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Chau Chak Wing Museum

Time travelling with turtles

Where
University of Sydney
University of Sydney
Parramatta and City Roads, Camperdown NSW 2006
Chau Chak Wing Museum
When

Sunday 23 May from 2pm to 3pm

Where do butterflies drink turtle tears? When did turtles have teeth? And what led Al Capone’s turtle-racing empire to end in disaster? These questions and more will be explored in this paper, as we take a journey through time with this remarkable and ancient creature.

Turtles have played a vital role in human culture from the earliest times of civilisation—they have been worshipped as deities, used in trade for their shells and meat, and have symbolically carried the land on their backs in the figure of the legendary World Turtle.

On World Turtle Day, we consider the past, present, and future for humans, turtles, and the environment. For over a hundred million years, turtles have played a crucial part in maintaining healthy marine ecosystems, transporting nutrients from oceans to beach systems. The awareness of the need to conserve sea turtles lay behind the world’s first piece of conservation legislation in Bermuda in 1610. Yet, the current moment is a critical one for turtle conservation: a landmark 2018 study found turtles are the most threatened group of animals on earth. In many ways, the animals have never been so visible to a broad modern audience, but generally, populations continue to decline and even become extinct.

Exploring the intricacy of the turtle, as a cultural symbol and a biological animal, imposes an appreciation of the deep connection between the creature and its environment. In the increasingly fast-paced world of the 21st century, it has never been more important to consider the cultural history of this remarkable animal and take a swim in the slow lane of life with the turtle.

Attend in-person Nelson Meers Foundation Auditorium  Register

Attend online A Zoom link will be provided prior to the event  Register

Covid-safe information

  • The wearing of face masks is encouraged while visiting the Museum

  • Check-in upon arrival by scanning the QR code displayed at the Museum entrance 

  • We recommend downloading the Service NSW app in advance. If you do not have the app you will still be able to enter your details on the web form

  • If you do not have a smart phone, contact details can be provided to front desk staff

  • Please practice social distancing and observe the gallery capacity limits displayed outside each gallery, and make use of the available hand sanitiser 

  • Do not attend if you are feeling unwell, have cold or flu symptoms, or have been in close contact of an identified Covid-19 case

  • The Museum shop is currently only accepting payment by card

Contact event organiser

Chau Chak Wing Museum

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