Discovering Gawari Mada with Mitchell Whitelaw

Photo: supplied by Mitchell Whitelaw / ANU

Join us and explore birds, plants, insects and other inhabitants of Gawari Mada (Holt Microforest). Learn to use your smartphone to identify, discover and record the diverse species around us! Participants can return to the Microforest at any time to continue observing and recording.

TIME: drop in anytime between 11:00am - 02:00pm
DATE: Saturday 18 May 2024
LOCATION: Gawari Mada (Holt Microforest) Boyle Place Playground, Holt

All ages and abilities are welcome – there's no need to register!

What to bring: 
-          a smartphone (or share a phone with a small group)
-          sign up for an iNaturalist account and download the iNaturalist Seek app
-          appropriate sun / weather protection and clothing
-          drinking water
-          closed-toe footwear must be worn at all times
-          persons under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 
The ground may be uneven and / or slippery, please take care when moving around the grounds.  In the event of extreme weather, the workshop may be postponed.  For more information please email

Drop in and spend time exploring the unique surrounds of Gawari Mada!


About the facilitator: Professor Mitchell Whitelaw is the Head of School at ANU School of Art & Design. His research spans practice and theory in the fields of digital design and culture; working with data and computation as core materials in a creative research practice. Current themes in his research are Redesigning Biodiversity Data and Design for Digital Heritage and Humanities.

About the location: Gawari Mada Micro-Forest and Food Forest can be found at the Boyle Place Playground (opposite the Holt Shops across Beaurepaire Crescent). A Micro-Forest is a small but complete ecosystem that mimics a forest on a tiny scale. It’s a dense pocket of diverse vegetation that contains trees, shrubs, climbers and ground-covers that create a mini-ecosystem. A Micro-Forest captures carbon, breaks down decomposing organic material to return nutrients into the soil, creates habitat for wildlife and has a cooling effect on the surrounding area. Learn more.

Living City: people, plants and place is a three-year visual arts and design program working with Canberra’s suburban communities and many urban natural environments. The program encourages accessible and inclusive, art-based engagement with urban spaces while addressing climate change, urban biodiversity, wellbeing and conservation. This program is funded by ArtsACT and the ANU School of Art & Design. 

Updated:  2 May 2024/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications