Passengers flying in to Melbourne Airport will soon see an unusual sight from the sky, with a project underway to create giant bandicoots at Woodlands Historic Park. 

Revegetated indigenous wildflowers will be planted in the shape of giant, 25-square-metre bandicoots in a collaborative project that joins staff from Parks Victoria, Melbourne Airport, Conservation Volunteers Australia and Melbourne Water with students from Greenvale Secondary College and Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School. 

The “Bandicoots on the Flight Path” project is inspired by “Marsupial Masterpieces” at Iramoo Wildflower Grassland Reserve.  

Woodlands Historic Park is home to the Parks Victoria Bandicoot Breeding Program and part of nearby works to upgrade the Moonee Ponds Creek ‘Bandicoots to Bay’ shared trail, including the Murrup Gurrong Yan (Spiritual Creek Walk). 

Catherine van Wilgenburg of Living Colour Studios said that the project aims to foster stewardship of the land, introduce EcoArt and raise awareness of the endangered eastern barred bandicoot.

 “We’re really excited about this project and the attention we can draw back to the land and its iconic flora and fauna, our native grasslands and eastern barred bandicoot,” she said.

Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School teacher Alex Scott said that getting students involved in hands-on activities brings a different level of understanding and learning.

“After the lesson in the classroom, the kids couldn’t wait to get out on site and scale up the painting,” he said.

“The idea of being involved over a number of years and seeing the change over time is exciting, too.”

Bandicoots on the Flight Path is just one of the many projects that is led by Chain of Ponds, an ambitious collaboration working to transform Moonee Ponds Creek into an iconic Melbourne waterway that provides high social, cultural and environmental benefits. 

Chain of Ponds includes representatives from local and state government, community groups, not-for-profits, water authorities and research organisations who are committed to improving the Moonee Ponds Creek.