At UCF we’re committed to tackling social and environment challenges not only in developing countries but also in our own backyard. Our Melbourne office looks over Port Phillip Bay, an often neglected and undervalued marine environment. What few of the local residents or 30 million people who visit the bay each year don’t realise is the incredible colour and diversity that reside in these waters.
Magical kelp forests, sponge gardens that explode in a kaleidoscope of colours and dragons that sparkle like jewels. Up to 85% of the marine life found here along the southern shores are found nowhere else in the world.
The challenge facing the bay is that a lack of value and appreciation can, and does have a detrimental impact on its health. A community can’t be expected to care for an environment they don’t exists or they can’t see. This is highlighted in the State of the Marine Environment Report “There is an urgent need for better marine education. Effective management depends upon Australians knowing about the marine environment and its importance, wanting to care for it, and learning to look after it”
So we decided to do something about it in partnership with state government agencies, local council, community groups and several other key stakeholders.
Enter Melbourne Down Under a multimedia campaign designed to take this incredible colour and diversity of Port Phillip Bay to an audience of millions through several high profile media platforms.
The lunch-pin to the project was Melbourne Down Under – the jewels of Port Phillip Bay, a stunning coffee table book that captured the colour and beauty of this hidden gem in a 204 page visual feast complimented with engaging and entertaining text.
Unico Conservation Foundation were pivotal in providing the seed funding to give this project the fins it needed to swim as well as developing a website and shopping cart so we could share this treasure, and our passion for the marine environment with as many people as possible.
To date we’re proud to say that the book alone has received over $800K in free media coverage to an audience of over 5 million people and counting.