Register to hear how Luke’s team is researching the causes of MND.

Professor Heath Ecroyd – Neurodegenerative diseases
Tues 18 Aug 12.30–1pm
Neurodegenerative diseases are debilitating and insidious disorders that have an enormous financial, emotional and social cost to our community. Each day in Australia 37 people are told they have Parkinson’s disease and the estimated cost to the Australian economy of Parkinson’s disease is in excess of $12 billion. Register to hear Heath discuss his research into what causes these diseases, the work his team are doing to develop new drugs to treat (and maybe even prevent) these diseases.

Professor Marie Ranson – Skin cancers
Wed 19 Aug 12.30–1pm
Professor Marie Ranson has committed her research career to uncovering the secrets of cancer and to help develop better therapeutics against cancers. She is involved in a large multi-institutional study on cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (cSCC) – one of the most common non-melanoma skin cancers in Australia. Despite its prevalence, it is not known why some tumours spread to local lymph nodes (metastasis) leading to very poor prognosis and why others do not. Register to hear Marie explain this research and to ask any questions you may have around non-melanoma skin cancers.

Dr Monique Francois – Reducing cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes
Thurs 20 Aug 12.30–1pm
Dr Monique Francois is leading a study funded by NSW health, looking at therapies to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes (or at risk of diabetes). Monique will study whether the timing of exercise and the reduction of carbohydrates play a role in reducing heart disease. Register to hear more about this study and to ask your questions related to diabetes and heart disease.

Dr Yee Lian Chew – Worm: C and the human brain
Fri 21 Aug 12.30–1pm
Dr Yee Lian has spent the last 9 years of her life trying to understand life through the worm. Yes, the worm: C. elegans, the tiny nematode with the completely sequenced genome and fully-mapped nervous system. Hear her explain how her research at IHMRI uses the brain of this tiny worm, to reveal new information about the human brain, from looking at single cells and networks to advancing our understanding of how the networks in our brain to “learn” to adapt to a changing environment.

Dr Karl’s House Party

Mon 17 Aug 7–8.15pm
Register here

This online event will include live captions.

Dr Karl invites you to join him to kick off National Science Week with an awesome house party. Streamed live into your lounge room, learn about the animal that has to grow an anus each time it wants to defecate, how spiders can fly for thousands of kilometres and also count, why dead fish can swim indefinitely, and why humans have been making coffee the wrong way for six centuries.

Celebrate with us online and have a chance to win prizes when you post your science-themed celebration to Instagram or Twitter with #DrKarlsHouseParty and tag @Sydney_Science too.

As Prince would say, party like it’s 1999 but it’s 2020 so please party only with members of your own household responsibly…

Climate Change Panel: what can I do?

How to take effective action on climate change

Thurs 20 Aug 8pm
Register here

Join us Thursday August 20, 8pm AEST for a panel discussion exploring how individuals can take effective action to reduce carbon emissions.

The majority of Australians trust the science on climate change and believe action is important but don’t know how to best channel their actions to make a difference. Macquarie University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences will be running a series of online events for National Science Week around the theme of personal action for environmental sustainability, including a live-streamed panel discussion on the question: ‘What can I do to impact climate change?’

Coordinated by Earth scientist Dr. Kate Selway and hosted by Lee Constable, panelists will span climate science, the media, politics, business and community organisations to delve into the issues and come up with tangible solutions. The online discussion will be streamed and recorded and members of the public will have the opportunity to send in their questions to the expert panel members.

Meet the panel

  • Professor Lesley Hughes, Distinguished Professor of Biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Integrity & Development) at Macquarie University. An ecologist by training, she has worked for more than 20 years to research and communicate the science of climate change.
  • Greg Bourne, a councillor with the Climate Council of Australia and an expert in the interplay between climate change, energy, business and policy. Originally trained as a chemist, he worked in the energy industry for over 30 years, including as regional president of BP Australasia.
  • Associate Professor Caroline Fisher, the Deputy Director of the News & Media Research Centre at the University of Canberra and co-author of the annual Digital News Report-Australia.
  • Katerina Gaita, the Founder and CEO of Climate for Change, a community organisation that aims to help everyday people understand the problems and challenges we face with climate change, and to inspire and empower them to make a difference.
  • Tennant Reed, the manager of Climate, Energy and Environment Policy at the Australian Industry (Ai) Group.

How Plants Work

Experiments & Competition

At home activity during Science Week
Register here

by Hunter Region Botanic Gardens

The award winning Hunter Region Botanic Gardens is proud to offer a chance to practice hands-on plant experiments at home during National Science Week.

Based on the ‘How Plants Work’ illustrated guide by Kevin McDonald, we will be uploading a different experiment every day during National Science Week to be done by families at home. Using light, water and paper towel, discover the germination process of seeds as they take root, learn how seedlings act when they’re kept away from sun, find out about the importance of water and sun in plant growth, and record your results like a true scientist.

Pick your favourite out of the experiments posted for Science Week, record your results, chart your findings in an A4 poster, and go in the running to win a prize pack worth over $200 (to be announced during Science Week), including a free copy of ‘How Plants Work’!

Event & Competition Details

7 at-home experiments focusing on different aspects of plant biology across 7 days during National Science Week via the Hunter Innovation and Science Hub Facebook page.

A printable page will be uploaded to the website and to Facebook. Print one for each experiment and record the growth of your plants each day as they grow and change

After completing your experiments, select your favourite and create an A4 poster about it
Your poster must:
Have a title
Contain a chart of the results
Tell us what you did and what you saw
Drawings of your experiment
To submit: Scan a copy of your poster and submit via this link

If families would like to purchase a copy of ‘How Plants Work’ by Kevin McDonald for your family, please email the team at for details. Cost is $19 (+ $10 postage and handling). Alternatively, visit the gardens located in Heatherbrae NSW to purchase your copy.